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GIOVANNI MARITI
Travels in the Island of Cyprus
page 102

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many of his friends to refuse. They gave as their reason that they claimed to be recognised by the Sultan as men who had freed the Empire from a tyrant, who was bent on destroying rather than preserving the provinces. Were they to be sub-jected to a fixed fine they would be admittedly rebels, a stigma they could in no wise bear, for they boasted themselves to be liberators of their country, and protectors of justice. However they soon saw that these excuses would not exempt them from the payment of the 14 piastres, and some hundreds of them openly mutinied, and assembled in force in the village of Citerea, where are the flour mills which supply Nicosia, cut off the water and turned it into fresh channels, so as to prevent the mills from working, and the city from re-ceiving its daily supply. Nicosia was in an uproar, and the Governor, seeing the people ready for a rising of a graver kind, settled the matter as best he could, and persuaded the malcontents to withdraw from Citerea by promises that no further demand should be made for the 14 piastres. Meanwhile the archbishop and the bishops of Pafo and Cerines, the bishop of Citium only being left behind, had gone secretly to Constantinople to represent the exactions to which the island was subjected at the hands of each new Muhassil. A new Governor was promised them, who arrived a few months later. During their absence the Governor Hafiz, seeing the people quiet again, began to demand afresh the 14 piastres. A few paid it, but the collection was very slow, and on August 12, 1765, Hafiz heard of a new band of recusants, whose chief, greatly to the Governor's alarm, proved to be one Khalil Agha, Commandant of the castle of Cerines, in whose charge were all the arms and warlike stores. They based this renewed movement solely on their determination not to pay the poll tax. Their cause became that of the whole people, and volunteers arrived every day to swell the band of Khalil Agha. The Governor immediately closed the gates of the capital. gS Insurrection of 1764 [CH.

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