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GIOVANNI MARITI
Travels in the Island of Cyprus
page 147

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into disuse, and the Turks themselves have adopted the arrangement most convenient to the Christian inhabitants. For as the population dwindled, and the prosperity of the island decayed, it was re-divided into four districts, corre-sponding with the sees of the four Greek bishops. Salamina, on the east, including Carpas and the Mesarian plain, was annexed to the archbishopric of Nicosia, Cerines, on the north, including the lands of Chrysochou and Pendaia, to the bishopric of Kyrenia. Paphos, on the west, including Soloi, to the see of Paphos : and Citium, including the district of Limasol and Salines on the south, to the see of Citium, whose bishop now resides in Larnaca. § II. The Dragoman of the Serai. The Dragoman of the Serai holds one of the principal posts assigned to a Christian. His title signifies "interpreter in the Governor's palace," but he is really the agent who treats between the Christian population and the Governor. I was wrong in saying he held a firman from the Porte. He is nominated directly by the bishops, who are ready to change him if he is not acceptable to the government. He must be a man of sense and tact, for his position is a very important one. The bishops agree to pay him four paras on each item of the poll tax or kharaj : and he represents them in all dealings with the Governor, not in their spiritual capacity as bishops, but as the natural leaders of the people. As such they bind themselves to pay to the Muhassil, through the dragoman, a fixed poll tax, reckoned according to the population. Besides this, the inhabitants of their own free will pay 50 purses, or 25,000 piastres, to anticipate and prevent the exactions which capriciously, without reason or form of law, but suggested simply by calumnious tyranny, might fall upon them. But the Governor may accept these terms or not, as he pleases. CH. xxvi] Sundry Notes on Cyprus 143

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