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GIOVANNI MARITI
Travels in the Island of Cyprus
page 148

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They are arranged between the Muhassil and the dragoman, and this point settled the former has no right to levy any further contributions, beyond the duty on food stuffs exported. But he gets 20,000 piastres from anyone invested with the rank of Agha, and 1000 piastres from each bishop as the contribution of his calogeroi or monks. He exacts other dues upon produce, and taxes the people to reimburse his ex-penditure both public and personal. The bishops, through the dragoman, agree to these impositions, which make the post of Muhassil very lucrative : if the holder is not a person of the highest honesty his gains are immense. I do not know of any other country peopled by Greeks under Turkish rule where the bishops are the representatives of the people. When Cyprus was taken from the Venetians the Greek inhabitants found themselves without leaders of position, education or experience, their best men having fallen in defence of their country, and so were constrained to put forward their bishops. § III. Population. It is an extremely difficult thing to avoid error in calculating the population of any city or province in the Turkish Empire. The farther the locality lies from the capital, the more difficult the task, in the islands it is almost impossible. The safest basis is the list of persons subject to kharaj or poll tax, generally reckoned as a third of the whole population. But these lists are affected by the particular .agreements made, arbitrarily enough, between the government and the bishops. In Cyprus especially, where the bishops act as agents of the Christian community, the interest of individuals can easily override the public interest, and so an exact estimate of the population of the island is almost impossible. After very careful search I had determined that the number of Cypriots assessed for kharaj was 12,000. Add the two- 144 Stmdry Notes on Cyprus [CH.

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