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GIOVANNI MARITI
Travels in the Island of Cyprus
page 170

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The calling of a στιχονρ-γος or ποιητάρις exists Still, and is still, as M. Menardos says, an 1тгаууе\р.а βιοποριστικών ; its simple rules being learned from older hands, and put to use when a murder, the death of a bishop, an escape from prison, or any like startling event stirs the bard, and loosens the purse-strings of his patrons. It would not be fair to compare these stilted narratives, hampered by their cumbrous form, with the rispetti, stornelli, strambotti which an Italian of the same class trolls out with real passion and easy grace. In one is seen job-work, in the other the "inexhaustible affluence" of improvisation. • ALESSANDRO PODACATORO left Nicosia before the siege of that city for Famagusta, with a brother, who was killed on the ravelin, and made a report to Melchiorre Michiel (ob. 1572), who had been in 1558 Governor of Cyprus. He raised in his own villages, clothed and drilled, a company of 300 native soldiers, with whom he served during the siege. He was taken prisoner, chained for 37 days on a galley, and ransomed by the French consul for 325 sequins. He heard from the mouth of the Genoese renegade who flayed Bragadino the details of his cruel death. The narrative wears a genuine look, and gives many interesting details not found elsewhere. Two of the writer's kin, Livio, who was succeeded in 1553 by his brother Cesare, were titular archbis*hops of Nicosia. Two more were in 1547 and 1552 abbots of the monastery of Santa Croce. Louis and Hector were slain at Nicosia, another Livio was enslaved. His Relazione was printed at Venice, 1876. From the pen of ANTONIO RICCOBONI, of Rovigo, we have an account, in neat Latin, of the same siege. No authorities are quoted, and letters and speeches set out in full give it the air of an academic exercise : but the writer, a Professor at Padua, 1571—99, was a contemporary of the events he relates. It was first printed at Venice in 1843. Prefatory Note 167

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