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Selected and rare materials, excerpts and observations from ancient, medieval and contemporary authors, travelers and researchers about Cyprus.
 
 
 
 
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HISTORY OF CYPRUS

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NEOPHYTUS.
The Words of Neophytus, a Priest and Cloistered Monk, concerning the Misfortunes of the Land of Cyrpus
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When it became necessary that the most pious sovereign Manuel Comnenus, of happy memory, should send a garrison to the royal strongholds in Armenia, he sent one of his kin, quite a youth, Isaac by name, who after guarding the fortresses for some years engaged in war with the Armenians.            He was taken captive by them and sold to the Latins.  They held him for many years bound with chains, for his uncle, the Emperor Manuel, was dead, leaving his realm to his son Alexius, also a child. Whereupon his uncle Andronicus, who reigned with him, killed the boy and seized the kingdom. But at the entreaty of the assembly he sent a very large ransom, and bought the said Isaac out of the hands of the Latins.  Isaac came to Cyprus, took it, and was proclaimed king.  He ruled over it for seven years, and not only utterly despoiled the land, and perpetually harassed the lives of its rich men, but every day he hounded and oppressed its nobles, so that all lived in distress, and sought how by any means they might protect themselves against him.
While things were so, lo, the Englishman lands in Cyprus, and forthwith all ran unto him! Then the king, abandoned by his people, gave himself also unto the hands of the English. Him the English king bound in irons, and having seized his vast treasures, and grievously wasted the land, sailed away to Jerusalem, leaving behind him ships to strip the country and to follow him. But king Isaac of Cyprus he shut up in chains in a castle called Marcappus. The wicked wretch achieved nought against his fellow wretch Saladin, but achieved this only, that he sold our country to the Latins for two hundred thousand pounds of gold. Whereon great was the wailing, and unbearable the smoke, as was said before, which came from the north. He that would tell of them at length, the time shall fail him.

 

 

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