Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

12 miles from each; a village occupied chiefly by muleteers, who keep mules for hire.

Episkopi, on the Limasol—Baffo road, about eight miles west of Limasol.

Tamassus, a village on the upper course of the Pedias river, and once famous for the mining operations carried on in the vicinity.

There are numerous others of about the same size, amongst which may be mentioned Lithrodonda, Kilani, Lefkara, Vatili, Tricomo, Aradippo, Avdimu, &c.

ANTIQUITIES.

It would be beyond the scope of this work to enter into any archaeological details concerning the antiquities of Cyprus; these remarks are therefore confined to a brief enumeration of the discoveries, and a notice of the light which they throw upon the ancient history of the island; those who are interested in this subject will find in General di Cesnola's recently published book, “Cyprus: its Cities, Tombs, and Temples,” a complete and well narrated record of the explorations made by him in the island, and which have been described as adding a new and very important chapter to the history of Art and Archaeology.

There is but very little to be seen above ground of the remains of antiquity in Cyprus; the ancient royal cities afford the most interesting fields for the explorer, but as these are now buried, their treasures can only be reached by excavation. Idalium, Golgos, Curium, and Amathus, have yielded interesting and valuable relics, but it is not certain whether these sites have been entirely worked out. The explorations at Paphos have, so far, been comparatively unproductive; the great temple, rebuilt by Vespasian in the archaic form, is now only a mass of shapeless ruins, owing perhaps to the effect of successive earthquakes. At Citium, the harbour and the walls of the ancient city may still be traced to the southward of the modern town of Larnaca, and excavations have bere been rewarded with some objects of great interest, especially the Assyrian stele, bearing the figure and annals of Sargon, now in the Berlin Museum; also some terra-cottas of the Macedonian period. Salamis has been less productive, as probably the remains of the ancient city were used for building purposes by the mediaeval rulers of the island. f o antiquities to be found in the island have been classified as

011OWS :—

1. Inscriptions.—Egyptian, Assyrian, Cypriote, Phoenician, Greek, and Roman.

2. Statues, and figures in stone.

3. Terra-cottas.-Archaic, Greek, and false Archaic.

4. Objects in metal.—Ornaments and bowls.

5. Coins—Cypriote, Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Kingdom of Cyprus.

6. Glass.

(774) D 2

Ancient
cities.

Classification of antiquities. Inscriptions. Inland communications.

Statues.

Terra-cottas.

Works in metal.

Coins.

Glass.

Architecture.

Walue of the discoveries in

Cyprus.

An appendix to General di Cesnola's work, describes fully the Greek inscriptions discovered at Palae Paphos, Kythraea, Curium, and other places, also the Cypriote inscriptions obtained chiefly in Golgos, and the Phoenician which were found at Citium. All remains in the Cypriote character are of the highest value to the archaeologist. As regards the statues discovered in Cyprus, there are no traces of very high art; the character of Oriental taste was too firmly fixed for Hellenic art, late in arrival, and never wholly welcome to the national instincts, to plant itself securely in the islafd. It is, moreover, evident that art was affected by the abundance of the soft limestone of Cyprus, which lent itself with fatal facility to the production of inferior work; thus Cypriote statues are but little superior to the lower class of terra-cottas in force of execution and attention to detail. Their general characteristics are shown by the good typical series of statues and statuettes from the famous city of Idalium, discovered by Mr. Lang, and arranged in the British Museum at the entrance of the great Egyptian gallery on the ground floor. Among the archaic vases and terra-cottas in the upper gallery will be found good typical examples of Cypriote work. An interesting article on the Pottery of Cyprus, by Mr. A. S. Murray, forms an #. to General di Cesmola's book. The metal objects found at Curium are of beautiful workmanship; they consist of solid F. armlets, necklaces, bracelets, signet rings, earrings; paterae of gold and silver; goblets, bowls, and dishes of silver and silver-gilt; tripods and candelabra of bronze, copper, and iron. The drawings of these in General di Cesnola's book are exceedingly good. Coins are found in abundance throughout Cyprus. The most valuable are those bearing Cypriote inscriptions, ranging probably from the sixth century, B.C. to the middle of the fourth. The Phoenician coinages of the Kings of Citium and Idalium, dating in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C., deserve the next place. Both these illustrate the religion and history of the island. A few fine Greek coins of Paphos and Salamis have come to light, but they were evidently scantily issued. Under the Ptolemies, the mint of Cyprus struck a large quantity of money, and as the greater part of the silver coins are dated, the class is of unusual interest. The Roman coins of Paphos, with the representation of the great temple of Aphrodite, are not uncommon. Of subsequent currencies, the most interesting is that of the Lusignan Kings of Cyprus, a complete representative series of which is very hard to obtain. Glass vases are found in great numbers and varieties in the tombs at Dali, where the whole vicinity is one vast cemetery; also in the tombs at Amathus, beautiful irridescent glass objects have been found. As regards architecture; the mediaeval remains, particularly those of the Lusignan dynasty at Nicosia, and of the Genoese at Famagusta, merit careful study; the architecture of many of the convents also deserves examination. The value of these discoveries is explained by Mr. R. Stuart

Poole in an article in the Contemporary Review of January, 1878.
It appears that until the late discoveries in Cyprus, followed by
those in the Troad and at Mycenae, no works could be assigned to
Homer's age, or to the age before him. Homer may be dated
in the ninth century before our era, and until quite lately there has
scarcely been known any Greek or Graeco-Asiatic work of art,
of which it could be said that it was older than about B.C. 800, for
that is the period to which the objects found in the Hellenic sites
can be carried back in an unbroken series. Now, however, we have
a mass of works of an undoubtedly earlier period, and it is believed
that they range from the Trojan age, perhaps B.C. 1200, to the close of
the Greek dominion, in a series of monumental records unrivalled for
continuous succession anywhere in the world save in Egypt; it is
also evident that they are in origin and characteristics Phoenician,
bearing the impress of the art of the nations which in turn ruled
the Eastern Mediterranean, Greek art alone being but faintly repre-
sented.
Much still remains to be done in the way of antiquarian
research in Cyprus; the ancient cities of Aphrodisium, Soli,
Arsinöe and others, are as yet almost untouched, but now that the
Turkish jealousy of archaeological exploration is removed, these
sites will doubtless be carefully investigated, and more light thrown
upon the present obscure subject of the early history of Cyprus.

[ocr errors]

CHAPTER IV.

COMMUNICATIONS: INLAND, MARITIME, AND TELEGRAPHIO.

THE means of internal communication in Cyprus are, as is generally

the case throughout the Turkish dominions, very defective.

The only road which is really fit for carriages is that connecting Nicosia with Larnaca, but even this, as will afterwards be shown, is at present anything but a good road according to English ideas. The want of a good means of communication between these towns has long been apparent, and is indeed almost a necessity for the conduct of the business of the island, but the apathy and dilatoriness of the Turkish officials has long delayed and prevented its construction. Consul Sandwith in a report of 1867, says that an abortive attempt to construct this road was made three or four years previously, but instead of devoting any of the usual revenue of the island to the purpose, a tax was imposed on that part of the country which was to have benefited by the undertaking, and its labouring population was compelled to work on the road gratuitously. After £3,000 had been expended in the payment of salaries to an engineer and his staff, and in preliminary expenses, the work stopped, the only result being the cutting of a ditch for five miles on either side of the intended road. The next Governor recommended the abandonment of the scheme, but at the beginning of 1867, Consul Sandwith found that the inhabitants of the district were still paying the road tax, and as much as f130 had been taken from one village, where the population, being very poor, had offered to work without remuneration in lieu of paying the tax, but were told that money, and not labour, was required. At some period, however, during the last ten years, this road has been made passable for carriages, and has been daily used by a diligence, or omnibus, which runs between Nicosia and Larnaca, but it is very evident from the accounts of it which have lately reached us, that a good deal of labour must still be expended upon it, before it becomes a convenient communication. The remaining roads of the island, even those radiating from Nicosia to the chief laces on the coast such as Famagusta, Cerinea, Limasol, and }. as well as the road along the southern shore from Famagusta, through Larnaca and Limasol, to Basso, are said to be nothing more than fair mule and camel tracks, which are, however, used in places with more or less difficulty by the native carts carrying agricultural produce. Most of these roads might, it is stated, be converted into carriage roads without any very great outlay; moreover, the level character of a great portion of the interior of the island offers facilities for the construction of good roads, and there can be no doubt that the immediate attention of the present government will be directed to the subject of the improvement of existing communications, and the construction of new ones where required. In the more mountainous parts of the island, only rough and difficult bridle paths are at present to be found. Bridges are very generally wanting, and are much needed, for in winter, when the numerous torrents which cross the roads are swollen by rain, dangerous accidents are of frequent occurrence, as travellers who are ignorant of the depth and of the force of the current, are compelled to wade across the stream.

The annual consular reports invariably contain allusions to the neglect on the part of the Turkish Government of public works, and especially the construction and repair of roads and bridges. Vizierial orders to provincial governors on the subject, have indeed not been wanting, but as no funds are provided or set apart for the purpose, the urgent orders practically go no further than their record. Consul Riddell, writing in April 1876, says that “the pressure for money to help Imperial necessities at the capital is so great, that it is useless to expect any expenditure on the much needed public works in Cyprus; ” and Consul Watkins in his report dated March 1878, notices that nothing whatever had been done during the past year, and even the existing carriage road between Larnaca and Nicosia was greatly neglected.

The following descriptions of the principal inland communications of the island have been extracted from the accounts of travellers who have passed over them at various times, they may serve to give some idea of their present state; further details are not at hand :—

Distances in miles. Places on the 5 DESCRIPTION OF THE ROAD Road. # 5 H 1. LARNACA TO NICOSIA. Larnaca ... — | – |The road, on leaving the Marina of Larnaca, takes a

northerly direction to Larnaca proper, which is about three-quarters of a mile distant, and winds through the narrow streets of that town, from which it emerges upon an o of dry, but apparently fair soil of a white marly description. For about three miles there are indications of cultivation ; at first cotton fields are not infrequent, and portions of land here bear grain crops; vineyards, too, occasionally appear, but the vines in this neighbourhood are generally dwarf and stunted, and the grapes very small. The general direction of the road is north-west, it is very rough and stony, full of deep ruts, and cntirely out of repair. The Greek village of

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »