17 March 1815: William Turner while on a journey to the Holy Land, stopped in Cyprus and was hosted by consul Vondiziano. He collected much information about Cyprus which he included in his travel journal.
“Cyprus, Mr V. tells me, is nearly 600 miles in circumference, an extent which would require at least a population of a million to cultivate it so well as the excellency of the soil deserves : especially as, unlike the other islands of these seas, it is chiefly laid out in fine plains, a very small part of it being mountainous. The population has, however, been reduced by the tyranny of the government to between 60,000 and 70,000 souls, of whom about 40,000 are Greeks : of these there are in Larnaca, including the Marina, between five and six thousand ; and in Nicosia, which under the Venetians contained 80,000, 15,000. These are the only populous towns of the island, the others being almost desert. Imperfectly as it is cultivated, it abounds in every production of nature, and bears great quantities of corn, figs, olives, oranges, lemons, dates, and indeed of every fruit seen in these climates : it nourishes great numbers of goats, sheep, pigs and oxen, of which latter it has at times exported supplies to Malta. Its principal commerce consists in cotton, wool, provisions (of which it sends supplies to Syria and Egypt, and particularly did so to our expedition there) and silk, of which latter the trade was 150 years ago so considerable as to attract here an English factory.”
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