29 April 1787: Dr J. Sibthorp, the editor of the Flora Greca, and founder of a professorship of Rural Economy at Oxford, visited Cyprus with his friends Dr Hume and Mr Brown to study the flora and fauna of the island.
At seven we left Limesol ; having travelled two hours in a plain, we passed a little rivulet; the country was covered with Cistus and Mastic; among these we heard the frequent call of the Francoline. Having crossed the rivulet, we entered into a wild mountainous country, and stopped to dine at a Turkish fountain, five hours from Limesol. After dinner we soon entered into a more cultivated district : the sides of the hills were planted with vineyards; little brooks watered the vales below, which were sown with corn, yet green. The mountains of Troados covered with the Pinus pinea stretched themselves out, and terminated the vale. I observed the Styrax tree frequent in the hedges, and the Anagyris foetida in the outskirts of the villages. At sunset we arrived at the convent of the Holy Cross: this is regarded as the second monastery in the island, and was probably more flourishing under the pious care of Maria Theresa. It is situated in a Greek village, where we observed an appearance of greater affluence than in most of those we had yet seen. Mountains are indeed generally the last retreats of liberty.
The ‘History Today’ series is made possible with the support of OPAP (Cyprus).