What I Saw

15 Dec 2023

Leontios Machairas

Leontios Machairas wrote in the 15th century about the Nestorians in Famagusta.

"The Nestorian, perhaps Greek merchant Sir Francis Lachas, or Lachanopoulos, often invited King Peter to his house. In his fireplace instead of logs he had loads of aloe wood and after dinner presented to his guests dishes full of precious stones and pearls to help themselves to. Instead of sweetmeat, he gave pearls. This great man was very pious and for the good of his soul built the Nestorian church and helped many other denominations in their charitable work."

The end of the family illustrates dramatically the vicissitudes of fortune. With the Genoese occupation of Famagusta, their wealth vanished and one of their sons had to earn his meals as a bell-ringer of the Nicosia hospital. Another was reduced to peddling sweetmeats in his native city.

The 'What I Saw...' series is made possible with the support of OPAP (Cyprus) and the Active Citizens Fund.

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