10 DECEMBER 1937, Page 42

ANCIENT CYPRUS By Stanley Casson While the British Government, after

half a century, is beginning to show an interest in the mediaeval monuments of Cyprus, Mr. Casson's scholarly and readable essay (Methuen 75. 6d.) is designed to show that the prehistoric and Hellenic sites in the island deserve much more notice than they have received, extept indeed from Professor J. L. Myres and from the recent Swedish expedition. Mr. Casson emphasises the peculiarities of Cypriote art and usage ; the Greeks evidently had reason to regard the Cypriote " character " or style as exceptional. Thus, as the Swedish diggers have shown, the island- er, though Greek, built no temples but instead had open courtyards filled with votive statues round the shrines, as the one now uncovered at Idalion. Again, the Cypriotes retained their local kings till well within the historic period, and they long continued to use their own script, the connexion of which with a still earlier script of the Minoan age is here discussed in detail. Mr. Casson's illustrations of sculptures at Nicosia and in London show that his tempered praise of Cypriote art is justified.