29 MAY 1936, Page 32


By Rupert .Gunnis _

This is a comprehensive official guide-book (Methuen, 8s. Od.) to the antiquities of Cyprus-from the Bronze Age to the days of the Osmanli. "The rosy realm of Venus" has been ransacked by rapacious archaeologists, used as a quarry for the building Of Port Said, defaced by her own people's passion for new Churches.. "Yet I dare not speak Of the riclies'of Cyprus, for it were a thing unheard of and incredible." A fourteenth; century pilgrim wrote thus of the jewels and tissues in the cities of the Lusignans and of the great nobles who hunted wild rams with leopards and kept five hundred hounds and fen or eleven falconers apiece. The kingdom which he visited is as remote nod' as the worship of the Paphhin Aphrodite. But Greeks and Phoenicians, Romans and Byzantines, Franks and Turks have all left something to the island which they ruled and could not choose but love, if only for her wine. Cyprus is today the least regarded colony of the British Empire ; but she can show inherited beauties like those of no other British possession. Mr. Gunnis has been Inspector of Antiquities on the island for three years. He has made the first thorough survey of its treasures, visiting 670 villages and 1,800 churches in the process. He might have given a little information about roads. and inns and prices. But properly. constituted readers will not mind ; they will not rest tilltlieyhatie- seen the-castles Of flotiffavent and Belle raise and Dieu d'Amour,