Routes in 18th-century Cyprus

Panagiotis N. Doukellis - Professor, Department of Sociology, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens



Astarting point for reflection was an earlier paper on a text written by an unusual 18th-century traveller, Vasili Barskij; unusual, that is, in relation to the classic status and appearance of travellers in the Ottoman East, since Barskij hailed from Kiev and was an Orthodox pilgrim to the Holy Land of the East, dressed in rags, with the aim of saving his soul. His experience of touring the island is directly linked to difficult daily conditions and reflects mental quests and states.

The 4th Conference of the Sylvia Ioannou Foundation and, above all, the indexing of travellers’ texts through the Zefyros programme offer a chance to return to the subject, not of Barskij, but of travelling through Cyprus, an example of which is the narrative of Barskij’s experience. The questions do not bear on Barskij’s text or on issues of historical verification or commentary. The Zefyros-assisted ‘excavation’ of travel literature as a whole casts or can potentially cast historical reflection in a different light. This paper, based on the example of Barskij’s travels, attempts to approach the Cypriot landscape as it was experienced by walkers in the 18th century. Short Biography



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