9" s. ix. JUNE 7, 1902.] NOTES AND QUERIES.
" many coarsely painted frescos, one or two repre senting the Archbishop of Cyprus receiving hi special privileges from the Emperor, e.g., wearin the purple, carrying the sceptre, signing with re< ink.
I have not got the name of the church.
In 'Excerpta Cypria,' pp. 339-42, is a translation of the "Imperial Berat issuec to His Beatitude Sophronios, the presem Archbishop of Cyprus, after his proclamation in 1865." This berat concerning the Arch- bishopric of Cyprus, "the last, we may believe, which will ever be issued, is a document of some historical interest." It begins as follows :
" Seeing that, in consequence of the news of the death of the monk Macarios, Archbishop of the island of Cyprus, &c. , which was recently announced, it was necessary that another should be chosen in his room, and as, by the common voice and assent, there has been elected the bearer of this our Imperial Berat (may the strength of this Christian Primate be stablished !) the monk Sophronios (may his dignity be prolonged !) WE, having received news of this by a memorial (Mazhar) signed by all the deputies appointed to this end by the rayahs of Cyprus, who have humbly tendered their report, as well as by notice received in a resolution (Mazbata) of the common council of the said island, after the archives had been searched, and it was found that there really stood recorded a grant of the Arch- bishopric of the island to the aforenamed monk deceased, and having obtained the necessary assur- ance and report that the customary douceur of one hundred thousand aspers has been paid in cash to the proper office, as it was agreed, and was laid down in the original firman, WE give this our Imperial berat, and WE command "
Then follow forty- five clauses. The first is :
" That the said monk Sophronios do take up the said Archbishopric of Cyprus, &c., according to the custom existing ab antiquo."
This clause presumably includes the ancient privileges of the purple robes, the red ink, &c.
The end of the berat is as follows :
" So let them know.
Let them respect our holy sign.
Written at the beginning of the month Shawwal, in the year 1282."
The beginning of the month Shawwal (or Chawal), Anno Hegirse 1282, would fall between 17 and 26 February, Anno Domini 1866, the fifth year of the reign of Sultan Abdul Aziz.
I do not know what is the value of an "asper" or "aspre." In 'Les Voyages du Seigneur de Villamont,' Arras, 1598, about p. 300 (?) (see ' Excerpta Cypria,' p. 23), is the following :
" The gold sultan is worth about as much as the
Venetian sequin It passes for 120 aspres, the
aspre being a little coin of pure silver less in size than half a denier. Eight aspree make a seya, and
fifteen seyas are worth a sequin The aspre is
worth about six French deniers obole."
Mr. Cobham, in his introduction to the extract from the 'History of Cyprus' by Cyprianos quoted above, says that three aspers or aqches made a para or medin, forty paras a piastre, that the piastre of 1788 was worth about Is. 10c?., and that five piastres made a Venetian gold sequin of 9s. 5$d. Perhaps De Villamont unintentionally omitted the piastre item.
Mr. H. A. Grueber, Assistant- Keeper of Coins and Medals at the British Museum, has been good enough to send me the following information :
' In the fourteenth century this name [" aspre " or " asper " ] was given to a silver coin current at Rhodes and in the East of about the value of the groat of Edward III. ; but of late years, circa 1865, 't was used to denote a small copper piece, which ike the Portuguese reis was only a money of account. Its value appears to have been : 3| aspre=l kharoobeh ; 16 kharoobeh (or 52 aspre) =-1 piastre ; and 100 piastre^lS*. English. This was the reckoning at Tunis in 1859 ; and I should say it was the same at Cyprus; but it would make the sum paid by the Archbishop rather small." ~.t would be about Vll. 6s.
In Murray's 'Handbook for Travellers in ,he Ionian Islands, Greece, Turkey,' <fec. 1845), p. 156, 120 aspers are said to make a piastre. With the exchange at 1 10 piastres to I. sterling, 100,000 aspers would equal about I. 10s.
I should think that the word as used in the
>erat has a meaning ab antiquo, and has no
Deference to any modern value. Perhaps
00,000 aspers in the berat equal some 78/.
according to the value of the asper in 1788,
given by Mr. Cobham. But even that sum
would appear to be small if Mrs. Scott-
Itevenson, in ' Our Home in Cyprus,' London,
880, p. 307, note, is correct when she says :
"The Bishop of Larnaca caused one thousand )ounds to be distributed through a friend among he electors, and the Bishop of Baffo's election ost him one thousand five hundred pounds."
t would be more correct to call these two Hshops of Kition and Papho. I should hink that the election expenses of the two re fabulous. ROBERT PIERPOINT.
BUCKS" AND "GOOD FELLOWS" IN 1778. (Continued from 9 th S. viii. 480.)
" The Brethren of the Pope's Head Chapter of he Antient and Honourable Order of Gregorians re desir'd to meet at the Fountain Tavern on judgate Hill, this Evening at Six o'Clock, to jroceed from thence to visit the Globe Chapter in fleet Street. "-Daily Advert., 18 Feb., 1742.