As published in Volume 9, No 1, March 2012


This new publication is in English. It was compiled by Leonora Navari, who also wrote the text.

The book catalogues 181 manuscripts and rare books which date from the 15th to the 18th century and come from the Collections of the Cultural Foundation of the Bank of Cyprus.

COVER  NAVARIThe book is exceptionally interesting because the original material it presents gives abundant information about the history of Cyprus and is useful to researchers and to the wider public in general. One important category of books in the catalogue concerns the historical and political framework of Cyprus in the period of Lusignan rule and includes rare books which show the demands of the House of Savoy over Cyprus. There are also books which refer to the history of Venice, the presence of the Order of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem in Cyprus, as well as to the history of the Crusades. Moreover, there are important works of literature which throw light on charismatic figures of various periods, such as Caterina Cornaro, the last Queen of Cyprus. Among other volumes which are interesting are the rare travelogues in the Collections of the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation, as well as another important category which includes books relating to the geography and mapping of the island. Finally, there is the important collection of mercantile correspondence of the 15th century as well as the collection of “newspapers” of the 16th century which refer to the War of Cyprus and the Battle of Naupactus.

The manuscript medieval letters are listed in the chronological order in which they were written, while the rare books are listed in accordance with the date of their first edition. There is a description of each book and accompanying photographic material with the title page, and with other illustrations which are of interest, such as engravings, illustrated texts etc. The book will be translated into Greek shortly.

The design and art editing of the book was by En Tipis Publications Voula Kokkinou and the book was edited by L. Michaelidou and Chr. Hadjichristodoulou. The book’s dimensions are 21×21 cm, it has 423 pages, contains 200 colour photographs, is hard back and is available for 58€ from the Foundation’s shop, Agora, from bookshops all over Cyprus and on the internet at

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