A DESCRIPTION OF THE ISLAND AND CITY OF CANDIA. By E. G. Serjeant at Arms.

This Table sheweth wheareabout and how this Iland Candia lyeth betwixt Europe & Asia and the Venetian & Turke

THE Commonweal of Venice, for the Greatness, Nobility, Riches, goodly Pallaces, Scituation, and other good parts, is admirable among all the Towns of Europe; the scituation thereof being so commodious for all things, as it may be held rather a Di­vine than a humane work. And although many Com­monweals have exceeded it in greatness of Empire, in multitudes of people, and in state; yet there was never any Town so strangely scituated nor so securely: But not to detain you here, we shall proceed to give you a short ac­count of the Island of Creta or of Candia. The Island of Creta (anciently so called, or of Candia, as we now call it) hath in length, from East to West about sixty French Leagues, and not above sixteen Leagues in breadth, it is about a hundred and twenty Leagues in circuit, going about by Sea: Upon the West it hath the Adriatick Sea, to the North that which carries the name of the Cretish Sea, to the South the Lybick, and to the East the Carpathien, as Pto­limey, describes it. It was famous in old time for that it had an hundred Towns, and therefore the Greek Poet called it Hecatompolis: The scituation is more Easternly than that of the Countrey of Morea, lying betwixt the Counties of Artica and that of Cyren, in Africa, being but two dayes journey by Sea from either Province at this day, according to Belonus: There are but three Towns of note in this Island, that is, Candia (in old time Matium) the chief of this Island, whereof it takes her name, then Canea some­times Sidon and Rhetinno; it hath a port which is not very commodious, but those of Cania and Candia are very safe; in this Island are the Rivers of Melipotame, Scasin, Cladile, Episidome, Giffo, and Divotro, towards the North Populiar, towards the West Lymans, and to the South the Moun­tains of note are Ida called by the inhabitants Philloriti Luci, which Pliny calls Cadussi, and at this day Madure, and Dacte, which they call Setrie. This Island seems to be made to command all Greece, for that it lies not far from Peloponnesus, and may command all the Sea towards Greece, it was sold to the Venetians by the Marquis of Montserrat in the year, 1194.

This Island of Candia, although it be hilly, yet it hath many Valleys that are fruitful, and yield much, for that they are watered with many Fountains, Brooks, and Rivers: Moreover, there is abundance of excellent Wine, which they of the Countrey call Malmsey, they have store of Milk and Honey, and sufficient of flesh, so as they anciently did call it, the happy Island: There grows the goodliest Cy­press Trees that can be seen; and all other kinds of Timber fit for the building of Ships. There is not any hurtful or venemous Beasts except Phalanges, which are like unto Spi­ders, but in [...]andia they are not dangerous.

It abounds also in wild Goats, fallow Deer, and Ysards, or Chamo [...], but there are few wild Bores, unless it be about Can [...]a, there are also Bouceslains called by the Latines Ibex, they have long Horns like unto a wild Goat, and are not much bigger, yet they have as much flesh as a Stag, the hair is fallow and short, but they carry a great black Beard; some­times they take them, when they are very little, to breed them up amongst their troops of Goats, and to have of their race, as well for their beauty as for the taste of their flesh, his Horns are very great in respect of his Body, but he is so nimble as he out-runs any Stag, neither can the dogs follow him by the scent, for that he will wind the Huntsmen about a hundred paces off, so as when they would take him, they tie tame Goats upon the passages of the Mountain, were the Bouceslaine smelling them, he goes unto them, and staying there, the Huntsmen have opportunity to strike him, but if the wound be not mortal, although the Dart be poy­son'd and remains in his Body, yet he cures himself eating the Herb, which the Simplist calls Dixamum, the which is good against poison, as Dioscordies saith, for that the only scent of it kills Serpents and other venomous Beasts.

This Island did flourish in former times, when as her King did hold all Greece in awe, the Cretoies were held the best Archers in the World, they invented the Pyrick Daunce, in the time of their King Cydon, they were all armed when as they danced, and it hath been so con­tinued in this Island, as the Pesants daunce on Holy-dayes in the hottest time of Summer, not caring for any shadow, and with their Arms, that is to say, a Bow, a Sheaf of Arrows, and a Sword, as if without it they could have no good grace in dancing: The most famous Nations among the Grecians have taken their Laws from the Candiots, as Plato doth wit­ness, especially the Laced [...]monians, took their practice from them, they had one which did in­joyn that all their children should be bred up in publick, to the end that the poor having the like breeding to the rich, they shall have no cause to envy them. And it was also ordained by the Laws, that to inure their children not to fear any thing, but to bear all things with patience, they should be accustomed to Arms; and to make them contemn heat, cold, hunger, and thirst, they should carry a Bow and Arrows in dancing, and their apparel should be sit for War, all the Candiots were forced to marry, being of age, and then they were dismiss'd from the company of young men: they did not presently conduct their Wives home to their Houses, but they attended until they wer [...] [...]ble to manage the affairs of a Houshold, and Kins­folks married indifferently one with another. There was a Law, that if the brother did mar­ry his sister, he should make her a Dowry of half his Patrimony: To ravish a Maid was more esteemed, than if he had obtained his desire with free consent. In the end, Candiots lea­ving their ancient Discipline, became Pirats, having been always powerful at Sea, and had carried themselves so valiantly, as they had vanquished them of Attica, and led Arms fortu­nately into Sicily.

The Inhabitants of Candia are by nature apt and ready to do evil: the Ancients give them the title of Lyers: They are subtil and courteous, and do hardly endure labour, neither do they learn any Art or Science perfectly: It is true, that at this day, as Belonus saith, they do practice from their Youth, according to their ancient custom, to shoot, wherein they excel even the Turks themselves, and they are active and valiant at Sea, as much as they have been in former times.

This City of Candia is exceeding strong, both by Art and Scituation; The Turks being possest of the whole Island and Master of the field, attempted to win the Metropolis Candia also. Therefore Anno 1648. he besieged it, and after many furi­ous onsets, being still beaten, at last he was forced to give over, but raised another Town or new Candia at three miles distance, which is the place of the Grand Visiers Residence, by which means the City is blockt up by Land; and now again the last year 1667. and this present 1668. he lyeth before it, using all the extremities possible to win it, and that he might the better effect it, the grand Visier has demolished the afore mentioned Town that they built, called new Candia, that so his Souldiers might be the more resolute in the siege, having no place for their re­treat.

This Candia is a large and famous City, scituated on a Plain by the Sea side, having a goodly Haven for Ships, and a fair Arsenal with 36. Gallies, it is very populous and rich, inhabited partly by Venetians, and partly by the natural Candians, it is exceeding strong, and in Peace­time daily guarded with 2000. Souldiers. The Women wear breeches as men do, and boots after the same manner, and their upper Coats no longer then the middle of their Thighs; The better sort of people go after the Veneti­an fashion. Canea is the second City of this Realm, ex­ceeding populous, well walled and fortified, equallizing any strength in Europe, it hath a large Castle, where a Venetian Sub-Governour doth reside; Then is Retimo, this hath no Wall but a Castle. The fourth is, Sithia also head of a Province. The Island of it self is inacces­sible for ships, but in these four Cities, and some few other places well gauarded to hinder it. The Prin­cipal Commodities of this Island, are the Excellent Wines, especially the Maluasy, and the best Sugar in the World, which we commonly call Sugar-Candy, then Cy­press wood, of which there are vast Mountains full, which they use for all things, Joyners and Carpenters work, Timber for buildings, Masts for Gallies, the rest for fuel. As for variety & plenty of all sorts of excellent rare fruits, it doth surpass all other adjacent Islands, especially the Valley of Suda, a second Paradise; the Grain is brought from other parts; Of wild and hurtful beasts, as Lions, Bears, Wolves, &c. there is none; neither any venomous Vermine, yet there is a sort of Serpents, but their sting not hurtful, on the contrary their women are said to be so venemous, that being angry, if they scratch or bite a man, and setch bloud, without present remedy he must die. The Natives are of the Grecian Church, except the Venetians and strangers.

Anno 1645. The Turk unepectedly in Peace-time pick­ing quarrel, landed 60000 men, and presently besieged Ca­nea, and before the Venetians could provide for defence, he took that, and the whole Island, except the City of Candia, two or three other Forts, among whose is that of Suda, whose Haven or Bay may receive at once above tw [...] thousand Ships and Gallies, the rest is all lost.

Sold by John Overton at the White Horse in Little Britain where you may have the best choise of all sorts of Pictures, Copy-books, and Maps, Large and Small, 1668.

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