The book is the second edition of the narrative of the seige and capture of Nicosia by the Ottoman forces on 9 September 1570 by Philip Membre. Membre’s testimony complements those of Alexander Podocataro and Agostino Famagostano on the fall of Famagusta in August 1571, which were presented in the second volume of the collection.
Philip Membre was an eyewitness of the siege and fall of Nicosia. His narrative begins with the early warnings about the pending Ottoman invasion reaching Cyprus in the spring 1570 and continues with the account of the Turkish landing at Salinas (Larnaca) in July 1570, the advance of enemy forces toward Nicosia, the seige and capture of the capital of the Kingdom of Cyprus on 9 September 1570. Membre’s account is prefaced by a forward of the German publisher Joachim Lochner, “Bibliopola” as he describes himself, and a short description of the island and its history. The author Philip Membre was captured by the conquerors of Nicosia and sent as a war prisoner to Constantinople, where he remained imprisoned for long until he managed to buy off his freedom. During his imprisonment he wrote his account in Italian and managed to smuggle it out to Nuremberg where it was translated into German and published. The Italian original has been lost, while the pamphlet of the German edition has survived in only seven known copies. The text also appeared in a Polish translation.
The present first modern edition consists of a facsimile reproduction of the extremely rare original pamphlet from the copy of the Cultural Foundation of the Bank of Cyprus accompanied on facing pages by a Greek translation by Elsie Tornaritou-Mathiopoulou. The editors have added an introductory study of the text and the author. An appendix presents a list of those fallen at the capture of Nicosia from a Venetian manuscript from Correr Library, Venice. A short commentary on the narrative of the siege (Mathiopoulou) and a note on the linguistic features of the text (Anastasia Dascaroli) complete the book.