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 It is not inferior in fertility to any one of the islands, for it produces good wine and oil, and sufficient corn to supply the wants of the inhabitants. At Tamassus there are abundant mines of copper, in which the calcanthus is found, and rust of copper, useful for its medicinal properties. Eratosthenes says, that anciently the plains abounded with timber, and were covered with forests, which prevented cultivation; the mines were of some service towards clearing the surface, for trees were cut down to smelt the copper and silver. Besides this, timber was required for the construction of fleets, as the sea was now navigated with security and by a large naval force; but when even these means were insufficient to check the growth of timber in the forests, permission was given to such as were able and inclined, to cut down the trees and to hold the land thus cleared as their own property, free from all payments.
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