CEPIIALONIA, an island in the Ionian sea, nearly of a circular figure, and about 120 or 130 miles in cir cumference, lying in 39 degrees of north latitude.
The climate of Cephalonia is temperate and agreea ble, but subject to sudden changes, which are pernicious to the people. Copious rains commence in November, when thunder becomes frequent ; but during the whole winter season, roses are in blow. Earthquakes are com mon, from which dreadful effects have ensued, particu larly in 1736, 1742, 1753, and 1765, when entire towns were almost laid in ruins. Strong sulphureous exhala tions rise from several places of the soil, which in some districts is rich and fertile, while others consist only of dry and barren rocks.
Large caverns are seen on the coast of singular ap pearance, the roofs being decorated by innumerable sta lactites of fantastic shapes and various colours, and the bottom covered with petrifactions of shells. Mount Enos, now called the Black Mountain, consists solely of vertical strata, rising about 3000 feet above the level of the sea. Anciently it was covered with wood, but it is now entirely bare.
Among the different vegetables produced in Cepha lonia, cotton and vines are the most valuable, as afford ing an essential supply for the uses of mankind. There is a kind of winter melon, which may be preserved a long time,iPhung up, of an oval shape, and a beautiful yellow colour externally, with a white pulp. Medicinal plants are likewise found, which arc said to have a won derful effect in curing the ,out; and various testimonies are produced in their favour. They were discovered by a physician named Zulatti, when resident in the island ; and although few would at first acknowledge the virtue of his preparations, many in a short timo afterwards gladly resorted to them. As the soil seemed peculiarly adapted to indigo, a plan respecting its culture was sub mitted to the Venetian government, by Signor Carboni, I imself a native of Cephalonia, but who had emigrated From the island. The senate granted a large tract of
and for the experiment, and created hint a count, n :;aging to countenance the undertaking with peculiar fa vour. He speedily took possession, and haviug founded small settlement, proceeded to form extensive planta tions. Neither his skill nor conduct, however, seemed to promise that success which might have been reason ably expected ; mid, indeed, before the result of his dif ferent expedients could be known, lie was cruelly assas sinated. Olives are produced in great abundance. front which a quantity of oil is extracted sufficient to be an article of export : and much fine manna is produced in one of the forests, which might also prove valuable, but the collection of it has hitherto been neglected.
There are few quadrupeds or birds in Cephalonia, nor do many fishes frequent the shores. The principal indi gcnous quadrupeds are goats, whose milk is chiefly made into cheese, and a kind arc manufac tured of their hair ; but the cattle and sheep consumed by the islanders, are brought from the Morea, 2000 head of the former being annually imported.
Though many portions of the soil are well adapted for agriculture, it is not assiduously followed, conse quently the products of the island in grain are inconsi derable, not exceeding five months consumption. About 7,000,000 pounds of raisins are exported after home con sumpt, and a small quantity of raw cotton. The wines made on the island are of agreeable flavour, and the in habitants can spare about 15,000 casks, after supplying themselves. Some liqueurs, highly esteemed, are like wise made, which were, for the most part, presented to persons in power at Venice.
Cephalonia is the largest of the Ionian islands, yet the whole population does not exceed 70,000 souls, dispersed in three small towns, and about 130 villages or hamlets ; nor does it appear to be receiving any accessions. Emi grations, on the contrary, are constantly taking place, though the Venetian government made great opposition to it.