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Alcharthy arabice, Avicenna in secundo canonis capitulo de acatia dicit quod ipsa est succus eius.


Alcharthy ACH | Alcharthi ep | Alcharti j | Alcarti B | Alcharchi f {'t' misread as 'c'}
canonis om. B p
acatia ABC jp {'c' misread as 't'} | accacia ef | acacia H
succus eius (-us A f) AHB f | sucus eius C ejp | sucus eiuus j
{sucus eiuus} alcharti added to j by different hand


Alcharthy is Arabic. Avicenna in the second book of his Canon in the chapter De acatia says that acacia is the juice of the alcharthy tree.


Latin acacia < Greek ἀκακία /akakía/ denotes the tree as well as the juice and gum collected from the tree. Arabic ﺍﻗﺎﻗﻴﺎ /aqāqiyā/ according to Avicenna is clearly seen as the juice/gum and the tree is called ﻗﺮﻅ /qaraẓ/.

For the most detailed description of this situation cf. Lane (1984: 2518), s.v. ﻗﺮﻅ /qaraẓ/, where he mentions that with some authors it denotes "the leaves of the ﺳﻠﻢ /salam/ {Wehr: a variety of acacia} [mimosa flava], … with which they tan… .". Also: "a large kind of trees … resembling the walnut tree…" and finally: "a kind of tree, whereof the ﺳﻨﺖ /sant/ {mimosa Nilotica, also called acacia Nilotica} is a species… [or,] correctly speaking it is the fruit or seed with its pericarp {of that tree} a well-known grain which comes forth in envelopes like lentils from the trees called /ﻋﻀﺎﻩ /ʕiṣāh/ or to speak more precisely the fruit of the ﺳﻨﺖ /sant/ whence is expressed ﺍﻗﺎﻗﻴﺎ /aqāqiyā/ [acacia i. e. succus acaciae] … which is termed ﻋﺼﺎﺭﺓ ﺍﻟﻘﺮﻅ /ʕuṣāratu l-qaraẓi/ [and when inspissated] ﺭﺏ ﺍﻟﻘﺮﻅ /rubbu l-qaraẓi/ {n.b. ﺭﺏ /rubb/ 'syrup'} and has acrid property; the best thereof is that which is sweet in odour, heavy, hard and green…"

Cf. Wehr (1976): ﻗﺮﻅ /qaraẓ/ "pods of a species of sant tree (Acacia nilotica; bot.)". Siggel (1950: 59): ﻗﺮﻅ /qaraẓ/ Mimosa nilotica (Leg.)

See Delf for what is said about Simon's difficulty to transcribe the Arabic sound ﻅ /ẓ/

Simon is referring to [Goehl] Canon Avicenne, capitulum 3. De acacia. Acacia quid est? Est succus alcharisti vel eletarthi {alcharad vel alchard ...}. It says: "What is acacia? It is the juice of alcharisti or eletarthi {alcharad or alchard} .. " {All these names are corruptions of Arabic ﺍﻟﻘﺮﻅ /al-qaraẓ/}. This text is also available online: De acatia, 2, 2, 3, Lyon edition (1522: 71) [[1]].

The Arabic original text can be found p. 126: ﺍﻗﺎﻗﻴﺎ /aqāqiyā/ [[2]] Where it says: ﺍﻗﺎﻗﻴﺎ ﺍﻟﻤﺎﻫﻴﺔ ﻫﻮ ﻋﺼﺎﺭﺓ ﺍﻟﻘﺮﻅ /aqāqiyā | al-māhīya | huwa ʕuṣārah al-qaraẓ …/ "What is /aqāqiyā/? It is the expressed juice of the pods of the ﻗﺮﻅ /qaraẓ/ tree".

Botanical identification:

ﻗﺮﻅ /qaraẓ/ has had a chequered taxonomic history with the most common synonyms being Mimosa nilotica L., syn. of Vachellia nilotica (L.) P.J.H. Hurter & Mabb., also: Acacia arabica (Lam) Willd., Acacia nilotica (L.) Willd. ex Delile, "gum arabic tree, sant tree, prickly acacia" [[3]], [[4]].

WilfGunther 13:12, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

See also: Acacia

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