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Beliligi arabice belirici emblici et bellerici apud arabes inter mirabolanos non computantur et ideo faciunt capitula eorum separata a mirabolanis.


Beliligi AC f | Beleligi B | Bellilici e {Bellirici is corrected into Bellilici}

ara. (a' f) belirici ABC f | arabice belliricj e

et (& A) bellerici AC | et belerici B | et bellirici (-cj e) ef

ideo om. B

capitula om. f


Beliligi is Arabic for Latin belirici {"bastard myrobalan"}. Emblici {"Indian gooseberry-tree"} and bellerici are not counted by the Arabs among the mirabolani {"certain palm-trees from which a balsam was made"}, and this is why they give belirici and emblici chapters of their own, separate from the chapter on mirabolani.


Siggel (1950: 21): ﺑﻠﻴﻠﺞ /balīlağ/ Myrobalan v. F. u. Gallen v. Terminalia bellirica, (Combretac.) {i.e. "fruit and galls of Terminalia bellirica"}.

bel(l)ericus, bel(l)iricus, belleregus (Latham) are Medieval Latin forms denoting the fruits of Terminalia bellirica (Gaertn.) Roxb. Avicenna in his Canon does indeed afford separate chapters to belirici:

Capitulum 95 (94). De belliricis (annotation: beilegi)

and emblici,to Capitulum 228. De embulico (emblico) (annotation: ambegi {better: amblegi}),

without any reference to his Capitulum 461[!] (457). De myrabolanis (myrobalanis) (annotation: dilegi).

The Arabic word ﺑﻠﻴﻠﺞ /balīlağ/ is the source of belirici and Genaust (1996: 97), s.v. bellírica mentions that the Old French word belir "to please" might have influenced the European forms.

Genaust (1996: 97) states that Arabic ﺞﻠﻴﻠﺑ /balīlağ/ is itself borrowed from Persian balílah, and this again most likely from Old Indian bhālam {"lustre, sparkle"} and lākṣā {"lacquer"}, because of the tree's shining fruit.

Botanical identification:

Terminalia bellirica (Gaertn.) Roxb., syn.: Myrobalanus bellirica Gaertn. [[1]], is a large deciduous tree that occurs in the low-lying regions of Southeast Asia. Its fruit, ripe and unripe, is used in medicine.

Wilf Gunther 05/12/13

See also: Emblici, Mirabolanorum

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