Culef

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Culef arabice salix.


Apparatus:

Culef ABC ejp | Chulef f


Translation:

Culef is Arabic for Latin salix {"willow"}.


Commentary:

Culef:
Siggel (1950: 33): ﺧﻼﻑ /ḫilāf/ Salix (aegyptiaca) (ägypt.) Weide {i.e. "willow"}.

A vocalisation closer to Simon’s can be found in Karbstein (2002: 284), in the early XVIIth c. glossary from the Morisco community in Spain, “11) Weide {i.e. ‘willow’} Salix L.: ﺧﻼﻑ /ḫullāf/” and he equates it with ﺻﻔﺼﺎﻑ /ṣifṣṣāf/, Classical Arabic ﺻﻔﺼﺎﻑ /ṣafṣāf “willow” and Romance ﺷﻠﺲ /šals/, cf. Old Spanish salce and Catalan salze {IPA ['salzə]} “willow”.

Avicenna in the second book of his Canon devotes a chapter to ﺧﻼﻑ /ḫilāf/: [Goehl] Liber secundus, capitulum 686, De salice (annotation: chalef). Salix quid est? Quandoque egreditur ex foliis eius, quando finduntur (annotation: finditur), gumma fortis. "What is salix {'willow'}? "When the leaves are split, a strong 'gum’ exudes from them".
This text is available online in the Lyon edition (1522: 124v/125r): De Salice Ca. dxlcccvi [[1]].
The original Arabic chapter can be found in Avicenna, book II, p. 273 ﺧﻼﻑ /ḫilāf/: [[2]].

ﺧﻼﻑ /ḫilāf/ is derived from the root √ḫlf, which means "succeed, replace" and Renaud & Colin (1934: 177) in their commentary section to the /tuḥfat al-aḥbāb/: “412 Ḫilāf Saule, Peuplier" {i.e. 'willow; poplar'} cite Abū Ḥanīfa who reveals the naming motive: he says that ﺧﻼﻑ /ḫilāf/ alludes to the remarkable ability of the plant to propagate - if a branch is ripped off by a torrent that branch can take root in the soil and regrow; i.e. the plant has some kind of 'successor'.


Botanical identification:

The genus Salix contains many species, but Siggel identifies ﺧﻼﻑ /ḫilāf/ with Salix aegyptiaca L., "musk willow" [[3]], [[4]], a tall bush or small tree, reaching heights between 2.5 m and 10 m. The plant is not originally a native of Egypt as the botanical name given by Linnaeus wrongly suggests, but it is a native of the Caucasus area and Western Asia, especially Turkey and Iran, but the tree has been introduced to and cultivated in many areas of the Middle East, where it has played a role in folk medicine.


WilfGunther (talk) 21:20, 29 November 2015 (GMT)


For a different transcription see Kulef.
See also Safsaf, Salix


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