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Dochon arabice milium.


Dochon ABC efp | ms. j has Dochum or -imion marked as invalid and on written above it.
Also in j there is a reference written by a different hand in the righthand margin: ‘vide dolin’. Cf. Dolin].


Dochon is Arabic for Latin milium {"millet"}.


Wehr (1976): ﺩﺧﻦ /duḫn/ "pearl millet, dukhn".
Siggel (1950: 35): ﺩﺧﻦ /duḫn/ Holcus duchna Forsk. (Gram.)

The Vocabulista glossary [[1]] ed. Schiaparelli (1871: 476) shows a word form that is closer to Simon's transcription: MILIUM {ﺩﺧﻨﺔ /duḫna/} ﺩﺧﻦ /duḫun/.

Also Karbstein (2002: 108): “2) Hirse {i.e. ‘millet’} Panicum L. ﻦﺧ ﺩ /duḫun/ and p. 105: “12) Hirse {‘mille’”} Panicum L. ﺩﺧﻮﻥ /duḫūn/.

See also Corriente (1997: 175), s.v. *(DXN).

Botanical identification:

The millets do not form a taxonomic group because they are composed of different not even necessarily related genera. But they all are small-seeded grass species of cereal crops, grown for food and fodder.
Most millet species can be grown in areas where other cereals cannot succeed. They can adapt to many types of soil, even poor soil, have a short growing season and need little water, making them drought-resistant. Some varieties have been grown since prehistoric times.
Wehr's identification of ﺩﺧﻦ /duḫn/ as "pearl millet" is less probable, since this form of millet, Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R.Br. is mainly grown in sub-Saharan Africa and India.
The most likely millet Simon had in mind was Panicum miliaceum L., "common or broomcorn millet". Zohary, Hopf & Weiss (2012: 69) call it "the true millet of classic times (the Romans' milium and the Hebrews' dokhan), and it is grown widely in the Middle East. Weedy forms of P. miliaceum occur in large areas of central Asia, perhaps indicating that the wild ancestor species might have originated from there.

WilfGunther 17:54, 8 July 2014 (BST)

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