Garab (1)

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Garab in secundo canonis Avicenne circa finem capitulum facit simile capitulo de salice, nam est species salicis quam vulgo gorram vocant.


finem om. p
{facit) satis add. f
gorraʒ (gorrã B) B e | goram (goraʒ j) fj | goran (gorã p) AC p


Garab: in the second book of Avicenna's Canon close to the end he writes a chapter {De garab} similar to the chapter De salice {"On the willow"}, for garab is a kind of salix {"willow"}, the one they call gorra in our folk-language.


For Garab cf. Siggel (1950: 55): ﻏﺮﺏ/ġarab/ e. Salix, Weide {i.e. Salix, "a willow"}

And especially Lane (1984: 2242): "ﻏﺮﺏ /ġarab/ … A species of trees … from which are made white [drinking cups or bowls of the kind termed] ﺍﻗﺪﺍﺡ /aqdāḥ/ called in Pers. ﺍﺳﺒﻴﺪﺩﺍﺭ /isbed dār/ [or ﺍﺳﺒﻴﺪﺍﺭ /isbedār/] … [generally held to mean the willow, like the Hebrew ערבים /ʕarābîm/, or particularly the species called salix Babylonica … [Avicenna …. mentions a tree called ﻏﺮﺏ /ġrb/ but describes only the uses and supposed properties of its bark etc., particularizing its ﺻﻤﻊ /samġ/ {"fluid exuding from trees"}; whence it appears that he means the ﻏﺮﺏ /ġarb/ not the ﻏﺮﺏ /ġarab/".

Excursion. Observations concerning Lane's comments:

  • ﺍﻗﺪﺍﺡ /aqdāḥ/ is the plural of ﻗﺪﺡ /qadaḥ/ "a drinking vessel.. large enough to satisfy the thirst of two men, …". Cf. Lane (1984: 2493).
  • Persian اسپیدار /ispedār/ is "a sort of willow, the aspen" (Steingass, 1892: 49). spēd … "white"; spēd-dār "white poplar, aspen" (MacKenzie, 1986: 76), dār "tree, gallows; wood" (p. 24).
  • Hebrew ערבים /ʕarābîm/, the plural of ערבה /ʕarābâ/ is glossed by Brown, Driver, Briggs as "poplar, populus Euphratica". Note that willow and poplar were often not distinguished in Antiquity or in the Middle-Ages.
  • As to Lane's doubts concerning the reading of Arabic ﻏﺮﺏ as /ġarb/ or /ġarab/, he glosses ﻏﺮﺏ /ġarb/ (1984: 2242) "A certain tree of El-Ḥijáz … green … large, or thick and thorny … whence is made [or prepared] the ﻛﺤﻴﻞ /kuḥail/ [i.e. tar] with which [mangy] camels are tarred….". For further information see Botanical identification.

Gorram is the accusative of gorra, dependent on vocant. Battisti (1968: III.1848), s.v. gòrra1, finds the word attested only as late as the XIX c., an attestation Simon beats by six centuries. Battisti describes it as "denom. pop. del salcio; v. d'area sett., con esclusione del. ven., merid. (agurra, vurra) e prov. (goret); lat. medioev. gurra (XIV sec. a Piacenza), forse relitto mediterraneo {i.e. "popular name for the willow, a word of the northern region of Italy, but excluding Venetan and Southern dialects {which have agurra, vurra) and Old Provençal (goret). In medieval Latin there is gurra (XIV c. in Piacenza), perhaps an old Mediterranean relict word." The word is also listed in Du Cange s.v. GURRA Viminis species, ital. gorra {"a kind of willow}.

Simon is here referring to two chapters in the Arabic original in the second book of the Canon p. 273: ﺧﻻﻑ /ḫilāf/ [[1]], in its Latin translation: II, [Goehl] Capitulum 686. De salice {annotation: chalef} {i.e. "On the willow"}, also available online p. 124f.[[2]].

And p. 279 and indeed very close to the end of the second book: ﻏﺮﺏ /ġrb/ [[3]], in its Latin translation [Goehl] Capitulum 327 (326). De garab (followed by id est salice (concerning garab annotation: garab, et est arbor magna, nascens iuxta Eufratem fluvium - "it is a big tree growing by the river Euphrates"). The text is also available online p.97 [[4]]". Note that ﻏﺮﺏ /ġrb/ remains untranslated.

Remember that in the Latin translation the chapter De garab 327 (326) is under "G" and therefore - contrary to the Arabic original - precedes the chapter De salice 686, which is under "S".

Botanical identification:

All the trees that are considered to be possible candidates for ﻏﺮﺏ /ġarab/ belong either to the genus Salix {"willow"} or Populus {"poplar"}. On ﻏﺮﺏ /ġarab/ Siggel is rather vague saying only "a willow", but Lane considers Salix babylonica L. [[5]] as a possibility.

It is only for ﺧﻻﻑ /ḫilāf/ that Siggel (1950: 33) is more specific, he mentions Salix aegyptiaca L., the "Egyptian willow" [[6]]. See Kulef.

For the Hebrew word ערבים /ʕarābîm/, which Lane compares to ﻏﺮﺏ /ġarab/ the Brown/ Driver/Briggs Lexicon offers Populus euphratica Oliv., the "Euphrates poplar" [[7]] for identification, which is supported by Zohary (1982: 130).

It is naturally difficult to be specific but remarkably all the different species considered or hinted at belong to the tribe Saliceae. A possible exception to this can be found in Lane: at the end of his comment above he expresses some doubt about ﻏﺮﺏ /ġrb/. Since the original text has only the unvocalised ﻏﺮﺏ /ġrb/, he thinks Avicenna could have meant ﻏﺮﺏ /ġarb/ rather than ﻏﺮﺏ /ġarab/, but too little information is given by him to allow any valid judgment.

Perhaps it should also be noted that Avicenna briefly mentions a synonym of ﻏﺮﺏ /ġarab/, in the Arabic original p. 138: ﺍﻂﺎﺃ /iṭāʔa/ [[8]].

This is rendered in the Latin translation: [Goehl] Capitulum 40. De ata {(annotation: atha vel anthaias)}. Ata quid est? Est arbor algarab, dicta in Capitulo de gaim - "What is ata? It is the garab tree, of which more is said in the chapter beginning with /ġain/ {i.e. ﻏﺮﺏ /ġarab/". The text is also available online, Lyon edition (1522: 73) [[9]].

Cf. Siggel (1950: 15): ﺍﻂﺎﺃ /iṭāʔa/ Salix, Weide {Salix, "willow"} <? Greek ἰτέα /itéa/; see Itea.

WilfGunther 12:44, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

See also: Salix, Garbe

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