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Haiaelem arabice semperviva Stephanus helelealem scripsit.


Haiaelem A | Heiahelem C | Heiaelez B {"sideways m" misinterpreted as "z"} | Heiahelein f {'em' misread as 'ein'} | Heiachelem ms. e | Heihelem p | Herahelem j
{arabice} ē {= est} add. p
semperuiua (-per C efp) AC efp | sẽperuia B | spuma j
helelealeʒ (-alẽ A) AC | el elchaclẽ B | heleca Halem f | helele abilem ms. e | helelehalẽ p | belelrahaleni j {all witnesses misread 'hei' as 'hel'}
scripsit om. j
helelealeʒ (-alẽ A) AC | el elchaclẽ B | heleca Halem f | helele abilem {all witnesses misread 'hei' as 'hel'}


Haiaelem is Arabic for Latin semperviva. Stephanus writes helelealem.


Wehr (1976): ﺣﻳﻰ ﺍﻟﻌﺎﻟﻡ /ḥaiy al-ʕālam/ "houseleek tree (Sempervivum arboreum L.; bot.)"; ﺣﻳﻰ /ḥaiy/ "living, live, alive", ﻋﺎﻟﻡ /ʕālam/ "world, universe, cosmos".
Siggel (1950: 30): ﺣﻳﻰ ﺍﻟﻌﺎﻟﻡ /ḥaiy al-ʕālam/ Sempervivum arboreum (Crassulac.).
This name is a loan from Syriac, cf. Gignoux (2011: 42): /ḥy l-ʕlm/ «joubarbe des toits {i.e. “house leek”}, sempervivum tectorum». In Arabic this expression makes little sense: “being alive of the world/ cosmos”, but in Syriac /ʕālamā/ means 1) “eternity”, adverbially – “for ever” and 2) “world, cosmos”, whereas in Arabic ﻋﺎﻟﻡ /ʕālam/ does not include the meaning “eternity”.
The original Syriac name is therefore a calque on Greek ἀείζωον /aeízōon/ < ἀεί /aeí/ {“(for)ever”} + ζωόν /zōón/ “alive, living”. Cf. Ayzon and also Stephanus below.
I am grateful to B. Zipser for pointing this out.

The expected transcription by Simon would have been something like *heialh(a)alem, but the word has suffered serious corruption in most witnesses.

Stephanus in his Breviarium has: aizoõ … semper uiua … hei elmaalem {misread < hei alhaalem?} [[1]].

Botanical identification:

Sempervivum arboreum L., nowadays Aoenium arboreum (L.) Webb & Berth. [[2]], [[3]], [[4]] is a native of North Africa but it can become naturalized in adjacent European Mediterranean countries. It is a succulent that can grow up to a height of 1 m.

WilfGunther 25/11/2013

See also: Ayzon, Iovis barba, Semperviva

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