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Meluchya aliquando scribit Stephanus pro malva que arabice molochia dicitur.


Meluchya AC | Meluchia B efp | Melusia j
ara. molochia AC | molochĩa {arabice om.} f | molachia a͠ p | melochia aŕ. B | malachia arabice ms. e | | malochia a͠ j
dicitur | uocat~ j


Stephanus sometimes writes meluchya for Latin malva {"mallow"}, which is in Arabic molochia.


Wehr (1976): ﻣﻠﻮﺧﻴﺔ /mulūḫya/ "Jew's mallow, (Corchorus olitorius; bot.) cultivated as a pot herb; a thick soup made of this herb (Egyptian, Syrian)".
Siggel (1950: 69): ﻣﻠﻮﺧﻴﺔ /mulūḫya/ Corchorus olitorius (Tiliac.) Kolmarkraut {i.e. "Jew's mallow"}.

Corriente (1997: 509) s.v. *(MLX) II quotes one of his sources as attesting a vocalization closer to Simon’s transcription: malūxiyā {in our transcription /malūkhiyā/} “sea-orache (but also Jew’s mallow, Corchorus olitorius, bot. < G{reek} μολόχη /molókhē/".

Stephanus in his Breviarium writes: malaxi muluchia i ē chobezi [[1]]
N.b. μαλάχη /malákhē/ itacist /malákhi/, μολόχη /molókhē/ itacist /molókhi/ is Greek for Latin malva {“mallow”}. Here Stephanus uses a letter “x”, which is infact not the Latin "x" but the almost identically shaped Greek “χ” and therefore "x" in his malaxi represents the sound /kh/ as in Scottish loch.
For chobezi i.e. ﺧﺒﻴﺰ /ḫubbaiz/ "e. Malva" {i.e. 'a Malva species'}, cf. Cubeze.

Botanical identification:

The genus Corchorus [[2]] belongs to the family of Malvaceae, i.e. "mallows", to which also belong the genera Althaea, Hibiscus, Malva, Malvaviscus.

Corchorus olitorius L., "Jew's mallow; Tossa jute" [[3]] is a plant with a world-wide distribution, because it has been cultivated for a long time. However, its origin was probably in tropical Africa, where wild forms show the greatest genetic diversity or in the Indo-Burmese area of Asia. C. olitorius can easily reach a height of 3.5 meters, and its young leaves are consumed and eaten as a green leaf vegetable in most cuisines of North Africa and the Middle-East. The leaves are rather bitter and need to be boiled, when they turn into a mucilaginous broth used in soups and stews.

The plant’s strong, long and shiny fibres are also used for a great variety of products like ropes, fences, etc.

WilfGunther 22/12/2013

See also: Malachi (2), Molochis

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