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Milla grece malla millea vero arbor malus milon malum ipsum.


Milla AC jp | Mila B ef
malla AC | mala B efjp
{mala} mss. j and p add an attempt to write μῆλα /mêla/ in Greek script
millea AC e | milea B fjp
vero om. f
{arbor} ē {= est} add. f
milon | mion p
ipsum | tempus j
Ms. j adds a cross reference: vide Diamelon. See Diamilon.

In ms. e the above entry is split in two: Mila gre. mala and: Millea uero arbor malus milon malũ ipsum.


Milla is the Greek word for Latin malla {"apples"}, but millea is Greek for Latin arbor malus {"apple-tree"} and milon in Greek is Latin malum {"apple"} itself.


< Classical Attic Greek μῆλα /mêla/, the plural of μῆλον /mêlon/ "apple", and further mentioned there is μηλέα /mēléa/ which means "(crab-)apple-tree". Simon's forms show the itacist pronunciation: η > ι {= /ē/ > /i/}, and they also bear witness that in this variety of Greek double consonants were no longer pronounced differently from single consonants by the copyists; cf. in most witnesses Simon's Greek pl. milla against sg. milon, Latin pl. malla against sg. malum; all "ll"s in the above entry are in fact unetymological, but cf. witness B, the early Zarotus print of 1473, and most mss. have the forms: Mila, mala, milea.

Latin malum is perhaps borrowed from Greek μῆλον /mêlon/, cf. Doric and Aeolian Greek μᾶλον /mâlon/. Malum means primarily "apple", but also "any tree-fruit fleshy on the outside and having a kernel within (opposite nux); hence, applied also to quinces, pomegranates, peaches, oranges, lemons, etc." (Lewis & Short).

Cf. malum cydonium = /mêlon Kydṓnion/ μῆλον Κυδώνιον "quince", cf. Simon's entry Cidonia mala;

malum granatum "pomegranate";

malum Persicum = μῆλον Περσικν /mêlon Persikón/ "peach", Prunus persica, cf. Simon's entry: Persica;

μῆλον Μηδικόν /mêlon Medikón/ "citron, Citrus medica" see Simon's entry Malus assiria, etc.

Botanical identification:

In Simon's times apples were a common and important fruit in all of Europe. The genus Malus Mill. [[1]] is native to temperate Europe and Asia. With its centre of diversity in what is today Turkey, this makes that region most likely its ancestral home. The fruit tree was able to adopt to a great variety of climes. The ancestor(s) of today's apple-tree Malus domestica x Borkh. [[2]] could possibly have been the earliest tree(s) to be taken into cultivation, and this long history explains the surprising number of cultivars. These exist against a widely distributed background of wild apple varieties with which they are fully interfertile.

Since apples do not come true from seed, cultivated varieties can only be propagated by grafting, a method the Greeks had already developed, cf. Theophrastos who describes 6 varieties and discusses grafting. The Romans further developed the cultivation of apples, e.g. Pliny the Elder describes more than 20 varieties, and it is likely that the Romans spread the varieties they had cultivated into the territories they conquered, resulting in innumerable hybridizations, a process that has been repeated ever since.

WilfGunther 24/12/2013

See also: Maciana mala, Tufah

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