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5 SO<b7.M8 







Field Museum of Natural History 

Publication 201 

Anthropological Series Vol. XV, No. 3 


Chinese Contributions to the History of Civilization 
in Ancient Iran 

Berthold I^aufer 

Curator of Anthropology 

The BlackatoM Expedition 



a A tM38^.n 

// <• 

S .Ct)6 7- Y-S 



I 12 JAM 1945 





Introduction 185 

Sino-Iranica 208 

Alfalfa 208 

The Grape~Vine 220 

The Pistachio 246 

The Walnut 254 

The Pomegranate 276 

Sesame and Flax 288 

The Couandee 297 

The Cucumber 300 

Chive, Onion, and Shallot 302 

Garden Pea and Broad Bean 305 

Saffron and Turmeric 309 

Safflower 324 

Jasmine 329 

Henna 334 

The Balsam-Poplar 339 

Manna 343 

Asapobtida 353 

Galbanum 363 

Oar-Galls 367 

Indigo 370 

Rice 372 

Pepper 374 

Sugar 376 

Mtrobalan 378 

The "Gold Peach" 379 

Pu-tse 379 

Brassica 380 

Cummin 383 

The Date-Palm 385 

The Spinach 392 

Sugar Beet and Lettuce 399 

Ricmus 403 

The Almond 405 

The Pio 410 

The Olive 415 


iv Contents 


Cassia Pods and Carob 420 

Narcissus 427 

The Balm of Gilead 429 

Note on the Language of Fu-un 435 

The Water-Melon 438 

Fenugreek 446 

Nux-Voiqca 448 

The Carrot 451 

Aromatics 455 

Spikenard, p. 455.— 8torax, p. 465. — Myrrh, p. 460.— Putchuck, p. 462.— 8tyrax 
m benjoin, p. 464. 

The Malayan Po-se and Its Products 468 

Alum, p. 474. — Lac, p. 475. — Camphor, p. 478. — Aloe*, p. 480.— Amomum, p. 48L— 
P, o4o-te, p. 482.— Peoralee, p. 483.— Ebony, p. 485. 

Persian Textiles 488 

Brocades, p. 488.— Rap, p. 402.— Yae no, p. 403.— Woolen Staffs, p. 406.— Alberto*, 
p. 408. 

Iranian Minerals, Metals, and Precious Stones . . . 503 

Borax, p. 608. — Sal Ammoniac, p. 608. — Litharge, p. 508. — Gold, p. 500.— Oxides 
of Copper, p. 510.— Colored Salt, p. 511.— Zinc, p. 611.— Steel, p. 515.— 
8e-ee, p. 516. — Emerald, p. 618.— Turquois, p. 510. — Lapis Lasuli, p. 680.— 
Diamond, p. 521. — Amber, p. 621.— Coral, p. 523.— Besoar, p. 625. 

Titles of the Sasanian Government 529 

Irano-Sinica 535 

The Square Bamboo, p. 585. — 80k, p. 587.— Peach and Apricot, p. 530.— Cinnamon, 
p. Ml. — Zedoary»£. 544.— Ginger, p. 545. — Mamiran, p. 546. — Rhubarb, p. 547.— 
Salaola, p. 551. — Emblic Myrobalan, p. 551. — Althaea, p. 551. — Rose of China, 
p. 551. — Mango, p. 552. — Sandal, p. 562. — Birch, p. 552. — Tea, p. 558. — Onyx, 
p. 554. — Tootnague, p. 555.— Saltpetre, p. 555. — Kaolin, p. 656. — Smilax psendo- 
china, p. 556. — Rag-paper, p. 557.— Paper Money, p. 550. — Chinese Loan-Words 
in Persian, p. 664. — The Chinese in the Alexander Romance, p. 570. 

Appendix I Iranian Elements in Mongol 57a 

Appendix II Chinese Elements in Turxi 577 

Appendix III The Indian Elements in the Persian Pharma- 
cology op Abu Mansur Muwafpaq . . . 580 

Appendix IV The Basil 586 

Appendix V Additional Notes on Loan-Words in Tibetan 591 

General Index 599 

Botanical Index 6x7 

Index op Words 621 


By Bbethold Laufbr 


ch about the culture of ancient Iran as about 
rlonia, or even as much as about India or China, 
developments in Asia would probably be widely 
*y are at present. The few literary remains left 
1 inscriptions and in the A vesta are insufficient 
picture of Iranian life and civilization; and, 
the classical authors add a few touches here 
nent, any attempts at reconstruction, even 
trees, will remain unsatisfactory. During the 
to a benign dispensation of fate, the Iranian 
r widened: important discoveries made in 
vealed an abundant literature in two hitherto 
es, — the Sogdian and the so-called Eastern 
tat Iranian peoples once covered an immense 
tt Chinese Turkistan, migrating into China, 
inese, and exerting a profound influence on 
ibly Turks and Chinese. The Iranians were 
sn the West and the East, conveying the 
s to central and eastern Asia and trans- 
goods of China to the Mediterranean area, 
•historical significance, but without the 
should be unable to grasp the situation 
re positive utilitarians and always inter- 
ey have bequeathed to us -a great amount 
Jan plants, products, animals, minerals, 
ich is bound to be of great service to 

ait Chinese contributions to the history 

iptly fill a lacune in our knowledge of 

rds dealing with the history of Iranian 

ranscriptions of ancient Iranian words, 

Influences irmniennet en Aae central© et en 

i86 Sino-Iranica 

part of whiph have tested the ingenuity of several sinologues and 
historians; but few of these Sino-Iranian terms have been dealt with 
accurately and adequately. While a system for the study of Sino- 
Sanskrit has been successfully established, Sino-Iranian has been 
woefully neglected. The honor of having been the first to apply the 
laws of the phonology of Old Chinese to the study of Sino-Iranica is 
due to Robert Gauthiot. 1 It is to the memory of this great Iranian 
scholar that I wish to dedicate this volume, as a tribute of homage not only 
to the scholar, but no less to the man and hero who gave hia life for 
France. 1 Gauthiot was a superior man, a kiUn-tse S *? in the sense of 
Confucius, and every line he has written breathes the mind of a thinker 
and a genius. I had long cherished the thought and the hope that I 
might have the privilege of discussing with him the problems treated 
on these pages, which would have considerably gained from his sagacity 
and wide experience — lE^A&JlflllBIEJl. 

Iranian geographical and tribal names have hitherto been identified 
on historical grounds, some correctly, others inexactly, but an attempt 
to restore the Chinese transcriptions to their correct Iranian prototypes 
has hardly been made. A great amount of hard work remains to be 
done in this field.* In my opinion, it must be our foremost object fust 
to record the Chinese transcriptions as exactly as possible in their 
ancient phonetic garb, according to the method so successfully inaugu- 
rated and applied by P. Pelliot and H. Maspero, and then to proceed 
from this secure basis to the reconstruction of the Iranian model. 
The accurate restoration of the Chinese form in accordance with 

l Cf. his Quelques termes techniques bouddhiques et maxucheens, Journal 
asiaiiqut, 191 1, II, pp. 49-67 (particularly pp. 59 et seq.) t and his contributions to 
Chavannes and Pelliot, Traite* manicheen, pp. 27, 42, 5S, 133. 

s Gauthiot died on September 1 1, 1916, at the age of forty, from the effects of a 
wound received as captain of infantry while gallantly leading his company to a 
grand attack, during the first offensive of Artois in the spring of 1915. Cf. the 
obituary notice by A. Mkillbt in Bull, de la Socit&i de Linguistique, No. 65, 
pp. 127-132. 

1 1 hope to take up this subject in another place, and so give only a few examples 
here. Ta-ho swi j£ A 4C is the Ta-ho River on which Su-Ii, the capital of Persia, 
was situated (Sui Su, Ch. 83, p. 7 b). Hirth (China and the Roman Orient, pp. 198, 
313; also Journal Am. Or. Soc. t Vol. XXXIII, 1913, p. 197), by means of a Cantonese 
Tat-hot, has arrived at the identification with the Tigris, adding an Armenian 
Deklath and Pliny's Diglito. Chinese to, however, corresponds neither to ancient 
ti nor de 9 but only to *tat, dat, dad, dar, d'ar, while ho A represents *hat, kat, lead, 
kar, kal. We accordingly have *Dar-kat, or, on the probable assumption that a 
metathesis has taken place, *Dak-rat. Hence, as to the identification with the Tigris, 
the vocalism of the first syllable brings difficulties: it is i both in Old Persian and in 
Babylonian. Old Persian Tigram (with an alteration due to popular etymology, cf • 
Avestan tiyrti, Persian *r f "arrow") is borrowed from Babylonian Di-ik-lat (that 

Introduction 187 

rigid phonetic principles is the essential point, and means much more 
than any haphazardly made guesses at identification. Thus Mu-lu 
;fc Jfc t name of a city on the eastern frontier of An-si (Parthia), 1 has 
been identified with Mount (Muru, Merw) of the A vesta. 1 Whether 
this is historically correct, I do not wish to discuss here; from an his- 
torical viewpoint the identification may be correct, but from a phonetic 
viewpoint it is not acceptable, for Mu-lu corresponds to ancient *Muk- 
hik, Mug-ruk, Bug-luk, Bug-rug, to be restored perhaps to *Bux-rux. s 
The scarcity of linguistic material on the Iranian side has imposed 
certain restrictions: names for Iranian plants, one of the chief subjects 
of this study, have been handed down to us to a very moderate extent, 
so that in many cases no identification can be attempted. I hope, 
howe ve r , that Iranian scholars will appreciate the philological con- 
tributions of the Chinese to Iranian and particularly Middle-Persian 
lexicography, for in almost every instance it is possible to restore with 
a very high degree of certainty the primeval Iranian forms from which 
the Chinese transcriptions were accurately made. The Chinese scholars 
had developed a rational method and a fixed system in reproducing 
words of foreign languages, in the study of which, as is well known, 
they took a profound interest; and from day to day, as our experience 
widens, we have occasion to admire the soundness, solidity, and con- 
sistency of this system. The same laws of transcription worked out 
for Sanskrit, Malayan, Turkish, Mongol, and Tibetan, hold good also 
for Iranian. I have only to ask Iranian scholars to have confidence in 
our method, which has successfully stood many tests. I am convinced 
Jhat this plea is unnecessary for the savants of Prance, who are the 

«• Dik-lat, Dik-rat), which has passed into Greek Tly/np Bad Tlypu Bad Elamite 
TVig-ra (A. Mullet, Grammsire du vieux perse, p. 72). It will thus be seen that 
the OrinVsr transcription *Dak-rat corresponds to Babylonian Dik-rat, save the 

of the first element, which cannot yet be explained, but which will surely be 
•on* day to an Iranian dialect—The Tai p'in kwan y& ki (Ch. 185, p. 19) 

four geographical names of Persia, which have not yet been indicated. The 
first of these is the name of a city in the form ft $ ft) Ho-p'o-kie, *Hat(r, 1)- 
b w rn g Tal, The first two dements *Har-bwa correspond to Old Persian Haraiva 
( B a b ylo nia n Hariva), Avestan Haraeva, Pahlavi *Harew, Armenian Hrew, — the 
mo der n Herat. The third element appears to contain a word with the meaning 
"city." The same character is used in Jfc £ Jff Kie-li-pie, *G'iat-li-b'iet, name of a 
pass in the north-eastern part of Persia; here *g*iat, *g'iar, seems to represent 
Softiafl yr. •ynxm ("mountain"). Fan-ton # or || % (Ts'ian Han la, Ch. 96 a), 
anciently •Pan-tav, •Par-tav, corresponds exactly to Old Persian Fantava, Middle 

1 Ham Ham fa, Ch. 116, p. 8 b. 

9 HirravChina and the Roman Orient, p. 143. 

•Cf. also the observation of E. H. Pares* (Imp, ond\As. Quarterly Amnp, 
1903, pv 154), who noticed the phonetic difficulty in the proposed identification. 

x88 Sino-Iranica 

most advanced and most competent representatives of the sinological 
field in all its varied and extensive branches, as well as in other domains 
of Oriental research. It would have been very tempting to summarize 
in a special chapter the Chinese method of transcribing Iranian and to 
discuss the phonology of Iranian in the light of Chinese contributions. 
Such an effort, however, appears to me premature at this moment: 
our knowledge of Sino-Iranian is in its infancy, and plenty of fresh 
evidence will come forward sooner or later from Turkistan manuscripts. 
There is no doubt that many hundreds of new Iranian terms of various 
dialects will be revived, and will considerably enrich our now scanty 
knowledge of the Iranian onomasticon and phonology. In view of the 
character of this publication, it was necessary to resort to a phonetic 
transcription of both ancient and modern Chinese on the same basis, 
as is now customary in all Oriental languages. The backwardness of 
Chinese research is illustrated by the fact that we slavishly adhere to 
a clumsy and antiquated system of romanization in which two and 
even three letters are wasted for the expression of a single sound. My 
system of transliteration will be easily grasped from the following com- 
parative table. 


ng * 

ch I 

eh* V 

j i (while j serves to indicate the palatal 

sh I sonant, written also df). 

Other slight deviations from the old style, for instance, in the 
vowels, are self-explanatory. For the sake of the numerous compara- 
tive series including a large number of diverse Oriental languages it 
has been my aim to standardize the transcription as far as possible, 
with the exception of Sanskrit , for which the commonly adopted method 
remains. The letter % in Oriental words is never intended for the 
combination ks, but for the spirant surd, sometimes written kh. In 
proper names where we are generally accustomed to kh, I have allowed 
the latter to pass, perhaps also in other cases. I do not believe in super- 
consistency in purely technical matters. 

The linguistic phenomena, important as they may be, form merely 
a side-issue of this investigation. My main task is to trace the history 
of all objects of material culture, pre-eminently cultivated plants, 
drugs, products, minerals, metals, precious stones, and textiles, in their 
migration from Persia to China (Sino-Iranica), and others transmitted 
from China to Persia (Irano-Sinica). There are other groups of Sino- 
Iranica not included in this publication, particularly the animal world, 

Introduction 189 

games, and musical instruments. 1 The manuscript dealing with the 
fauna of Iran is ready, but will appear in another article the object of 
which is to treat all foreign animals known to the Chinese according 
to geographical areas and from the viewpoint of zoogeography in 
ancient and modern times. My notes on the games (particularly polo) 
and musical instruments of Persia adopted by the Chinese, as well as 
a study of Sino-Iranian geographical and tribal names, must likewise 
be reserved for another occasion. I hope that the chapter on the titles 
of the Sasanian government will be welcome, as those preserved in the 
Chinese Annals have been identified here for the first time. New 
results are also offered in the notice of Persian textiles. 

As to Iranian plants of which the Chinese have preserved notices, 
we must distinguish the following groups; (1) cultivated plants actually 
disseminated from Iranian to Chinese soil, (2) cultivated and wild 
plants of Iran merely noticed and described by Chinese authors, (3) drugs 
and aromatics of vegetable origin imported from Iran to China. The 
material, as far as possible, is arranged from this point of view and in 
chronological order. The single items are numbered. Apart from the 
five appendices, a hundred and thirty-five subjects are treated. At 
the outset it should be clearly understood that it is by no means the 
intention of these studies ,to convey the impression that the Chinese 
owe a portion of their material culture to Persia. Stress is laid on the 
point that the Chinese furnish us with immensely useful material for 
elaborating a history of cultivated plants. The foundation of Chinese 
civilization with its immense resources is no more affected by these 
introductions than that of Europe, which received numerous plants 
from the Orient and more recently from America. The Chinese merit 
our admiration for their far-sighted economic policy in making so 
many useful foreign plants tributary to themselves and amalgamating 
them with their sound system of agriculture. The Chinese were think- 
ing, sensible, and broad-minded people, and never declined to accept 
gratefully whatever good things foreigners had to offer. In plant- 
economy they are the foremost masters of the world, and China presents 
a unique spectacle in that all useful plants of the universe are cultivated 
there. Naturally, these cultivations were adopted and absorbed by a 
gradual process: it took the Chinese mftny centuries to become familiar 
with the flora of their own country, and the long series of their herbals 
(Pen Woo) shows us well how their knowledge of species increased 
from the T'ang to the present time, each of these works stating the 

1 Iranian influences on China in the matter of warfare, armor, and tactics have 
been diacmwBrt in Chinese Clay Figures, Part I. 

190 Sino-Iranica 

number of additional species as compared with its predecessor. The 
introduction of foreign plants begins from the latter part of the second 
century b.c, and it was two plants of Iranian origin,, the alfalfa and 
the grape-vine, which were the first exotic guests in the land of Han. 
These were followed by a long line of other Iranian and Central-Asiatic 
plants, and this great movement continued down to the fourteenth 
century in the Yuan period. The introduction of American species in 
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries denotes the last phase in 
this economic development, which I hope to set forth in a special 
monograph. Aside from Iran, it was Indo-Ghina, the Malayan region, 
and Jndia which contributed a large quota to Chinese cultivations. 
It is essential to realize that the great Iranian plant-movement extends 
over a period of a millennium and a half; for a learned legend has been 
spread broadcast that most of these plants were acclimatized during 
the Han period; and even simultaneously by a single man, the well- 
known general, CaA K'ien. It is one of my objects to destroy this 
myth. CaA K'ien, as a matter of fact, brought to China solely two 
plants, — alfalfa and the grape-vine. No other plant is attributed to him 
in the contemporaneous annals. Only late and untrustworthy (chiefly 
Taoist) authors credit him also with the introduction of other Iranian 
plants. As time advanced, he was made the centre of legendary fabrica- 
tion, and almost any plant hailing from Central Asia and of doubtful % 
or obscure history was passed off under his name: thus he was ulti- 
mately canonized as the great plant-introducer. Such types will 
spring up everywhere under similar conditions. A detailed discussion 
of this point will be found under the heading of each plant which by 
dint of mere fantasy or misunderstanding has been connected with 
Cafi K'ien by Chinese or European writers. In the case of the spinach 
I have furnished proof that this vegetable cannot have been culti- 
vated in Persia before the sixth century a.d., so that CaA KHen could 
not have had any knowledge of it. All the alleged Can-K'ien plants 
were introduced into China from the third or fourth century a.d. down 
to the T'ang period inclusively (618-906). The erroneous reconstruction 
alluded to above was chiefly championed by Bretschneider and Hirth; 
and A. de Candolle, the father of the science of historical botany, who, 
as far as China is concerned, depended exclusively on Bretschneider, 
fell victim to the same error. 

P. v. Richthofen, 1 reproducing the long list of Bretschneider's 
Cafi-K'ien plants, observes, "It cannot be assumed that CaA KHen 
himself brought along all these plants and seeds, for he had to travel 

1 China, Vol. I, p. 459. 

Introduction 191 

with caution, and for a year was kept prisoner by the HiuA-nu." When 
he adds, however, "but the relations which he had started brought the 
cultivated plants to China in the course of the next years," he goes on 
guessing or speculating. 

In his recent study of Cah KHen, HntTH 1 admits that of cultivated 
plants only the vine and alfalfa are mentioned in the Si ki.* He is 
unfortunate, however, in the attempt to safeguard his former position 
on this question when he continues to argue that "nevertheless, the one 
hero who must be looked upon as the pioneer of all that came from 
the West was Chang K*ien." This is at best a personal view, but an 
unMstarical and uncritical attitude. Nothing allows us to read more 
from our sources than they contain. The Ts'i win yoo hi, to which 
Hirth takes refuge, can prove nothing whatever in favor of his 
theory that the pomegranate, sesame, garlic, 1 and coriander were 
introduced by CaA K'ien. The work in question was written at least 
half a millennium after his death, most probably in the sixth century 
ajk, and does not fall back on traditions coeval with the Han and 
sow lost, but merely resorts to popular traditions evolved long after 
the Han period. In no authentic document of the Han is any allusion 
made to any of these plants. Moreover, there is no dependence on 
the Ts'i win yoo Su in the form in which we have this book at present. 
Bretsckneidee 4 said wisely and advisedly, "The original work was in 
ninety-two sections. A part of it was lost a long time ago, and much 
additional matter by later authors is found in the edition now cur- 
rent, which is in ten chapters. . . . According to an author of the 
twelfth century, quoted in the Wen hien fun k*oo, the edition then 
extant was already provided with the interpolated notes; and accord- 
ing to Ii Tao, also an author of the Sung, these notes had been added 
by Sun Kun of the Sung dynasty." 5 What such a work would be 
able to teach us on actual conditions of the Han era, I for my part 
am unable to see. 

1 Journal Am. Or. Soc., Vol. XXXVII, 1917, p. 92. The new translation of this 
chapter of the Si ki denotes a great advance, and is an admirable piece of work. It 
should be read by every one as an introduction to this volume. It is only on points 
of interpretation that in some cases I am compelled to dissent from Hirth's opinions. 

* This seems to be the direct outcome of a conversation I had with the author 
during the Christmas week of 1916, when I pointed out this fact to him and remarked 
that the alleged attributions to Can K'ien of ftther plants are merely the outcome of 
later traditions. 

* This is a double error (see below, p. 302). 

4 Bot. Sin., pt. I, p. 77. 

§ Cf. also Pelliot (Bull, de VEcoU franfaise, Vol. IX, p. 434), who remarks, 
"Ce vieil et precieux ouvrage nous est parvenu en assez mauvais 6tat." 

192 Sino-Iranica 

It has been my endeavor to correlate the Chinese data first of all 
with what we know from Iranian sources, and further with classical, 
Semitic, and Indian traditions. Unfortunately we have only fragments 
of Iranian literature. Chapter xxvii of the BondahiSn 1 contains a 
disquisition on plants, which is characteristic of the treatment of this 
subject in ancient Persia. As it is not only interesting from this point 
of view, but also contains a great deal of material to which reference 
will be made in the investigations to follow, an extract taken from 
E. W. West's translation 2 may be welcome. 

"These are as many genera of plants as exist: trees and shrubs, 
fruit-trees, corn, flowers, aromatic herbs, salads, spices, grass, wild 
plants, medicinal plants, gum plants, and all producing oil, dyes, and 
clothing. I will mention them also a second time: all whose fruit is 
not welcome as food of men, and are perennial, as the cypress, the 
plane, the white poplar, the box, and others of this genus, they call 
trees and shrubs (d&r va diraxt). The produce of everything welcome 
as food of men, that is perennial, as the date, the myrtle, the lote-plum 
(kun&r, a thorny tree, allied to the jujube, which bears a small plum- 
like fruit), the grape, the quince, the apple, the citron, the pomegranate, 
the peach, the fig, the walnut, the almond, and others in this genus, 
they call fruit (tnivak). Whatever requires labor with the spade, and 
is perennial, they call a shrub {diraxt). Whatever requires that they 
take its crop through labor, and its root withers away, such as wheat, 
barley, grain, various kinds of pulse, vetches, and others of this genus, 
they call corn (jurdak). Every plant with fragrant leaves, which is 
cultivated by the hand-labor of men, and is perennial, they call an 
aromatic herb {siparam). Whatever sweet-scented blossom arises at 
various seasons through the hand-labor of men, or has a perennial root 
and blossoms in its season with new shoots and sweet-scented blossoms/ 
as the rose, the narcissus, the jasmine, the dog-rose (nestarun), the 
tulip, the colocynth (kavastik), the pandanus (kedt), the camba, the 
ox-eye (hiri), the crocus, the swallow-wort {tarda), the violet, the 
k&rda, and others of this genus, they call a flower (gu/). Everything 
whose sweet-scented fruit, or sweet-scented blossom, arises in its sea- 
son, without the hand-labor of men, they call a wild plant (vahar or 
nihal). Whatever is welcome as food of cattle and beasts of burden 
they call grass {giytih). Whatever enters into cakes (p8s-f>8rakihd) 
they call spices (avzdriha). Whatever is welcome in eating of bread, 
as torn shoots of the coriander, water-cress (kakij), the leek, and 

1 Cf. B. W. West, Pahlavi Literature, p. 98 (in Grundriss iran. Phil., VoL II). 
1 Pahlavi Texts, pt. I, p. 100 (Sacred Books of the East, Vol V). 

Introduction 193 

others of this genus, they call salad (terak or tarak, Persian tar ah). 
Whatever is like spinning cotton, and others of this genus, they call 
clothing plants (jamak). Whatever lentil (malag) is greasy, as sesame, 
duSdan, hemp, vandak (perhaps for zeto, 'olive/ as Anquetil supposes, 
and Justi assumes), and others of this genus, they call an oil-seed 
(rdkand). Whatever one can dye clothing with, as saffron, sapan-wood, 
waiaoa, vaha, and others of this genus, they call a dye-plant (rag). 
Whatever root, or gum (tuf), or wood is scented, as frankincense 
(Pazand kendri for Pahlavi kundur), varast (Persian bar ghost), kust, 
sandalwood, cardamom (Pazand kakura, Persian qaqulah, 'cardamoms, 
or kakul, kakalf 'marjoram')* camphor, orange-scented mint, and 
others of this genus, they call a scent (bod). Whatever stickiness 
comes out from plants they call gummy (vadak). The timber 
which proceeds from the trees, when it is either dry or wet, they 
call wood (fiba). Every one of all these plants which is so, they call 
medicinal (daruk). 

"The principal fruits are of thirty kinds, and there are ten species 
the inside and outside of which are fit to eat, as the fig, the apple, the 
quince, the citron, the grape, the mulberry, the pear, and others of this 
kind. There are ten the outside of which is fit to eat, but not the 
inside, as the date, the peach, the white apricot, and others of this kind; 
those the inside of which is fit to eat, but not the outside, are the walnut, 
the almond, the pomegranate, the coco-nut, 1 the filbert (futtduk), the 
chestnut (Sakhalin) f the pistachio nut, the vargan, and whatever else 
of this description are very remarkable. 

"This, too, it says, that every single flower is appropriate to an 
angel (pmeiospend),* as the white jasmine (soman) is for VohOman, the 
myrtle and jasmine (yasmin) are Auharmazd's own, the mouse-ear 
(or sweet marjoram) is ASavahist's own, the basil-royal is SatvirO's 
own, the musk flower is Spendarmad's, the lily is Horvadad's, the 
lamba is Amertdad's, Dln-pavan-AtarO has the orange-scented mint 
(vddrong-bod) f AtarO has the marigold (ddargun), the water-lily is 
Avfln's, the white marv is XdrSed's, the ranges (probably rand, 'laurel') 
is Mah's, the violet is TVs, the miren is Gos's, the karda is Dln-pavan- 
MitrO's, all violets are MitrO's, the red chrysanthemum (xer) is SroS's, 
the dog-rose (nestran) is RaSnfl's, the cockscomb is Fravardln's, the 
sisebar is VahrSm's, the yellow chrysanthemum is Ram's, the orange- 

'Pacand an&rsar is a misreading of Pahlavi an&rgU (Persian n&r&t), from 
Samkrit n&riktla. 

1 These are the thirty archangels and angels whose names are applied to the 
thirty days of the Parsi month, in the order in which they are mentioned here, except 
that Anharmasd is the first day, and Vohoman is the second. 

194 Sino-Ikanica 

scented mint is Vfid's, the trigoneUa is Dln-pavan-Dln's, the hundred- 
petalled rose is Din's, all kinds of wild flowers (vahar) are Aid's, Agtad 
has all the white Horn, the bread-baker's basil is Asmfin's, Zamyfid has 
the crocus, Mfiraspend has the flower of ArdaSr, Anlrftn has this 
Horn of the angel Horn, of three kinds." 

Prom this extract it becomes evident that the ancient Persians paid 
attention to their flora, and, being fond of systematizing, possessed a 
classification of their plants; but any of their botanical literature, if 
it ever existed, is lost. 

The most important of the Persian works on pharmacology is the 
Kitab-ulabniyat 'on haq&iq-uladviyat or "Book of the Foundations of 
the True Properties of the Remedies," written about a.d. 970 by the 
physician Aba MansOr Muvaffaq bin 'All alharavl, who during one 
of his journeys visited also India. He wrote for MansOr Ibn Noh II 
of the house of the Samanides, who reigned from 961 to 976 or 977. 
This is not only the earliest Persian work on the subject, but the 
oldest extant production in prose of New-Persian literature. The 
text has been edited by R. Seijokann from a unique manuscript 
of Vienna dated a.d. 1055, the oldest extant Persian manuscript. 1 
There is a translation by a Persian physician, Abdux-Chaug 
Achundow from Baku. 1 The translation in general seems good, and 
is provided with an elaborate commentary, but in view of the im- 
portance of the work a new critical edition would be desirable. 
The sources from which Aba MansOr derived his materials should 
be carefully sifted: we should like to know in detail what he 
owes to the Arabs, the Syrians, and the Indians, and what is due 
to his own observations. Altogether Arabic influence is pre-eminent. 
Cf. Appendix III. 

A good many Chinese plant-names introduced from Iran have the 
word Hu #J prefixed to than. Hu is one of those general Chinese desig- 
nations without specific ethnic value for certain groups of foreign 
tribes. Under the Han it appears mainly to refer to Turkish tribes; 
thus the Hiun-nu are termed Hu in the Si ki. Prom the fourth century 
onward it relates to Central Asia and more particularly to peoples of 

1 Codex Vindobonensis sive Medici Abu Mansur Muwaffak Bin All Heratensts 
liber Fundameatorum Pharamacologiae Para I Prolegomena et textum continent 
(Vienna, 1859). 

* Die pharmakologischen Grundaatce <fes A M. Muwaffak, in R. Robert's 
Historische Studien aus dem Pharmakologischen Institute der Univenritat Dorpat, 
1873. Quoted as ''Achundow, Abu Mansur." The author's name is properly 
'Abdul-Khaliq, son of the Akhund or schoolmaster. Cf. B. G. Browns, Literary 
History of Persia, pp. 11, 478. 

Introduction 195 

Iranian extraction. 1 Bretschneidkr* annotated, "If the character 
hu occurs in the name of a plant, it can be assumed that the plant is 
of foreign origin and especially from western Asia, for by Hu Sen the 
ancient Chinese denoted the peoples of western Asia." This is but 
partially correct. The attribute hu is by no means a safe criterion in 
stamping a plant as foreign, neither does hu in the names of plants 
which really are of foreign origin apply to West-Asiatic or Iranian 
plants exclusively. 

x. The word hu appears in a number of names of indigenous and 
partially wild plants without any apparent connection with the tribal 
designation Hu or without allusion to their provenience from the Hu. 
In the Li Sao, the famous elegies by K'ft Yuan of the fourth century 
B.C., a plant is mentioned under the name hu Sen MM, said to be a 
fragrant grass from which long cords were made. This plant is not 

2. The acid variety of yu Hk (Citrus grandis) is styled hu kan 
Hi "tt\ 4 apparently an ironical nickname, which may mean "sweet like 
the Hu." The tree itself is a native of China. 

3. Theterm^^^«1toccursonlyinther**ibn^/5^of 
Su SuA of the eleventh century as a variety of hien (Amarattfus), which 
is indigenous to China. It is not stated that this variety came from 
abroad, nor is it known what it really was. 

4. Hu mien man IS V H is a variety of Rehmannia* a native 
of China and Japan. The name possibly means " the man with the face 
of a Hu."* C'en Ts'aA-k'i of the T'ang says in regard to this plant that 
it grows in Lift-nan (Kwafi-tuA), and is like ti hwan Jt H (Rehmannia 

5. The plant known as ku-sui-pu # tf ft {Polypodium fortune!) 
is indigenous to China, and, according to C'en Ts'aA-kH, was called 

1 "Le tenne est bien en principe, vets Tan 800, une designation des Iramens et 
eo partkuHer des Sogdiens" (Chavannes and Pbluot, Traits manicheen, p. 231). 
This in general is certainly true, but we have well authenticated instances, traceable 
to the fourth century at least, of specifically Iranian plants the names of which are 
combined with the element Hu, that can but apply to Iranians. 

1 Chinese Recorder, 1871, p. 221. 

• BmscHNBiDBa, Bot. Sin., pt. II, No. 420; and Li sao ts'ao mu su (Ch. 2, 
p. 16 b, ed. of Ci pu tsu tai ts*u* Su) by Wu 2en-lrie £ £ ft of the Sung period. 
See also Toi p'i* y& lam, Ch. 994, p. 6 b. 

♦ BisncBMBmB*, op. cii., No. 236; W. T. Swingle in Plant* Wilsonianss, 
VoL n v p. 130. 

• Stuabt, Chinese Materia Medica, p. 372. 

* CI. analogous plant-names like our Jews-mallow, Jews-thorn, Jews-ear, Jews- 

196 Sino-Iranica 

by the people of Kiafi-si tR $6 S hu-sun-kian, a purely local name 
which does not hint at any relation to the Hu. 

6. Another botanical name in which the word hu appears without 
reference to the Hu is Fui-hu-ken ft H 4S, unidentified, a wild plant 
diffused all over China, and first mentioned by C'en Ts'aft-k*i as grow- 
ing in the river-valleys of Kiaft-nan. 1 

7-8. The same remark holds good for ts*e-hu 3E (9R) tR % (Bupleurum 
falcatum), a wild plant of all northern provinces and already described 
in the Pie lu, and for ts % ien-hu Kf tfi* (Angelica decursiva), growing in 
damp soil in central and northern China. 

9. $u-hu-lan B tfi M is an unidentified plant, first and solely men* 
tioned by fc'en Ts'an-k'i, 4 the seeds of which, resembling those of 
Pimpinella anisunt, are eatable and medicinally employed. It grows 
in Annam. One might be tempted to take the term as hu4an of Su 
(Se-Cwan), but fu-hu-lan may be the transcription of a foreign word. 

10. The ma-kHn W jfc or niu 4 1 k % in (Viola pinnata), a wild violet, 
is termed hu k % in HA J? in the Tun H & £ by £e& Tsiao % til (1108-62) 
and in the Tu kin pen is % ao of Su Sufi. 9 No explanation as to the mean- 
ing of this hu is on record. 

11. The hurman (wan) tfl S is a poisonous plant, identified with 
Gelsemium elegans? It is mentioned in the Pei hu lu 7 with the synonyme 
ye-ko & jff,* the vegetable yun % (Ipomoea aquatica) being regarded as 
an antidote for poisoning by hu-man. C'en Ts'aft-kH is cited as au- 
thority for this statement. The Lin piao lu t* writes the name U 8, 
and defines it as a poisonous grass; hu-man grass is the common col- 
loquial name. The same work further says, "When one has eaten of 
this plant by mistake, one should use a broth made from sheep's blood 
which will neutralize the poison. According to some, this plant grows 
as a creeper. Its leaves are like those of the Ian hian M #, bright and 
thick. Its poison largely penetrates into the leaves, and is not employed 

1 Pen is*ao han m«, Ch. 16, p. 7 b. 

1 Op. ctf., Ch. 13, p. 6 b. 

'Of. ct*., Ch. 13, p. 7 b. 

4 Op. cU. t Ch. 26, p. 22 b. 

6 Op. cit., Ch. 26, p. 21; Ci wu min H Vu k % ao t Ch. 14, p. 76. 

•Cf. C. Ford, China Renew, Vol. XV, 1887, pp. 215-220. Stuart (Chinese 
Materia Medica, p. 220) says that the plant is unidentified, nevertheless he describes 
it on p. 185. 

1 Ch. 2, p. 18 b (ed. of Lu Sin-yuan). 

9 According to MatsumubI (Shokubutsu mei-i, No. 2689), Rkms toxUoiendnn 
(Japanese Uuta-uruH). 

• Ch. b, p. 2 (ed. of Wu yin Jm»). 

Introduction 197 

as a drug. Even if an antidote is taken, this poison will cause death 
within a half day. The goats feeding on the sprouts of this plant will 
fatten and grow." Pan C'efi-ta IB /fc ^C (1126-93), in his Kwei hat 
y€ hen ti t l mentions this plant under the name human fen W ("hu-tnan 
creeper"), saying that it is a poisonous herb, which, rubbed and soaked 
in water, will result in instantaneous death as soon as this liquid enters 
the mouth- The plant is indigenous to southern China, and no reason 
is given for the word hu being prefixed to it. 

xa. Hu fui-ise SB JH •? (literally, "chin of the Hu") is the name 
of an e v ergreen tree or shrub indigenous throughout China, even to 
Aimam The name is not explained, and there are no data in Chinese 
records to indicate that it was introduced from abroad.' It is men- 
tioned by C'en IVaA-k'i as a tree growing in P*ift-lin *P #, and it is 
said to be alluded to in the chapter Wu kin H 3l fif M of the Sun $u. 
The synonyme k'io'r-su %$&M ("sparrow-curd," because the birds 
are fond of the fruit) first appears in the Poo ft lun of Lei Hiao of the 
fifth century. The people of YQe call the plant p'u-fui-tse IS?; 
the southerners, lu-tu-tse fSf, which according to Liu Tsi JS tt 
of the Misg 9 in his Fei sQe lu % S Jfc, is a word from the speech of 
the Man. The people of Wu term the tree pan4ian-t % un ^ &>'$, 
because its fruit ripens at an early date. The people of Siaft X style 
it hwon-p % o-noi X9M ("yellow woman's breast"), because the 
fruit resembles a nipple. 

23. In hu4u fll or ff tL (Lagenaria vulgaris) the first character is 
a substitute for • hu. The gourd is a native of China. 

14. Hm-kui ^mBBS (literally, "Mohammedan bean' 1 ) is a 
plant everywhere growing wild in the fields. 8 The same remark holds 
good for hu Urn M 2, a kind of bean which is roasted or made into 
floor, according to the Pen Woo H i, a weed growing in rice-fields. Wu 
K*i-tsHin, author of the Ci wu ntin H fu k'ao, says, "What is now hu ton, 
grows wild, and is not the hu Urn of ancient times." 4 

15. Yen hu su M tfl IK denotes tubers of Corydalis ambigua: they 
are little, hard, brown tubers, of somewhat flattened spherical form, 
averaging half an inch in diameter. The plant is a native of Siberia, 

» Ed. of Ci p* isu iai Is 4 ** J», p. 30. 

1 Stuast (Chinese Materia Medics, p. 161) is mistaken in saying that several 
semes of this plant are "possibly transliterations of Turkic or Mongol names." 
There are no such names on record. The tree is identified with Eiaagmus Umgipes 

•CiwmmitHrm k'ao, Ch. a, p. n b. It is first mentioned in the Kiu kmam 
Jfa*. being also called no-ko-tou ft £> 3 
'See, farther, below, p. 30$. 

198 Sino-Iranica 

Kamchatka, and the Amur region, and flowers upon the melting of the 
snow in early spring. 1 According to the Pen ts'ao kan mu, 1 the plant 
is first mentioned by C'en Ts'afi-k'i of the Tang period as growing in 
the country Hi H, and came from fran-tuii $i % (in Korea). Li Si-6en 
annotates that by Hi the north-eastern barbarians should be under- 
stood. Waft Haoku 3: JBF *fr, a physician of the thirteenth century, 
remarks that the name of the plant was originally hUan 5fc hu-su, but 
that on account of a taboo (to avoid the name of the Emperor £en-tsuft 
of the Sung) it was altered into yettrhu-su; but this explanation cannot 
be correct, as the latter designation is already ascribed to C'en Ts'aft-k'i 
of the Tang. It is not known whether hu in this case would allude to 
the provenience of the plant from Korea. In the following example, 
however, the allusion to Korea is clear. 

The mint, 9 Kf po-ho t *bak-xa (Mentha arvensis or aquatica), occurs 
in China both spontaneously and in the cultivated state. The plant 
is regarded as indigenous by the Chinese, but also a foreign variety is 
known as hu pa-ho (*bwat-xa) $8 J[ fl.' C'en Si-Haft BR ± H, in his 
Si sin pen ts*ao £tt$9, published in the tenth century, introduced 
the term wu £ parho, "mint of Wu" (that is, Su-dou, where the best 
mint was cultivated), in distinction from hu pa-ho, "mint of the Hu." 
Su Sufi, in his T'u kin pen U % ao t written at the end of the eleventh 
century, affirms that this foreign mint is similar to the native species, 
the only difference being that it is somewhat sweeter in taste; it grows 
on the border of Kiafi-su and Ce-kiaft, where the people make it 
into tea; commonly it is styled Sin4o M X po-ho, "mint of Sinra" 
(in Korea). Thus this variety may have been introduced tinder the 
Sung from Korea, and it is to this country that the term hu may refer. 

Li Si-£en relates that Sun Se-miao JIJB JB, in his Ts'ien kin fan 
T 4t 3r, 4 writes the word Sr Kifan-ho, but that this is erroneously due 
to a dialectic pronunciation. This means, in other words, that the first 
character fan is merely a variant of f£, 6 and, like the latter, had the 
phonetic equivalent *bwat, bat. 9 

1 Hanbuey, Science Papers, p. 256. 
1 Ch. 13, p. 13. 

• The word po-ho is Chinese, not foreign. The Persian word for "peppermint" 
is piidene, pudina, budenk (Kurd punk); in Hindi it is p&&n& or pudhUkd, derived 
from the Persian. In Tibetan (Ladakh) it is p*o-lo4in; in the Tibetan written lan- 
guage, byi-rug-pa, hence Mongol jirnkba; in Manchu it i&farsa. 

4 See below, p. 306. 

s As Sun Se-miao lived in the seventh century, when the Korean mint was not 
yet introduced, his term fan-ho could, of course, not be construed to mean " foreign 

• In Toung Poo (1915, p. 18) Pbluot has endeavored to show that the char- 

Introduction 199 

In the following example there is no positive evidence as to the 
significance of hu. Hu wan Si le ffi 3E IK # ("envoy of the king of the 
H11") is a synonyme of tu kwo M tS [Peucedanum decursivum). 1 As 
the same plant is also styled k % ian tsHn 3& If, k % iah kwo, and hu k'ian 
Si & S 5Hfc #, the term K'ian (*Gian) alluding to Tibetan tribes, it 
may be inferred that the king of the Hu likewise hints at Tibetans. 
In general, however, the term Hu does not include Tibetans, and the 
present case is not conclusive in showing that it does. In the chapter 
on the walnut it will be seen that there are two introduced varieties, — 
an Iranian (hu fao) and a Tibetan one {k'ian Vao). 

In hu ts'ai (Brassica rapa) the element hu, according to Chinese 
tradition, relates to Mongolia, while it is very likely that the vegetable 
itself was merely introduced there from Iran. 1 

In other instances, plants have some relation to the Hu; but what 
this relation is, or what group of tribes should be understood by Hu, 
is not revealed. 

There is a plant, termed hu hwan lien M X &, the hwan-lien (Coptis 
teeta) of the Hu, because, as Li Si-Sen says, its physical characteristics, 
taste, virtue, and employment are similar to those of hwan-lien. It 
has been identified with Barkhausia repens. As evidenced by the 

acter/a*, on the authority of K'an-hi, could never have had the pronunciation po 
nor a final consonant, and that, accordingly, in the tribal name T'u-fan (Tibet) the 
character fan, as had previously been assumed, could not transcribe the Tibetan 
void bod. True it is that under the character in question K'an-hi has nothing to 
say about po t but i£ is merely a graphic variant of $, with which it is phonetically 
identical. Now under this character, K'an-hi indicates plainly that, according to the 
Tri yun and Cen yun, fan in geographical names is to be read p*o (anciently *bwa) 
51 (fan-ts'ie Sf ft), and that, according to the dictionary Si wen, the same char- 
acter was pronounced p % o (*bwa) 51 , p*u ]£, and p'an Jt(cf. also Schlbgel, Secret of 
the Chinese Method, pp. 21-22). In the ancient transcription fl| or f( 5RJ fan-ton, 
•par-tav, reproduction of Old Persian Parfova (see above, p. 1 87) Jan corresponds very 
well to £ar or far; and if it could interchange with the phonetic fjt pa, *bwat, bwar, it is 
perfectly clear that, contrary to Pelliot's theory, there were at least dialectic cases, 
where ^ was possessed of a final consonant, being sounded bwat or bwar. Con- 
sequently it could have very well served for the reproduction of Tibetan bod. Prom 
another phonetic viewpoint the above case is of interest: we have *bak-xa and 
*bwat-xa as ancient names for the mint, which goes to show that the final con- 
sonants of the first element were vacillating or varied in different dialects (cf . Toung 
Poo, 1916, pp. 110-114). 

1 Tu* U (above, p. 196), Ch. 75, p. 12 b. 

9 See below, p. 381. In the term hu yen ("swallow of the Hu"), hu appears to 
refer to Mongolia, as shown by the Manchu translation numggo libin and the TurkI 
equivalent oilmoq qarlogat (Mongol xatun xariyatsai, Tibetan gyi-gyi h % ug-rta; cf. 
Ross, Polyglot List of Birds, No. 267). The bird occurs not only in Mongolia, but 
also in Ce-kian Province, China (see Kwei ki sanfu faff ff H|t t£. Ch. 2, p. 8; 
etL of 5s* yin huan ts'un Su). 

200 Sino-Iranica 

attribute Hu, it may be of foreign origin, its foreign name being tt 9& 
II tV ko-hu-lu-tse (*kat-wu-lou-dzak). Unfortunately it is not indicated 
at what time this transcription was adopted, nor does Li Si-8en state 
the source from which he derived it. The only Tang author who 
mentions the plant, Su Kun, does not give this foreign name. At all 
events, it does not convey the impression of representing a Tang 
transcription; on the contrary, it bears the ear-marks of a transcription 
made tinder the Yuan. Su Kuft observes, "Hu hwan-lien is produced 
in the country Pose and grows on dry land near the sea-shore. Its 
sprouts are like those of the hia-ku ts'ao Jt tt 3£ (BruneUa vulgaris). 
The root resembles a bird's bill; and the cross-section, the eyes of the 
mainah. The best is gathered in the first decade of the eighth month. 91 
Su SuA of the Sung period remarks that the plant now occurs in Nan-hai 
(KwaA-tuft), as well as in Ts'in-lun $k M (Sen-si and Ean-su). This 
seems to be all the information on record. 1 It is not known to me that 
Barkhausia grows in Persia; at least, Schlimmer, in his extensive dic- 
tionary of Persian plants, does not note it. 

Sourii ft 4£ is mentioned by C'en Ts'aft-kH as a plant (not yet 
identified) with seeds of sweet and warm flavor and not poisonous, and 
growing in Si-fan (Western Barbarians or Tibet) and in northern China 
4b zfc, resembling hwai hian {£ 9 (PimpineUa anisum). The Hu make 
the seeds into a soup and eat them.* In this case the term Hu may be 
equated with Si-fan, but among the Chinese naturalists the latter term 
is somewhat loosely used, and does not necessarily designate Tibet. 8 

Hiun-k'iun % H (Conioselinum univittatum) is an umbelliferous 
plant, which is a native of China. As early as the third century a.d. 
it is stated in the Wu H pen is % ao A that some varieties of this plant grow 
among the Hu; and Li Si-8en annotates that the varieties from theHu 
and Zuh are excellent, and are hence styled hu k % iun $8 jf. 1 It * s stated 
that this genus is found in mountain districts in Central Europe, 
Siberia, and north-western America. 9 

1 What Stuart (Chinese Materia Medica, p. 65) says regarding this plant is 
very inexact. He arbitrarily identifies the term Hu with the Kukunor, and wrongly 
ascribes Su Kun's statement to T'ao Hun-kin. Such an assertion as, "the drug is 
now said to be produced in Nan-hai, and also in Sen-si and Kan-su," is misleading, 
as this "now" comes from an author of the Sung period, and does not necessarily 
hold good for the present time. 

1 Pen is'ao kan mu t Ch. 26, p. 22 b. 
' Cf . below, p. 344. 
4 Cf. Beginnings of Porcelain, p. 115. 

s He also imparts a Sanskrit name from the Suvarnaprabhasa-sutra in the form 
NB J£ *l& ie-mo-k'ie, *ja-mak-gia. The genus is not contained in Watt's Dictionary, 
6 Treasury of Botany, Vol. I, p. 322. 

Introduction aoi 

In hu tsiao ("pepper") the attribute hu distinctly refers to India. 1 
Another example in which hu alludes to India is presented by the 
term hu kan kian 9) 4£X ("dried ginger of the Hu"), which is a 
synonyme of Vien-tu % ** kan kian ("dried ginger of (India"), "pro- 
duced in the country of the Brahmans."* 

In the term hufen SB & (a cosmetic or facial powder of white lead), 
the element hu bears no relation to the Hu, although it is mentioned 
as a product of KuSa 8 and subsequently as one of the city of Di (Yi-li- 
pa-li). 4 In fact, there is no Chinese tradition to the effect that this 
substance ever came from the Hu. 1 P. P. Smith 9 observed with refer- 
ence to this subject, "The word hu does not denote that the substance 
was formerly obtained from some foreign source, but is the result of a 
mistaken character." This evidently refers to the definition of the 
dictionary Si win IV £ by Liu Hi of the Han, who explains this hu 
by tt hu ("gruel, congee"), which is mixed with grease to be rubbed 
into the face. The process of making this powder from lead is a thor- 
oughly Chinese affair. 

In the term hu yen tR 91 ("salt of the Hu") the word Hu refers to 
barbarous, chiefly Tibetan, tribes bordering on China in the west; for 
there are also the synonymes fun 2% yen and Vian $fc yen, the former 
already occurring in the Pie lu. Su Kun of the seventh century equalizes 
the terms fun yen and hu yen f and gives Vu-ten ^ 3$ yen as the word 
used in Sa-Cou & 41. TaMifi^C W, who wrote in a.d. 970, says that this 
is the salt consumed by the Tibetans (Si-fan), and hence receives the 
designation fun or Viah yen. Other texts, however, seem to make a 
distinction between hu yen and fun yen: thus it is said in the biography 
of Li Hiao-po 2§5 # f& in the Wei fu, "The salt of the Hu cures pain 
of the eye, the salt of the 2ufi heals ulcers." 

The preceding examples are sufficient to illustrate the fact that 
the element hu in botanical terms demands caution, and that each case 
must be judged on its own merits. No hard and fast rule, as deduced 
by Bretschneider, can be laid down: the mere addition of hu proves 
neither that a plant is foreign, nor that it is West-Asiatic or Iranian. 
There are native plants equipped with this attribute, and there are 
foreign plants thus characterized, which hail from Korea, India, or 

1 See below, p. 374. 

• Ceil lei pen $s'ae $ Ch. 6, p. 67 b. 

• Cou f», Ch. 50, p. 5; Sui 5u 9 Ch. 83, p. 5 b. 

1 Ta Min i Vun U % Ch. 89, p. 22; Kwan y* hi, Ch. 24, p. 6 b. 

• Pen Woo kan mu\ Ch. 8, p. 6; Gbbrts (Produits, pp. 596-601), whose transla- 
tion "potadre des pays baibares" is out of place. 

1 Contributions towards the Materia Medica of China, p. 231. 

902 SinoIeanica 

some vaguely defined region of Central Asia. The fact, however, re- 
mains that there are a number of introduced, cultivated Hu plants- 
coming from Iranian lands, but in each and every case it has been my 
endeavor to furnish proof for the fact that these actually represent 
Iranian cultivations. With the sole exception of the walnut, the his- 
tory of which may tolerably well be traced, the records of these Hu 
plants are rather vague, and for none of them is there any specific 
account of the introduction. It is for botanical rather than historical 
reasons that the fact of the introduction becomes evident. It is this 
hazy character of the traditions which renders it impossible to connect 
these plants in any way with Can K'ien. Moreover, it cannot be 
proved with certainty that any names of plants or products formed 
with the element hu existed under the Han. The sole exception would 
be hu fc'at , l but its occurrence in the 'Pun su wen of the Han is not 
certain either; and this hu, according to Chinese tradition, refers to 
Mongolia, not to Iran. Another merely seeming exception is presented 
by hu fun-lei, 1 but this is a wild, not a cultivated tree; and hu, in this 
case, has a geographical rather than an ethnographical significance. In 
the wooden documents discovered in Turkistan we have one good, 
datable instance of a Hu product; and this is hu Vie ("iron of the Hu" 
and implements made of such iron). These tablets belong to the Tsin 
period (a.d. 265-419)/ while in no wooden document of the Han has 
any compound with Hu as yet been traced Again, all available evi- 
dence goes to show that these Hu plants were not introduced earlier 
than the Tsin dynasty, or, generally speaking, during what is known 
as the Leu 2'ao or six minor dynasties, covering the time from the 
downfall of the Han to the rise of the T'ang dynasty. It is noteworthy 
that of none of these plants is an Iranian name on record. 

The element hu, in a few cases, serves also the purpose of a tran- 
scription: thus probably in the name of the coriander, hu-swi, 4 and 
quite evidently in the name of the fenugreek, huiu^pa} 

Imported fruits and products have been named by many nations 
far the countries from which they hailed or from the people by whom 
they were first brought. The Greeks had their "Persian apple" (jirjXow 
Uepvudw, "peach"), their "Medic apple" (jAtfkov Mtfucdw, "citron"), 
their "Medic grass" (Mifiac^ r6a, "alfalfa"), and their "Armenian 

1 Below, p. 381. 
*Below, p. 339. 
9 Chavannbs, Documents chinoJs decouverU par Aural Stein, pp. 168, 169. 

* Below, p. 298. 

• Below, p. 446. It thus ocean also in geographical names, as in Hu-£'a-la 
(Guzerat); see Hirth and Rooranx, Chao Ju-kua, p. 92. 

Introduction 203 

apple" G19X0* 'ApjicrtoicAry "apricot"). Rabelais (1483-1 5 S3) 1 has 
already made the following just observation on this point, "Les autres 
[plantes] ont retenu le nom des regions des quelles furent ailleurs 
transport&s, oomme pommes medices, ce sont pommes de Medie, en 
laqudle furent premierement trouv&s; pommes puniques, ce sont 
grenades, appartles de Punicie, c'est Carthage. Ligusticum, c'est 
Kvesche, apport£e de Ligurie, c'est la couste de Genes: rhabarbe, du 
fieuve Barbate nomm£ Rha, comme atteste Ammianus: santonique, 
fenu grec; castanes, persiques, sabine; stoechas, de mes isles Hieres, 
aotaquement dites Stoechades; spica celtica et autres." The Tibetans, 
as I have shown,* form many names of plants and products with Bal 
(Nepal), Mon (Himalayan Region), rGya (China), and Li (Khotan). 

In the same manner we have numerous botanical terms preceded 
by ''American, Indian, Turkish, Turkey, Guinea, " etc. 

Aside from the general term Hu, the Chinese characterize Iranian 
plants also by the attribute Po-se (Parsa, Persia): thus Po-se tsao 
( 44 Persian jujube") serves for the designation of the date. The term 
Po-se requires great caution, as it denotes two different countries, Persia 
and a certain Malayan region. This duplicity of the name caused 
grave confusion among both Chinese and European scholars, so that 
I was compelled to devote to this problem a special chapter in which 
all available sources relative to the Malayan Po-se and its products 
are discussed. Another tribal name that quite frequently occurs in 
connec ti on with Iranian plant-names is Si-2uft Hift ("the Western 
2uft"). These tribes appear as early as the epoch of the Si kin and 
5* km, and seem to be people of HiuA-nu descent. In post-Christian 
times Si-iuft developed into a generic term without ethnic significance, 
and vaguely hints at Central-Asiatic regions. Combined with botanical 
names, it appears to be synonymous with Hu.' It Is a matter of course 
that all these geographical and tribal allusions in plant-names have 
merely a relative, not an absolute value; that is, if the Chinese, for 
instance, designate a plant as Persian (Po-se) or Hu, this signifies that 
from their viewpoint the plant under notice hailed from Iran, or in 
some way was associated with the activity of Iranian nations, but it 
does not mean that the plant itself or its cultivation is peculiar or due 
to Iranians. This may be the case or not, yet this point remains to be 
determined by a special investigation in each particular instance. 
While the Chinese, as will be seen, are better informed on the history 

1 Le Gargsntus et le PanUgrud, Lhrre III, chap. L. 

9 r—mt Pa*. 1916, pp. 409, 44S, 456. 

9 For fi s mp l es of its occurrence consult Index. 


of important plants than any other people of Asia (and I should even 
venture to add, of Europe), the exact and critical history of a plant- 
cultivation can be written only by heeding all data and consulting all 
sources that can be gathered from every quarter. The evidence accruing 
from the Semites, from Egypt, Greece, and Rome, from the Arabs, 
India, Camboja, Annam, Malayans, Japan, etc., must be equally 
requisitioned. Only by such co-ordination may an authentic result be 
hoped for. 

The reader desirous of information on the scientific literature 
of the Chinese utilized in this publication may be referred to Bret- 
Schneider's "Botanioon. Sinicum" (part I). 1 It is regrettable that no 
Pen ts'ao (Herbal) of the T'ang period has as yet come to light, and 
that for these works we have to depend on the extracts given in later 
books. The loss of the Hu pen ts'ao ("Materia Medica of the Hu") 
and the C*u hu kwo fan ("Prescriptions from the Hu Countries") is 
especially deplorable. I have directly consulted the Ceh lei fen ts'ao, 
written by T<afi Sen-wei in 1108 (editions printed in 1521 and 1587), 
the Pen ts'ao yen i by K'ou Tsufi-gi of 1116 in the edition of Lu Sin- 
yftan, and the well-known and inexhaustible Pen ts'ao kan mu by Li 
§i-5en, completed in 1578. With all its errors and inexact quotations, 
this remains a monumental work of great erudition and much solid 
information. Of Japanese Pen ts'ao (Homd) I have used the Yamato 
hon&d, written by Kaibara Ekken in 1709, and the Homo komoku keimd 
by Ono Ranzan. Wherever possible, I have resorted to the original 
source-books. Of botanical works, the Kwan k'Un fan p'u, the Hwa p'u, 
the Ci wu win Si Vu k'ao, and several Japanese works, have been utilized. 
The Yu yon tsa tsu has yielded a good many contributions to the plants 
of Po-se and Fu-lin; several Fu-lin botanical names hitherto unexplained 
I have been able to identify with their Aramaic equivalents. Although 
these do not fall within the subject of Sino-Iranica, but Sino-Senritica, 
it is justifiable to treat them in this connection, as the Fu-lin names 
are given side by side with the Po-se names. Needless to say, I have 
carefully read all accounts of Persia and the Iranian nations of Central 
Asia contained in the Chinese Annals, and the material to be found 
there constitutes the baas and backbone of this investigation. 2 

There is a class of literature which has not yet been enlisted for the 

1 We are in need, however, of a far more complete and critical history of the 
literature of the Chinese. 

* The non-sinological reader may consult to advantage E. H. Parker, 
Knowledge of Early Persia (Imp. and Astatic Quarterly Reoiew, VoL XV, 1903, 
pp. 144-169) for the general contents of the documents relating to Persia. Most 
names of plants and other products have been omitted in Parker's article. 

Introduction 905 

study of cultivated plants, and this is the early literature on medicine. 
Prominent are the books of the physician Uaft Cuft-kiii 5R # Jt or 
Cah Ki 91 IB, who is supposed to have lived under the Later Han at 
the end of the second century a.d. A goodly number of cultivated plants 
is mentioned in his book Kin kwei yU han yao lio fan lun ftBSS 
3R S if Ifc or abbreviated Kin kwei yao lio. 1 This is a very interesting 
hand-book of dietetics giving detailed rules as to the avoidance of 
certain foods at certain times or in certain combinations, poisonous 
effects of articles of diet, and prescriptions to counteract this poison. 
Neither this nor any other medical writer gives descriptions of plants 
or notes regarding their introduction; they are simply enumerated in 
the text of the prescriptions. But it is readily seen that, if such a work 
can be exactly dated, it has a chronological value in determining whether 
a given plant was known at that period. Thus Cafi Ki mentions, of 
plants that interest us in this investigation, the walnut, the pome- 
granate, the coriander, and Allium scorodoprastm (hu swan). Unfortu- 
nately, however, we do not know that we possess his work in its 
original shape, and Chinese scholars admit that it has suffered from inter- 
polations which it is no longer possible to unravel. The data of such 
a work must be utilized with care whenever points of chronology are 
emphasized. It was rather tempting to add to the original prescrip- 
tions of Cafi Ki, and there is no doubt that the subsequent editions 
have blended primeval text with later comments. The earliest com- 
mentary is by Waft Su-ho 3: jft fP of the Tsin. Now, if we note that 
the plants in question are otherwise not mentioned under the Han, but 
in other books are recorded only several centuries later, we can hardly 
refrain from entertaining serious doubts as to Cafi Ki's acquaintance 
with them. A critical bibliographical study of early Chinese medical 
literature is an earnest desideratum. 

A. de Candolle's monumental work on the "Origin of Cultivated 
Plants 9 ' is still the only comprehensive book on this subject that we 
have. It was a masterpiece for his time, and still merits being made 
the basis and starting-point for any investigation of this kind. DeCan- 
dolle possessed a really critical and historical spirit, which cannot be 
said of other botanists who tried to follow him on the path of his- 
torical research; and the history of many cultivated plants has been 
outlined by him perfectly well and exactly. Of many others, our con- 
ceptions are now somewhat different. Above all, it must be said that 

* Reprinted in the YH tswan i Uu* kin kien of 1739 (Wyue, Notes on Chinese 
Literature, p. 101). A good edition of this and the other works of the same author on 
the basis of a Sung edition is contained in the medical Ts*un-su, the / Vut let mo 
Irtou fe, published by the Ce-kian ftukCL 

206 Sino-Iranica 

since his days Oriental studies have made such rapid strides, that 
notes with regard to India, China, and Japan, are thoroughly out of 
date. As to China, he possessed no other information than the super* 
ficial remarks of Bretschneider in his "Study and Value of Chinese 
Botanical Works, 111 which teem with misunderstandings and errors. 1 
De Candolle's conclusions as to things Chinese are no longer acceptable. 
The same holds good for India and probably also for Egypt and western 
Asia. In point of method, de Candolle has set a dangerous precedent 
to botanists in whose writings this effect is still visible, and this is 
his over-valuation of purely linguistic data. The existence of a native 
name for a plant is apt to prove little or nothing for the history of 
the plant, which must be based on documentary and botanical evi- 
dence. Names, as is well known, in many cases are misleading or 
deceptive; they constitute a welcome accessory in the chain of evidence, 
but they cannot be relied upon exclusively. It is a different case, of 
course, if the Chinese offer us plant-names which can be proved to be 
of Iranian origin. If on several occasions I fed obliged to uphold 
V. Hehn against his botanical critic A. Bngler, such pleas must not 
be construed to mean that I am an unconditional admirer of Hehn; 
on the contrary, I am wide awake to his weak points and the short- 
comings of his method, but wherever in my estimation he is right, it 
is my duty to say that he is right. A book to which I owe much in- 
formation is Charles Jorxt's "Les Plantes dans l'antiquit6 et au 
moyen Age" (2 vols., Paris, 1897, 1904), which contains a sober and 
dear account of the plants of ancient Iran.* 

A work to which I am greatly indebted is "Terminologie medico- 
pharmaceutique et anthropologique fransaise-persane, " by J. L. 
Schlimmer, lithographed at Teheran, 1874. 4 This comprehensive work 
of over 600 pages folio embodies the lifelong labors of an instructor at 
the Polytechnic College of Persia, and treats in alphabetical order of 
animal and vegetable products, drugs, minerals, mineral waters, native 

1 Published in the Chines* Recorder for 1870 and 1871. 

1 They represent the fruit of a first hasty and superficial reading of the Pen 
is'ao han mu without the application of any criticism. In Chinese literature we can 
reach a conclusion only by consulting and sifting all documents bearing on a problem. 
Bretachneider'i Botanicon Sinicum, much quoted by sinologues and looked upon as 
a sort of gospel by those who are unable to control his data, has now a merely relative 
value, and is uncritical and unsatisfactory both from a botanical and a sinologies! 
viewpoint; it is simply a translation of the botanical section of the Pen ts'ao Man mn 
without criticism and with many errors, the most interesting plants being omitted. 

* Joret died in Paris on December 26, 1914, at the age of eighty-five years 
(cf. obituary notice by H. Cobjubr, La GSotraphie, 1914, p. 239). 

4 Quoted "ScauMMEi, Terminologie." I wish to express my obligation to the 
Surgeon General's library in Washington for the loan of this now very rare book. 

Introduction 207 

therapeutics and diseases, with a wealth of solid information that has 
hardly ever been utilized by our science. 

It is hoped that these researches will chiefly appeal to botanists 
and to students of human civilization; but, as it can hardly be expected 
that the individual botanist will be equally interested in the history 
of every plant here presented, each subject is treated as a unit and 
as an independent essay, so that any one, according to his inclination 
and choice, may approach any chapter he desires. Repetitions have 
therefore not been shunned, and cross-references are liberally inter- 
spersed; it should be borne in mind, however, that my object is not 
to outline merely the history of this or that plant, but what I wish to 
present is a synthetic and comprehensive picture of a great and unique 
plant-migration in the sense of a cultural movement, and simultane- 
ously an attempt to determine the Iranian stratum in the structure of 
Chinese civilization. It is not easy to combine botanical, oriental, 
philological, and historical knowledge, but no pains have been spared 
to render justice to both the botanical and the historical side of each 
problem. All data have been sifted critically, whether they come 
from Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Persian, Arabic, or classical sources, 
and in no instance have I depended on a second-hand or dogmatic 
statement. The various criticisms of A. de Candolle, A. Bngler, E. 
Bretschneider, and other eminent authorities, arise from the critical 
attitude toward the subject, and merely aim at the furtherance of the 

I wish to express my thanks to Dr. Tanaka TyOzaburO in the 
Bureau of Plant Industry of the Department of Agriculture, Washing- 
ton, for having kindly prepared a translation of the notices on the 
grape-vine and the walnut from Japanese sources, which are appended 
to the chapters on the history of these plants. The manuscript of this 
publication was completed in April, 1918. 

The generosity of Mrs. T. B. Blackstone and Mr. Charles R. 
Crane in contributing a fund toward the printing of this volume is 
gratefully acknowledged. 


t. The earliest extant literary allusion to alfalfa 1 (Medicago sativa) 
is made in 424 B.C. in the Equates ("The Knights") of Aristophanes, 
who says (V, 606) : 

"Ho0iof 61 rofc Tayobpovs &jtI rotas jiqjurip. 

"Tht bones *U tbt cnfat of Corinth m a iabedtsto for tbt Matte*' 

The term "Medike" fc derived from the name of the country Media. 
In his description of Media, Strabo* states that the plant constituting 
the chief food of the horses is called by the Greeks "Medike" from its 
growing in Media in great abundance. He also mentions as a product 
of Media silphion, from which is obtained the Medic juice. 9 Pliny 4 
intimates that "Medica" is by nature foreign to Greece, and that it 
was first introduced there from Media in consequence of the Persian 
wars under King Darius. Dioscorides 1 describes the plant without 
referring to a locality, and adds that it is used as forage by the cattle- 
breeders. In Italy, the plant was disseminated from the middle of the 
second century B.C. to the middle of the first century aj>.»* — almost 
coeval with its propagation to China. The Assyriologists claim that 
aspasti or aspastu, the Iranian designation of alfalfa, is mentioned in 
a Babylonian text of ca. 700 B.C. ; T and it would not be impossible that 
its favorite fodder followed the horse at the time of its introduction 
from Iran into Mesopotamia. A. de Candolle* states that Medicago 

1 1 use this term (not lucerne) in accordance with the practice of the U. S. 
Department of Agriculture; it is also the term generally used and understood by the 
people of the United States. The word is of Arabic origin, and was adopted by the 
Spaniards, who introduced it with the plant into Mexico and South America in the 
sixteenth century. In 1854 it was taken to San Francisco from Chile (J. M. Wbst- 
OATB, Alfalfa, p. 5, Washington, 1908). 

1 XI. xm, 7. 

• Theophrastus (Hist, plant., VIII. vn, 7) mentions alfalfa hut casually by 
saying that it is destroyed by the dung and urine of sheep. Regarding silpbieu 
see p. 355. 

• xra,43. 
•n, 176. 

9 Hehn, Kulturpflassen, 8th ed., p. 412. 

v Schrader in Hehn, p. 416; C. Jorbt (Plantes dans lVurt&raite, Vol. II, p. 68) 
states after J. Halevy that aspasti figures in the list drawn up by the gardener of the 
Babylonian long Mardukbalidin (Merodach-Baladan), a contemporary of Esechias 
Sling of Juda. 

• Origin of Cultivated Plants* p. 103. 


saliva has been found wild, with every appearance of an indigenous 
plant, in several provinces of Anatolia, to the south of the Caucasus, 
in several parts of Persia, in Afghanistan, Baluchistan, and in Kashmir. 1 
Hence the Greeks, he concludes, may have introduced the plant from 
Asia Minor as well as from India, which extended from the north of 
Persia. This theory seems to me inadmissible and superfluous, for 
the Greeks allude solely to Media in this connection, not to India. 
Moreover, the cultivation of the plant is not ancient in India, but is 
of recent date, and hardly plays any rdle in Indian agriculture and 

In ancient Iran, alfalfa was a highly important crop closely associated 
with the breeding of superior races of horses. Pahlavi aspast or aspist 
New Persian aspust, uspust, aspist, ispist, or isfist (PuStu or Afghan spastu, 
Spiita), is traceable to an Avestan or Old-Iranian *aspO-asti (from the 
root ad 9 "to eat"), and literally means "horse-fodder." 1 This word has 
penetrated into Syriac in the form aspesta or pespesta (the latter in the 
Geoponica). Khosrau I (aj>. 531-578) of the Sasanian dynasty included 
alfalfa in his new organization of the land-tax: 1 the tax laid on alfalfa 
was seven times as high as that on wheat and barley, which gives an 
idea of the high valuation of that forage-plant. It was also ^mployefl 
in the pharmacopoeia, being dealt with by Abu Mansur in his book 
on pharmacology. 4 The seeds are still used medicinally. The Arabs 
derived from the Persians the word isfist, Arabicized into fisfisa; Arabic 
designations being ra&a and qatt, the former for the plant in its natural 
state, the latter for the dried plant. 6 

The mere fact that the Greeks received Medicago from the Persians, 
and christened it "Medic grass," by no means signifies or proves at the 
outset that Medicago represents a genuinely Iranian cultivation. It is 
well known how fallacious such names are: the Greeks also had the 
peach under the name "Persian apple,' 1 and the apricot as "Armenian 
apple;" yet peach and apricot are not originally Persian or Armenian, 
but Chinese cultivations: Iranians and Armenians in this case merely 

1 As to Kashmir, it will be seen, we receive a confirmation from an ancient 
Chinese document. See also G. Watt, Dictionary of the Economic Products of 
India, Vol- V, pp. 190-303. 

* Nbldbkb, ZDMG, Vol. XXXII, 1878, p. 408. Regarding some analogous 
plant-names, see R. v. Stackelbbrg, ibid., Vol. LIV, 1900, pp. 108, 109. 

1 NdLDBKB, Tabari, p. 244. 

4 Achundow, Abu Mansur, p. 73 (cf. above, p. 194). 

* ScBLnocBS, Tenninologie, p. 365. He gives yondie as the Persian name, which, 
however, is of Turkish origin (from yont, "horse"). In Asia Minor there is a place 
Yonjali ("rich in alfalfa"). 

9 Leclbbc, Trait* des simples, Vol. Ill, p. 35. 

210 Sino-Iranica 

acted as mediators between the far east and the Mediterranean. How- 
ever, the case of alfalfa presents a different problem. The Chinese, who 
cultivate alfalfa to a great extent, do not claim it as an element of 
their agriculture, but have a circumstantial tradition as to when and 
how it was received by them from Iranian quarters in the second 
century B.C. As any antiquity for this plant is lacking in India or any 
other Asiatic country, the verdict as to the centre of its primeval culti- 
vation is decidedly in favor of Iran. The contribution which the Chinese 
have to make to the history of Medicago is of fundamental importance 
and sheds new light on the whole subject: in fact, the history of no 
cultivated plant is so well authenticated and so solidly founded. 

In the inscription of Persepolis, King Darius says, "This land Persia 
which Auramazda has bestowed on me, being beautiful, populous, and 
abundant in horses — according to the will of Auramazda and my own, 
King Darius — it does not tremble before any enemy." I have alluded 
in the introduction to the results bf General CaA K'ien's memorable 
expedition to Central Asia. The desire to possess the fine Iranian 
thoroughbreds, more massively built than the small Mongolian horse, 
and distinguished by their noble proportions and slenderness of feet 
as well as by the development of chest, neck, and croup, was one of 
the strongest motives for the Emperor Wu (140*87 B.C.) to maintain 
regular missions to Iranian countries, which led to a regular caravan 
trade with Fergana and Parthia. Even more than ten such missions 
were dispatched in the course of a year, the minimum being five or six. 
At first, this superior breed of horse was obtained from the Wu-sun, 
but then it was found by Cafi K'ien that the breed of Fergana was far 
superior. These horses were called "blood-sweating" Qian-hiie fF A.), 1 
and were believed to be the offspring of a heavenly horse (Vien ma 
% £). The favorite fodder of this noble breed consisted in Medicago 
sativa; and it was a sound conclusion of General CaA K'ien, who was a 
practical man and possessed of good judgment in economic matters, 
that, if these much-coveted horses were to continue to thrive on Chinese 
soil, their staple food had to go along with them. Thus he obtained 
the seeds of alfalfa in Fergana,* and presented them in 126 b.c to his 
imperial master, who had wide tracts of land near his palaces covered 

1 This name doubtless represents the echo of some Iranian mythical concept! 
but I have not yet succeeded in tracing it in Iranian mythology. 

* In Fergana as well as in the remainder of Russian Turlristan Medicago sativa 
is still propagated on an immense scale, and represents the only forage-plant of that 
country, without which any economy would be impossible, for pasture-land and hay 
are lacking. Alfalfa yields four or five harvests there a year, and is used for the feed- 
ing of cattle either in the fresh or dry state. In the mountains it is cultivated up to 
an elevation of five thousand feet; wild or as an escape from cultivation it reaches 


with this novel plant, and enjoyed the possession of large numbers of 
celestial horses. 1 Prom the palaces this fodder-plant soon spread to 
the people, and was rapidly diffused throughout northern China. 
According to Yen Si-ku (a,d. 579-645), this was already an accom- 
plished fact during the Han period- As an officinal plant, alfalfa appears 
in the early work Pie lu} The Ts*i win yao 5u of the sixth century 
aj>. gives rules for its cultivation; and T'ao Hufi-kift (a.d. 451-536) 
remarks that "it is grown in gardens at C'afi-fian (the ancient capital 
in Sen-si), and is much valued by the northerners, while the people 
of Kiafi-nan do not indulge in it much, as it is devoid of flavor. Abroad 
there is another mu-su plant for healing eye-diseases, but different 
from this species."* 

Cah KHen was sent out by the Emperor Wu to search for the 
Yue-& and to close an alliance with them against the Turkish Hiu6-nu. 
The Yue-&, in my opinion, were an Indo-European people, speaking a 
North-Iranian language related to Scythian, Sogdian, YagnObi, and 
Ossetic. In the course of his mission, Caft K'ien visited Fergana, Sog- 
diana, and Bactria, all strongholds of an Iranian population. The 
"West" for the first time revealed by him to his astounded country- 
men was Iranian civilization, and the products which he brought back 
were thoroughly and typically Iranian. The two cultivated plants 
(and only these two) introduced by him into his fatherland hailed 
from Fergana: Ferganian was an Iranian language; and the words for 
the alfalfa and grape, mu-su and p % u-t % ao f were noted by Can K'ien 
in Fergana and transmitted to China along with the new cultivations. 
These words were Ferganian; that is, Iranian. 4 Caft KHen himself was 

an altitude up to nine thousand feet. Cf. S. Kor5insd, Vegetation of Turlristan 
(in Russian), p. 51. Russian Turkistan produces the largest supply of alfalfa-seed 
# Ior export (B. Brown, BulL Dep. of Agriculture, No. 138, 1914). 

l Siki 9 CtL 123. 

1 Cf. Chinese Clay Figures, p. 135. 

* Ce* lei pen ts % ao t Ch. 27, p. 23. It is not known what this foreign species is. 

4 Hixth's theory {Journal Am. Or. Soc., Vol. XXXVII, 1917, p. 149), that the 
element yuan of Ta-yuan (Fergana) might represent a "fair linguistic equivalent" of 
Yavaa (Yavana, the Indian name of the Greeks), had already been advanced by J. 
Bbcncs (Journal China Branch Roy. As. Soc., Vol. XVIII, 1884, p. 5). To me it 
seems eccentric, and I regret being unable to accept it. In the 'Pang period we have 
from Huan Tsan a reproduction of the name Yavana in the form 0Q J0I ;!( 
Yen-mo-na, *Yam-mwa-na (Pblliot, Bull, de VEcole francaise, Vol. IV, p. 278). 
For the Han period we should expect, after the analogy of fH ffl Ye-tiao, *Yap 
(Diap)-div (Yavadvlpa, Java), a transcription f& j{5 Ye-na, •Yap-na, for Yavana. 
The term i£ jtt Yu-yue, *Yu-vat(var), does not represent a transcription of Yavana, 
as supposed by Chavaknbs (Memoires historiques de Se-ma Ts*ien, Vol. IV, 1901, 
PP* 55*"559)» but is intended to transcribe the name Yuan (*Yuvar, Y^ar), 
■till employed by the Cam and other peoples of Indo-China as a designation of 

312 Sino-Ieanica 

very well aware of the fact that the speech of the people of Fergana was 
Iranian, for he stated in his report, that, although there were different 
dialects in the tract of land stretching from Fergana westward as far 
as Parthia (An-si), yet their resemblance was so great that the people 
could make themselves intelligible to each other. 1 This is a plain 
allusion to the differentiation and at the same time the unity of Iranian 
speech; 1 and if the Ferganians were able to understand the Parthians, 
I do not see in what other language than Iranian they could have 
conversed. Certainly they did not speak Greek or Turkish, as some 
prejudiced theorists are inclined to imagine. 

The word brought back by CaA K'ien for the designation of alfalfa, 
and still used everywhere in China for this plant, was mu-su B ft* 
consisting of two plain phonetic elements,* anciently *muk-suk (Japa- 
nese moku-Suku), subsequently written B" IS with the addition of the 
classifier No. 140. I recently had occasion to indicate an ancient Tibetan 
transcription of the Chinese word in the form bug-sug* and this appears 
to come very near to the Iranian prototype to be restored, which was 
•buksuk or *buxsux, perhaps *buxsuk. The only sensible explanation 
ever given of this word, which unfortunately escaped the sinologues, 
was advanced by W. Tomaschek, 1 who tentatively compared it with 
Gdakl (a Caspian dialect) buso ("alfalfa"). This would be satisfactory 
if it could be demonstrated that this buso is evolved from *bux-sox or 
the like. Further progress in our knowledge of Iranian dialectology 

Annam and the Annamese (cf. Cam Yuan or Yu6n, Bahnar, Judn, Khmer Yuon, 
Stien Judn) . This native name, howeve^ was adapted to or assimilated with Sanskrit 
Yavana; for in the Sanskrit inscriptions of CampA, particularly in one of the reign 
of Jaya-Rudravarman dated a.d, 1092, Annam is styled Yavana (A. Bhrgaignb, 
L'Ancien royaume de CampA, p. 61 of the reprint from Journal asialique, 1888). 
In the Old-Javanese poem Nagarakrtagama, completed in a.d. 1365* Yavana 
occurs twice as a name for Annam (H. KBW,Bijdrai€u tot detail land- en volkenkunde, 
VoLLXXII, 1916, p. 399). Kern says that the question as to how the name of the 
Greeks was applied to Annam has not been raised or answered by any one; he over- 
looked the contribution of Bergaigne, who discussed the problem. 

1 Strabo (XV. n, 8) observes, "The name of Ariana is extended so as to include 
some part of Persia, Media, and the north of Bactria and Sogdiana; for these peoples 
speak nearly the same language." 

1 Emphasized by R. Gauthiot in his posthumous work Trois Memoires sur 
l'mutl linguistique des parlers iraniens (reprinted from the Memoir es de la Sociili 
d4 LinguUUque <U Paris, Vol. XX, 1916). 

• The two characters are thus indeed written without the classifiers in the Han 
Annals. The writings (fc jg •muk-suk of Kwo P'o and ;fc 91 *mttk-swok of Lo 
Yuan, author of the Bryai (simply inspired by attempts at reading certain mean* 
ings into the characters), have the same phonetic value. In Annamese it is s*dfc*J«A. 

4 T*oung Poo, 1916, p. 500, No. 306. 

§ Pamir-Dialekte (SiUber. Wiener Akad., 1880, p. 79a). 

Alfalfa 2x3 

will no doubt supply the correct form of this word. We have to be 
mindful of the fact that the speech of those East-Iranian tribes, the 
advance-guard of Iran proper, with whom the Chinese first came in 
contact, has never be$n committed to writing, and is practically lost 
to us. Only secluded dialects may still harbor remnants of that lost 
treasure. We have to be the more grateful to the Chinese for having 
rescued for us a few words of that extinct language, and to place *buksuk 
or *buxsux on record as the ancient Ferganian appellation of Medic ago 
saliva. The first element of this word may survive in Sariqoll (a Pamir 
dialect) wux ("grass"). In Wax!, another Pamir idiom, alfalfa is 
styled wujerk; and grass, w&l. "Horse" is ya! in Wax!, and vurj in 
Sariqoll. 1 

Bkstschneider 1 was content to say that mu-su is not Chinese, 
but most probably a foreign name. Waiters, in his treatment of 
foreign words in Chinese, has dodged this term. T. W. Kingsmiix* 
is responsible for the hypothesis that mu-su "may have some connec- 
tion with the Mitfui) (bra** of Strabo." This is adopted by the Chinese 
Dictionary of Giles. 4 This Greek designation had certainly not pene- 
trated to Fergana, nor did the Iranian Perganians use a Greek name 
for a plant indigenous to their country. It is also impossible to see 
what the phonetic coincidence between *muk-suk or *buk-suk and 
mOiki is supposed to be. 

The least acceptable explanation of mu-su is that recently pro- 
pounded by Hirth, 1 who identifies it with a Turkish burtak, which is 
Osmanli, and refers to the pea. 6 Now, it is universally known that a 
language like Osmanli was not in existence in the second century B.C., 
but is a comparatively modern form of Turkish speech ; and how Can 
K'ien should have picked up an Osmanli or any other Turkish word for 
a typically Iranian plant in Fergana, where there were no Turks at that 
time, is unintelligible. Nor is the alleged identification phonetically 
correct: Chinese mu, *muk, *buk, cannot represent bur, nor can su, 

1 Cf . R. B. Shaw, On the Ghalchah Languages (Journal As. Soc. Bengal, 1876, 
pp. 23i f 231). According to Tomaschbc (op. cit., p. 763), this word is evolved from 
*bharaka, Ossetic bairOg ("good foal"). 

1 Bot. Sin., pt. Ill, p. 404. 

1 Journal China Branch Roy. As. Soc. % Vol. XIV, 1879, p. 19. 

* No. 8081, wrongly printed Mtfuri}. The word fiorAwrj is not connected with 
the name of the plant, but in the text of Strabo is separated from Mifiudjr by eleven 
words. Mi0uc4 is to be explained as sol. *-6a, "Medic grass or fodder." 

1 Journal Am. Or. Soc, Vol. XXXVII, 1917, p. 145. 

9 Kara burlak means the "black pea" and denotes the vetch. 

ii4 Sino-Iranica 

•suk, stand for Zdk. 1 The entire speculation is deplorable, and we are 
even expected "to allow for a change the word may have undergone 
from the original meaning within the last two thousand years"; but 
there is no trace of evidence that the Osmanli word has existed that 
length of time, neither can it be reasonably admitted that the signifi- 
cance of a word can change from "pea" to "alfalfa." The universal 
term in Central Asia for alfalfa is bida % or bedti,* Djagatai bidd. This 
word means simply "fodder, clover, hay." 4 According to Tomaschek,' 
this word is of Iranian origin (Persian beda). It is found also in Sariqoll, 
a Pamir dialect. 9 This would indicate very well that the Persians 
(and it could hardly be expected otherwise) disseminated the alfalfa 
to Turkistan. 

According to Vambery, 7 alfalfa appears to have been indigenous 
among the Turks from all times; this opinion, however, is only based 
on linguistic evidence, which is not convincing: a genuine Turkish 
name exists in Djagatai jonuika (read yonutka) and Osmanli yondza* 
(add Kasak-Kirgiz yonurtka), which simply means "green fodder, 
clover." Now, these dialects represent such recent forms of Turkish 
speech, that so far-reaching a conclusion cannot be based on them. 
As far as I know, in the older Turkish languages no word for alfalfa 
has as yet been found. 

A Sanskrit & Jt # ft sai-pi-li-k'ie, *sak-tri-lik-kya, for the designa- 
tion of mu-su, is indicated by Li Si-Sen, 9 who states that this is the 
word for mu-su used in the Kin kwan min kin & jfc 9 ft (Suvar- 
Qaprabhasa-sUtra). This is somewhat surprising, in view of the fact 
that there is no Sanskrit word for this plant known to us; 10 and there 
can be no doubt that the latter was introduced into India from Iran 
in comparatively recent times. Bretschneider's suggestion, 11 that in 

1 Final * in transcriptions never answers to a final r, but only to k, g , or % (cf . 
also Peluot, Toung Poo, 1912, p. 476). 

* A. Stbin, Khotan, Vol. I, p. 130. 

1 Le Coq, Sprichworter und Lieder aus Turfan, p. 85. 

4 1. Kunos, Sulejman Ef endi's Cagataj-Osman. W&rterbuch, p. 26. 

* Pamir-Dialekte, p. 792. 

8 R. B. Shaw, Journal As. Soc. Bengal, 1876, p. 231. 

1 Primitive Cultur des turko-tatarischen Volkes, p. 220. 

* The etymology given of this word by VamWry is fantastic and unacceptable. 

9 Pen ts'ao kan mu t Ch. 27, p. 3 b. Mu-su is classified by him under ts'ai 

'• This was already remarked by A. de Candollb (Origin of Cultivated Plants* 
p, 104). Also Watt gives only modern Indian vernacular names, three of which, 
spostu, sebist, and beda, are of Iranian origin* 

"Bot. Sin., pt. Ill, p. 404. 

Alfalfa ai5 

Kabul the Trifolium giganteum is called sibarga, and Medicago sativa 
is styled riika, is unsatisfactory. The word sibarga means "trefoil" 
(si, "three;" fcarga=Persian barak, varak, "leaf"), and is Iranian, not 
Sanskrit; the corresponding Sanskrit word is tripatra or triparna. The 
word riika is Afghan; that is, likewise Iranian. 1 Considering the fact 
that nothing is known about the plant in question in early Indian 
sources, it is highly improbable that it should figure in a Buddhist 
Satra of the type of the Suvargaprabhfisa; and I think that Li Si-Sen 
is mistaken as to the meaning of the word, which he says he encountered 

The above transcription occurs also in the Fan yi min yi tsi 
(section 27) and answers to Sanskrit qdka-vrika, the word gaka denoting 
any eatable herb or vegetable, and vtika (or baka) referring to a certain 
plant not yet identified (cf. the analogous formation Qaka-bilva, "egg- 
plant"). It is not known what herb is to be understood by qaka-vfika, 
and the Chinese translation mu-su may be merely a makeshift, though 
it is not impossible that the Sanskrit compound refers to some species 
of Medicago. We must not lose sight of the fact that the equations 
established in the Chinese-Sanskrit dictionaries are for the greater part 
merely bookish or lexicographical, and do not relate to plant introduc- 
tions. The Buddhist translators were merely anxious to find a suitable 
equivalent for an Indian term. This process is radically different from 
the plant-names introduced together with the plants from Iranian, 
Indian, or Southeast-Asiatic regions: here we face living realities, 
there we have to do with literary productions. Two other examples 
may suffice. The Fan yi min yi tsi (section 24) offers a Sanskrit botani- 
cal name in the form $K M ft Zen-fon-kia, anciently *tsin(tin)-du-k / ie, 
answering to Sanskrit tinduka (Diospyros embryopteris), a dense ever- 
green small tree common throughout India and Burma. The Chinese 
gloss explains the Indian word by Si t$, which is the well-known Dio- 
spyros kaki of China and Japan, not, however, found in ancient India; it 
was but recently introduced into the Botanical Garden of Calcutta by 
CoL Kyd» and the Chinese gardeners employed there call it tin ("Chi- 
nese"). 1 In this case it signifies only the Diospyros embryopteris of 
India. Under the heading kan-sun hiah (see p. 455), which denotes the 
spikenard (Nardostachys jaiamansi), Li §i-£en gives a Sanskrit term 
«9* &'**»-?*, Toi-mi-H, likewise taken from the SuvarQapra- 
bhasasQtra; this corresponds to Sanskrit kuftci or kuflcika, which applies 
to three different plants, — x. Abrus precatorius, 2. Nigella indica, 

1 There are, further, in Afghan sebist (connected with Persian supust) and 
*W. Roxburgh, Flora Indica, p. 412. 

ai6 Sino-Iranica 

3. Trigonella fomum graecum. In this case the compromise is a failure, 
or the identification of kuUci with kan-sun even results from an error; 
the Sanskrit term for the spikenard is gandhamdmsi. 

We must not draw inferences from mere Sanskrit names, either, as to 
the origin of Chinese plants, unless there is more substantial evidence. 
Thus Stuabt* remarks under It 3 s (Prunus domestica) that the Sanskrit 
equivalent M fife ft kiiAin-kia indicates that this plum may have been 
introduced from India or Persia. Prunus domestica, however, is a native 
of China, mentioned in the Si kin, Li ki, and in Mon-tse. The Sino- 
Indian word is given in the Fan yi min yi tsi (section 24) with the trans- 
lation li. The only corresponding Sanskrit word is kulingd, which 
denotes a kind of gall. The question is merely of explaining a Sanskrit 
term to the Chinese, but this has no botanical or historical value for the 
Chinese species. 

Thus the records of the Chinese felicitously supplement the meagre 
notices of alfalfa on the part of the ancients, and lend its history 
the proper perspective: we recognize the why and how of the world- 
wide propagation of this useful economic plant. 1 Aside from Fergana, 
the Chinese of the Han period discovered mu-su also in Ki-pin (Kash- 
mir), 9 and this fact is of some importance in regard to the early geo- 
graphical distribution of the species; for in Kashmir, as well as in 
Afghanistan and Baluchistan, it is probably spontaneous. 4 

Mu-su gardens are mentioned under the Emperor Wu (a.d. 265-290) 
of the Tsin dynasty, and the post-horses of the T'ang dynasty were fed 
with alfalfa.* 

The fact that alfalfa was used as an article of human food under 
the T'ang we note from the story of Sie LiA-ft f& 4t *L f preceptor at 
the Court of the Emperor Yuan Tsun (a.d. 713-755), who wrote a 
versified complaint of the too meagre food allotted to him, in which 
alfalfas with long stems were the chief ingredient.' The good teacher, 
of course, was not familiar with the highly nutritive food-values of 
the plant. 

1 Chinese Materia Medica, p. 358. 

* It is piwgnlftr that A. db Candollr, in his Origin of Cultivated Plants, while he 
has conscientiously reproduced from Bretschneider all his plants wrongly ascribed 
to Can K*ien, does not make any reference to China in speaking of Medicago 
(pp. 103-104). I & fa** it* history has never before been outlined correctly. 

• Ts'ien Han Su, Ch. 96 A. 

* A.DRCANDOLLB,0p.o/.,p. i03;G.T. Vignb, Travels in Kashmir, Vol. II, p. 455. 

1 S. Matsuda Jft GS Jfe A* On Medicago sativa and the Species of Medicago 
in China (Botanical Magawine JJK 4fe 9 It f£> Tokyo, Vol. XXI, 1907, p. 243). 
This is a very interesting and valuable study written in Japanese. 

• Cf . C. PinLLON, Allusions littenures, p. 350. 


According to the Su iUitM R, written by 2en Pafi tt K& in 
the beginning of the sixth century, "the mu-su (alfalfa) gardens of 
Cafi K'ien are situated in what is now Lo-yafi; mu-su was originally 
a vegetable in the land of the Hu, and K'ien was the first to obtain it 
in the Western Countries." A work, Kiu Pi ki 0L j& C, 1 says that east 
of the capital there were mu-su gardens, in which there were three 
pestles driven by water-power. 

The Si kin ^ab'SjKiC 1 states, "In theLo-yu gardens MMM 
(in the capital C'afi-nan) there are rose-bushes UC H tf (Rosa rugosa), 
which grow spontaneously. At the foot of these, there is abundance 
of mu-su, called also hwaifuh « ft ('embracing the wind'), sometimes 
kwanfun jft ft ('brilliant wind')* 1 The people of Mou-lin 2KH 4 style 
the plant litn-Zi ts'ao 5ft tfc 3£ ('herb with connected branches')." 5 

The L0 yah k'ie Ian hi J8- Bl fti £ IE, a record of the Buddhist 
monasteries in the capital Lo-yan, written by Yan Hfian-& 4§ ftp /2l in 
jld. 547 or shortly afterwards, says that "Huan-wu St ft is situated 
north-east of the Ta-hia Gate ^cKH; now it is called Kwaft-fuft 
Garden jfc ft H, producing mu-su" Kwah-fuh, as shown by the Si kin 
Jsa &», is a synonyme of mu-su. 

K'ou Tsufi-S, in his Pw fc'oo yen i* written in a.d« 1116, notes that 
alfalfa is abundant in 5en-si, being used for feeding cattle and horses, 
and is also consumed by the population, but it should not be eaten in 
large quantity. Undo: the Mongols, the cultivation of alfalfa was 
much encouraged, especially in order to avert the danger of famines; 7 
and gardens were maintained to raise alfalfa for the feeding of horses. 8 
According to Li Si-2en (latter part of the sixteenth century), 9 it was in 
his time a common, wild plant in the fields everywhere, but was culti- 
vated in Sen-si and Kan-su. He apparently means, however, Medicago 
denticulate, which is a wild species and a native of China. Forbes 

i p % it yU lan t Ch. 824, p. 9. 

* That is. Miscellaneous Records of the Western Capital (C'an-nan in Sen-si), 
written by Wu Kun §^ % of the sixth century a.d. 

1 The explanation given for these names is thus: the wind constantly whistles 
in these gardens, and the sunlight lends brilliancy to the flowers. 

4 Ancient name for the present district of Hin-p*in H ^ in the prefecture of 
Si-nan, Sen-si 

* r« p % it yU lan t Ch. 996, p. 4 b. 
9 Ch. 19, p. 3 (ed. of Lu Sin-yuan). 
7 Y4an h, Ch. 93, p. 5 b. 

•/Hrt\, Ch. 91, p. 6 b. 

9 Pen Woo kanmu.Ch. 28, p. 3 b. 

ti8 Sino-Iranica 

and Hemsley 1 give as Chinese species Medicago denticulate, falcate,* 
and lupulina (the black Medick or nonsuch), M. lupulina "apparently 
common, and from the most distant parts/ 9 and say with reference to 
Medicago saliva that it is cultivated in northern China, and also occurs 
in a wild state, though it is probably not indigenous. This "wild" 
Medicago saliva may be an escape from cultivation. It is an interesting 
point that those wild species are named ye mu-su ("wild alfalfa 91 ), 
which goes to show that these were observed by the Chinese only after 
the introduction of the imported cultivated species.* Wu K i-tsun 4 
has figured two ye mu-su, following his illustration of the mu^su, — one 
being Medicago lupulina, the other M. denticulate. 

The Japanese call the plant uma-goyaH ("horse-nourishing"). 1 
Matsumura' enumerates four species: M. sativa: murasaki ("purple") 
umagoyaH? M. denticulate: umagoyaSi; M. lupulina: kometsubu- 
utnagoyaSi; and M. minima: ko-untagoyaH. 

In the Tibetan dialect of Ladakh, alfalfa is known as oL This word 
refers to the Medicago sativa indigenous to Kashmir or possibly intro- 
duced there from Iran. In Tibet proper the plant is unknown. In 
Armenia occur Medicago sativa, M. falcate, M. agrestis, and M. 

Under the title "Notice sur la plante mou-sou ou luzerne rfrinn^ 
par C. de Skattschkoff, suivie d'une autre notice sur la mfime plante 
traduite du chinois par G. Pauthier," a brief article of 16 pages appeared 
in Paris, 1864, as a reprint from the Revue de VOrient} Skattschkoff, 
who had spent seven years in Peking, subsequently became Russian 
consul in Dsungaria, and he communicates valuable information on the 
agriculture of Medicago in that region. He states that seeds of this 

1 Journal Linnean Soc. t Vol. XXIII, p. 154. 

1 Attempts are being made to introduce and to cultivate this species in the 
United States (cf . Oabxby and Gaevbr, Medicago Falcata, U. S. Department of 
Agriculture, BulL No. 428, 19x7). 

* We shall renew this experience in the case of the grape-vine and the walnut. 

* Ci wu min H Vu k'ao, Ch. 3, pp. 58, 59. 

6 In the same manner, Manchu morxo is formed from morim (''horse") and 
erxo ("grass"). 

* Shoku butsu-mei-i, Nos. 183-184. 

7 The flower of this species is purple-colored. 

9 A. BiGUiNOT and P. N. Dxkatzsutam, Contributo alia flora deU* Armenia, 
P. 57. 

9 The work of Pauthier is limited to a translation of the notice on the plant' in 
the Ci wu min H Vu h'ao. The name Yu-lou nun frequently occurring in this work 
does not refer to a treatise on agriculture, as conceived by Pauthier, but is the literary 
style of Wu KH-tsun, author of that work. 

Alfalfa 319 

plant were tor the first time sent from China to Russia in 1840, and 
that he himself has been active for six years in propagating it in Russia, 
Livonia, Esthonia, and Finland. This is not to be doubted, but the 
point I venture to question is that the plant should not have been 
known in Russia prior to 1840. Not only do we find in the Russian 
language the words medunka (from Greek medike) and the European 
VtUserna (lucerne) for the designation of Medicago sativa, but also 
krasni ("red") burkun, leluxa, lugovoi vfazel ("Coronilla of the 
meadows 9 '); the word burkun , burundHk, referring to Medicago jakata 
(called also yUmorki), buruntik to M. lupulina. It is hard to realize 
that all these terms should have sprung up since 1840, and that the 
Russians should not have received information about this useful plant 
from European, Iranian, or Turkish peoples. A. de Candolle 1 ob- 
serves, "In the south of Russia, a locality mentioned by some authors, 
it is perhaps the result of cultivation as well as in the south of Europe." 
Judging from the report of N. E. Hansen, 1 it appears that three species 
of Medicago (M.Jalcata, M. platycarpa, and Af . ruihenica) are indigenous 
to Siberia. 

The efforts of our Department of Agriculture to promote and to 
improv e the cultivation of alfalfa in this country are well known; for 
this purpose also seeds from China have been introduced. Argentine 
chiefly owes to alfalfa a great amount of its cattle-breeding.* 

of Cultivated Plants, p. 103. 

9 The Wild Alfalfas and Clovers of Siberia, pp. 1 1-15 (Bureau of Plant Industry, 
DuB. No. 150, Washington, 1909). 

• Cf. L B. Lorbnzbtti, La Alfafa en la Argentina (Buenos Aires, 1913, 360 p.)* 


2. The grape-vine (Viiis vinifera) belongs to the ancient cultivated 
plants of western Asia and Egypt. It is not one of the most ancient 
cultivations, for cereals and many kinds of pulse are surely far earlier, 
but it is old enough to have its beginnings lost in the dawn of history. 
Viticulture represents such a complexity of ideas, of a uniform and 
persistent character throughout the ancient world, that it can have 
been disseminated but from a single centre. Opinions as to the loca- 
tion of this focus are of course divided, and our present knowledge of 
the subject does not permit us to go beyond more or less probable 
theories. Certain it is that the primeval home of vine-growing is to 
be sought in the Orient, and that it was propagated thence to Hellas 
and Italy, while the Romans (according to others, the Greeks) trans- 
planted the vine to Gaul and the banks of the Rhine. 1 For botanical 
reasons, A. de Candoixe 1 was inclined to regard the region south of 
the Caucasus as "the central and perhaps the most ancient home of 
the species." In view of the Biblical tradition of Noah planting the 
grape-vine near the Ararat,* it is a rather attractive hypothesis to con- 
ceive of Armenia as the country from which the knowledge of the 
grape took its starting-point. 4 However, we must not lose sight of the 
fact that both vine and wine were known in Egypt for at least three or 
four millenniums b.c., s and were likewise familiar in Mesopotamia at 
a very early date. This is not the place for a discussion of O. Schrader's 
theory 6 that the name and cultivation of the vine are due to Indo- 
Europeans of anterior Asia; the word for "wine" may well be of Indo- 
European or, more specifically, Armenian origin, but this does not 

1 Cf . the excellent study of G. Curtel, La Vigne et le vin chez les Romains 
(Paris, 1903). See also A. Stumkbr, Zur Urgeschichte der Rebe and des Weinbaues 
(Mitt. Antkr. G*s. Wien, 1911, pp. 283-296). 

1 Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 192. 

• Genesis, ix, 20. 

1 Cf. R. Billiard, La Vigne dans l'antiquite\ p. 31 (Lyon, 1913). This is a well 
illustrated and artistic volume of 560 pages and one of the best monographs on the 
subject. As the French are masters in the art of viticulture, so they have also pro* 
duced the best literature on the science of vine and wine. Of botanical works, 
J.-M. Guillon, £tude generate de la vigne (Paris, 1905), may be 

• V. Lokbt, Flore pharaonique, p. 99. 

• In Hshn, Kulturpflansen, pp. 91-95. 


-»-.l(til<( -.!!<(• * 

^ The Grape- Vine 221 

prove that the origin of viticulture itself is traceable to Indo-Europeans. 
The Semitic origin seems to me to be more probable. The Chinese 
received the grape-vine in late historical times from Fergana, an Iranian 
country, as a cultivation entirely unknown in previous epochs; and 
it is therefore sufficient for our purpose to emphasize the fact that 
vine-culture in its entire range was at that time firmly established in 
Western Asia, inclusive of Iran. 

The first knowledge of the cultivated vine (Vitis vinifera) and of wine 
produced from its grapes was likewise obtained by the Chinese through 
the memorable mission of General Cafi K'ien, when in 128 B.C. he 
travelled through Fergana and Sogdiana on his way to the Yue-& 
and spent a year in Bactria. As to the people of Fergana (Ta-yuan), 
he reported, "They have wine made of grapes." The same fact he 
learned regarding the Parthians (An-si). It is further stated in the 
same chapter of the 5* ki that the wealthy among the people of Fergana 
stored grape-wine in large quantity up to ten thousand gallons (3i, a 
dry measure) for a long time, keeping it for several decades without 
ride of deterioration; they were fond of drinking wine in the same 
manryr as their horses relished alfalfa. The Chinese envoys took the 
seeds of both plants along to their country, and the Son of Heaven was 
the first to plant alfalfa and the vine in fertile soil; and when envoys 
from abroad arrived at the Court, they beheld extensive cultivations of 
thesept&ntsnotfarfrom the imperial palace. The introduction of the vine 
b as weD authenticated as that of alfalfa. The main point to be noted 
is that the grape, in like manner as alfalfa, and the art of making wine, 
encountered by the Chinese strictly among peoples of Aryan 
;, principally of the Iranian family, not, however, among any 
Turkish tribes. 

According to the Han Annals, the kingdom Li-yi SS~^, which 
depended on Sogdiana, produced grapes; and, as the water of that 
country is excellent, its wine had a particular reputation. 8 

K'aft (Sogdiana) is credited with grapes in the Annals of the Tsin 
Dynasty.* Also grape-wine was abundant there, and the rich kept up to 
a thousand gallons of it, 4 The Sogdians relished wine, and were fond of 
songs and dances. 1 Likewise in Si (Tashkend) it was a favorite bever- 

t This is also the oomefasfan of J. Hoops (Waldbftome und Kultmpflsntfn, 
P. 56i). 

* Bom Sam f*. Ch. 118, p. 6 (cf. ChavawKbs, Toumg Pao, 1907, p. 19s). 

1 Tmm htt Ch. 97, p. 6 b (Md. t p. 6: grape-wine in Ta-yaan or Fergana). 

4 Smi f* Ch. S3, p. 4 b. 

1 Tmu f*. Ch. sat a, p. 1. 

• _- * — 1 

I2J Sino-Iranica 

age. 1 When the Sogdian K'afi Yen-tien in the first part of the seventh 
century a.d. established a Sogdiap colony south erf the Lob Nor, he 
founded four new cities, one of which was called "Grape City" (P'u- 
t'ao 2'efi); for the vine was planted in the midst of the town.* 

The Iranian Ta Yue-£i or Indo-Scythians must also have been in 
possession of the vine, as we are informed by a curious test in the 
Kin loutse 4kWt -3P,* written by the Emperor Yuan 7Q (a.d. 552-555) 
of the Liang dynasty. "The people in the country of the Great Yue-& 
are clever in making wine from grapes, flowers, and leaves. Sometimes 
they also use roots and vegetable juice, which they cause to ferment. 4 
These flowers resemble those of the clove-tree (tih-hiah T £, Caryo- 
phyllus aromaticus) } but are green or bright-blue. At the time of 
spring and summer, the stamens of the flowers are carried away and 
scattered around by the wind like the feathers of the bird twan X. 
In the eighth month, when the storm blows over the leaves, they are 
so much damaged and torn that they resemble sQk rags: hence people 
speak of a grape-storm (p*u-Vaofun), or also call it leaves-tearing storm' 
(lie ye fun & X *)." 

Finally we know also that the Aryan people of KuSa, renowned 
for their musical ability, songs, and dances, were admirers of grape- 
wine, some families even storing in their houses up to a thousand hu 
M of the beverage. This item appears to have been contained in the 
report of General Lfc Kwafi B jfc, who set out for the conquest of KuSa 
in a.d. 384. 1 

In the same manner as the Chinese discovered alfalfa in Ki-pin 
(Kashmir), they encountered there also the vine. 6 Further, they found 
it in the countries Tsiu-mo JL "M 7 and Nan-tou • 3B. 

• rod pHn hwan yA ki, Ch. 186, p. 7 b; also in Yen-lrf (KaraSar): Cou in, 
Ch. 50, p. 4 b. 

1 Pbluot, Journal asiaHgue, 1916, 1, p. 122. *Ch. 5, p. 23. 

4 Strata (XL xni, 11) states that the inhabitants of the mountainous region 
of northern Media made a wine from some kind of roots. 

• Other sources fix the date in the year 382 (see Sylvaw LAvi, Le "Tokharien 
B," langue de Koutcha, Journal asialique, 1913, II, p. 333). The above fact is 
derived from the Hon lion to $fc $( 4fc, quoted in the Taip % in yulan(CtL 972, p. 3); 
see also Tan h* 9 Ch. 221 A, p. 8. We owe to S. Levi the proof that the people of 
Kuca belong to the Indo-European family, and that their language is identical with 
what was hitherto known from the manuscripts discovered in Turkistan as 

• Ts*Un Ham fu t Ch. 96 A, p. 5. Kashmir was still famed for its grapes in the 
days of the Emperor Akbar (H. Blocbhakn, Ain I Akbari, Vol. I, p. 65), but at 
present viticulture is on the decline there (Watt, Commerical Products of India, 
pp. 1112, 1 1 14). 

v Regarding this name, see Chavakkbs, Les Pays d'oeddent d'apres le Wef 
Uo (Fount Poo, 1905, p. 536), 

The Grape-Vine 923 

In the Tang period the Chinese learned also that the people of 
Fu-lin (Syria) relished grape-wine, 1 and that the country of the Arabs 
(Ta-Si) produced grapes, the largest of the size of fowl's eggs. 1 In 
other tests such grapes are also ascribed to Persia.* At that epoch, 
Turkistan had fallen into the hands of Turkish tribes, who absorbed 
the culture of their Iranian predecessors; and it became known to the 
Chinese that the Uigur had vine and wine. 

Viticulture was in a high state of development in ancient Iran. 
Strabo 4 attributes to Margiana (in the present province of Khorasan) 
vines whose stock it would require two men with outstretched arms to 
clasp, and clusters of grapes two cubits long. Aria, he continues, is 
described as similarly fertile, the wine being still richer, and keeping 
perfectly for three generations in unpitched casks. Bactriana, which 
adjoins Aria, abounds in the same productions, except the olive. 

The ancient Persians were great lovers of wine. The best vintage- 
wines were served at the royal table. 1 The couch of Darius was over- 
shadowed by a golden vine, presented by Pythius, a Lydian.' The 
inscription of Persepolis informs us that fifty congius 7 of sweet wine 
and five thousand congius of ordinary wine were daily delivered to the 
royal house. 1 The office of cup-bearer in the palace was one of im- 
portance. 9 The younger Cyrus, when he had wine of a peculiarly fine 
flavor, was in the habit of sending half -emptied flagons of it to some 
of his friends, with a message to this effect: "For some time Cyrus has 
not found a pleasanter wine than this one; and he therefore sends some 
to you, begging you to drink it to-day with those whom you love 

Strabo 11 relates that the produce of Cannania is like that of Persia, 
and that among other productions there is the vine. u The Carmanian 

1 Hieth, China and the Roman Orient, pp. 58, 63. 
1 Tai p'iA hwan y& ki, Ch. 1 86, p. 15 b. 

• For instance, Pen Woo yen i, Ch. 18, p. r (ed. of Lu Sin-yuan). 
4 H. i, 14, and XI. z, a. 

• Esther, 1, 7 ("And they gave them drink in vessels of gold, the vessels being 
diverse one from another, and royal wine in abundance, according to the state of 

the king")* 

9 Herodotus, vn, 27; Athenaeus, zn, 514 f. According to G. W. Eldbmom 
{Am. Journal of Archaeology, VoL XXI, 1917, p. 407), the ultimate source of this 
motive would be Assyrian. 

* A measure of capacity equal to about six pints. 

■ Joobt, Plantes dans l*antiquite\ VoL II, p. 05. 

1 Xenophon, CyropflBdia, I. m, 8~o> 

"Xenophon, Anabasis, I. ix, 35. 

11 XV. n, 14. 


vine, as we call it, often bears bunches of grapes of two cubits in size, 
the seeds being very numerous and very large; probably the plant 
grows in its native soil with great luxuriance. 9 ' The kings of Persia were 
not content, however, with wines of native growth; but when Syria 
was united with their empire, the Chalybonian wine of Syria became 
their privileged beverage. 1 This wine, according to Posidonius, was 
made in Damascus, Syria, from vines planted there by the Persians. 3 

Herodotus* informs us that the Persians are very fond of wine and 
consume it in large quantities. It is also their custom to discuss im- 
portant affairs in a state of intoxication; and on the following morning 
their decisions are put before them by the master of the house where 
the deliberations have been held. If they approve of the decision in the 
state of sobriety, they act accordingly; if not, they set it aside. When 
sober at their first deliberation, they always reconsider the matter under 
the influence of wine. In a similar manner, Strabo 4 says that their 
consultations on the most important affairs are carried on while drink- 
ing, and that they consider the resolutions made at that time more to 
be depended upon than those made when sober. In the S&hnftmeh, 
the Persian epic, deliberations aje held during drinking-bouts, but 
decision is postponed till the following day. 1 Cambyses was ill reputed 
for his propensity for wine. 9 Deploring the degeneracy of the Persians, 
Xenophon 7 remarks, "They continue eating and drinking till those 
who sit up latest go to retire. It was a rule among them not to bring 
large cups to their banquets, evidently thinking that abstinence from 
drinking to excess would less impair their bodies and minds. The 
custom of not bringing such vessels still continues; but they drink so 
excessively that instead of bringing in, they are themselves carried out, 
as they are no longer able to walk upright. 1 ' Procopius, the great 
Byzantine historian of the sixth century, 8 says that of all men the 
Massagetae (an Iranian tribe) are the most intemperate drinkers. So 

1 Strabo, XV. m, 22. 

• Athenaeus, 1. 
1 1, 133. 

« XV. in, 20. 

• P. Spiegel, Eranische Altertumskunde, Vol. Ill, p. 672. Cf . what Joan Fares 
(New Account of Bast India and Persia being Nine Years' Travels 1672-61, VoL II, 
p. 210, ed. of Hakluyt Society) says of the modern Persians: "It is incredible to see 
what quantities they drink at a merry-meeting, and how unconcerned the next day 
they appear, and brisk about their business, and will quaff you thus a whole week 
together. M 

• Herodotus, in, 34. 

7 CyropsBdia, VIII. vm, e-io. 
1 Historikon, III. xn, 8. 

The Geape-Vine 225 

were also the Sacae, who, maddened with wine, were defeated by 
Cyras. 1 In the same passage, Strata speaks of a Bacchanalian festival 
of the Persians, in which men and women, dressed in Scythian style, 
passed day and night in drinking and wanton play. On the other 
hand, it must not be forgotten that such judgments passed by one 
nation on another are usually colored or exaggerated, and must be 
accepted only at a liberal discount; also temperance was preached in 
ancient Persia, and intemperance was severely punished. 8 With all 
the evils of over-indulgence in wine and the social dangers of alcohol, 
the historian, whose duty it is to represent and to interpret phe- 
nomena as they are, must not lose sight of the fact that wine con- 
stitutes a factor of economic, social, and cultural value. It has largely 
contributed to refine and to intensify social customs and to heighten 
sociability, as well as to promote poetry, music, and dancing. It has 
developed into an element of human civilization, which must not 
be underrated. Temperance literature is a fine thing, but who would 
miss the odes of Anakreon, Horace, or Hafiz? 

The word for the grape, brought back by Cah K'ien and still current 
in China and Japan (budo)> is Sf Hi (ancient phonetic spelling of the 
Han Annals, subsequently 1ft) 8 p*u-fao, *bu-daw, "grape, vine' 9 . Since 
Cafi K*ien made the acquaintance of the grape in Ta-yuan (Fergana) 
and took its seeds along from there to China, it is certain that he also 
learned the word in Fergana; hence we are compelled to assume that 
*bu-daw is Ferganian, and corresponds to an Iranian *budAwa or 
*bufowa, formed with a suffix wa or awa, from a stem buda, which in 
my opinion may be connected with New Persian bdda ("wine") and 
Old Persian fiariAxti ("wine-vessel") 23 Middle Persian batak, New 
Persian badye.* The Sino-Iranian word might also be conceived as a 
dialectic form of Avestan mafiav ("wine from berries")- 

It is well known that attempts have been made to derive the Chinese 
word from Greek fi&rfm ("a bunch of grapes"). Tomaschek* was 
the first to offer this suggestion; T. Kingsmill* followed in 1879, and 

1 Strabo, XI. vm, 5. 

s Cf. Jackson, in Grundriss der iranischen Philologie, VoL II, p. 679. 

8 The graphic development is the same as in the case of mu-su (see above, p. 212). 

4 Cf. Horn, Neuperstsche Etymologie, No. 155. The Chinese are fond of.etymol- 
Qgising, and Li Si-Sen explains the word p'u-Voo thus: "When people drink (/>'« 
m) it, they become intoxicated (t'ao &!)." The joke is not so bad, but it is 
no more than a joke. 

'Sogdiana, Sitaungsber. Wiener Akad., 1877, p. 133. 

1 Journal China Branch Ray. As. Soc., Vol. XIV, pp. 5, 19. 

226 Sino-Iranica 

Hirth 1 endorsed Kingsmill. No one gave a real demonstration of the 
case. Tomaschek argued that the dissemination of the vine in Central 
Asia is connected with Macedonian-Greek rule and Hellenic influence. 
ThiS'is decidedly wrong, for the vine grows spontaneously in all north- 
ern Iranian regions; and its cultivation in Iran is traceable to a great 
antiquity, and is certainly older there than in Greece. The Greeks 
received vine and wine from western Asia. 1 Greek 0orpi* y in all likeli- 
hood, is a Semitic loan-word. 1 It is highly improbable that the people 
of Fergana would have employed a Greek word for the designation of 
a plant which had been cultivated in their dominion for ages, nor is 
there any evidence for the silent admission that Greek was ever known 
or spoken in Fergana at the time of Can K'ien^s travels. The influence 
of Greek in the Iranian domain is extremely slight: nothing Greek has 
as yet beeg found in any ancient manuscripts from Turkistan. In 
my opinion, there is no connection between p'u-t'ao and fiorpvt, nor 
between the latter and Iranian *budawa. 

It is well known that several species of wild vine occur in China, in 
the Amur region, and Japan. 4 The ancient work Pie lu is credited with 
the observation that the vine (p n u-fao) grows in Lun-si (Kan-su) , Wu-yuan 
X JK (north of the Ordos), and in Tun-hwan (in Kan-su). 1 Li §i-5en 
therefore argues thatin view of this fact the vine must of old have existed 
in Lun-si in pre-Han times, but had not yet advanced into Sen-si. It 
is indkiceivable how B&etschneider 9 can say that the introduction of 
the grape by Can K'ien is inconsistent with the notice of the grape in 
the earliest Chinese materia medica. There is, in fact, nothing alarming 
about it: the two are different plants; wild vines are natives of northern 

1 Fremde Einfiusse in der chin. Kunst, p. 28; and Journal Am. Or. Soc., 
Vol. XXXVII, 1917, p. 146. Hirth's arguments are based on unproved premises. The 
grape-design on the so-called grape minors has nothing to do with Greek or Bactrian 
art, but comes from Irajaian-Sflsflnian art. No grape mirrors were turned out under the 
Han, they originated in the so-called Leu-6'ao period from the fourth to the seventh 
century. The attribution "Han" simply rests on the puerile assumption made in 
the Po ku Vu lu that, because Can K'ien introduced the grape, the artistic designs 
of grapes must also have come along with the same movement. 

* Only a "sinologue 1 ' could assert that the grape was "originally introduced 
from Greece, vid Bactria, about 150 b.c" (Giles, Chinese Dictionary, No. 9497). 

• Muss-Aknolt, Transactions Am. Phil. Assoc., Vol. XXIII, 1893, p. 14a. 
The variants in spelling fiSarpvxot, 04r/wx<*» plainly indicate the status of a loan- 
word. In Dioscorides (m, 120) it denotes an altogether different plant, — Chen- 
opodium botrys. 

4 The Lo-lo of Yun-nan know a wild grape by the name ko-p % i~ma t with large, 
black, oblong berries (P. Vial, Dictionnaire francais-lolo, p. 276). The grape is 
ao-mu-se-ma in Nyi Lo-lo, sa4u-to or saJkhto in Am* Lo-lo. 

1 Pen ts % ao ham mu, Ch. 33, p. 3. 

•Bot. Sin., pt m, p. 438. 

The Grape- Vine 327 

China, but have never resulted in a cultivation; the cultivated species 
{Viiis rinifera) was introduced from Iran, and never had any relation 
to the Chinese wild species (Vitis bryoniaefolia). In a modern work, 
Mun ts'ilan isa yen X A IB "By which gives an intelligent discussion 
of this question, the conclusion is reached that the species from Fergana 
is certainly different from that indigenous to China. The only singular 
point is that the Pie lu employs the Ferganian word p*u-Vao with refer- 
ence to the native species; but this is not an anachronism, for the Pie lu 
was written in post-Christian times, centuries after Cafi K'ien; and it 
is most probable that it was only the introduced species which gave the 
impetus to the discovery of the wild species, so that the latter received 
the same name. 1 

Another wild vine is styled yin-yii 9 J|L (Vitis bryoniaefolia or 
V. labmsca), which appears in the writings of Tao Hub-kin (a.d. 
45 x ~536) and in the 'Pan pen ts'ao of Su Kun, but this designation has 
reference only to a wild vine of middle and northern China. Yen Si-ku 
(a.d. 579-645), in his K % an miu ten su fi 8 iE f&,* ironically remarks 
that regarding the yin-yU as a grape is like comparing the li 4R (Poncirus 
trifoliate) of northern China with an orange (kii IS); that the yin-yU 9 
although a kind of p 9 u-Vao, is widely different from the latter; and that 
the yin-yii of Kian-nan differs again from the yin-yii of northern China. 
Hirth's theory, 4 that this word might represent a transcription of 
New Persian angur f is inadmissible. We have no right to regard Chinese 
words as of foreign origin, unless these are expressly so indicated by the 
Chinese philologists who never fail to call attention to such borrowing. 
If this is not the case, specific and convincing reasons must be adduced 
for the assumption that the word in question cannot be Chinese. There 
is no tradition whatever that would make yin-yii an Iranian or a foreign 
word. The opposite demonstration lacks any sound basis: New Persian, 
which starts its career from the end of the tenth century, could not come 
into question here, but at the best Middle Persian, and angur is a 
strictly New-Persian type. A word like angur would have been dis- 
sected by the Chinese into an+gut (gur), but not into an+uk; more- 
over, it is erroneous to suppose that final k can transcribe final r ; s 
in Iranian transcriptions, Chinese final k corresponds to Iranian k f 
g, or the spirant %> It is further inconceivable that the Chinese might 

l Tnh$tn Veh, xx, Ch. 113. 

' Compare the analogous case of the walnut. 

•Ch. 8, p. 8 b (ed. of Hu pet ts'u* hi). 

* Frande Einflusse in der chinemschen Kunst, p., 17. 

•Compare above, p. 214. 

228 Sino-Iranica 

have applied a Persian word designating the cultivated grape to a 
wild vine which is a native of their country, and which particularly 
grows in the two Kiah provinces of eastern China. The Gazetteer of 
Su-fiou 1 says expressly that the name for the wild grape, San p'u4'ao 9 
in the Kiafi provinces, is yin*y*. Accordingly it may be an ancient 
term of the language of Wu. The Pen ts'ao kah mu % has treated yih-y* 
as a separate item, and Li Si-Sen annotates that the meaning of the 
term is unexplained. It seems to me that for the time being we have 
to acquiesce in this verdict. Yen-yil 9 j| and yin-Se 9 $ are added 
by him as synonymes, after the Mao Si 35 Kf and the Kwak ya, while 
ye p % u-Vao ("wild grape") is the common colloquial term (also Veh 
miHozmu luh W & >fc fl). It }s interesting to note that the earliest 
notices of this plant come only from Su KuA and C'en Ts'afi-k'i of the 
Tang dynasty. In other words, it was noted by the Chinese naturalists 
more than seven centuries later than the introduction of the cultivated 
grope, — sufficient evidence for the fact that the two are not in any way 

It must not be imagined that with Cafi KHen's deed the introduction 
of the vine into China was an accomplished fact; but introductions of 
seeds were subsequently repeated, and new varieties were still imported 
from Turkistan by K'aA-hi. There are so many varieties of the grape 
in China, that it is hardly credible that all these should have at once 
been brought over by a single man. It is related in the Han Annals 
that Li Kwafi-li * W «, being General of Er-S H (*Ni-S'i), after 
the subjugation of Ta-yQan, obtained grapes which he took along to 

Three varieties of grape are indicated in the Kwan £t , s written 
before a.d. 527, — yellow, black, and white. The same varieties are 
enumerated in the Yu yah isa tsu, while Li Si-Sen speaks of four varie- 
ties, — a round one, called ts'ao luh tu 1£H& ("vegetable dragon- 
pearls"); a long one, ma hi p % u-Vao (see below); a white one, called 
"crystal grapes" (fwi tsih p % %4 % ao)\ and a blade one, called " purple 
grapes" (tse 3R p'u-fao), — and assigns to Se-£*wan a green (<fc) grape, 
to Yun-nan grapes of the size of a jujube. 4 Su Sufi of the Sung mentions 
a variety of seedless grapes. 

1 Su loufu H, Ch. 30, p. 7 b. 

* Ch. 33, p. 4- 

1 Tai p*iA yi Ian, Ch. 972, p. 3. 

4 Tan Ts'ui ft $ , in his valuable description of Yun-nan (Tien ha* y& 
hen ft, published in 1 799, Ch. 10, p. 2, ed. of Wen yinlauyuU ts % un *#), states that the 
grapes of southern Yun-nan are excellent, but that they cannot be dried or sent to dis- 
tant places. 

The Grape-Vine 229 

In Han-£ou yellow and bright white grapes were styled tu-ise 3& -3P 
("beads, pearls"); another kind, styled "rock-crystal" (Swi-tsin), ex- 
celled in sweetness; those of purple and agate color ripened at a little 
later date. 1 

To Turkistan a special variety is attributed under the name so-so 
St SI grape, as large as wu-wei-tse 3t Sfe -3F ("five flavors," Sckizandra 
chinensis) and without kernels 41 t)E. A lengthy dissertation on this 
fruit is inserted in the Pen ts*ao kah mu H i 9 % The essential points are 
the following. It is produced in Turfan and traded to Peking; in appear- 
ance it is like a pepper-corn, and represents a distinct variety of grape. 
Its color is purple. According to the Wu tsa tsu 3l H SL, written in 
1610, when eaten by infants, it is capable of neutralizing the poison of 
small-pox. The name so-so is not the reproduction of a foreign word, 
bat simply means "small." Tljis is expressly stated in the Pen kin fun 
yuan >fc K j£ R, which says that the so-so grapes resemble ordinary 
grapes, but axe smaller and finer, and hence are so called (IB St JM 
tt £). The Pi t % en * ]g of Yu-wen Tift ^P 3fc % annotates, however, 
that so-so is an error for sa-so ISSc, without giving reasons for this 
cpmkm. Sa-so was the name of a palace of the Han emperors, and this 
substitution is surely fantastic. Whether so-so really is a vine-grape 
seems doubtful. It is said that so-so are planted everywhere in China 
to be dried and marketed, being called in Kiaft-nan/an p % u-Vao ("foreign 

The Emperor K'aft-hi (1662-1722), who knew very well that grapes 
had come to China from the west, tells that he caused three new varie- 
ties to be introduced into his country from Hami and adjoining terri- 
tories, — one red or greenish, and long like mare-nipples; one not very 
large, but of agreeable taste and aroma; and another not larger than a 
pea, the most delicate, aromatic, and sweetest kind. These three varie- 
ties of grape degenerate in the southern provinces, where they lose 
their aroma. They persist fairly well in the north, provided they are 
planted in a dry and stony soil. "I would procure for my subjects," 
the Emperor concludes, "a novel kind of fruit or grain, rather than 
build a hundred porcelain kilns." 4 

Turkistan is well known to the Chinese as producing many varieties 

1 Mo* Han lu&j&t&, by Wu"Tse-mu J& g tfc of the Sung (Ch. 18, p. 5 b; 
ed- of Ci pu tsu lai ts'un su). ' 

9 Ch. 7, p. 69. This valuable supplement to the Pen ts'ao kan mu was first 
published in 1650 (reprinted 1765 and appended to several modern editions of the 
Pen ts'eo) by Cao Hio-min jfi $ ffc (hao Su-hien $g ff) of Han-Sou. 

9 Mun Is Han tsa yen $ AH ^ . cited in Tu iu tsi £'e*, XX, Ch. 130. 
* Memoires conoernant les Chinois, Vol. IV, 1779, pp. 471-472. 

230 Sino-Iranica 

of grape. According to the Hut k'ian K @ 91 M ("Records of Turkic 
tan")> written in 1772 by the two Manchu officers PusambO and Surde, 
"there are purple, white, blue, and black varieties; further, round and 
long, large and small, sour and sweet ones. There is a green and seed- 
less variety, comparable to a soy-bean, but somewhat larger, and of 
very sweet and agreeable flavor [then the so-so is mentioned]- Another 
kind is black and more than an inch long; another is white and large* 
All varieties ripen in the seventh or eighth month, when they are 
dried and can be transported to distant places." According to the 
Wu tsa tsu 9 previously quoted, Turkistan has a seedless variety of 
grape, called tu yen % BR p'u-fao ("hare-eye grape"). 

A. v. Le Coq 1 mentions under the name sosuq saivi a cylindrical, 
whitish-yellow grape, the best from Tpyoq and Bulayiq, red ones of 
the same shape from Manas and Shicho. Sir Aurel Stein 1 says that 
throughout Chinese Turkistan the vines are trained along low fences, 
ranged in parallel rows, and that the dried grapes and currants of 
Ujat find their way as far as the markets of Aksu, Kashgar, and Turf an. 

Every one who has resided in Peking knows that it is possible to 
obtain there during the summer seemingly fresh grapes, preserved from 
the crop of the previous autumn, and that the Chinese have a method of 
preserving them. The late P. H. Kino, 1 whose studies of the agriculture 
of China belong to the very best we have, observed regarding this 
point, "These old people have acquired the skill and practice of storing 
and preserving such perishable fruits as pears and grapes so as to 
enable them to keep them on the market almost continuously. Pears 
were very common in the latter part of June, and Consul-General 
Williams informed me that grapes are regularly carried into July. In 
talking with my interpreter as to the methods employed, I could only 
learn that the growers depend simply upon dry earth cellars which can 
be maintained at a very uniform temperature, the separate fruits being 
wrapped in paper. No foreigner with whom we talked knew their 
methods." This method is described in the Ts'i min yao Su, an ancient 
work on husbandry, probably from the beginning of the sixth century, 4 
although teeming with interpolations. A large pit is dug in a room of 
the farmhouse for storing the grapes, and holes are bored in the walls 
near the surface of the ground and stuffed with branches. Some of 
these holes are filled with mud to secure proper support for the room. 

1 Sprichworter und Lieder aus Turfan, p. 92, 

• Sand-Buried Ruins of Khotan, p. 228. 

• Farmers of Forty Centuries, p. 343 (Madison, Wis., 1911). 

• See Bebtschnhidbr, Bot. Sin., pt. I, p. 77; Hirth, Tount Poo. 1895, p. 436; 
Psluot, Bulletin de VBcole fran^aise, Vol. IX, p. 434. 

The Grape-Vine 931 

The pit in which the grapes are stored is covered with loam, and thus 
an even temperature is secured throughout the winter. 1 

The Jesuit missionaries of the eighteenth century praise the raisins 
of Hoai-lai-hien 1 on account of their size: "Nous parlons d'aprfes le 
tetaoignage de nos yeux: les grains de ces grappes de raisins sont gros 
oomme des prunes damas-violet, et la grappe longue et grande & propor- 
tion. Le dimat peut y faire; mais si les livres disent vrai, cela vient 
originairement de ce qu'on a ent6 des vignes sur des jujubiers; et 
l'lpaisseur de la peau de ces raisins nous le ferait croire.' ,s 

Raisins are first mentioned as being abundant in Yun-nan in the 
Y&t-nan ki* ("Memoirs regarding Yun-nan"), a work written in the 
beginning of the ninth century . Li Si-Sen remarks that raisins are made 
by the people of the West as well as in Tai-yuan and P'iA-yaii in San-si 
Province, whence they are traded to all parts of China. Hami in 
Turkistan sends large quantities of raisins to Peking. 1 In certain parts 
of northern China the Turkish word kihniS for a small kind of raisin 
is known. It is obtained from a green, seedless variety, said to originate 
from Bokhara, whence it was long ago transplanted to YarkancL 
After the subjugation of Turkistan under K'ien-lufi, it was brought to 
Jehol, and is still cultivated there. 6 

Although the Chinese eagerly seized the grape at the fiast oppor- 
tunity offered to them, they were slow in accepting the Iranian custom 
of making and drinking wine. 7 The Arabic merchant Soleiman (or 
whoever may be responsible for this account), writing in a.d. 851, 
reports that "the wine taken by the Chinese is made from rice; they 
do not make wine from grapes, nor is it brought to them from abroad; 

1 A similar contrivance for the storage of oranges is described in the Memoires 
concernant les Chinois, Vol. IV, p. 489. 

■I presume that Hwai (or Hwo)-lu hien in the prefecture of Cen-tin, Ci-li 
Province, is meant 

1 Memoires concernant les Chinois, VoL III, 1778, p. 498. 

• Tai p*i* yA lan t Ch. 972, p. 3. 

• An article on Hami raisins is inserted in the Memoires concernant les Chinois 
(VoL V, 1780, pp. 481-486). The introduction to this article is rather strange, an 
effort being made to prove that grapes have been known in China since times of 
earliest antiquity; this is due to a confusion of the wild and the cultivated vine. 
In VoL II, p. 493, of the same collection, it is correctly stated that vine and wine be- 
came known under the reign of the Emperor Wu. 

9 Cf, O. Peawxk, Beschreibung des Jehol-Gebietes, p. 76. 

1 The statement that Can K*ien taught his countrymen the art of making wine, 
as asserted by Giles (Biographical Dictionary, p. 12) and L. Wisgbr (Textes 
Wstoriques, p. 499), is erroneous. There is nothing to this effect in the Si ki or in 
the Han Annals. 

332 Sino-Iranica 

they do not know it, accordingly, and make no use of it." 1 This doubt- 
less was correct for southern China, where the information of the 
Arabic navigators was gathered. The grape, however, is chiefly to be 
found in northern China, 1 and at the time of Soleiman the manu- 
facture of grape-wine was known in the north. The principal document 
bearing on this subject is extant in the history of the T'ang dynasty. 

In a.d. 647 a peculiar variety of grapes, styled ma hi p % u Vao 9 
% IB W ("mare-nipple grapes") were sent to the Emperor T'ai Tsuft 
:fc SS by the (Turkish) country of the Yabgu ft M. It was a bunch 
of grapes two feet long, of purple color.* On the same occasion it is 
stated, "Wine is used in the Western Countries, and under the 
former dynasties it was sometimes sent as tribute, but only after 
the destruction of Kao-4'aii Jft S (Turfan), when 'mare-nipple grapes' 
cultivated in orchards were received, also the method of making wine 
was simultaneously introduced into China (a.d. 640). T'ai Tsufi 
experienced both its injurious and beneficial effects. Grape-wine, when 
ready, shines in all colors, is fragrant, very fiery, and tastes like the 
finest oil. The Emperor bestowed it on his officials, and then for the 
first time they had a taste of it in the capital."* 

These former tributes of wine are alluded to in a verse of the poet 
Li Po of the eighth century, "The Hu people annually offered grape- 
wine. 9 ' 1 Si Waii Mu, according to the Han Wu H nei Swan of the 
third century or later, is said to have presented grape-wine to the Han 
Emperor Wu, which certainly is an unhistorical and retrospective 

A certain Cafi HuA-mao 3K & ft , a native of Tun-hwafi in Kan-su, 
is said to have devoted to grape-wine a poem of distinct quality. 6 
The locality Tun-hwaA is of significance, for it was situated on the 

1 M. Rbinaud, Relation des voyages faits par les Arabes et lei Persans dans 
I'lnde et a la Chine, Vol. I, p. 23. 

• In the south, I am under the impression it is rather isolated. It occurs, for 
instance, in San-se Sou _h & ji\ in the prefecture of T'ai-p'iA, Kwan-si Province, 
in three varieties, — green, purple, and crystal, — together with an uneatable wild 
grape (San se Urn H, Ch. 14, p. 8, ed. published in 1835). "Grapes in the neighbor- 
hood of Canton are often unsuccessful, the alternations of dry heat and rain being 
too much in excess, while occasional typhoons tear the vines to pieces" (J. P. Davis, 
China, VoL II, p. 305). They occur in places of Fu-kxen and in the Chusan Archi- 
pelago (cf. Tu ht isi fen, VI, Ch. 1041). 

' Tan hui yao, Ch. 200, p. 14; also Fun H wen kien hi H j£ R Jt flB, Ch. 7, 
p. I b (ed. of Kifu ts'un hi), by Pun Yen £t fit of the T'ang. 
4 Ibid., p. 15. 

• Pen ts'ao yen i, Ch. 18, p. 1. 

• This is quoted from the Ts'ien lion lu |{f 2ft £fc, a work of the Tsin dynasty, 
in the Si leu hwo Vun tsHu {Tad p'in yi Ian, Ch. 972, p. I b). 

The Grape- Vine 233 

xoad to Turkistan, and was the centre from which Iranian ideas radiated 
into China. 

The curious point is that the Chinese, while they received the grape 
in the era of the Han from an Iranian nation, and observed the habit 
of wine-drinking among Iranians at large, acquired the art of wine- 
making as late as the T'ang from a Turkish tribe of Turkistan. The 
Ttuks of the Han period knew nothing of grapes or wine, quite natu- 
rally, as they were then restricted to what is now Mongolia, where soil 
and climatic conditions exclude this plant. Vine-growing, as a matter 
of course, is compatible solely with a sedentary mode of life; and only 
after settling in Turkistan, where they usurped the heritage of their 
Iranian predecessors, 1 did the Turks become acquainted with grape 
and wine as a gift of Iranians. The Turkish word for the grape, Uigur 
Mm (other dialects itotim), proves nothing along the line of historical 
facts, as speculated by VAmb£ry. s It is even doubtful whether the word 
in question originally had the meaning "grape' 9 ; on the contrary, it 
merely seems to have signified any berry, as it still refers to the berries 
and seeds of various plants. The Turks were simply epigones and 
usurpers, and added nothing new to the business of vine-culture. 

In accordance with the introduction of the manufacture of grape- 
wine into China, we find this product duly noted in the Pen ts'ao of 
the Tang, 1 published about the middle of the seventh century; further, 
in the Si liao pen ts'ao by Mon Sen £ Vfc (second half of the seventh 
century), and in the Pen ts'ao H i by C'en Ts'aft-kl BR M 9, who wrote 
in the K'ai-yuan period (713-741). The Tan pen ts*cto also refers to 
the manufacture of vinegar from grapes. 4 The Pen ts*ao yen i t pub- 
lished in 1116, likewise enumerates grape-wine among the numerous 
brands of alcoholic beverages. 

The Lion se kun tse ki by Cafl Yue (667-730) 1 contains an anecdote 
to the effect that Kao-S'aft offered to the Court frozen wine made from 
dried raisins, on which Mr. Kie made this comment: "The taste of 
grapes with thin shells is excellent, while grapes with thick shells are 
bitter of taste. They are congealed in the Valley of Eight Winds 
(Pa fuft kuAH #). This wine does not spoil in the course of years." 6 

1 This was an accomplished fact by the end of the fourth century A.D. 

• Primitive Cultur des turko-tatarischen Volkes, p. 218. 
» Ce* lei pen ts % ao t Ch. 23, p. 7. 

4 Ibid., Ch. 26, p. 1 b. 

• See The Diamond, this volume, p. 6. 

• Pen ts'ao kan mu t Ch. 25, p. 14 b. A different version of this story is quoted 
in the Tai pHh yU Ian (Ch. 845, p. 6 b). 

134 Sino-Iranica 

A recipe for making grape-wine is contained in the Pet Son isiu kin 
4b tfj S IE/ a work on the different kinds of wine, written early in the 
twelfth century by Cu Yi-SuA * ■ 4*, known as Ta-yin Weft :fc S M. 
Sour rice is placed in an earthen vessel and steamed. Five ounces of 
apricot-kernels (after removing the shells) and two catties of grapes 
(after being washed and dried, and seeds and shells removed) are put 
together in a bowl of thin clay (Sa p % en & ft), 1 pounded, and strained. 
Three pecks of a cooked broth are poured over the rice, which is placed 
on a table, leaven being added to it. This mass, I suppose, is used to 
cause the grape-juice to ferment, but the description is too abrupt and 
by no means clear. So much seems certain that the question is of a 
rather crude process of fermentation, but not of distillation (see below). 

Su T*in ft 8, who lived under the Emperor Li Tsufi (1224-63) of 
the Southern Sung, went as ambassador to the Court of the Mongol 
Emperor Ogotai (1229-45). His memoranda, which represent the 
earliest account we possess of Mongol customs and manners, were 
edited by P*efi Ta-ya 8$ ^C II of the Sung under the title Hei Ta H lio 
Att$tt ("Outline of the Affairs of the Black Tatars"), and pub- 
lished in 1908 by Li Wen-t'ien and Hu Se in the Wen yin louyilti ts'uh 
Su. 9 Su T'in informs us that grape-wine put in glass bottles and sent 
as tribute from Mohammedan countries figured at the headquarters 
of the Mongol Khan; one bottle contained about ten small cups, and 
the color of the beverage resembled th$ juice of the Diospyros kaki 
[known in this country as Japanese persimmons] of southern China. 
It was accordingly a kind of claret. The Chinese envoy was told that 
excessive indulgence in it might result in intoxication. 

1 Ch. c, p. 19 b (ed. of Ci pu tsu lai ts'uA Su). The work is noted by Wyub 
(Notes on Chinese Literature, p. 150). 

* Literally, "sand-pot." This is a kind of thin pottery (colloquially called Sa 
kwo £p ft) peculiar to China, and turned out at Hwai-lu (Ci-li), Pin-tin cou and 
Lu-nan (San-si), and Yao-cou (Sen-si). Made ol clay and sand with an admixture 
ol coal-dust, so that its appearance presents a glossy black, it is extremely light 
and fragile; but, on account of their thin walls, water may be heated in these pots 
with a very small quantity of fuel. They are a money and time saving device, and 
hence in great demand among the poor, who depend upon straw and dried grass for 
their kitchen fire. With careful handling, such pots and pans may endure a long 
time. The proverb runs, "The sand-pot will last a generation if you do not hit it"; 
and there is another popular saying, "You may pound garlic in a sand-pan, but you 
can do so but once" (A. H. Smith, Proverbs and Common Sayings from the Chinese, 
p. 204). Specimens of this ware from Yao-cou may be seen in the Field Museum, 
others from Hwai-lu are in the American Museum of New York (likewise collected 
by the writer). The above text ol the Sung period is the first thus .far found by me 
which contains an allusion to this pottery. 

* This important work has not yet attracted the attention of our science. I hope 
to be able to publish a complete translation of it in the future. 

The Grape-Vinb 935 

In his interesting notice "Le Nom turc du vin dans Odoric de 
Pordenone/' 1 P. Pelliot has called attention to the word for as a 
Turkish designation of grape-wine, adding also that this word occurs 
in a Mongol letter found in Turfan and dated 1398.* I can furnish 
additional proof for the fact that tor is an old Mongol word in the 
sense of wine, although, of course, it may have been borrowed from 
Turkish. In the Mongol version of the epic romance of Geser or Gesar 
Khan we find an enumeration of eight names of liquor, all supposed 
to be magically distilled from araki ("arrack, brandy"). These are: 
aradsa (araja), xoradsa or xuradsa, Siradsa, boradsa, takpa, tikpa, 
marba, mirba} These terms have never been studied, and, with the 
exception of the first and third, are not even listed in Kovalevski's and 
Golstuntki's Mongol Dictionaries. The four last words are characterized 
as Tibetan by the Tibetan suffix pa at ba. Marwa (corresponding in 
meaning to Tibetan Van) is well known as a word generally used 
throughout Sikkim and other Himalayan regions for an alcoholic 
beverage. 4 As to tikpa, it seems to be formed after the model of Tibetan 
Ug-Vah, the liquor for settling (tig) the marriage-affair, presented by the 
future bridegroom to the parents of his intended.* 

The terms aradsa, xoradsa or xuradsa, Siradsa, and boradsa, are all 
provided with the same ending. The first is given by Kovalevski 
with the meaning "very strong koumiss, spirit of wine/' A parallel is 
offered by Manchu in arfan ("a liquor prepared from milk"), while 
Manchu arjan denotes any alcoholic drink. The term xoradsa or xuradsa 
may be derived from Mongol xuru-t (-* being suffix of the plural), 
corresponding to Manchu kuru, which designates "a kind of cheese 
made from fermented mare's milk, or cheese prepared from cow's or 
mare's milk with the addition of sugar and sometimes pressed into 
Conns." The word Siradsa has been adopted by Schmidt and Kovalevski 
in their respective dictionaries as "wine distilled for the fourth time" 
or "esprit de vin quadruple;" but these explanations are simply based 
on the above passage of Geser, in which one drink is supposed to be 

1 Toung Poo, 1914, pp. 448-453. 

1 Ramstedt's tentative rendering of this word by "beaver" is a double error: 
first, the- beaver does not occur in Mongolia and is unknown to the Mongols, its 
easternmost boundary is formed by the Yenisei; second, for as an animal-name 
means "an otter cub," and otter and beaver are entirely distinct creatures. 

1 Text, ed. I. J. Schmidt, p. 65; translation, p. 99. Schmidt transcribes arasa, 
cftorojo, etc., but the palatal sibilant is preferable. 

4 Cf. H. H. Rislbt, Gazetteer of Sikkim, p. 75, where also the preparation is 

* JXsgbkb, Tibetan Dictionary, p. 364. 

• Dictionnaire mongol, p. 143. 

236 Sino-Iranica 

distilled from the other. This process, of course, is purely fantastic, 
and described as a magical feat; there is no reality underlying it. 

The word boradsa, in my opinion, is derived from the Turkish word 
bar discussed by Pelliot; there is no Mongol word from which it could 
be explained. In this connection, the early Chinese account given 
above of foreign grape-wine among the Mongols gains a renewed 
significance. Naturally it was a rare article in Mongolia, and for this 
reason we hear but little about it. Likewise in Tibet grape-wine is 
scarcely used, being restricted to religious offerings in the temples. 1 

The text of the Geser Romance referred to is also important from 
another point of view. It contains the loan-word ariki, from Arabic 
*araq f which appears in eastern Asia as late as the Mongol epoch 
(below, p. 237). Consequently our work has experienced the influence 
of this period, which is visible also in other instances. 8 The foundation 
of the present recension, first printed at Peking in 1716, is indeed trace- 
able to the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries; many legendfe and 
motives, of course, are of a much older date. 

Masco Polo relates in regard to T'ai-yuan fu, called by him Taianfu, 
the capital of San-si Province, "There grow here many excellent vines, 
supplying a great plenty of wine; and in all Cathay Jhis is the only place 
where wine is produced. It is carried hence all over the country. 91 ' 
Marco Polo is upheld by contemporary Chinese writers. Grape-wine 
is mentioned in the Statutes of the Yuan Dynasty. 4 The Yin San ten 
yao tfc B§ jE 35, written in 1331 (in 3 chapters) by Ho Se-hwi %D Pi flt, 
contains this account:* "There are numerous brands of wine: that 
coming from Qara-Khoja (Ha-la-hwo *fc IN jt)* is very strong, that 
coming from Tibet ranks next. Also the wines from PHfi-yaA and Tai- 

1 Cf. Toung Pao t 1914, p. 412. 
1 a. ibid., 1908, p. 436. 

* Yule and Cordibr, The Book of Ser Marco Polo, Vol. II, p. 13. Klapeoth 
(cf. Yule's notes, ibid., p. 16) was quite right in saying that the wine of that locality 
was celebrated in the days of the T'ang dynasty, and used to be sent in tribute to the 
emperors. Under the Mongols the use of this wine spread greatly. The founder of 
the Ming accepted the offering of wine from T'ai-yuan in 1373, but prohibited its 
being presented again. This fact is contained in the Ming Annals (cf . L. Wisgbr, 
Testes historiques, p. 201 1). 

4 Yuan Hen Ian % J| j|t, Ch. 22, p. 65 (ed. 1908). 

* Pen is'ao kan mu, Ch- 25,? p. 14 b. Regarding that work, cf. the Imperial 
Catalogue* Ch. 116, p. 27 b. 

6 Regarding this name and its history see Pelliot, Journal asiaHque, 1912, I, 
p. 582. Qara-Khoja was celebrated for its abundance of grapes (Bkbtschnbidbr, 
Mediaeval Researches, VoL I, p. 65). J. Dudgeon (The Beverages of the Chinese, 
p. 27), misreading the name Ha-so-hwo, took it for the designation of a sort of wine. 
Stuart (Chinese Materia Medica, p. 459) mistakes it for a transliteration of "hoi- 

The Grape-Vine 237 

yuan (in Son-si) take the second rank. According to some statements, 
grapes, when stored for a long time, mil develop into wine through a 
natural process. This wine is fragrant, sweet, and exceedingly strong: 
this is the genuine grape-wine." 1 The Ts x ao mu tse 3£ >fc *dP, written 
in 1378 by Ye Tse-k'i MJ*^, contains the following information: 
"Under the Yuan dynasty grape-wine was manufactured in Ki-nifi 
M ¥ and other circuits ft of San-si Province. In the eighth month 
they went to the T'ai-haA Mountain ^C U tfj 1 in order to test the 
genuine and adulterated brands: the genuine kind when water is 
poured on it, will float; the adulterated sort, when thus treated, will 
freeze.* In wine which has long been stored, there is a certain portion 
which even in extreme cold will never freeze, while all the remainder is 
frozen: this is the spirit and fluid secretion of wine. 4 If this is drunk, 
the essence will penetrate into a man's arm-pits K , and he will die. 
Wine kept for two or three years develops great poison." 

The first author who offers a coherent notice and intelligent discus- 
son of the subject .of grape-wine is Li Si-cen at the end of the sixteenth 
ce ntury .* He is well acquainted with the fact that this kind of wine was 
anciently made only in the Western Countries, and that the method of 
manufacturing it was but introduced under the Tang after the sub- 
jugation of Kao-2'aA. He discriminates between two types of grape- 
wine, — the fermented Jffc tf , of excellent taste, made from grape- 
juice with the addition of leaven in the same fashion as the ordinary 
native rice-wine (or, if no juice is available, dried raisins may be used), 
and the distilled tt IB. In the latter method "ten catties of grapes are 
taken with an equal quantity of great leaven (distillers 1 grains) and 
subjected to a process of fermentation. The whole is then placed in an 
earthen kettle and steamed. The drops are received in a vessel, and 
this liquid is of red color, and very pleasing." There is one question, 
however, left open by Li Si-cen. In a preceding notice on distillation 
tt fi he states that this is not an ancient method, but was practised 
only from the Yftan period; he then describes it in its application to rice- 
lands," or maybe "alcohol." The latter word has never penetrated into China in 
any form. Chinese a-la-ki does not represent the word "alcohol," as conceived by 
some authors, for instance, J. Macgowan {Journal China Branch Ray. As. Soc., 
VoL VII, 1873, p. 237); see the following note. 

1 This work is also the first that contains the word a-la-ki RJ ]JJ "jSf , from 
Arabic 'araq (see Toung Poo, 1916, p. 483). 

* A range of mountains separating San-si from Ci-li and Ho-nan. 

* This is probably a fantasy. We can make nothing of it, as it is not stated how 
the adulterated wine was made. 

4 This possibly is the earliest Chinese allusion to alcohol. 

*Pm Woo ham mu t Ch. 25, p. 14 b. 

•38 Sino-Iranica 

wine in the same manner as for grape- wine. Certain it is that distillation 
is a Western invention, and. was unknown to the ancient Chinese. 1 
Li 5i-£en fails to inform us as to the time when the distillation of grape- 
wine came into existence. If this process had become known in China 
under the T'ang in connection with grape-wine, it would be strange if 
the Chinese did not then apply it to their native spirits, but should have 
waited for another foreign impulse until the Mongol period. On the 
other hand, if the method due to the Uigur under the Tang merely 
applied to fermented grape-wine, we may justly wonder that the Chinese 
had to learn such a simple affair from the Uigur, while centuries earlier 
they must have had occasion to observe this process among many 
Iranian peoples. It would therefore be of great interest to seize upon 
a document that would tell us more in detail what this method of 
manufacture was, to which the T'ang history obviously attaches so 
great importance. It is not very likely that distillation was involved; 
for it is now generally conceded that the Arabs possessed no knowledge 
of alcohol, and that distillation is not mentioned in any relevant litera- 
ture of the Arabs and Persians from the tenth to the thirteenth cen- 
tury. 8 The statement of Li §i-£en, that distillation was first practised 
under the Mongols, is historically logical and in keeping with our 
present knowledge of the subject. It is hence reasonable to hold (at 
least for the present) also that distilled grape-wine was not made 
earlier in China than in the epoch of the Yuan. Moil Sen of the T'ang 
says advisedly that grapes can be fermented into wine, and the recipe 
of the Sung does not allude to distillation. 

In the eighteenth century European wine also reached China. A 
chest of grape-wine figures among the presents made to the Emperor 
K'aA-hi on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday in 1715 by the Jesuits 
Bernard Kilian Stumpf , Joseph Suarez, Joachim Bouvet, and Domini- 
ons Parrenin.* 

P. Osbeck, 4 the pupil of Linnl, has the following notice on the 
importation of European wine into China: "The Chinese wine, which 
our East India traders call Mandarin wine, is squeezed out of a fruit 
which is here called Pausio,* and reckoned the same with our grapes. 

1 Cf. Bretschneidbr, Bot. Sin., pt. II, p. 155; J. Dudgeon, The Beverages of 
the Chinese, pp. 19-20; Eduns, China Review, Vol. VI, p. 211. The process of 
distillation is described by H. B. Gruppy, Sarnshu-Brewing in North China {Journal 
China Branch Roy. As. Soe. 9 Vol XVIII, 1884, pp. 163-164). 

* B. O. v. Lippmann, Abhandlungen, Vol. II, pp. 206-309; cf. also my remarks 
in American Anthropologist, I9'7. P» 75- 

9 Cf. Wan Sou Sen Hen f| # £ Jl, Ch. 56, p. 12. 

4 A Voyage to China and the Bast Indies, Vol. I, p. 315 (London, 1771). 

9 Apparently a bad or misprinted reproduction of p % n-Vao. 

The Grape-Vine 939 

This wine was so disagreeable to us, that none of us would drink it. 
The East India ships never fail taking wine to China, where they often 
seQ it to considerable advantage. The Xeres (sherry) wine, for which 
at Cadiz we paid thirteen piastres an anchor, we sold here at thirty- 
three piastres an anchor. But in this case you stand a chance of having 
your tons split by the heat during the voyage. I have since been told, 
that in 1754, the price of wine was so much lowered at Canton, that 
our people could with difficulty reimburse themselves. The Spaniards 
send wines to Manilla and Macao, whence the Chinese fetch a con- 
siderable quantity, especially for the court of Peking. The wine of 
Xeres is more agreeable here than any other sort, on account of its 
strength, and because it is not liable to change by heat. The Chinese 
are very te mp erate in regard to wine, and many dare not empty a single 
glass, at least not at once. Some, however, have learned from foreigners 
to exceed the limits of temperance, especially when they drink with 
them at free cost." 

Grape-wine is attributed by the Chinese to the Arabs. 1 The 
Arabs cultivated the vine and made wine in the pre-Islamic epoch. 
Good information on this subject is given by G. Jacob. 1 

Theophrastus* states that in India only the mountain-country has 
the vine and the olive. Apparently he hints at a wild vine, as does also 
Strabo, 4 who says after Aristobulus that in the country of Musicanus 
(Sindh) there grows spontaneously grain resembling wheat, and a vine 
producing wine, whereas other authors affirm that there is no wine in 
India* Again, he states 9 that on the mountain Meron near the city 
Nysa, founded by Baophus, there grows a vine which does not ripen 
its fruit; for, in consequence of excessive rains, the grapes drop before 
arriving at maturity. They say also that the Sydracae or Oxydracae 
are descendants of Bacchus, because the vine grows in their country. 
The dement -dracae (drakat) is probably connected with Sanskrit 
drak& ("grape"). These data of the ancients are vague, and do not 
prove at all that the grape-vine has been cultivated in India from time 
immemorial, as inferred by Joret. 9 Geographically they only refer to 
the regions bordering on Iran. The ancient Chinese knew only of grapes 
in Kashmir (above, p. 222). The Wei iu 1 states that grapes were ex- 

1 Hitch, Chao Ju-kua, pp. 115, 121. 

* Altaxabisches Bedtunenlebea, 2d ed., pp. 96*109. 
» Hist, plant., IV. nr, 11. 

*xv, 22. 
•XV. 1,8. 

• Hastes dans l'antiqmt6, VoL II, p. 280. 
T Ol 102, p. 8. 


ported from Pa-lai fft 81 (*Bwat-lai) in southern India. HQan Tsafi 1 
enumerates grapes together with pears, crab-apples, peaches, and 
apricots/ as the fruits which, from Kashmir on, are planted here and 
there in India. The grape, accordingly, was by no means common in 
India in his time (seventh century). 

The grape is not mentioned in Vedic literature, and Sanskrit drdk$& 
I regard with Spiegel' as a loan-word. Viticulture never was extensive 
or of any importance in Indian agriculture. Prior to the Moham- 
medan conquest, we have little precise knowledge of the cultivation of 
the vine, which was much fostered by Akbar. In modern times it is 
only in TCaaknAr that it has been received with some measure of 

Huan Tsafi 4 states that there are several brands of alcoholic and 
non-alcoholic beverages in India, differing according to the castes. 
The Ksatriya indulge in grape and sugar-cane wine. The Vaigya take 
rich wines fermented with yeast. The Buddhists and Brahmans partake 
of a syrup of grapes or sugar-cane, which does not share the nature 
of any wine.' In Jataka No. 183, grape-juice (muddik&p&nam) of in- 
toxicating properties is mentioned. 

Huan Yin 6 gives three Sanskrit words for various kinds of wine: — 
(1) $A su-lo, *su$-la, Sanskrit surd, explained as rice-wine 

1 Ta Tah siyUki t Ch. 2, p. 8. 

* Not almond-tree, as erroneo us ly translated by Juustr (Memoires, VoL I, 
p. 92). Regarding peach and apricot, see below, p. 539. 

1 Arische Periode, p. 41. 

4 Ta Ta* si yH **, Ch. 2, p. 8 b. 

9 S. Juubn (Memoires, VoL I, p. 93) translates wrongly, "qui different tout a 
fait du vin distflleV' Distilled wine was then unknown both to the Chinese and in 
India, and the term is not in the text. "Distillation of wines" is surely not spoken 
of intheCukraiiiti t asconcdvedbyB. KSA&B^LR(TheSukraniti,p. 157; and Hindu 
Sociology, p. 166). 

• Yi Is'ie ft* yin i, Ch. 24, P- 8 b. 

7 This definition is of some importance, for in Bobhtungk's Sanskrit Dictionary 
the word is explained as meaning "a kind of beer in ancient times, subsequently, 
however, in most cases brandy," which is certainly wrong. Thus also O. Schkadbr's 
speculation (Sprachvergleichung, Vol. II, p. 256), connecting Finno-Ugrian sora, 
sur, etc ("beer") with this word, necessarily falls to the ground. Macdonkll and 
Keith (Vedic Index, VoL II, p. 458) admit that "the exact nature of surd is not 
certain, it may have been a strong spirit prepared from fermented grains and plants, 
as Eggeling holds, or, as Whitney thought, a kind of beer or ale." It follows also 
from Jataka No. 512 that surd was prepared from rice. In Cosmas' Christian 
Topography (p. 362, ed. of Halduyt Society) we have Aotxo*o*>* ("coconut- 
wine"); here sura means "wine," while the first element may be connected with 
Arabic ranej or ranj ("coco-nut"). 

The Gkape-Vine 241 

(2) 2 K 9B mi-U-ye, *mei-li(ri)-ya, answering to Sanskrit tnaireya, 
explained as a wine mixed from roots, stems, flowers, and leaves. 1 

(3) M K5 mo-fo, *mwaft-do, Sanskrit madku, explained as "grape- 
wine" (p'u-Vao tsiu). The latter word, as is well known, is connected 
with Avestan ma9a (Middle Persian moi, New Persian met), Greek 
pith, Latin Umetum. Knowledge of grape-wine was conveyed to India 
from the West, as we see from the Periplus and Tamil poems alluding 
to the importation of Yavana (Greek) wines,* In the Raghuvaxn$a 
(iv, 65), madku doubtless refers to grape-wine; for King Raghu van- 
quished the Yavana, and his soldiers relieve their fatigue by enjoying 
madku in the vine regions of the Yavana country. 

According to W. Ainslie,* the French at Pondicherry, in spite of the 
great heat of the Carnatic, are particularly successful in cultivating 
grapes; but no wine is made in India, nor is the fruit dried into raisins 
as in Europe and Persia. The Arabians and Persians, particularly the 
latter, though they are forbidden wine by the Koran, bestow much 
pains on the cultivation of the grape, and suppose that the different 
lands possess distinguishing medicinal qualities. Wine is brought to 
India from Persia, where, according to Tavernier (1605-89), three 
sorts are made: that of Yezd, being very delicate; the Ispahan produce, 
being not so good; and the Shiraz, being the best, rich, sweet, and 
generous, and being obtained from the small grapes called kiSmii, 
which are sent for sale to Hindustan when dried into raisins. 4 There 
are two brands of Shiraz wine, a red and a white, both of which are 
excellent, and find a ready market in India. Not less than four thou- 
sand tuns of Shiraz wine is said to be annually sent from Persia to 
different pafts of the world.* The greatest quantity is produced in the 
district of Korbal, near the village of Bend Emir. 6 In regard to Assam, 

1 Compare above (p. 222) the jwine of the Yue-ci. According to Bobhtlingk, 
ireya is an intoxicating drink prepared from sugar and other substances. 

1 V. A Smith, Barly History of India, p. 444 (3d ed.). 

* Materia Indica, Vol. I, p. 157. 

4 Compare above, p. 231. 

1 " Wines too, of every clime and hue, 

Around their liquid lustre threw; 
Amber Rosolli, — the bright dew 
Prom vineyards of the Green-Sea gushing; 
And Shiraz wine, that richly ran 

As if that jewel, large and rare, 
The ruby, for which Kublai-Khan 
Offer'd a city's wealth, was blushing 

Melted within the goblets there!" 

Thomas Moore, Lalla Rookh. 

• Annus, /.&, p. 473. 

*4* Sino-Iranica 

Ta vernier 1 states that there are quantities of vines and good grapes, 
but no wine, the grapes being merely dried to distil spirits from. Wild 
vine grows in upper Siam and on the Malay Peninsula, and is said to 
furnish a rather good wine. 1 

A wine-yielding plant of Central Asia is described in the Ku kin Su 
-& 4* fife* by Ts'ui Pao ffifJ of the fourth century, as follows: "The 
tsiu-pei-Ven S If M ("wine-cup creeper'') has its habitat in the West- 
ern Regions (Si-yu). The creeper is as large as an arm; its leaves are 
like those of the ko M (Pachyrhisus thunbergianus, a wild-growing 
creeper); flowers and fruits resemble those of the wu~Vuh (Sterculia 
platanifolia), and are hard; wine can be pressed out of them. The 
fruits are as large as a finger and in taste somewhat similar to tibetou4t % ou 
S H (Alpinia globosum); their fragrance is fine, and they help to digest 
wine. In order to secure wine, the natives get beneath the creepers, 
pluck the flowers, press the wine out, eat the fruit for digestion, and 
become intoxicated. The people of those countries esteem this wine, 
but it is not sent to China. Can KHen obtained it when he left Ta-ytian 
(Fergana). This affair is contained in the Can ICien Vu kwan li 3ft X 
ffl H & ('Memoirs of Can K'ien's Journey 1 )*" 4 This account is re- 
stricted to the Ku kin fu 9 and is not confirmed by any other book. Li 
Si-Sen's work is the only Pen ts'ao which has adopted this text in an 
abridged form. 1 Accordingly the plant itself has never been introduced 
into China; and this fact is sufficient to discard the possibility of an 
introduction by Can KHen. If he had done so, the plant would have 
been disseminated over China and mentioned in the various early 
Pen ts*ao; it would have been traced and identified by our botanists. 
Possibly the plant spoken of is a wild vine, possibly another genus. 
The description, though by no means dear in detail, is too specific to 
be regarded as a mystification. 

The history of the grape-vine in China has a decidedly method- 
ological value. We know exactly the date of the introduction and 


1 Travels in India, VoL II, p. 282. 

1 Dilock Peinz von Siam, Landwirtschaft in Siam, p. 167. 

• Ch. c, p. 2 b. The text has been adopted by the Sa po wu H (Ch. 5, p. 2 b) ' 
and in a much abbreviated form by the Yu yon tsa tsu (Ch. 18, p. 6 b). It is not in 

the Pen ts'ao hah mu, but in the Pen ts'ao hah mu H i (Ch. 8, p. 27). ! 

4 Hieth (Journal Am. Or. Soe. t VoL XXXVII, 1917, p. 91) states that this 
work is mentioned in the catalogue of the library of the Stti dynasty, but not in the | 

later dynastic catalogues. We do not know when and by whom this alleged book I 

was written; it may have been an historical romance. Surely it was not produced 1 

by Can K*ien himself. 

* See also Tu Su tri Ven, XX, Ch. 112, where no other text on the subject is 

The Grape- Vine 243 

the circumstances which accompanied this important event. We have 
likewise ascertained that the art of making grape-wine was not learned 
by the Chinese before a j>. 640. There are in China several species of 
wild vine which bear no relation to the imported cultivated species. 
Were we left without the records of the Chinese, a botanist of the 
type of Engler would correlate the cultivated with the wild forms and 
assure us that the Chinese are original and independent viticulturists. 
In fact, he has stated 1 that Vitis thunbergii, a wild vine occurring in 
Japan, Korea, and China, seems to have a share in the development of 
Japanese varieties of vine, and that Vitis filifolia of North China seems 
to have influenced Chinese and Japanese vines. Nothing of the kind 
can be inferred from Chinese records, or has ever been established by 
direct observation. The fact of the introduction of the cultivated grape 
into China is wholly unknown to Engler. The botanical notes appended 
by him to Hehn's history of the grape* have nothing whatever to do 
with the history of the cultivated species, but refer exclusively to wild 
forms. It is not botany, but historical research, that is able to solve the 
problems connected with the history of our cultivated plants. 

Dr. T. Tanaka of the Bureau of Plant Industry, U. S. Department 
of Agriculture, Washington, has been good enough to contribute the 
following notes on the history of the grape-vine in Japan: — 

"The early history of the cultivation of the grape-vine (Vitis 
winifera) in Japan is very obscure. Most of the early Japanese medical 
and botanical works refer to budo V) 9 (Chinese p % u-4 % ao) as ebi, the 
name occurring in the Kojiki (compiled in a.d. 712, first printed in 
1644) as yebikadzura* which is identified by J. Matsttmuka 4 as Vitis 
winifera. It seems quite incomprehensible that the grape-vine, which 
is now found only in cultivated form, should have occurred during the 
mythological period as early as 660 B.C. The Honzo-wamyo 4c V 
41 45 (compiled during the period 897-930, first printed 1796) mentions 
d-ebi-kadsura as vine-grape, distinguishing it from ordinary ebi-kadzura f 
but the former is no longer in common use in distinction from the latter. 
The gbi-dsuru which should correctly be termed inu-ebi (false ebi 
plant), as suggested by Ono Ranzan,* is widely applied in Japan for 
S £ (Chinese yin~y&), and is usually identified as Vitis thunbergii, 

'Efifittterungen sa den Nutspflanzen der gem&smgten Zonen, p. 30. 

* Knftnrpflanfffi, pp. 85-91. 

• B. H. Chambbklain, Ko-ji-ki, p. zxznr. 

4 Belameal Mogamne, Tokyo, Vol. VII, 1893, p. 139. 
*Hewd kdmcku keimd, ed. 1847, Ch. 39, p. 3. 

244 Sino-Ieanica 

but is an entirely different plant, with small, deeply-lobed leaves, 
copiously villose beneath. Ebi-kadstura is mentioned again in the 
Wamyo-ruijuid %Q £k IS IK §► (compiled during the period 923-931, 
first edited in 1617), which gives buio as the fruit of Hkwatsu or ViUs 
coignetiae 1 , as growing wild in northern Japan. 

"These three plants are apparently mixed up in early Japanese 
literature, as pointed out by Arai KimiyoSL 1 Describing budo as a food 
plant, the Hanld Sokukan ^ 18 it JK* mentions that the fruit was not 
greatly appreciated in ancient times; for this reason no mention was 
made of it in the Imperial chronicles, nor has any appropriate Japanese 
term been coined to designate the vine-grape proper. 

"In the principal vine-grape district of Japan, YasnanaSi-ken 
(previously called Kai Province), were found a few old records, an 
account of which is given in Viscount Y. Fukuba's excellent discourse 
on Pomology. 4 An article on the same subject was published by J. 
Daut&emer.* This relates to a tradition regarding the accidental dis- 
covery by a villager, Amenomiya Kageyu (not two persons), of the vine- 
grape in 1186 (Dautremer erroneously makes it 1195) at the mountain 
of Kamiiwasaki Jt J9 •&, not far from Kofu V Jtf. Its cultivation must 
have followed soon afterward, for in 1197 a few choice fruits were 
presented to the Sogun Yoritomo (1x47-99). At the time of Takeda 
Harunobu (1521-73) a sword was presented to the Amenomiya family 
as a reward for excellent fruits which they presented to the Lord 
Viscount Pukuba saw the original document relative to the official 
presentation of the sword, and bearing the date 1549." The descendants 
of this historical grape-vine are still thriving in the same locality around 
the original grove, widely recognized among horticulturists as a true 
Vitis vinifera. According to a later publication of Pukuba, 7 there is 
but one variety of it. Several introductions of Vitis vinifera took place 
in the early Meiji period (beginning 1868) from Europe and America. 

"The following species of Vitis are mentioned in Umemura's work 
Inos'okukwai-no-s'okubutsu-sH tfc it 9» ;& IB 4fe f£* as being edible: 

1 MATSUifUftA, Shokubutsu Mei-i, p. 380. 

1 Tdga )K % (completed in 1719), ed. 1906, p. 272. 

1 Ch. 4, p. 50 (ed. of 1698). 

4 Kwaju engei~ron jft J£ BB ft It. privately published in 1892. 

* Situation de la vigne dans l'empire du Japon, Transactions Asiatic Society of 
Japan, Vol. XIV, 1886, pp. 176-185. 

8 Pukuba, op, cit., pp. 461-462. 

7 Kwaju saibaijenio Jft Hf |fc J# Jfe £, Vol. IV, 1896, pp. 119-120. 

• Vol. 4, 1906. 

The Grape-Vine 245 

" Yama-budO (Vitis coignetiae): fruit eaten raw and used for wine; 
leaves substituted for tobacco. 

"fcEM-dzuru (V. thunbergii): fruit eaten raw, leaves cleaned and 
cooked; worm inside the cane baked and eaten by children as remedy 
for convulsions. 

"Sankaku-dzuru (V.flexuosa): fruit eaten raw. 

"Ama-dzuru j(V. saccharifera): fruit eaten raw; children are very 
fend of eating the leaves, as they contain sugar. 9 ' 


3. Pistacia is a genus of trees or shrubs of the family Anacardiaceae, 
containing some six species, natives of Iran and western Asia, and also 
transplanted to the Mediterranean region. At least three species 
(Pistacia vera, P. terebinthus, and P. acuminata) are natives of Persia, 
and from ancient times have occupied a prominent place in the life of the 
Iranians. Pistachio-nuts are still exported in large quantities from 
Afghanistan to India, where they form a common article of food among 
the well-to-do classes. The species found in Afghanistan and Baluchis- 
tan do not cross the Indian frontier. 1 The pistachio {Pistacia vera) in 
particular is indigenous to ancient Sogdiana and Khorasan,* and still 
is a tree of great importance in Russian Turkistan.* 

When Alexander crossed the mountains into Bactriana, the road 
was bare of vegetation save a few trees of the bushy terminthus or 
terebinthus. 4 On the basis of the information furnished by Alexander's 
scientific staff, the tree is mentioned by Theophrastus* as growing in 
the country of the Bactrians; the nuts resembling almonds in size 
and shape, but surpassing them in taste and sweetness, wherefore the 
people of the country use them in preference to almonds. Nicandrus 
of Colophon 9 (third century B.C.), who calls the fruit farajuow or ^m-toor, 
a word derived from an Iranian language (see below), says that it grows 
in the valley of the Xoaspes in Susiana. Posidonius, Dioscorides, Pliny, 
and Galenus know it also in Syria. Vitellius introduced the tree into 
Italy; and Flaccus Pompeius, who served with him, introduced it at 
the same time into Spain. 7 

The youths of the Persians were taught to endure heat, cold, and 
rain; to cross torrents and to keep their armor and clothes dry; to 
pasture animals, to watch all night in the open air, and to subsist on 
wild fruit, as terebinths (Pistacia terebinthus), acorns, and wild pears.' 

1 Watt, Dictionary of the Economic Products of India, VoL VI, p. 268. 

• Jorbt, Plantes dans l'antiquitl, Vol. II, pp. 47, 76. 

• S. KobJEinski, Vegetation of Turkistan (in Russian), pp. 20, ai. 
4 Strata, XV. n, 10. 

• Hist, plant, IV. iv, 7- 

•Theriaka, 890. 

7 Pliny, xv, 22, foi. A. m Candollb (Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 316) 
traces Pistacia vera only to Syria, without mentioning its occurrence in Persia, 

9 Strata, XV. m, 18. 


The Pistachio 947 

The Persians appeared to the ancients as terebinth-eaters, and this 
title seems to have developed into a sort of nickname: when Astyages, 
King of the Medians, seated on his throne, looked on the defeat of his 
men through the army of Cyrus, he exclaimed, "Woe, how brave are 
these terebinth-eating Persians I" 1 According to Polyaenus,* terebinth- 
oil was among the articles to be furnished daily for the table of the 
Persian kings. In the BQndahiSn, the pistachio-nut is mentioned to- 
gether with other fruits the inside of which is fit to eat, but not the 
outside.* "The fruits of the country are dates, pistachios, and apples 
of Paradise, with other of the like not found in our cold climate." 4 

Twan C'eA-S S Jfc A, in his Yu yah isa tsu B It fi, written 
about a.d. 860 and containing a great amount of useful information 
on the plants of Persia and Fu-lin, has the following: — 

"The hazel-nut (Corylus heterophylla) of the Hu (Iranians), styled 
Qrjiie H ft , grows in the countries of the West.* According to the 
statement of the barbarians, a-yile is identical with the hazel-nuts 
of the Hu. In the first year the tree bears hazel-nuts, in the second 
year it bears a-yile"* 

C v en Ts'aA-k'i Ml JR S, who in the K'ai-yuan period (a.d. 713-741) 
wrote the Materia Medica Pen ts'ao & * 4£ 3£ ft ft, states that "the 
fruits of the plant a-yileAiun H H # are warm and acrid of flavor, 
non-poisonous, cure catarrh of the bowels, remove cold feeling, and 
make people stout and robust, that they grow in the western countries, 
the barbarians saying that they are identical with the hazel-nut of the 
Hu tt Mk *?. During the first year the tree bears hazel-nuts, in the 
second year it bears a*yile-hun" 

Li Sun 2p *S}, in his Hai yao pen is*ao ft 9§ ;$ V (second half of the 
eighth century), states, "According to the Nan lou ki Hi Wt IS by 
Su Piao f$ $L* the Nameless Tree (wu min mst & £s >ft) grows in the 
mountainous valleys of Lifi -nan (Kwaft-t\iA). Its fruits resemble in appear- 
ance the hazel-nut, and are styled Nameless Fruits (wu min tse M %x 

• Ntcolaus of Damaskus (first century B.C.), cited by Hbhn, Kulturpflanxen, 

1 Strategica, IV. m, 3a. 

1 These fruits are walnut, almond, pomegranate, coconut, filbert, and chestnut. 
See Wsst, Pahlavi Texts, Vol. I, p. 103. 

4 Masco Polo, Yale's edition, Vol. I, p. 97. 

• The editions of the Yu yah tsa tsu write 5 Hi "in the gardens of the West"; 
bat the 7"* lu tsi Veh (section botany, Ch. 311) and Ci wu min H Vu k'ac, in repro- 
dadng this text, offer the reading 9 H> which seems to me preferable. 

• Yu yah tsa tsu fft ft. Ch. 10, p. 3 b (ed. of Tsin tai pi su). 

1 This work is quoted in the TsH mm yao fu, written by Kia Se-niu under the 
Hon Wei dynasty (aj>. 386-534). 


•?). Persians tt If 9E designate them a-ytte-hun fruits," 1 For the same 
period we have the testimony of the Arabic merchant Soleiman, who 
wrote in ajd. 851, to the effect that pistachios grow in China. 2 

As shown by the two forms, a-yUe of the Yu yan tsa tsu and o-ytie-hun 
of the Pen is'ao H i and Hat yao pen ts'ao, the fuller form must repre- 
sent a compound consisting of the elements a-y&e and hun. In order to 
understand the transcription a-yiU y consideration of the following facts 
is necessary. 

The Old-Iranian word for the walnut has not been handed down to 
us, but there is good evidence to prompt the conclusion that it must 
have beeh of the type *agOza or *a&gOza. On the one hand, we have 
Armenian engoiz, Ossetic (LngoztL or ftfg&s, and Hebrew egos; 9 on the 
other hand, we meet in Yidgha, a Hindu-Kush language, the form 
ogiiso, as compared with New Persian kbz and gozS The signification 
of this word is "nut" in general, and "walnut" in particular. Further, 
there is in Sanskrit the Iranian loan-word Skhdfa, ak$6\a y or akfdfa, 
which must have been borrowed at an early date, as, in the last-named 
form, the word occurs twice in the Bower Manuscript. 9 It has survived 
in Hindustani as axrbt or akrot. The actual existence of an East- 
Iranian form with the ancient initial a- is guaranteed by the Chinese 
transcription o-yile; for a-yile W ft answers to an ancient *a-nwie8 
(fiw / e5) or *a-gwie8, a-gwu5; 6 and this, in my opinion, is intended to 
represent the Iranian word for "nut" with initial a-, mentioned above; 
that is, *angwlz, afigwOz, agOz. 

Chinese hun » answers to an ancient *?wun or won. In regard 

to this Iranian word, the following information may be helpful. B. 


1 If it is correct that the transcription a-ytie-hun was already contained in the 
Nan lou hi (which it is impossible to prove, as we do not possess the text of this 
work), the transcription must have been based on an original prototype of early 
fta«*"frM» times or on an early Middle-Persian form. This, in fact, is confirmed by 
the very character of the Smo-Iranian word, which has preserved the initial a-, 
while this one became lost in New Persian. It may hence be inferred that Li Sun's 
information is correct, and that the transcription a-ytU-hun may really have been 
contained in the Nan lou ki f and would accordingly be pre-T'an. 

* M. Reinaud, Relation des voyages faits par les Arabes et les Persons dans 
l'lnde et a la Chine, Vol. I, p. 22. 

'Whether Georgian nigoti and the local name Nlyovfa of Ptolemy (W. 
Tomaschbk, Pamirdialekte, Sitzber. Wiener Akod., 1880, p. 790) belong here, I do 
not feel certain. Cf . HGbschmann, Armenische Grammatik, p. 393. 

4 In regard to the elision of initial a in New Persian, see HGbschmann, Persische 
Studien, p. 120. 

f Hobenle's edition, pp. 32, 90, 121. 

4 Regarding the phonetic value of ft , see the detailed study of Pblliot (Bull, 
de VEcole franfaise, VoL V, p. 443) and the writer's Language of the Yue-chi or 

The Pistachio 249 

Kaeicpfek 1 speaks of Terebinihus or Pisiacea sylvestris in Persia thus: 
"Ea Pistaceae hortensi, quam Theophrastus Therebinthum Indicam 
vocat, turn magnitudine, turn totius ac partium figuri persimilis est, 
nisi quod flosculos ferat fragrantiores, nuces vero praeparvas, insipidas; 
unde a descriptione botanica abstinemus. Copiosa crescit in recessibus 
montium brumalis genii, petrosis ac desertis, circa Schamachiam Mediae, 
Schirasum Persidis, in Luristano et Larensi tenitoriis. Mihi nullibi 
conspecta est copiosior quam in petroso monte circa Majin, pagum 
celehrem, unA diaeta dissitum Sjirasd: in quo mihi duplicis varietatis 
indicarunt arborem; unam vulgariorem, quae generis sui retineat 
appellationem Diracht [diraxt, 'tree'] Ben seu Wen; alteram rariorem, 
in specie Kasudaan [kasu-dan], vel, ut rustici pronunciant, Kasudbi 
(tetany quae a priori fructuum rubedine diff erat." Roediger and Pott 1 
have added to this ben or wen a Middle-Persian form ven ("wild pista- 
chio"). In the Persian Dictionary edited by St'eingass (p. 200) this 
word is given as ban or wan (also banak), with the translation "Persian 
turpentine seed.'" Vulless 4 writes it ban. Schummer* transcribes 
this word beneh. He identifies the tree with Pistacia acuminata and 
observes, "C'est l'arbre qui fournit en Perse un produit assez semblable 
a la tr6mentine, mais plutdt mou que liquide, vu qu'on 1'obtient par 
des dfooupures, dont le produit se rassemble durant les grandes chaleurs 
dans un creux fait en terre glaise au pied de Tarbre, de fagon & ce que la 
matitee s6cr€t6e perd tine grande partie de son huile essentielle avant 
d'etre enlev£e. Le mftme produit, obtenu & Kerman dans un outre, 
fixe* & l'arbre et enlevg aussitdt plein, 6tait & peu prhs aussi liquide que 
la t£r6benthine de Venise. ... La Pistacia acuminata est sauvage au 
Kordesthan persan et, d'aprds Buhse, aussi & Reshm, Damghan et 
Dereghum (province de Yezd) ; Haussknecht la vit aussi & Kuh Kiluye 
et dans le Luristan." 

The same word we meet also in Kurd dariben, dar-i-ben ("the tree 
ben"), and in all probability in Greek repkpivdot, older forms rkpiuvOot 
and rpljuBoi.* Finally Watt 7 gives a Baluft word ban, wan, wana, gwa, 

1 Amoenitatum exottcarum fasciculi V, p. 413 (Lemgoviae, 1712). 

* Zeiisekr. Kunde d. Merged., Vol. V, 1844, p. 64. 

1 This notion is also express ed by ban&stb (cf. bin&st, "turpentine"). 

4 Lexicon persico-latinum, Vol. I, p. 184. 

1 Tenninologie, p. 465. 

'The Greek ending, therefore, is -fa, not -vdot, as stated by Schkadbr (in 
Helm, Kfdtarpflanzen, 8th ed. t p. 221); * adheres to the stem: Ure-bin-$o%. 

'Commercial Products of India, p. 902; and Dictionary of the Economic 
Products of India, Vol. VI, p. 271. 

*5o Sino-Iranica 

gwan, pvana, for Pistacia mutica (or P. terebinthus, van mutica)\ this 
form comes nearest to the Chinese transcription. 

While a compound *agoz-van(vun), that is, "nut of pistachio/* as 
far as I know, has not yet been traced in Iranian directly, its existence 
follows from the Chinese record of the term. An analogy to this com- 
pound is presented by Kurd kisvan, kesv&n, kasu-van, kasu-van ("pista- 
chio" or "terebinthus-tree")* 1 

The Honzd kdmoku keimo (Ch. 25, fol. 24), written by Ono Ranzan 
4 s K M ill, first published in 1804, revised in 1847 by Igu& Bo£ # 
P 3 /£, his grandson, mentions the same plant H H # *?, which 
reads in Japanese agetsu-konM. He gives also in Kana the names 
fusudasiu or fusudasu.* He states, "The plant is not known in Japan 
to grow wild. It used to come from foreign countries, but not so at 
present. A book called Zokydhi furoku ft ft A K Vk mentions this 
plant, stating that agetsu-konH is the fruit of the tree Va tnu M ^C 
(in Japanese sakuboku)" 1 

*A. J aba, Dictionnaire kurde-francais, p. 333. Cf. above the hasu-dan of 

* These terms are also given by the eminent Japanese botanist Matsumura 
in his Shokubutsu mei-i (No. 2386), accompanied by the identification Pistacia 

1 This tradition is indeed traceable to an ancient Chinese record, which win be 
found in the Cen lei pen ts'ao of 1 108 (Ch. ia, p. 55, ed. of 1583). Here the question 
is of the bark of the san or Va tree fl| >fC BL* mentioned as early as the sixth century 
in the Kwan ft 0f ]& of Kwo Yi-kun as growing in wild country of K wan-nan 
flf Iff (the present province of K wan-tun and part of Kwan-si), and described in a 
commentary of the Eryaas resembling the mulberry-tree. This, of course, is a wild 
tree indigenous to a certain region of southern China, but, as far as I know, not yet 
identified, presumably as the ancient name is now obsolete. The Nan Urn ki by 
Su Piao (see above) says that the fruits of this tree are styled wu mi* tse$& *6 *? 
f" nameless fruits' 1 ); hence the conclusion is offered by T'an Sen-wed, author of the 
Cen lei pen ts'ao, that this is the tree termed a-y&e-hun by the Persians (that is, a cul- 
tivated Pistacia). This inference is obviously erroneous, as the latter was introduced 
from Persia into China either under the T'ang or a few centuries earlier, while the 
san or Va tree pre-existed spontaneously in the Chinese flora. The only basis for this 
hazardous identification is given by the attribute "nameless." A solution of this 
problem is possible if we remember the fact that there is a wild Pistacia, Pistacia 
chinensis, indigenous to China, and if we identify with it the tree san or Va; then it 
is conceivable that the wild and the imported, cultivated species were correlated 
and combined under the same popular term wu min. Matsumura {pp. cit. t No. 
238a) calls P. chinensis in Japanese drcnju, adding the characters Jt Hi- The word 
lien refers in China to Melia asedarach.' The modern Chinese equivalent for P. 
chinensis is not known to me. The peculiar beauty of this tree, and the great age to 
which it lives, have attracted the attention of the indefatigable workers of our 
Department of Agriculture, who have already distributed thousands of young trees to 
parks throughout the country (see Yearbook of the U. S. Department of Agriculture 
1916, p. 140, Washington, 1917). In the English and Chinese Standard Dictionary, 
the word "pistachio" is rendered by/ri £, which, however, denotes a quite dif- 

Tax Pistachio 251 

G. A. Stuart 1 has identified a-yUe hun-tse* with Pistacia vera, and 
this is confirmed by Matsumuia. 

The Japanese name fusudasiu or fusudasu is doubtless connected 
with Persian pista y from Old Iranian *pistaka,^Iiddle Persian *pistak,' 
from which is derived Greek Purrhuop, (Pittojuop, tcuttoxiov or yf/urrajuop, 
Latin p$ittaciu*n, and our pistacia or pistachio. It is not known to me, 
howe v er, to what date the Japanese word goes back, or through what 
channels it was received. In all likelihood it is of modern origin, the 
introduction into Japan being due to Europeans. 

In Chinese literature, the Persian word appears in the Geography 

of the Ming Dynasty, 4 in the transcription [ki-] pi-se-tan [It] SAS, 

stated to be a product of Samarkand, the leaves of the tree resembling 

those of the San Va ill $ (Camellia oleifera), and its fruit that of the 

yin kin 9k ^fiF (Satisburia adiantifolia). 

The Persian word, further, occurs in the new edition of the Kwan yU 
fct, entitled Tseh tin kwan yU ki ft IT W 9± K. The original, the Kwan 
yU fct , was written by Lu Yin-yan fit ft lfc, 6 and published during the 
Wan-li period in 1600. The revised and enlarged edition was prepared 
by Ts'ai Fan-pin H # Jfi Qiao Kiu-hia % fft) in 1686; a reprint of 
this text was issued in 1 744 by the publishing-house Se-mei t'afi 19 US. 
Both this edition and the original are before me. The latter 9 mentions 
only three products under the heading "Samarkand"; namely, coral, 
amber, and ornamented cloth (hwa iui pul£i& JG). The new edition, 
however, has fifteen additional items, the first of these being [ki-] 
pi-se-i % an, written as above, 7 stated to be a tree growing in the region 
of Samarkand. "The leaves of the tree," it is said, "resemble those 
of the San Va (Cornelia oleifera); the fruits have the appearance of the 
nut-like seeds of the yin kin (Salisburia adiantifolia), but are smaller." 
The word pi-se-Van doubtless represents the transcription of Persian 

Cerent plant, — Torreya nucifera. A revival on the part of the Chinese, of the good, 
old terms of their own language, would be very desirable, not only in this case, but 
likewise in many others. 

1 Chinese Materia Medica, p. 334. 

* Wrongly transcribed by him o-ytieh-chan-tA. 

9 These reconstructions logically result from the phonetic history of Iranian, 
and are necessitated by the existence of the Greek loan-word. Cf ., further, Byzantine 
pusfux and fustox, Comanian pislac, and the forms given below (p. 252). Persian 
pista is identified with Pistacia vera by Schlimmer (Terminologie, p. 465). 

4 Ta Mi* i t n u* li, Ch. 89, p. 23. 

1 Wtlie, Notes on Chinese Literature, p. 59. 

• Ch. 24, p. 6 b. 

1 The addition of ki surely rests on an error (Schott also reads pi-se-t'an t which 
he presumably found in his text; see the following note). 

252 Sino-Iranica 

piston ("a place abounding with pistachio-nuts"). 1 Again, the Persian 
word in the transcription pi-se-ta i& JB # appears in the Pen is'ao 
hah tnu Si i % by Cao Hio-min, who states that the habitat of the plant 
is in the land of the Mohammedans, and refers to the work Yin Ian 
Sen yao* of 1331, ascribed by him to Hu-pi-lie fi 4$ 39!; that is, the 
Emperor Kubilai of the Yuan dynasty. We know, however, that this 
book was written in 1331 by Ho Se-hwi. 4 Not having access to this, 
I am unable to state whether it contains a reference to pi-se-ta, nor do 
I know whether the text of Cao Hio-min, as printed in the second 
edition of 1765, was thus contained in the first edition of his work, which 
was published in 1650. It would not be impossible that the tran- 
scription pi-se-ta, accurately corresponding to Persian pista, was 
made in the Mongol period; for it bears the ear-marks of the Yuan style 
of transcription. 

The Persian word pista (also pasta) has been widely disseminated: 
we find it in Kurd fystiq, Armenian fesdux and fstoiti, Arabic fistaq or 
fustaq, Osmanli fistiq,* and Russian fistaika. 

In the Yuan period the Chinese also made the acquaintance of 
mastic, the resinous product of Pistacia lentiscusS It is mentioned in 
the Yin San Zen yao 9 written in 1331, under its Arabic name mastaki, 
in the transcription W & & iSf ma-se-ta-ki. 1 Li 5i-Cen knew only the 
medical properties of the product, but confessed his ignorance regarding 
the nature of the plant; hence he placed his notice of it as an appendix 
to cummin (£*-&?). The Wu tsa tsu 3l H fi, written in 1610, says that 
mastaki is produced in Turkistan and resembles the tsiao III (Zanih- 
oxylum, the fruit yielding a pepper-like condiment); its odor is very 
strong; it takes the place there qf a condiment lite pepper, and is 
beneficial to digestion. 8 The Persian word for "mastic" is kundurak 
(from kundur, "incense"), besides the Arabic loan-word mastoid or 

1 As already recognized by W. Schott (Topographic der Producte des chines!- 
schen Retehes, Abh. BcrLAkad., 1842, p. 371), who made use only of the new edition. 

1 Ch. 8, p. 19; ed. of 1765 (see above, p. 229). 

* Cf . above, p. 236. 

4 BSBTSCHNBEDBR, Bot. Sin., pt. X, p. 2 1 3. 

* Hence Pegoletti's fistuchi (Yulb, Cathay, new ed. by Corwbr, VoL III, 
p. 167). 

* Greek <rx*"* (Herodotus, iv, 177). 

7 The Arabic word itself is derived from Greek jwffrCxv (from parrl?**, "to 
chew"), because the resin was used as a masticatory. Hence also Armenian nuu» 
tak'i. Spanish almdciga is derived from the Arabic, as indicated by the Arabic 
article ol, while the Spanish form mdsticis is based on Latin mastix. 

8 Quoted in the Pen ts'oo huh mu H i t Ch. 6, p. 12 b. The digestive property 
is already emphasfaed by Dioscorides (1, 90). 

Tax Pistachio 253 

mUsttfA. 1 The Persianized form is masdax; in Kurd it is mstekki. "On 
these mountains the Mastich Tree brings forth plenty of that gum, of 
which the country people make good profit. ... As for the Mastick 
Trees, they bore red berries, and if wounded would spew out the liquid 
resin from the branches; they are not very tall, of the bigness of our 
Bully Trees: Whether they bring forth a cod or not, this season would 
not inform me, nor can I say it agrees in all respects with the Lentisk 
Tree of Clusius."* The resin (mastic) occurs in small, irregular, yellowish 
tears, brittle, and of a vitreous fracture, but soft and ductile when 
chewed. Jt is used as a masticatory by people of high rank in India to 
preserve the teeth and sweeten the breath, and also in the preparation 
of a perfume. 8 It is still known in India as the "gum mastic of Rum." 4 
The case of the pistachio (and there are several others) is interesting 
in showing that the Chinese closely followed the development of Iranian 
speech, and in course of time replaced the Middle-Persian terms by the 
corresponding New-Persian words. 

1 Ac a uM D OW, Aba Mansur, pp. 137, 367. 

s John Fryzjl, New Account of Bast India and Persia, VoL II, p. 202 (Hakluyt 
Soc., 191a)* 

8 Watt, Commercial Products of India, p. 902. 

4 D. C Phuxott, Journal As. Soc. Bengal, VoL VI, 1910, p. Sx. 


4. The Buddhist dictionary Fan yi min yi tsi fll 91 4S ft ft, 
compiled by Fa Yun & S, 1 contains a Chinese-Sanskrit name for the 
walnut (hu Vao 01 4K, Juglans regia) in the transcription po-lo-ti 
• • W, which, as far as I know, has not yet been identified with its 
Sanskrit equivalent. 1 According to the laws established for the Buddhist 
transcriptions, this formation is to be restored to Sanskrit parasi, 
which I regard as the feminine form of the adjective parasa, meaning 
"Persian" (derived from Parsa, "Persia")* The walnut, accordingly, 
as expressed by this term, was regarded in India as a tree or fruit sus- 
pected of Persian provenience. The designation p&rasi for the walnut 
is not recorded in Boehtlingk's Sanskrit Dictionary, which, by the way, 
contains many other lacunes. The common Sanskrit word for "walnut" 
is akhota, akfdfa, ak$o$a f l which for a long time has been regarded as 
a loan-word received from Iranian. 4 

Pliny has invoked the Greek names bestowed on this fruit as testi- 
mony for the fact that it was originally introduced from Persia, the 

1 Ch. 24, p. 27 (edition of Nanking).— Bunyiu Nanjio (Catalogue of the 
Buddhist Tripitaka, No. 1640) sets the date of the work at 1151. Wylib (Notes on 
Chinese Literature, p. 210) and Brbtschnbedbr (Bot Sin., pt. 1, p. 94) say that it 
was completed in 1143. According to S. Julibn (M&hode, p. 13), it was compiled 
from 1 143 to 1 157. 

'Brbtschnbedbr (Study and Value of Chinese Botanical Works, Chines* 
Recorder, Vol. Ill, 1871, p. 222) has given the name after the Pen ts'ao kan mu, but 
has left it without explanation. 

•The last-named form occurs twice in the Bower Manuscript (Hobrnlb's 
edition, pp. 32, 90, 121). In Hindustani we have axrM or 6kr6U 

4 P. Spiegel, Arische Periode, p. 40. The fact that the ancient Iranian name for 
the walnut is still unknown does not allow us to explain the Sanskrit word satisfac- 
torily. Its relation to Hebrew eg tis, and Persian kfa t gdt (see below), is perspicuous. 
Among the Hindu-Kush languages, we meet in Yidgha the word oth&eoh (J. Biddulph, 
Tribes of the Hindoo Koosh, Appendices, p. clxvii), which appears as a missing 
link between Sanskrit on the one hand and the Semitic- Armenian forms on the other 
hand: hence we may conjecture that the ancient Iranian word was something like 
*agoza, angoza; and this supposition is fully confirmed by the Chinese transcription 
a-y&e (above, p. 248). Large walnuts of India are mentioned by the traveller C'an 
Te toward the middle of the thirteenth century (Brbtschnbider, Medieval 
Researches, Vol. I, p. 146). The walnuts of the province of Kusistan in Persia, which 
are much esteemed, are sent in great quantities to India (W. Ainslib, Materia 
Indica, Vol. I, p. 464). 


The Walnut 255 

best kinds being styled in Greek Persicutn and basUicon ,* and these being 
the actual names by which they first became known in Italy.* Pliny 
himself employs the name nuces iuglandes. Although Juglans regia is 
indigenous to the Mediterranean region, the Greeks seem to have 
received better varieties from anterior Asia, hence Greek names like 

copva w€pauc6. or ic&pva (ruwrud.* 

In fact, Juglans regia grows spontaneously in northern Persia and 
in Baluchistan; it has been found in the valleys of the Pskem and 
Ablatun at altitudes varying from 1000 to 1500 m. Another species 
{Juglans pterocarpa, "Juglans with winged fruits") is met in the prov- 
inces of Ghilan and Mazanderan and in the vicinity of Astrabad. 4 
A. Engler* states that the walnut occurs wild also in eastern Afghanis- 
tan at altitudes of from 2200 to 2800 m. Ibn Haukal extols the walnuts 
of Arraj&n, MuqaddasI those of Kirman, and Istaxrt those of the 
province of Jlruft.* 

In Fergana, Russian Turkistan, the walnut is cultivated in gardens; 
but the nuts offered for sale are usually derived from wild-growing trees 
which form complete forests in the mountains. 7 According to A. Stein, 8 
walnuts abound at Khptan. The same explorer found them at Yul-arik 
and neighboring villages. 9 

1 That is, "Persian nut" and "nut of the king," respectively, the king being 
the BasQeus of Persia. These two designations are also given by Dioscorides (1, 178). 

1 Et has e Perside regibus translates indicio sunt Graeca nomina: optimum 
quippe genus earum Persicum atque basilioon vocant, et haec fuere prima nomina 
{Nat. hist., xv, 22, f 87). 

* J. Hoops, Waldbaume und Kulturpflanzen, p. 553. The Romans transplanted 
the walnut into Gallia and Germania during the first centuries of our era. Numerous 
walnuts have been brought to light from the wells of the Saalburg, testifying to 
the favor in which they were held by the Romans. The cultivation of the tree is 
commended in Charles the Great's Capitulate de villi* and Garden Inventories. 
Its planting in Gaul is shown by the late Latin term nux gallica, Old French nois 
gauge* which survives in our "walnut" (German walnuss, Danish valndd, Old Norse 
volknot, Anglo-Saxon wealh-knutu); walk, wal f was the Germanic designation of the 
Celts (derived from the Celtic tribe Volcae), subsequently transferred to the Romanic 
peoples of Prance and Italy. 

4 C. Jorbt, Plantes dans l'antiquitt, Vol. II, p. 44. Joret (p. 92) states that the 
Persians cultivated nut-trees and consumed the nuts, both fresh and dried. The 
walnut is twice mentioned in the Bundahisn among the fruits serving as food, and 
among fruits the inside of which is fit to eat, but not the outside (West, Pahlavi 
Texts, Vol. I, pp. 101, 103; cf. also p. 275). 

* Erlauterungen zu den Nutspflanzen der gemassigten Zonen, p. 22. 

• P. Schwarz, Iran im Mittelalter, pp. 114, 218, 241. 

7 S. KoRiwsn, Sketches of the Flora of Turkistan, in Russian (Memoirs Imp. 
Ruts. Ac, 8th ser., Vol. IV, No. 4, pp. 39, 53). 

•Ancient Khotan, VoL I, p. 131. 
'Ruins of Desert Cathay, Vol. I, p. 152. 


256 Sino-Iranica 

The New-Persian name for the walnut is kdz and goz} According 
to HUbschmanNj this word comes from Armenian.* The Armenian word 
is bigoiz; in the same category belongs Hebrew egos,* Ossetic UngozU, 
Yidghal oyuza, Kurd egvtz, Gruzinian nigozi.* The Persian word we 
meet as a loan in Turkish koz and %oz. h 

The earliest designation in Chinese for the cultivated walnut is hu 
Vao tfi fo% ("peach of the Hu": Hu being a general term for peoples of 
Central Asia, particularly Iranians). As is set forth in the Introduction, 
the term hu ip prefixed to a large number of names of cultivated plants 
introduced from abroad. The later substitution hu or ho Vao @ttt 
signifies "peach containing a kernel," or "seed-peach," so called because, 
while resembling a peach when in the husk, only the kernel is eaten. 6 
In view of the wide dissemination of the Persian word, the question 
might be raised whether it would not be justifiable to recognize it also 
in the Chinese term hu Vao tfl t&, although, of course, in the first line it 
means "peach of the Hu (Iranians).' 9 There are a number of cases 
on record where Chinese designations of foreign products may simulta- 
neously convey a meaning and represent phonetic transcriptions. 
When we consider that the word hu (SB was formerly possessed of an 
initial guttural sonant, being sounded *gu (711) or *go, 7 the possibility 
that this word might have been chosen in imitation of, or with especial 
regard to, an Iranian form of the type goz, cannot be denied: the two- 
fold thought that this was the "peach styled go" and the "peach of the 
Go or Hu peoples' 9 may have been present simultaneously in the minds 
of those who formed the novel term; but this is merely an hypothesis, 
which cannot actually be proved, and to which no great importance is 
to be attached. 

1 Arabic joz; Middle Persian joz, joj. Kurd guts (ports), from go**, goz (Soon, 
Grundr. iran. Phil., Vol. I, pt. 2, p. 268). Sartqol! ghauz (Shaw, Journal As. Soc. 
Bengal, 1876, p. 267). Puftu «f As, vtaghz. Another Persian designation for "walnut" 
is girdU or girdg&n, 

* Grundr. iran. PhiL, Vol. I, pt. 2, p. 8; Armen. Gram., p. 393. 

* Canticle vx, xo. Cf. Syriac gauzd. 

4 W. Miller, Sprache der Osseten, p. 10; HObschmann, Arm. Gram., p. 393. 

1 Radloff, Worterbuch der Turk-Dialecte, Vol. II, col. 628, 1710. In Osmanli 

* The term ho Vao is of recent date. It occurs neither under the Tang nor 
under the Sung. It is employed in the Kwo su jfe $ft, a work on garden-fruits by 
Wan Si-mou 3£ ft fi£, who died in 1591, and in the Pen U*ao kan mu. The latter 
remarks that the word ho |$ is sounded in the north like hu {ft, and that the sub- 
stitution thus took place, citing a work Min urn H £ 4ft ife ** the first to apply 
this term. 

7 Compare Japanese go-ma ffi JfE and go-fun fifl ft. 

The Walnut 257 

There is a tradition to the effect that the walnut was introduced 
into China by General Can Ellen. 1 This attribution of the walnut to 
Can K'ien, however, is a purely retrospective thought, which is not 
contained in the contemporaneous documents of the Han Annals. There 
are, in fact, as we have seen, only two cultivated plants which can 
directly be credited to the mission of Cafi K'ien to the west, — the 
grape and the alfalfa. All others are ascribed to him in subsequent 
books. Bretschneider, in his long enumeration of Can-K'ien plants, 1 
has been somewhat uncritical in adopting the statements of such a 
recent work as the Pen ts'ao kah mu without even taking pains to ex- 
amine the sources there referred to. This subject requires a renewed 
critical investigation for each particular plant. As regards the walnut, 
Bretschneider was exposed to singular errors, which should be rectified, 
as they have passed into and still prominently figure in classical botani- 
cal and historical books of our time. According to Bretschneider, the 
walnut was brought from K'iang-hu 76 flR, and "Kiang" was at the 
time of the Han dynasty the name for Tibet. There is, of course, no % 
such geographical name as "KSaft-hu"; but we have here the two 
ethnical terms, "KHaft" and "Hu," joined into a compound. More- 
over, the K'iafi (anciently *Gia£i) of the Han period, while they may 
be regarded as the forefathers of the subsequent Tibetan tribes, did 
not inhabit the country which we now designate as Tibet; and the term 
"Hu" as a rule does not include Tibetans. What is said in this respect 
in the Pen ts'ao kah mu 1 is vague enough: it is a single sentence culled 
from the Tu kin pen ts'ao ■ ft # 3£ of Su Sufi IE &L (latter part of 
the eleventh century) of the Sung period, which reads, "The original 
habitat of this fruit was in the countries of the K'iafi and the Hu" 
(AX^iQIK fifl). Any conclusion like an introduction of the walnut 
from "Tibet" cannot be based on this statement. 

Bretschneider's first victim was the father of the science of historical 
and geographical botany, A. de Candolle, 4 who stated, referring to 
him as his authority, "Chinese authors say that the walnut was 
introduced among them from Tibet, under the Han dynasty, by Chang- 

1 The first to reveal this tradition from the Pen ts'ao ian mu was W. Schott 
(4M. Bert. Akad., 1842, p. 270). 

1 Chinese Recorder, 1871, pp. 221-223; and Bot. Sin., pt. 1, p. 25. Likewise 
Hirth, Vaunt Pao, Vol. VI, 1895, P* 439- Also Gilbs (Biographical Dictionary, p. 12) 
connects the walnut with Can 

• Ch. 30, p. 16. 

4 Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 427. 

258 Sino-Iranica 

kien, about the year 140-150 B.C." 1 In Hehn's "Kultu^pflanzen ,,, 
we still read in a postscript from the hand of the botanist A. Englek, 
"Whether the walnut occurs wild in North China may be doubted, as 
according to Bretschneider it is said to have been imported there from 
Tibet." As will be seen below, a wild-growing species of Juglans is 
indeed indigenous to North China. As to the alleged feat of CafL Kien, 
the above-mentioned Su Sufi, who lived during the Sung period in the 
latter part of the eleventh century, represents the source of this purely 
traditional opinion recorded by Bretschneider. Su Sufi, after the above 
statement, continues, "At the time of the Han, when Can K'ien was 
sent on his mission into the Western Regions, he first obtained the 
seeds of this fruit, which was then planted in Ts'in (Kan-su); at a later 
date it gradually spread to the eastern parts of our country; hence it 
was named hu Vao"* Su Sun's information is principally based on the 
Pen ts'ao of the Kia-yu period (1056-64) jR Jfk 9 BE ♦ 3£; this work 
was preceded by the Pen ts'ao of the K'ai-pao period (968-976) H II 
?£ 3£; and in the latter we meet the assertion that Caii K'ien should 
have brought the walnut along from the Western Regions, but cautiously 
preceded by an on dit (zC). 4 The oldest text to which I am able to trace 
this tradition is the Po wu Zi f£ 4Sf M of Cafi Hwa 3R Iff (aj>. 232-300).' 
The spurious character of this work is well known. The passage, at any 
rate, existed, and was accepted in the Sung period, for it is reproduced 
in the T'ai pHh yii Ian. 9 We even find it quoted in the Buddhist dic- 
tionary Yi ts'ie kin yin i — 91 ft H ft, 7 compiled by Yuan Yifi 56 tt 
about a.d. 649, so that this tradition must have been credited in the 

1 Besides Bretschneider'B article in the Chinese Recorder, de Candolle refers to 
a letter of his of Aug. 23, 1881, which shows that Bretschneider had not changed 
his view during that decade. Needless to add, that Can K'ien never was in Tibet, 
and that Tibet as a political unit did not exist in his time. Two distinct traditions 
are welded together in Bretschneider's statement. 

* Eighth edition (191 1), p. 400. 

* Cen lei pen ts'oo, Ch. 23, p. 45 (edition of 1521). G. A. Stuart (Chinese 
Materia Medica, p. 223) regards the "Tangut country about the Kukunor" as the 
locality of the tree pointed out in the Pen is*ao. 

4 The text of the K'ai-pao pen is % ao is not reproduced in the Pen ts'ao kan m«. 
but will be found in the Ci wu min H Vu k'ao, Ch. 17, p. 33. Tan Sen-wei If tR fflt 
in his Cen lei pen Is'ao (Ch. 23, p. 44 b), has reproduced the same text in his own 

5 3KS *»**75(orJg)»*Hlo« (Ch. 6, p. 4, of the Wu4'an 

•Ch. 971, p. 8. 

1 Ch. 6, p. 8 b (ed. of Nanking). In this text the pomegranate and grape are 
added to the walnut. In the same form, the text of the Pown^t is cited in the modern 
of the Ts'i nun yao su (Ch. 10, p. 4). 

The Walnut 259 


of the Tang dynasty. It is not impossible, however, that 
this text was actually written by Can Hwa himself, or at least that the 
tradition underlying it was formed during the fourth century; for, as 
will be seen, it is at that time that the walnut is first placed on record. 
Surely this legend is not older than that period, and this means that 
it sprang into existence five centuries after Can K'ien's lifetime. It 
should be called to mind that the Po wu U entertains rather fantastic 
notions of this hero, and permits him to cross the Western Sea and even 
to reach Ta TsSn. 1 It is, moreover, the Po wu U which also credits to 
Caft KHen the introduction of the pomegranate and of to or Aw swan 
^C (ffl);£E ovhuffc (Allium scorodoprasum).* Neither is this tradition 
contained in the texts of the Han period. The notion that Cafi KHen 
really introduced the walnut in the second century B.C. must be posi- 
tively rejected as being merely based on a retrospective and unauthentic 
account. 1 

The question now arises, Is there any truth in Su Sufi's allegation 
that the walnut was originally produced in the country of the K'ian? 
Or, in other words, are we entitled to assume the co-existence of two 
Chinese traditions, — first, that the walnut was introduced into China 
from the regions of the Hu (Iranians); and, second, that another intro- 
duction took place from the land of the K'ian, the forefathers of the 
Tibetans? 4 There is indeed an ancient text of the Tsin period from the 
first part of the fourth century, one of the earliest datable references 
to the walnut, in which its origin from the K'ian is formally admitted. 
This text is preserved in the T*ai pHn yU Ian as follows: — 

"The mother of Liu Tao H ©,* in her reply to the letter of Yfi 
ft , princess of the country of Wu j& H, said, 'In the period Hien-ho 
k% fR (a.d. 326-335, of the Tsin dynasty) I escaped from the rebellion 

1 Ch- 1, p. 3 b. 

* See below, p. 302. 

* The £an-KHen legend is also known in Korea (Korea Review, Vol. II, 1902, 

* The term k*ian Vao j& $& for the walnut is given, for instance, in the Hwa 
*** 3E w\ . "Mirror of Flowers" (Ch. 3, p. 49), written by C'en Hao-tse BR }§| 
^ in 1688. He gives as synonyme also wan swi to K %\ -J* ("fruits of ten thousand 
rears"). The term k'ian t % ao is cited also in the P'ei wen tai kwan k'Un fan p*u 
(Ch. 58, p. 24; regarding this work cf . Bretschnbidkr, Bot. Sin., pt. 1, p. 70), and in 
the P*an Man U K tff ife (Ch.15, p. 2 b; published in 1755 by order of KHen-lun). 

* The Tulutsi Ven and Kwan k'Un fan p'u (Ch. 58, p. 25) write this name Niu 
fft. The Ko H kin yuan (Ch. 76, p. 5), which ascribes this text to the Tsin Jfe, gives 

it as ft. The ran Sun pat k'un leu Vie M 5fc 6 ?L A K (Ch.99.P- ") has, "The 
mother of Liu T'ao of the Tsin dynasty said, in reply to a state document, 'walnuts 
were originally grown in the country of the Western K'ian.'" 

260 Sino-Ieanica 

of Su Tsun flc tt 1 into the Lin-fian mountains ft $ (It. The country 
of Wu sent a messenger with provisions, stating in the accompanying 
letter: 'These fruits are walnuts SB tff> and fei-ian M ft.* The latter 
come from southern China. The walnuts were originally grown abroad 
among the Western K'ian (SB tt^^S 76 ^H). Their exterior is hard, 
while the interior is soft and sweet. Owing to their durability I wish to 
present them to you as a gift/ "' It is worthy of note, that, while the 
walnut is said in this text to hail from the Western K'ian, the term 
hu Vao (not k % ian Vao) is employed; so that we may infer that the intro- 
duction of the fruit from the Hu preceded in time the introduction 
from the K*ian. It is manifest also that in this narrative the walnut 
appears as a novelty. . 

The Tibetan name of the walnut in general corresponds to a type 
tar-ka, as pronounced in Central Tibetan, written star-ka, star-ga, 
and dar-sga. 1 The last-named spelling is given in the Polyglot Dic- 
tionary of KHen-lun, 6 also in J&schke's Tibetan Dictionary. The element 
ka or ga is not the well-known suffix used in connection with nouns, 6 
but is an independent base with the meaning "walnut/ 9 as evidenced 
by Kanauii k& (" walnut "). T The various modes of writing lead to a 
restitution *tar, dar 9 d*ar (with aspirate sonant). This word is found 
also in an Iranian dialect of the Pamir: in Waxl the walnut is called 

1 He died in a.d. 528. His biography is in the Tsin Su, Ch. 100, p. 9. See also 
L. Wirgbr, Textes historiques, p. 1086. 

* Literally, "flying stalk of grain." Bretschneider and Stuart do not mention 
this plant. Dr. T. Tanalca, assistant in the Bureau of Plant Industry, Department 
of Agriculture, Washington, tells me timtfei-San is a synonyme of the fingered citrus 
(Ju Sou Man j£ ^ fff. Citrus chirocarpus). He found this statement in the Honed 
k&moku keimd (Ch. 26, p. 18, ed. 1847) by Ono Ranzan, who on his part quotes the 
run ya & ft by Fan ML 

•The rat p*i* ya Ian reads % JJt 5 ft J*t ♦ Jt The Tan Sun pai k'un 
leu Vie and the Tu Vu tsi Sen, however, have 5T£t]&Btt)C#^jr "their 
substance resembles the ancient sages, and I wish to present them/' — apparently a 
corruption of the text. 

4 W. W. RocKHnx (Diary of a Journey through Mongolia and Tibet, p. 340) 
gives taga as pronunciation in eastern Tibet J. D. Hooker (Himalayan Journals, 
p. 237) offers tago-Hu (Hu, "tree") as Bhutia name. 

6 Ch. 28, p. 55. 

• Schtbfnbr, M Manges asioHques, Vol. I, pp. 380-382. 

7 Given both by T. R. Joshi (Grammar and Dictionary of the Kanftwari Lan- 
guage, p. 80) and T. G. Bailby (Kanauri-English Vocabulary, Journal Royal As. 
Soc., 191 1, p. 332). Bailey adds to the word also the botanical term Juglans regia. 
The same author, further, gives a word gl as meaning "kernel of walnut; edible part 
of Pinus gerardiana"; while Joshi (p. 67) explains the same word as the "wild 
chestnut." Thus it seems that ge, ka, originally referred to an indigenous wild-grow- 
ing fruit, and subsequently was transferred to the cultivated walnut. 

The Walnut 261 

tor. 1 This apparently is a loan-word received from the Tibetan, for in 
Sariqcdl and other Pamir dialects we find the Iranian word ghoz.* 
Tarka is a genuine Tibetan word relating to the indigenous walnut, 
wild and cultivated, of Tibetan regions. In view of this state of affairs, 
it is certainly possible that the Chinese, in the beginning of the fourth 
century or somewhat earlier, received walnuts and their seeds also 
from Tibetan tribes, which resulted in the name K'iah Vao. The 
Lepcha of Sikkim are acquainted with the walnut, for which they have 
an indigenous term, kdLptit, and one of their villages is even called 
"Walnut-Tree Foundation" (Kdl-bafi). 1 

G. Watt 4 informs us that the walnut-tree occurs wild and cultivated 
in the temperate Himalaya and Western Tibet, from Kashmir and 
Nubia eastwards. W. Roxburgh* says about Juglans regia, "A native 
of the mountainous countries immediately to the north and north-east 
of Hindustan, on the plains of Bengal it grows pretty well, but is not 
fruitful there. 91 Another species of the same genus, /. plerococca Roxb., 
is indigenous in the vast forests which cover the hills to the north and 
east of the province of Silhet, the bark being employed for tanning, while 
/• regia is enlisted among the oil-yielding products. 9 J. D. Hooker 7 
is authority for the information that the walnut occurs wild in Sikkim, 
and is cultivated in Bhutan, where also Captain Turner 8 found it 
growing in abundance. Kirkpatrick* met it in Nepal. In Burma it 
grows in the Ava Hills. In the Shan states east of Ava grows another 
species of Juglans, with smaller, almost globose, quite smooth nuts, 
but nothing is known about the tree itself. 10 

The Tibetans certainly cultivate the walnut and appreciate it 

1 R. B. Shaw, On the Ghalchah Languages (Journal As. Soc. Bengal, 1876, 
p. S67), writes the word tor. A. Hujlbr (The languages Spoken in the Western 
Pamir, p. 36, Copenhagen, 1912) writes tar, explaining the letter a as a "dark deep a, 
as in the French pas.*' 

• W. Tomaschbk (Pamirdialekte, p. 790) has expressed the opinion that WaxI 
for, as he writes, is hardly related to Tibetan star-ga; this is not correct. 

8 G. Mainwamng, Dictionary of the Lepcha Language, p. 30. 

4 Dictionary of the Economic Products of India, Vol. IV, p. 550. 
s Flora Indica, p. 670. 

• N. G. Mukerji, Handbook of Indian Agriculture, p. 233. 

7 Himalayan Journals, p. 235; also Rislky, Gazetteer of Sikkim, p. 92 (compare 
Dakwin, Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, Vol. I, p. 445). 

• Account of an Embassy to the Court of the Teshoo Lama, p. 273. Also Edbn 
and Pkmbbrton (Political Missions to Bootan, p. 198, Calcutta, 1895) mention 
the walnut in Bhutan. 

9 Account of Nepaul, p. 81. 

w S. Kutt, Forest Flora of British Burma, Vol. II, p. 490 (Calcutta, 1877). 

262 Sino-Iranica 


much. The tree is found everywhere in eastern Tibet where horti- 
culture is possible, and among the Tibetan tribes settled on the soil 
of Se-£*wan Province. W. W. Rocxmix 1 even mentions that in the 
Ba-t'an region barley and walnuts are used in lieu of subsidiary coinage. 
Lieut.-Col. Waddell* makes two references to cultivated walnut-trees 
in Central Tibet. The Chinese authors mention "Tibetan walnuts" 
as products of the Lhasa district. 

While the Caft-K'ien tradition is devoid of historical value, and 
must be discarded as an historical fact, yet it is interesting from a 
psychological point of view; for it shows at least that, at the time when 
this fiction sprang into existence, the Chinese were under the impression 
that the walnut was not an indigenous tree, but imported from abroad. 
An autochthonous plant could not have been made the object of such a 
legend. A direct reference to the introduction of the cultivated walnut | 

with an exact date is not extant in Chinese records, but the fact of such 
an introduction cannot reasonably be called into doubt. It is supported 
not only by the terms hu Vao and k'ian Vao ("peach of the Hu," "peach 
of the K*ia£i"), but also by the circumstantial evidence that in times 
of antiquity, and even under the Han, no mention is made of the 
walnut. True it is, it is mentioned in the Kin kwei yao lio of the second 
century; but, as stated, this may be an interpolation. 4 Of all the data 
relating to this fruit, there is only one that may have a faint chance to 
be referred to the Han period, but even this possibility is very slight* 
In the Si kin tsa ki S Jft II IE* it is said that in the gardens of the 
Safi-lin Park Jb # 26 of the Han emperors there were walnuts which 
had come from the Western Regions or Central Asia. The Si kin tsa ki f 
however, is the work of Wu Kun j& %, who lived in the sixth century 
a.d.,* and cannot be regarded as a pure source for tracing the culture 
of the Han. It is not difficult to see how this tradition arose. When the 
San-lin Park was established, the high dignitaries of the empire were 
called upon to contribute famed fruits and extraordinary trees of distant 
lands. We know that after the conquest of Nan-yue in in B.C. the 
Emperor Wu ordered southern products, like oranges, areca-nuts, 


i Diary of a Journey through Mongolia and Tibet, p. 347. 

1 Lhasa and its Mysteries, pp. 507, 315. See also N. V. K0NB&, Description of 
Tibet (in Russian), Vol. I, pt. 2, p. 137. 

• Rockhill, Journal Royal As. Soc. t 1891, p. 273. 

4 Above, p. 205. Can Ki says or is made to say, "Walnuts must not be eaten in 
large quantity, for they rouse mucus and cause man to drink" (Ch. c, p. 27). 

• Ch. I, p. 6 (ed. of Han Wei is'un $u). 

• Wylib, Notes on Chinese literature, p. 189; and Chavannbs, Vaunt Pao, 

IOj06 t p. 102. 

The Walnut 263 

htn nan, /*-&, etc., to be brought to the capital C'afi-fian, and to be 
planted in the Fu-li Palace Jfe jS ?§f , founded in commemoration of the 
conquest of Nan-yue, whereupon many gardeners lost their lives when 
the crops of the li-ti proved a failure. 1 Several of his palaces were named 
for the fruits cultivated around them: thus there were a Grape-Palace 
and a Pear-Palace. Hence the thought that in this exposition of foreign 
fauits the walnut should not be wanting, easily impressed itself on the 
mind of a subsequent writer. Wu Kun may also have had knowledge 
of the Can-KHen tradition of the Po wu &°, and thus believed himself 
consistent in ascribing walnuts to the Han palaces. Despite his ana- 
chronism, it is interesting to note Wu Kun's opinion that the walnut 
came from Central Asia or Turkistan. 

It is not probable that the walnut was generally known in China 
earlier than the fourth century a.d., under the Eastern Tsin M 8 
dynasty (265-419).* In the Tsin kun ko mih fl % RB £, a description 
of the palaces of the Tsin emperors, written during that dynasty/ it is 
stated that there were eighty-four walnut-trees in the Hwa-lin Park 

1 The palace Pu-li was named for the li-H jj£ |£ (see Sanfu kwan ^HMX 
■, Ch. 3, p. 9b, ed. of Han Weits'unSu). 

1 BKBT9CHNBIDER (Bot. Sin., pt. I, p. 39) asserts that Juglans regia figures 
among the plants mentioned passingly in the Nan fan Is'ao mu bwan by Ki Han 
ff A\ a minister of state under the Emperor Hui jS of the Tsin dynasty 
(a_d. 290-506) . He does not give any particulars. There are only two allusions to the 
walnut, that I am able to trace in this work: in the description of the coco-nut, 
the taste of this fruit is likened to that of the walnut; and the flavor of the "stone 
chestnut" (It-Is 5 5Ht Aleurites triloba) is compared with that of the same fruit. 
We know at present that the book in question contains interpolations of later date 
(see L. AuaotJSSBAU, Bull, de I'Ecole frangaise, Vol. XIV, 1914, p. 10); but to these 
tiie incidental mention of the walnut does not necessarily belong, as Ki Han lived 
under the Tsin. It is likewise of interest that the walnut is not dealt with as a special 
stem in the 7Vt min yao lu, a work on husbandry and economic botany, written by 
Ki* Se-niu Jf & A8 of the Hou Wei dynasty (a.d. 386-534); see the enumeration 
of plants described in this book in Brbtschnbidbr (op. cit. t p. 78). In this case, the 
emission does not mean that the tree was unknown to the author, but it means only 
that it had then not attained any large economic importance. It had reached the 
palace-gardens, but not the people. In fact, Kia Se-niu, at least in one passage 
(Ch. 10, p. 48 b, ed. 1896), incidentally mentions the walnut in a quotation from the 
Kioo leu ki ft ft\ £ by Liu Hin-k'i ffl /ft $), where it is said, "The white yuan 
tree £] tfctff [evidently «HJk] is ten feet high, its fruits being sweeter and finer 
than walnuts ftfl JR." As the Kiao lou ki is a work relating to the products of 
Aanaxn, it is curious, of course, that it should allude to the cultivated walnut, which 
is almost absent in southern China and Annam; thus it is possible that this clause 
may be an interpolation, but possibly it is not. The fact that the same work like- 
wise contains the tradition connecting the walnut with Can K'ien has been pointed 
out above. The tree pat yuan is mentioned again in the Pen ts % ao kan mu H i (Ch. 8, 
p. 23), where elaborate rules for the medicinal employment of the fruit are given. 

4 Brbtschnetdbr, Bot Sin., pt. 1, p. 202, No. 945. 

264 Sino-Iranica 

41 # B. 1 Another allusion to the walnut relative to the period Hien-ho 


(a.d. 326-335) has been noted above (p. 259). There is, further, a refer- 
ence to the fruit in the history of §u 8 , when, after the death of Li HitiA 
3 s *t in a.d. 334, Han Pao ft 13 from Fu-fuft & & in Sen-si 
was appointed Grand Tutor (Vaifu :fc 49) of his son Li K'i 3* JB, and 
asked the latter to grant him seeds for the planting of walnut-trees, 
which, on account of his advanced age, he was anxious to have in his 
garden. 1 

During the third or fourth century, the Chinese knew also that 
walnuts grew in the Hellenistic Orient. "In Ta Ts'in there are jujubes, 
jasmine, and walnuts, 1 ' it is stated in the Wu H wai kwo & Jll & 9\> 
■ & ("Memoirs of Foreign Countries at the time of the Wu"). 8 

The Kwan liMMby Kwo Yi-kuA SB ft ffc 4 contains the following 
account: "The walnuts of C'en-ts'afi Bit ft* have a thin shell and a 
large kernel; those of Yin-p*in ft T 1 * are large, but their shells are brittle, 
and, when quickly pinched, will break." 7 

Coming to the Tang period, we encounter a description of the 
walnut in the Yu yah tsa tsu B HI H fl» written about a.d. 86o, s from 
which the fact may be gleaned that the fruit was then much cultivated 

1 rai pHn ya Ian, l.c. 

1 This story is contained in the Kwan wu kin hi 9f 3E ff K (according to 
Brbtschnbidbr, a work of the Sung literature). As the text is embodied in the 
Pat p'in yU Ian, it must have been extant prior to A.D. 983, the date of Li Fan's 

* Presumably identical with the Wu Si wai kwo twan noted by Pelliot (Bull, de 
VEcole franchise, Vol. IV, p. 270) as containing information secured by the mission 
of K'an T'ai in the first part of the third century A.D. Cf. also Journal asiatigue, 
1918, II, p. 24. The Min Si ascribes walnuts to Ormuz (Brbtschnbidbr, Notices 
of the Medieval Geography, p. 294). 

4 This work is anterior to the year a.d. 527, as it is cited in the Swi kin tu of 
Li Tao-yuan, who died in that year. Kwo Yi-kun is supposed to have lived under 
the Tan (a,d. 265-419). Cf. Pelliot, Bull, do VEcolt franeaise. Vol. IV, p. 412. 

1 Now the district of Pao-ki in the prefecture of Fun-sian, Sen-si Province. 

• At the time of the Han period, Yin-p*in was the name for the present prefec- 
ture of Lun-nan %% *j£ in the province of Se-£*wan. There was also a locality of the 
same name in the prefecture of Kiai in the province of Kan-su, inhabited by the Ti, 
a Tibetan tribe (Chavannes, Fount Pao, 1905, p. 525). 

7 rai p*i* yU Ian, I. c; Ko ti kin yOan, Ch. 76, p. y,Ciwu min Si Vu k % ao, /. c. 
This text is cited also by Su Sun in his T*u kin pen ts'ao. The earliest quotation 
that I can trace of it occurs in the Pet ku lu, written by Twan Kun-lu about a.d. 
875 (Ch. 3, p. 4 b, ed. of Lu Sin-yuan), where, however, only the last clause in regard 
to the walnuts of Yin-p*in is given (see below, p. 268). 

1 Pelliot, Fount Pao, 1912, p. 375. The text is in the T*u Su tsi Pen and 
Ci wu min Si Vu k'ao (I. c). I cannot trace it in the edition of the Yu yon tsa tsu in 
the Tsin tai pi Su or Pai hoi. 

The Walnut 265 

in the northern part of China (4fc # £ ?f £,), — a statement repeated 
in the K % ai-pao pen ts'ao. The Yu yah tsa tsu, which is well informed 
on the cultivated plants of Western and Central Asia, does not contain 
the tradition relating to CaA K'ien, but, on the other hand, does not 
speak of the tree as a novel introduction, nor does it explain its name. 
It begins by saying that "the kernel of the walnut is styled 'toad' 

Mofi Sen £ Mb, who in the second half of the seventh century wrote 
the Si liao pen ts*ao f * warns people from excessive indulgence in walnuts 
as being injurious to health.* The Tai pHh hwan yU ki * *F S 3 s IB, 
by Yo Si !R Jfe (published during the period T'ai-p'in, a.d. 976-981), 
mentions the walnut as being cultivated in the prefecture of Fun-sian 
H SI in Sen-si Province, and in Kian 2ou ♦$ #1 in San-si Province. 4 

According to the Pen ts'ao kah mu, the term hu Vao first appears in 
the Pen ts'ao of the K'ai-pao period (968-976) of the Sting dynasty, 
written by Ma Ci 4$ M; that is to say, the plant or its fruit was then 
officially sanctioned and received into the pharmacopoeia for the first 
time. We have seen that it was certainly known prior to that date. 
K*ou Tsun-§i % »c M, in his Pen ts'ao yen i # 3£ fir $ of 1116,* has a 
notice on the medicinal application of the fruit. 

It is possible also to trace in general the route which the walnut has 
taken in its migration into China. It entered from Turkistan into 
Kan-su Province, as stated by Su Sufi (see above, p. 258), and gradually 
spread first into Sen-si, and thence into the eastern provinces, but always 
remained restricted to the northern part of the country. J5u Sufi ex- 
pressly says that walnuts do not occur in the south, but only in the 
north, being plentiful in Sen-si and Lo-yan (Ho-nan Province), while 
those grown in K'ai-fun (Pien &>u jt jHi) were not of good quality. In the 
south only a wild-growing variety was known, which is discussed 
below. Wafo Si-mou BE ft fi£, a native of Kian-su, who died in 1591, 
states in his Kwo su ;S£ BE, a treatise on garden-fruits, that "the walnut 
is a northern fruit (pei kwo 3fc ;S£), and thrives in mountains; that it 
is but rarely planted in the south, yet can be cultivated there. ,,fl Almost 

1 This definition is ascribed to the Ts'ao mu tse 1§L yfc ■? in the Ko li ki?t y&an 
(Ch- 76, p. 5); that work was written by Ye Tse-k'i j& & -fjf in 1378 (Wyue, 
Notes on Chinese Literature, p. 168). 

* Brbtschnbidbr, Bot. Sin., pt. 1, p. 45. 
» To* Su* pad h % un leu Vie, Ch. 99, p. 12. 

4 rod p'i* hwan yU ki, Ch. 30, p. 4; Ch. 47, p. 4 (ed. of Kin-H* Su ka t 1882). 

* Ch. 18, p. 6 b (ed. of Lu Sin-yuan). 

* Also J. db Loureiro (Flora cochinchinensis, p. 702) states that the habitat of 
Jmgfams regia is only in the northern provinces of China. 

266 Sino-Iranica 

all the district and prefectural gazetteers of Sen-si Province enumerate 
the walnut in the lists of products. The "Gazetteer of San-tuA" 1 
mentions walnuts for the prefectures of Ts'i-nan, Yen-Sou, and Ts'in- 
Cou, the last-named being the best. The Gazetteer of the District of 
Tuft-no M P9 S in the prefecture of Tai-nan in San-tuA reports an 
abundance of walnuts in the river-valleys. An allusion to oil-production 
from walnuts is found in the "Gazetteer of Lu-nan," where it is said, 
"Of all the fruits growing in abundance, there is none comparable to 
the walnut. What is left on the markets is sufficient to supply the needs 
for lamp-oil." 1 Also under the heading "oil/' walnut-oil is mentioned 
as a product of this district. 4 

Juglans regia, in its cultivated state, has been traced by our botanists 
in San-tuft, Kiaft-su, Hu-pei, Yun-nan, and Se-£*wan.* Wilson nowhere 
saw trees that could be declared spontaneous, and considers it highly 
improbable that Juglans regia is indigenous to China. His opinion is 
certainly upheld by the results of historical research. 

A wild species (Juglans mandshurica or caihayensis Dode) occurs 
in Manchuria and the Amur region, Ci-li, Hu-pei, Se-£*wan, and Yun- 
nan.* This species is a characteristic tree of the Amur and Usuri val- 
leys. 7 It is known to the Golde under the name koioa or koioa, to the 
Man&gir as korto, to the Gilyak as tithalys. The Golde word is of 
ancient date, for we meet it in the ancient language of the JurSi, Ju£en, 
or Niu& in the form xu$u* and in Manchu as xdsixa. The great antiquity 
of this word is pointed out by the allied Mongol word xusiga. The 
whole series originally applies to the wild and indigenous species, 

1 San tun fun H, Ch. 9, p. 15. 

* Ch. 2, p. 32 (1829). 

* Quotation from Lu-nan it ft ft} 35, in the San lou tsuh H i^j)|£ 
(General Gazetteer of 5an-£ou), 1744, Ch. 8, p. 3. 

4 Ibid., Ch. 8, p. 9. Oil was formerly obtained from walnuts in Prance both 
for use at table and for varnishing and burning in lamps, also as a medicine sup- 
posed to possess vermifuge properties (Ainslib, Materia Indica, Vol. I, p. 464). 

* See particularly C. S. Sargent, Plantae Wilsonianae, Vol. Ill, pp. 184-185 
(1916). J. Anderson (Report on the Expedition to Western Yunan, p. 93, Calcutta, 
1 871) mentions walnuts as product of Yun-nan. According to the Tien hai ya hen 
li (Ch. 10, p. 1 b; above, p. 228), the best walnuts with thin shells grow on the Yan-pj 
or Yan-p'ei River tX M l£ of Yun-nan. 

* Forbes and Hkmsley, Journal of the Linnean Society, Botany, Vol. XXVI, 
p. 493; Sargent, op. cit., pp. 185 et seq. J. de Loureiro (Flora cochinchinensis, 
p. 702), writing in 1788, has a species Juglans camirium (Annamese dedu lai) " habitat 
agrestis cultaque in Cochinchina;" and a Juglans catappa (Annamese cdy mo cua) 
•* habitat in sylvis Cochinchinae montanis." 

7 Grum-GrSimailo, Description of the Amur Province (in Russian), p. 313. 

* W. Grube, Schrift und Sprache der Juten, p. 93. 

The Walnut 267 

Jugfans mandskurica. Manchu xdsixa designates the tree, while its 
fruit is called xdwahmta or xdwalame usixa (<xa being a frequent ter- 
mination in the names of plants and fruits). The cultivated walnut is 
styled mast. 1 One of the earliest explorers of the Amur territory, the 
Cossack chieftain Poyarkov, who reached the Amur in 1644, reported 
that walnuts and hazel-nuts were cultivated by the Daur or Dahur on 
the Dseya and Amur. 1 

The same species is known to the aboriginal tribes of Yun-nan. 
The Pa-yi and San style its fruit twai;* the Nyi Lo-lo, se-mi-ma; the Ahi 
Lo4o, sQrtni. The Cufi-kia of Kwei-Sou call it dsao; the Ya-£*io Miao, 
H or Si; the Hwa Miao, klaeo; while other Miao tribes have the Chinese 
loan-word he-dao. A 

The wild walnut has not remained unknown to the Chinese, and it 
is curious that it is designated San hu Vao tfj S8 tfc, the term San (" moun- 
tain") referring to wild-growing plants. The "wild Iranian peach" 
is a sort of linguistic anomaly. It is demonstrated by this term that 
the wild indigenous species was discovered and named by the Chinese 
only in times posterior to the introduction of the cultivated variety; and 
that the latter, being introduced from abroad, was not derived from the 
wild-growing species. The case is identical with that of the wild alfalfas 
and vines. C'en Hao-tse, who wrote a treatise on flowers in i688, s 
determines the difference between the cultivated and wild varieties 
thus: the former has a thin shell, abundant meat, and is easy to break; 8 
the latter has a thick and hard shell, which must be cracked with a 
hammer, and occurs in Yen and Ts«i (Ci-li and San-tu*). This observa- 

1 K^en-lnn's Polyglot Dictionary, Ch. 28, p. 55. 

* L. v. Schrbnck, Reisen und Porachungen im Axnur-Lande, Vol. Ill, p. 160. 
1 P. W. K. MttLLBR, Toung Poo, Vol. Ill, 189a, p. 26. 

4 S. R. Clarke, Tribes in South-West China, p. 312. 
ft Hwa MA, Ch. 3, p. 49 b. 

• According to the Ci wu mtfl H Vu k'ao (Ch. 31, p. 3 b), the walnuts with thin 
shells grow only in the prefecture of Yun-p'in ^Jc ^ in Ci-li, being styled lu so* 
ko Vao IK 9 t£ t& In C'an-li, which belongs to this prefecture, these nuts have 
been observed by P. N. Meyer (Agricultural Explorations in the Orchards of China, 
p. 51), who states, "Some trees produce small hard-shelled nuts of poor flavor, while 
others bear fine large nuts, with a really fine flavor, and having shells so thin that 
they can be cracked with the fingers like peanuts. Between these extremes one finds 
many gradations in hardness of shell, size, and flavor." "In England the walnut 
presents considerable differences, in the shape of the fruit, in the thickness of the 
mask, and in the thinness of the shell; this latter quality has given rise to a variety 
called the thin-shelled, which is valuable, but suffers from the attacks of titmice" 
(Darwin, Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, Vol. I, p. 445). 
A variety of walnut with thin shells grows on the Greek Island Paros (T. v. Held* 
RSICH, Nutzpflanzen Griechenlands, p. 59). 

268 Sino-Iranica 

tion is quite to the point; the shell of the walnut gradually became more 
refined under the influence of cultivation. 

The earliest texts alluding to the wild walnut are not older than 
the Tang period. The Pei hu lu * P Ml, written by Twan Kufi-lu 
R & 9i about a.d. 875/ contains the following text concerning a wild 
walnut growing in the mountains of southern China: — 

"The wild walnut has a thick shell and a flat bottom Jtt 2 P. In 
appearance it resembles the areca-nut. As to size, it is as large as a 
bundle of betel-leaves. 1 As to taste, it comes near the walnuts of 
Yin-p4£i* and Loyu, but is different from these, inasmuch as it has a 
fragrance like apricot extract. This fragrance, however, does not last 
long, but will soon vanish. The Kwan li says that the walnuts of Yin- 
p'in have brittle shells, and that, when quickly pinched, the back of 
the kernel will break. Liu Si-lun W ft Ss, in his Sie lo yu ytian ft 3ft 
M M 9 remarks, with reference to the term hu Vao, that the Hu take to 
flight like rams, 4 and that walnuts therefore are prophets of auspicious 
omens. Cetfi K'ien IB ft* says that the wild walnut has no glumelle; 
it can be made into a seal by grinding off the nut for this purpose. 
Judging from these data, it may be stated that this is not the walnut 
occurring in the mountains of the south." 9 

The Lin piao lu i W 3* Vk #*, by Liu Sfln ti tfj of the Tang period, 7 
who lived under the reign of the Emperor Cao Tsufi (a.d. 889-904), 
contains the following information on a wild walnut: — 

"The slanting or glandular walnut {p*ien ho Vao M IK tR) is pro- 
duced in the country Can-pi i& ♦.• Its kernel cannot be eaten. The 

1 Cf. Pblliot, Bull, de VEcolefrancaUe, Vol. DC, p. 223. 

• Fu-liu, usually written Jfe *fi, is first mentioned in the Wu lu HUH j| tft it 
*S jfe by Can Pu j}R fft of the third or beginning of the fourth century (see Ts'i 
min yao su, Ch. 10, p. 52). It refers to Piper belle (Brbtschnbidbr, Chinese Recorder, 
Vol. Ill, 1871, p. 264; C. Imbault-Huart, Le tatel, Fount Pa <>> VoL V, 1894, 
p. 313). The Chinese name is a transcription corresponding to Old Annamese 
bldu; M£sdn, Uy-16, and Hung plu; Khmer m-luw, Stien m-lu, Bahnar b64ou, Kha 
b4u ("betel"). 

• See above, p. 264. 

4 A jocular interpretation by punning fao ffl> upon Vao $jj (both in the same 

• Author of the lost Hu pen ts*ao fjft 4* 3£ (Bretschnbider, Bot Sin., pt. 1, 
p. 45). He appears to have been the first who drew attention to the wild walnut. 
His work is repeatedly quoted in the Pei hu lu. 

• Pei hu lu, Ch. 3, p. 4 b (ed. of Lu Sin-yuan). 
7 Ch. b, p. 5 (ed. of Wu yvh tien). 

• The two characters are wrongly inverted in the text of the work. In the text 
of the Pei hu lu that follows, the name of this country is giv«n in the form Can-pei 
£ $L Prom the mention of the Malayan Po-se in the same text, it follows that 

The Walnut 269 

Hn IB people gather these nuts in abundance, and send them to the 
Chinese officials, designating them as curiosities &#t. As to their 
shape, they are thin and pointed; the head is slanting like a sparrow's 
beak. If broken and eaten, the kernel has a bitter taste resembling that 
of the pine-seeds of Sin-ra <f f/t ifr -?. 1 Being hot by nature, they are 
employed as medicine, and do not differ from the kernels of northern 

The Pet hu lu* likewise mentions the same variety of glandular wal- 
nut {p % ien ho4 % ao) as growing in the country Can-pei fi $>, shaped 
like the crescent of the moon, gathered and eaten by the Pose, 8 having 
a very fine fragrance, stronger than the peach-kernels of China, but of 
the same effect in the healing of disease. 

The species here described may be identical with Juglans catha- 
yensis, called the Chinese butternut, usually a bush, but in moist 
woods forming a tree from twelve to fifteen metres tall; but I do not 
know that this plant occurs in any Malayan region. With reference to 
Can-pi, however, it may be identical with the fruit of Canarium com- 
mune (family Burseraceae) , called in Malayan kanari f in Javanese kenari. 
J. Ckawfubd, 4 who was not yet able to identify this tree, offers the 
following remarks: "Of all the productions of the Archipelago the one 
which yields the finest edible oil is the kanari. This is a large handsome 
tree, which yields a nut of an oblong shape nearly of the size of a walnut. 
The kernel is as delicate as that of a filbert, and abounds in oil. This 

Can-pi is a Malayan territory probably to be located on Sumatra. For this reason 
I am inclined to think that Can-pi ^ ^ is identical with Can-pei J&^L; that is, 
Jambi, the capital of eastern Sumatra (Hirth and Rockhill, Chau Ju-kua, pp. 65, 
66; see further Grobnbvrldt, Notes on the Malay Archipelago, pp. 188, 196; and 
Grand, Researches on Ptolemy's Geography, p. 565; Lin wai tat ta t Ch. 2, p. 12). 
Prom a phonetic point of view, however, the transcription £$ Sfr, made in the 
T'ang period, represents the ancient sounds *£an-pit, and would presuppose an 
anginal of the form *£ambit, £ambir, or jambir, whereas $. is without a final con- 
sonant. The country Can-pei is first mentioned under the year a.d. 852 Cfc *¥ sixth 
year), when Wu-sie-ho 40%$?& and six men from there came to the Chinese Court 
with a tribute of local products (Tat pHn kwan yU ki t Ch. 177, p. 15 b). A second 
embassy is on record in 871 (Pblliot, Bull, de VEcde frangaise, Vol. IV, p. 347). 

1 Pinus karatensis Sieb. et Zucc. (J. Matsumura, Shokubutsu mei-i, pp. 266-267, 
ecL 1915), in Japanese Idsen-matsu ("Korean pine"); see also Stuart, Chinese 
Materia Medica, p. 333. Sin-ra (Japanese Sin-ra, Siraki) is the name of the ancient 
kingdom of SQla, in the northern part of Korea. 

* Ch. 3, p. 5 (ed. of Lu Sin-yuan). 

a Jfc 9i certainly is here not Persia, for the Pet hu lu deals with the products 
of Kwan-ttm, Annam, and the countries south of China (Pblliot, Bull, de VEcoU 
franfaise, Vol. EX, p. 223). See below, p. 468. The Pet hu lu has presumably served 
as the source for the text of the Lin piao lu i , quoted above. 

* History of the Indian Archipelago, Vol. I, p. 383. 

*70 SlNO-IfcANICA 

is one of the most useful trees of the countries where it grows. The 
nuts are either smoked and dried for use, or the oil is expressed from 
them in their recent state. The oil is used for all culinary purposes, 
and is more palatable and finer than that of the coconut. The kernels, 
mixed up with a little sago meal, are made into cakes and eaten as 
bread. The kanari is a native of the same country with the sago tree, 
and is not found to the westward. In Celebes and Java it has been 
introduced in modern times through the medium of traffic/' 

The Yu yan tsa tsu 1 speaks of a man hu Vao S SJ H> as "growing 
in the kingdom of Nan-£ao flj S in Y&n-nan; it is as large as a fiat 
conch, and has two shells of equal size; its taste is Hke that of the 
cultivated walnut. It is styled also 'creeper in the land of the Man' 
(Man tun Veh-tse 9t *t* M -?)." It will be remembered that Twan 
C'eA-Si, the author of this work, describes also the cultivated walnut 
(p. 264). 

The TVw' pHn yU Ian contains another text attributed to the Lin 
piao lu i relating to a wild walnut, which, however, is not extant in the 
edition of this work published in the collection Wu yin Hen in 1775* 
This text is as follows: "The large walnut has a thick and firm shell. 
It is larger than that of the areca-nut. 1 It has much meat, but little 
glumelle. It does not resemble the nuts found in northern China. It 
must be broken with an axe or hammer. The shell, when evenly 
smoothed over the bottom, is occasionally made into a seal, for the 
crooked structure of the shell (ko PR) resembles the seal characters."* 

In the Lin wai taitafcftft #, 4 written by Cou K'u-fei M * * 
in 1 1 78, mention is made, among the plants of southern China and 
Tonking, of a "stone walnut (H hu fao 3i 48 4ft), which is like stone, 
has hardly any meat, and tastes like the walnut of the north. 9 ' Again, 
a wild species is involved here. I have not found the term Si hu Vao in 
any other author. 

The various names employed by the T'ang writers for the wild 

1 Ch. 19, p. 9 b (ed. of Tsin tai piiu); or Ch. 19, p. 9 a (ed. of Pai hat). 

1 This sentence, as well as the first, agrees with the definition given by the Pei 
hu lu with reference to a wild walnut (above, p. 268). 

* Tai p*in ya Ian, Ch. 971, p. 8 b. The same text is cited by the Pen ts'ae hah 
mu and the Ko U Jfew* yuan (Ch. 76, p. 5 b), which offer the reading Ian hu Vao tfj 
tf| ft ("wild walnut") instead of " large walnut." The Kwan Vunfan p*u (Ch. 58, 
p. 26) also has arranged this text under the general heading "wild walnut." The 
Pen ts'ao han mu opens it with the sentence, "In the southern regions there is a wild 
walnut." The restriction to South China follows also from the text as given in the 
rai p % in yA Ian. 

4 Ch. 8, p. 10 b (ed. of Ci pu tsu tai ts'un Su). 

The Walnut 271 

varieties (p'ien hu Vao, ian huVao, man hu Vao, ta hu Vao), combined 
with the fact that two authors describe both the varieties pHen and 
ian 9 raise the question whether this nomenclature does not refer to 
different plants, and whether, aside from the wild walnut, other nuts 
may not also be included in this group. In this respect it is of interest 
to note that the hickory, recently discovered in Ce-kian by P. N. 
Meyer, and determined by Sargent 1 under the name Carya cathayensis, 
is said by Meyer to be called shan-gho-to in the colloquial language; 
and this evidently is identical with our ian hu Vao. This certainly does 
not mean that this term refers exclusively to the hickory, but only 
that locally the hickory falls also within the category of ian hu Vao. 
The distribution of the hickory over China is not yet known, and the 
descriptions we have of ian hu Vao do not refer to Ce-kian. 

In the P*an ian U S (i| ]fe, a description of the P'an mountains,* 
the term ian ho Vao is given as a synonyme for the bark of Caialpa 
bungei (ts'iu p'i fft &), which is gathered on this mountain for 
medicinal purposes, — presumably because the structure of this bark 
bears some superficial resemblance to that of a walnut. Wild walnuts, 
farther, are mentioned as growing on Mount Si fu 2un ff fj§ f£ tfl, 
forming part of the Ma-ku Mountains Jft te tfj situated in Fu-2ou 
Si JH in the prefecture of Kien-£'an H H /fif , Kian-si Provinoe.* 

While the cultivated walnut was known in China during the fourth 
century under the Tsin dynasty, the wild species indigenous to south- 
ern China was brought to the attention of scholars only several cen- 
turies later, toward the close of the T'ang period. This case furnishes 
an excellent object-lesson, in that it reveals the fallacies to which 
botanists and others are only too frequently subject in drawing con- 
clusions from mere botanical evidence as to cultivated plants. The 
favorite argumentation is, that if, in a certain region, a wild and a 
corresponding cultivated species co-exist, the cultivated species is simply 
supposed to have been derived from the wild congener. This is a de- 
ceptive conclusion. The walnut (as well as the vine) of China offers a 

1 Plantae Wilsonianae, Vol. Ill, p. 187. 

1 Ch. 15, p. 2 b, of the edition published in 1755 by order of K'ien-lun. The 
P'an San is situated three or four days' journey east of Peking, in the province of 
Ci-Ii, the summit being crowned by an interesting Buddhist temple, and there being 
an imperial travelling-station at its foot. It was visited by me in September, 1901. 
P. N. Msyre (Agricultural Explorations in the Orchards of China, p. 52) says that 
is the Pangshan district east of Peking one may still find a few specimens of the real 
wild walnut growing in ravines among large bowlders in the mountains. 

* Ma-ku ian H (Ch. 3, p. 6 b), written by members of the family Hwan Jf , and 
published in 1866 by the Tun t'ien Su wu jft % ff g. These mountains contain 
thirty-six caves dedicated to the Taoist goddess Ma-ku. 

272 Sino-Iranica 

jfic case Apt to teach just the opposite: a wild walnut (probably in 
several species) is indigenous to China, nevertheless the species culti- 
vated in this area did not spring from domestic material, but from 
seeds imported from Iranian and Tibetan regions of Central Asia. 
The botanical dogma has been hurled against many deductions of 
Hehn: botanists proclaimed that vine, fig, laurel, and myrtle have been 
indigenous to Greece and Italy in a wild state since time immemorial; 
likewise pomegranate, cypress, and plantain on the Aegean Islands 
and in Greece; hence it was inferred that also the cultivations of these 
plants must have been indigenous, and could not have been introduced 
from the Orient, as insisted on by Hehn. This is nothing but a sophism: 
the botanists still owe us the proof that the cultivated species were 
really derived from indigenous stock. A species may indeed be indige- 
nous to a certain locality; and yet, as brought about by historical 
inter-relations of the peoples, the same or a similar species in the 
cultivated state may have been introduced from an outside quarter. 
It is only by painstaking historical research that the history of culti- 
vated plants can be exactly determined. Engler (above, p. 258) doubts 
the occurrence of the wild walnut in China, because a cultivated species 
was introduced there from Tibet! It is plain now where such logic will 
lead us. Wilson deserves a place of honor among botanists, for, after 
close study of the subject in China, he recognized that "it is highly 
improbable that Juglans regia is indigenous to China." 

With reference to the walnut, conditions are the same in China as 
in the Mediterranean region: there also Juglans regia grows spontane- 
ously; still better, cultivated varieties reached the Greeks from Persia; 
the Greeks handed these on to the Romans; the Romans transplanted 
them to Gallia and Germania. Juglans regia occupies an extensive 
natural area throughout the temperate zone, stretching from the 
Mediterranean through Iran and the Himalaya as far as southern China 
and the Chinese maritime provinces. Despite this natural distribution, 
the fact remains that Iran has been the home and the centre of the 
best-cultivated varieties, and has transmitted these to Greece, to India, 
to Central Asia, and to China. 

Dr. T. Tanaxa has been good enough to furnish the following infor- 
mation, extracted from Japanese literature, in regard to the walnut. 

"Translation of the notice on ko-to (kurumi), 'walnut/ from a 
Japanese herbal Yamato homo ifc IP ♦ ¥, by Kaibara Ekken M J£ 
ft ff (Ch. 10, p. 23), published in 1709. 

"Kurumi SB HI (koto). There are three sorts of walnut. The first 
is called oni-gurumi A fifl flfc ('devil walnut')* It is round in shape. 

The Walnut 373 

and has a thick, hard skin (shell), difficult to break; it has very little 
meat. In the Honzo (Pen ts % ao f usually referring to the Pen ts'ao kan 
mu) it is called tfj fid t& (yama-gunmi, San hu Vao). It is customary 
to open the shell by first baking it a little while in a bed of charcoal, 
and suddenly plunging it in water to cool off; then it is taken out of the 
fire, the shell is struck at the joint so that it is crushed, and the meat can 
be easily removed. The second variety is called hime-giirumi « * 
A< I ('demoiselle walnut'), and has a thin shell which is somewhat 
fiat in form; it is very easily broken when struck with an iron hammer 
at the joint. It has plenty of meat, is rich in oil, and has a better taste 
than the one mentioned before. The names 'devil 9 and 'demoiselle' 
are derived from the appearance of the nuts, the one being rough and 
ugly, while the other is beautiful. 

"The third variety, which is believed to have come from Korea, 
has a thin shell, easily cracked, with very little meat, but of the best 
quality. Mon Sen j£ life (author of the Si liao pen ts % ao it 8? ♦ ¥, 
second half of the seventh century) says, 'The walnut, when eaten, 
increases the appetite, stimulates the blood-circulation, and makes one 
appear glossy and elegant. It may be considered as a good medicine of 
high merit.' For further details refer to the prescriptions of the Pen 
ts % ao. 

"Translation of the notice on walnut from the Honzo kdmoku keimo 
(Ch. 25, pp. 26-27) by Ono Ranzan; revised edition by Igu& BoSi 
of 1847 (first edition 1804). 

"koto, kurimi (walnut, Juglans regia L., var. sinensis Cas., ex Matsu- 
mura, Shokubutsu Mei-i, ed. 1915, Vol. I, p. 189). 

"Japanese names: td-kuritni ('Chinese walnut'); Zosen-kurimi 
(' Korean walnut ') . 

"Chinese synonymes: kaku-kwa (Jibutsu imei); Unso kyoho (ibid.); 
inpei Sinkwa (ibid.); kokaku (Jibutsu konSu); kenSa (ibid.); toiuK 
(Kunmo jikwai). 

"Names for kernels: kama (Roya taisui-hen). 

"Other names for ian hu Vao: sankakuto (Hokuto-roku); banzai-H 
(Jonan HoSt); §u (Kummo jikwai). 

"The real walnut originated in Korea, and is not commonly planted 
in Japan. 

"The leaves are larger than those of onigurumi (giant walnut, 
Juglans sieboldiana Maxim., ex Matsumura, I.e.). The shells are also 
larger, measuring more than 1 sun (z.193 inches) in length, and having 
more striations on the surface. The kernels are also larger, and have 
more folds. 

"The variety commonly planted in our country is onigurumi, the 

274 Sino-Iranica 

abbreviated name of which is kurumi; local names are ogurumi (Prov- 
ince of Kaga), okkoromi (eastern provinces), and so on. This giant wal- 
nut grows to a large tree. Its leaves are much like those of the lacquer- 
tree (Rhus vernificera DC.) and a little larger; they have finely serrated 
margins. Its new leaves come out in the spring. It flowers in the 

"The flower-clusters resemble chestnut-catkins, but are much 
larger, ranging in length from six to seven sun; they are yellowish white 
and pendulous. A single flower is very small, like that of a chestnut. 
The fruit is peach-shaped and green, but turns black when ripe. The 
shells are very hard and thick, and can be opened by being put on the 
fire for a little while; then insert a knife in the slit or fissure between the 
shells, which thus break. The kernels are good for human food, and 
ate also used for feeding little birds. 

"One species called hime-gurumi ('demoiselle walnut/ Juglans 
cordiformis Maxim., ex Matsumura, Lc.) f or me-gurumi ('female wal- 
nut, 9 from the province of Kaga), has thin shells with fewer furrows, and 
the kernels can easily be taken out. Under the heading iukai (&-kie 9 
explanatory information in the Pen ts'ao), this kind of walnut is de- 
scribed as 'a walnut produced in CinSo (C'en-ts'ab, a place in Fufi- 
siafi fu, Sen-si, China) with thin shells and many surfaces, 1 so we call 
it tinsd-gurumi (Ven4s % an hu-Vao). 1 This variety is considered the 
best of all yama-gurumi {San ku Veto, wild walnuts), because no other 
variety has such saddle-shaped kernels entirely removable from the 

"A species called karasu-gurumi ('crow walnut') is a product of the 
province of ESigo; it has a shell that opens by itself when ripe, and 
looks Uke a crow's bill when opened, whence it is called 'crow walnut. 9 

"Another variety from OSio-mura village of the Aidzu district is 
called gonroku-gurumi ('Gonroku's walnut'); it has a very small shell 
capable of being used as ojime ('string-fastener of a pouch 9 ). This 
name is taken from the personal name of a man called Anazawa Gon- 
roku, in whose garden this variety originated. It is said that the same 
kind has been found in the province of Kai. 

"A variety found at NoSiro, province of USQ (Uzen and Ugo), 
is much larger in size, and has thinner shells, easily crushed by hand, 
so that the kernels may be taken out without using any tools. The 
name of this variety is therefore Uuti-gurumi ('hand-crushed walnut ')" 

The most interesting point in these Japanese notes is presented by 

1 Compare above, p. 364. 

The Walnut 275 

the tradition tracing the cultivated walnut of Japan to Korea. The 
Koreans again have a tradition that walnuts reached them from China 
about fifteen hundred years ago in the days of the Silla Kingdom. 1 
The Korean names for the fruit are derived from the Chinese: ho do 
being the equivalent of hu Vao, kan do corresponding to k'ian Vao, 
and ha do to ho Vao. The Geography of the Ming Dynasty states that 
walnuts are a product of Korea. 2 

1 Korea Rmcw, VoL II, 1903, p. 394. 
• Ta Jft* i Cuh H, Ch. 89 p. 4 b. 


5. A. de Candolle 1 sums up the result of his painstaking investi- 
gation of the diffusion of the pomegranate {Punka granatum, the sole 
genus with two species only within the family Punicaceae) as follows: 
"To conclude, botanical, historical, and philological data agree in show- 
ing that the modern species is a native of Persia and some adjacent 
countries. Its cultivation began in prehistoric time, and its early 
extension, first toward the west and afterwards into China, has caused 
its naturalization in cases which may give rise to errors as to its true 
origin, for they are frequent, ancient, and enduring." In fact, the 
pomegranate occurs spontaneously in Iran on stony ground, more 
particularly in the mountains of Persian Kurdistan, Baluchistan, and 
Afghanistan. I am in full accord with A. de Candolle's opinion, which, 
as will be seen, is signally corroborated by the investigation that fol- 
lows, and am not in the least disturbed by A. Engler's view* that the 
pomegranate occurs wild in Greece and on the islands of the 
Grecian Archipelago, and that, accordingly, it is indigenous in anterior 
Asia and part of the Balkan Peninsula, while its propagation in Italy 
and Spain presumably followed its cultivation in historical times. First, 
as stated also by G. Buschan, 8 these alleged wild trees of Greece are 
not spontaneous, but have reverted from cultivation to a wild state. 4 
Second, be this as it may, all ancient Greek accounts concerning the 
pomegranate relate exclusively to the cultivated, in no case to the 
wild species; and it is a gratuitous speculation of O. Schrader,* who 
follows suit with Engler, that the Greek word /»&. was originally 
applied to the indigenous wild species, and subsequently transferred 
to the cultivated one. As will be shown hereafter, the Greek tennis a 
loan-word. The naturalization of the fruit in the Mediterranean basin 
is, as A. de Candolle justly terms it, an extension of the original 

1 Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 240. 

9 In Hehn's Kulturpflanzen, p. 246 (8th ed.). 

' Vorgeschichtliche Botanik, p. 159. 

4 1 am unable, however, to share Buschan's view that the wild specimens of Iran 
and north-western India also belong to this class; that area is too extensive to 
allow of so narrow an interpretation. In this case, Buschan is prejudiced in order 
to establish his own hypothesis of an indigenous origin of the tree in Arabia (see 

s In Hehn's Kulturpflanzen, p. 247. 


The Pomegranate 277 

area; and Hehn is quite right in dating its cultivation on the part of 
the Greeks to a time after the Homeric epoch, and deriving it from Asia 

G. Buschan 1 holds that Europe is out of the question as to the 
indigenous occurrence of the pomegranate, and with regard to Punka 
pratopunico, discovered by Balfour on the Island of Socotra, proposes 
Arabia felix as the home of the tree; but he fails to explain the diffusion 
of the tree from this alleged centre. He opposes Loret's conclusions 
with reference to Egypt, where he believes that the tree was naturalized 
from the time of the Eighteenth Dynasty; but he overlooks the prin- 
cipal point made by Loret, namely, that the Egyptian name is a Semitic 
loan-word. 1 Buschan's theory conflicts with all historical facts, and 
has not been accepted by any one. 

The pomegranate-tree is supposed to be mentioned in the A vesta 
under the name ha6dnaepata* the wood serving as fuel, and the juice 
being employed in sacrificial libations; but this interpretation is solely 
given by the present ParsI of India and Yezd, and is not certain. The 
fruit, however, is mentioned in Pahlavi literature (above, p. 193). 

There are numerous allusions to the pomegranate of Persia on 
the part of Mohammedan authors and European travellers, and it 
would be of little avail to cite all these testimonies on a subject which 
is perfectly well known. Suffice it to refer to the Fars N&mah* and to 
give the following extract from A. Olearius : s — 

"Pomegranate-trees, almond-trees, and fig-trees grow there with- 
out any ordering or cultivation, especially in the Province of Kilan, 
where you have whole forests of them. The wild pomegranates, which 
you find almost every where, especially at Karabag, are sharp or sowrith. 

1 Vorgeschichtliche Botanik, p. 159. 

•This fact was simultaneously and independently found by an American 
Egyptologist, Ch. B. Moldbnkb (Ober die in altagyptischen Texten erwahnten 
Baume, p. 115, doctor dissertation of Strassburg, Leipzig, 1887); so that Loret 
(Flore pharaonique, p. 76) said, "Moldenke est arrive* presque en meme temps que 
moi, et par des moyens differents, ce qui donne une entiere certitude a notre dd- 
couverte commune, a la determination du nom egyptien de la grenade.' ' See also 
C. Jobbt, Plantes dans l'antiquite\ Vol. I, p. 1x7. Buschan's book appeared in 1895; 
nevertheless he used Loret's work in the first edition of 1887, instead of the second 
of 1890s which is thoroughly revised and enlarged. 

• For instance, Yasna, 62, 9; 68, 1. Cf. also A. V. W. Jackson, Persia Past 
and Present, p. 369. 

4 G. Lb Strange, Description of the Province of Fars in Persia, p. 38 (London, 
1912). See also dTObrbhlot, Bibliotheque orientale, Vol. Ill, p. 188; and F. Spibgbl, 
Eranische Altertumskunde, Vol. I, p. 252. 

* Voyages of the Ambassadors to the Great Duke of Muscovy, and the 
of Persia (1633-39), p. 232 (London, 1669). 


278 Sino-Iranica 

They take out of them the seed, which they call Nardan, wherewith 
they drive a great trade, and the Persians make use of it in their 
sawces, whereto it gives a colour, and a picquant tast, having been 
steep'd in water, and strain'd through a cloath. Sometimes they boyl 
the juyce of these Pomegranates, and keep it to give a colour to the 
rice, which they serve up at their entertainments, and it gives it withall 
a tast which is not unpleasant. . . . The best pomegranates grow in 
Jescht, and at Caswin, but the biggest, in Kaxabag." 

Mirza Haidar mentions a kind of pomegranate peculiar to Baluris- 
tan (Kafiristan), sweet, pure, and full-flavored, its seeds being white 
and very transparent. 1 

"Grapes, melons, apples, and pomegranates, all fruits, indeed, are 
good in Samarkand." 1 The pomegranates of Khpjand were renowned 
for their excellence. 8 The Emperor Jahanglr mentions in his Memoirs 
the sweet pomegranates of Yazd and the subacid ones of Farrfth, and 
says of the former that they are celebrated all over the world. 4 J. 
Crawfurd' remarks, "The only good pomegranates which, indeed, 
I have ever met with are those brought into upper India by the cara- 
vans from eastern Persia. 9 ' 

The Yu yah isa tsu* states that the pomegranates of Egypt tdXHM 
(Wu-se-li, *Mwir-si-li, Mirsir) 7 in the country of the Arabs (Ta-fi, 
*Ta-d2ik) weigh up to five and six catties. 

Also in regard to the pomegranate we meet the tradition that its 
introduction into China is due to General Cab K'ien. In the same 
manner as in the case of the walnut, this notion looms up only in 
post-Han authors. It is first recorded by Lu Ki SI 91, who lived under 
the Western Tsin dynasty (a.d. 265-313), in his work YU ti yUn 5u 
Jft 3» • #. This text has been handed down in the TsH min yao Su 
of Kia Se-niu of the sixth century. 8 There it is said that Can K*ien, 
while an envoy of the Han in foreign countries for eighteen years, 
obtained Vu-lin t& ft, this term being identical with nan-H4iu 5ft 35 
ffl. This tradition is repeated in the Po wu If of Cab Hwa and in the 

1 Elias and Ross, Tarikh-i-Rashidi, p. 386. 
1 A. S. Bevbridgb, Memoirs of Bftbur, p. 77. 

• Ibid., p. 8. They are also extolled by Ye-lu C*u-ts*ai (Bretschnbider, Mediae- 
val Researches, Vol. I, p. 19). 

4 H. M. Elliot, History of India as told by Its Own Historians, Vol. VI, p. 348 . 

* History of the Indian Archipelago, VoL I, p. 433. 
•ffilCh. io, p. 4 b (ed. of Tsin tai pi *«). 

7 Old Persian Mudrftya, Hebrew Mizraim, Syriac Mesroye. 
9 Ch. 4, p. 14 b (new ed., 1896). 
9 See above, p. 258. 

The Pomegranate 279 

Tu i ti IK a£, written by Li Yu ^ t (or Li Yuan X) of the Tang 
dynasty. Another formal testimony certifying to the acceptance of 
this creed at that period comes from FuA Yen H St of the Tang in 
his Fun H wen kien ki H & H % IB , l who states that Cafi K'ien 
obtained in the Western Countries the seeds of H-liu 3? ffl and alfalfa 
(mu~$u) t and that at present these are to be found everywhere in 
China. Under the Sung this tradition is repeated by Kao C'eft M >fc. f 
C'en Hao-tse, in his Hwa kin f * published in 1688, states it as a cold- 
blooded fact that the seeds of the pomegranate came from the country 
Nan-si or An-st (Parthia), and that Cafi K'ien brought them back. 
There is nothing to this effect in Cafi KHen's biography, nor is the 
pomegranate mentioned in the Annals of the Han. 4 The exact time of 
its introduction cannot be ascertained, but the tree is on record no earlier 
than the third and fourth centuries a.d. s 

Li Si-Cen ascribes the term nan-H-Uu to the Pie lu JW Ml, but he 
cites no text from this ancient work, so that the case is not dear. 9 
The earliest author whom he quotes regarding the subject is Tao 
Hurt-Ida (a.d. 452-536), who says, "The pomegranate, particularly as 
regards its blossoms, is charming, hence the people plant the tree in 
large numbers. It is also esteemed, because it comes from abroad. 
There are two varieties, the sweet and the sour one, only the root of 
the latter being used by physicians." According to the TsH min yao in, 
Ko Hurt M ifc o£ the fourth century, in his Poo p'u ise Kl tt •?, speaks 
of the occurrence of bitter Uu1$ IB on stony mountains. These, indeed, 

»Ol 7. P. I b (ed. of Kifu tfu* Su). 

• Si wu mi yumn ♦ fcl IE JR (ed. of S» ywi Man Uu* Jf«), Ch. io, p. 34 b. 

• Ch- 3, p. 37, edition of 17S3; tee above, p. 259. 

4 The Can-KSen legend is repeated without criticism by BinscHNHDm 
(BoL Sin., pL i, p. as: pt. 3. No. 280), to that A. db Candollb (Origin of Cultivated 
Flanta/p. S3S) was tod to the erroneo u s statement that the pomegranate was intro- 
duced into China from Samarkand by Can K'ien, a century and a half before the 
Oirifftffr arm. The tame it asserted by P. P. Smith (Contributions towards the 
Materia Medice of China, p. 176), G. A. Stuaxt (Chinese Materia Medica, p. 361), 
and Horn (Temmt Pae % VoL VI, 1895, p. 439). 

• It it mentiooed in the Kin kwei yao Uo (Ch. c, p. 37) of the second century aj>< 
"Pomegranates mutt not be eaten in large quantity, for they injure man's lungs. 
As stated (p. 205), this may be an interpolation in the original text 

• The Pie /* is not quoted to this effect in the C em lei pern If 'a* (Ch. tt, p. 39), 
but the Ci wu ***» H Cm k*ao (Ch. 13* p. ioa; and 32, p. 36 b) gives two different 
extracts from this work relating to our fruit. In one, its real or alleged medical prop* 
artiee are expounded; in the other, different varieties are enumerated, while not a 
word is said about foreign origin. I am convinced that in this form these two texts 
were not contained in the Pie tu. The question is of no consequence, as the work 
iteetf it lost, and cannot be dated exactly. All that can be said with certainty it that 
it existed prior to the time of Tao Hun-loft. 

a8o Sino-Iranica 

are the particular places where the pomegranate thrives. Su SuA of 
the Sung period states that the pomegranate was originally grown in 
the Western Countries (Si yd IS $), and that it now occurs everywhere; 
but neither he nor any other author makes a positive statement as to 
the time and exact place of origin. The Yao sin lun, Pen ts'ao Si i, 
and Pen ts*ao yen i 1 give merely a botanical notice, but nothing of his- 
torical interest. 

The pomegranate (Si-tiu) is mentioned in the "Poem on the Capital 
of Wu"^ 8 IRby TsoSe & JB, who lived in the third century under 
the Wu dynasty (a.d. 222-280). P'an Yo flUfr, a poet of the fourth 
century a.d., says, "Pomegranates are the most singular trees of the 
empire and famous fruits of the Nine Provinces. 1 A thousand seed- 
cases are enclosed by the same membrane, and what looks like a single 
seed in fact is ten." 

The Tsin Lun nan Vi ku lu 9 K $ ft Jg & ("Annotations on 
the Conditions of the period Lufi-nan [a.d. 397-402] of the Tsin Dy- 
nasty") contains the following note:* "The pomegranates (nan Si 
liu) of the district Lin-yfcan ft fib in Wu-lih ft ft* are as large as cups; 
they are not sour to the taste. Each branch bears six fruits." 

Lu Hui ttM of the Tsin dynasty, in his Ye lun ki IK *f*E,* states 
that in the park of Si Hu 3? tit there were pomegranates with seeds as 
large as cups, and they were not sour. Si Hu or Si Ki-luri 35 ^ ft ruled 
from a.d. 335 to 349, under the appellation T'ai Tsu ^C 9. of the Hou 
Cao dynasty, as "regent celestial king" (kU-Se Vien wan), and shifted 
the capital to Ye HB, the present district of Lin-Safi HI ifc, in the pre- 
fecture of Can-te ^ fll in Ho-nan. 6 

The pomegranate is mentioned in the Ku kin lu *fi ^ $6/ written 
by Ts*ui Pao ttfi during the middle of the fourth century, with 
reference to the pumelo W (Citrus grandis), the fruit of which is com- 
pared in shape with the pomegranate. The Ts'i min yao Su (l.c.) gives 
rules for the planting of pomegranates. 

1 Ch. 1 8, p. 7 (ed. of Lu Sin-yuan); the other texts see in Cen lei pen ts % ao t I. c 
1 % H\, the ancient division of China under the Emperor Yu. 

• Tat p*$n yU lan t Ch. 970, p. 4 b. Regarding the department of records styled 
k'i fci £n, see The Diamond, p. 35. In the Yuan kien lei Man (Ch. 403, p. 2) the 
same text is credited to the Su& Su. 

4 In Hu-nan Province. 

*E<LolWuyin Hen, p. 12. 

6 Regarding his history, see L. Wisgbr, Textes historiques, pp. 1095-1100. 
Bbbtschnbidbr's (Bot Sin., pt 1, p. 211) note that, besides the Ye lun ft of La 
Hui, there isjanother work of the same name by Si Hu, is erroneous; Si Hu i» simply 
the "hero" of the F* ft* hi. 

T Ch. c, p. 1 (ed. of Han Wei Wun Su or Kifu is % un Su). Cf. also below, p. 283. 

The Pomegranate 281 

The Annals of the Liu Sung Dynasty, a.d. 420-477 (SunSu), contain 
the following account: "At the close of the period Yikm-kia 3t M 
(a.d. 424-453), when Tai Wu (a.d. 424-452) ^C IS of the Wei dynasty 
conquered the city Ku ffcftfc, 1 he issued orders to search for sugar- 
cane and pomegranates (nan H liu). Can C'an 9ft II said that pome- 
granates (H4iu) come from Ye." This is the same locality as mentioned 

The Siah kwo ki X ■ IB* reports that in the district of Lufi-kaft 
It H Jtt* there are good pomegranates (Si liu). These various examples 
illustrate that in the beginning the tree was considered as peculiar to 
certain localities, and that accordingly a gradual dissemination must 
have taken place. Apparently no ancient Chinese author is informed 
as to the locality from which the tree originally came, nor as to the how 
and when of the transplantation. 

The Kwan U M &, written by Kwo Yi-kuA JU Wktt prior to a.d. 
527, as quoted in the Ts'i win yao !u, discriminates between two varie- 
ties of pomegranate (nan Si liu), a sweet and a sour one, in the same 
manner as T'ao Hun-kifi. 4 This distinction is already made by Theo- 
phrastus.* As stated above, there was also a bitter variety. 6 

It is likewise a fact of great interest that we have an isolated instance 
of the occurrence of a pomegranate-tree that reverted to the wild state. 
The LA San ki M tfl IE 7 contains this notice: "On the summit of the 
Hiait-lu fuft 3£j9t4£ ('Censer-Top') there is a huge rock on which 
several people can sit. There grows a wild pomegranate (San H4iu 
tfl 35 tf ) drooping from the rock. In the third month it produces blos- 
soms. In color these resemble the [cultivated] pomegranate, but they 

1 Modern Cen-tin f u in Ci-li Province. 

1 Thus in Tai p'in yU Ian, Ch. 970, p. 5 b; the 7V* min yao Su (Gh. 4, p. 14) 
ascribes the same text to the Kin k*ou M A D IS* 

* At present the district which forms the prefectural city of Sun-te in Ci-li 

4 Above, p. 279. 

1 Historia plantarum, II. n, 7. 

• Pliny (XIII, 113) distinguishes five varieties, — dulcia, acria, mixta, adda, 

7 Tai p 9 tn yU Ian, Ch. 970, p. 5. The Lu Mountain is situated in Kian-si Prov- 
ince, twenty-five /* south of Kiu-kian. A work under the title LA San ki was written 
by C'en Lin-ku Ht ^ ^t in the eleventh century (Wylib, Notes on Chinese Liter- 
ature, p. 55); but, as the Tai p % in yU Ian was published in a.d. 983, the question here 
must be of an older work of the same title. In fact, there is & LU San ki by Kin Si 
Jt ^t of the Hou Cou dynasty: and the YOan hien lei han (Ch. 402, p. 2) ascribes 
the same text to the Cou Kin Si LU San ki. The John Crerar Library of Chicago 
(No. 156) possesses a LU San siao li in 24 chapters, written by Ts'ai Yin f£| jR and 
published in 1824. 

282 Sino-Ibanica 

are smaller and pale red. When they open, they display a purple calyx 
of bright and attractive hues." A poem of Li Te-yu 3 s • ttf (787-849) 
opens with the words, "In front of the hut where I live there is a wild 
pomegranate." 1 

Fa Hien $fe M 9 the celebrated Buddhist traveller, tells in his Fu kwo 
ki ife H 16 ("Memoirs of Buddhist Kingdoms"), written about a.d. 
420, that, while travelling on the upper Indus, the flora differed from 
that of the land of Han, excepting only the bamboo, pomegranate, and 
sugar-cane. 1 This passage shows that Fa Hien was familiar with that 
tree in China. Huan Tsan observed in the seventh century that pome- 
granates were grown everywhere in India.' Soleiman (or whoever may 
be the author of this text), writing in a.d. 851, emphasizes the abun- 
dance of the fruit in India. 4 Ibn Batata says that the pomegranates of 
India bear fruit twice a year, and emphasizes their fertility on the 
Maldive Islands/ Seedless pomegranates came to the household of the 
Emperor Akbar from Kabul. 9 

The pomegranate occurred in Fu-nan (Camboja), according to the 
Nan TsH 5u or History of the Southern Ts'i (a.d. 479-501), compiled 
by Siao T^se-hien in the beginning of the sixth century/ It is mentioned 
again by CouTa-kwanof the Yfian dynasty, in his book on the "Customs 
of Camboja." 8 In Haft-Sou, large and white pomegranates were styled 
>* to S ffl ("jade" liu), while the red ones were regarded as inferior or 
of second quality. 9 

The following ancient terms for the pomegranate, accordingly, are 
on record: — 

(1) Iff tt Vu-lin, *du-lim. Aside from the Po wu &', this term is 
used by the Emperor Yuan of the Liang dynasty in a eulogy of the 
fruit. 10 Hirth 11 identified this word with an alleged Indian daritn; and, 
according to him, Caft K'ien must have brought the Indian name to 

1 Li wet kun pie tsi t Ch. 2, p. 8 (Kifu is'un hi, Vao 10). 
1 Cf . J. Leggb, A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms, p. 24. 

• To Tan si yH ki, Ch. 2, p. 8 b (S. Bbal, Buddhist Records of the Western 
World, Vol I, p. 88). 

4 M. Rbinaud, Relation des voyages, Vol. I, p. 57. 

1 Dbfr£mbry and Sanguinbtti, Voyages d'Ibn Batoutah, Vol. Ill, p. 129. 

• H. Blochmann, Ain I Akbari, Vol. I, p. 65. 

7 Pblliot, Le Fou-nan, Bull, de VEcole franfoise, Vol. Ill, p. 262. 

8 Pblliot, ibid., Vol. II, p. 168. 

9 Men lion lu £t J£ jft by Wu Tse-mu Jj| g tfe of the Sung (Ch. 18, p. 5 b; 
ed. t&Ciputsutai ts*un hi). 

10 Yuan kien lei han, Ch. 402, p. 3 b. Further, in the lost Hu pen ts'ao, as follows 
from a quotation in a note to the Pei hu lu (Ch. 3, p. 12). 

n Toung Poo, Vol. VI, 1895, p. 439. 

The Pomegranate 283 

China. How this would have been possible, is not explained by him. 
The Sanskrit term for the pomegranate (and this is evidently what 
Hirth hinted at) is d&jima or ddlitna, also ctiujimva, which has passed 
into Malayan as deRma. 1 It is obvious that the Chinese transcription 
bears some relation to this word; but it is equally obvious that the 
Chinese form cannot be fully explained from it, as it leads only to 
*du-lim, not, however, to dalim. There are two possibilities : the Chinese 
transcription might be based either on an Indian vernacular or 
Apabhramga form of a type like *dulim, *du<Jim, s or on a word of the 
same form belonging to some Iranian dialect. The difficulty of the 
problem is enhanced by the fact that no ancient Iranian word for the 
fruit is known to us.' It appears certain, however, that no Sanskrit 
word is intended in the Chinese transcription, otherwise we should 
meet the latter in the Sanskrit-Chinese glossaries. The fact remains 
that these, above all the Fan yi mih yi isi, do not contain the word 
Vu4in; and, as far as I know, Chinese Buddhist literature offers no 
allusion to the pomegranate. Nor do the Chinese say, as is usually 
stated by them in such cases, that the word is of Sanskrit origin; the 
only positive information given is that it came along with General 
Can K'ien, which is to say that the Chinese were under the im- 
pression that it hailed from some of the Iranian regions visited by him. 
*Dulim, dulima, or *durim, durima, accordingly, must have been a 
designation of the pomegranate in some Iranian language. 

(2) & 3£ tan-io, *dan-zak, dan-yak, dan-n'iak. This word appears 
in the Ku kin £u A and in the Yu yah isa tsu.* Apparently it represents a 
transcription, but it is not stated from which language it is derived. In 
my estimation, the foundation is an Iranian word still unknown to us, 
but congeners of which we glean from Persian ddnak ("small grain"), 

1 J. Crawfubd (History of the Indian Archipelago, Vol. I, p. 433) derives this 
word from the Malayan numeral five, with reference to the five cells into which the 
fruit is divided. This, of course, is a mere popular etymology. There is no doubt 
that the fruit was introduced into the Archipelago from India; it occurs there only 
cultivated, and is of inferior quality. On the Philippines it was only introduced 
by the Spaniards (A. db Morga, Philippine Islands, p. 275, ed. of Hakluyt Society). 

1 The vernacular forms known to me have the vowel a; for instance, Hindustani 
dorim, Bengali 4dlim % ddlim or d&rim; Newaii, dh&fc. The modern Indo-Aryan 
languages have also adopted the Persian word an&r. 

1 In my opinion, the Sanskrit word is an Iranian loan-word, as is also Sanskrit 
karaka, given as a synonyme for the pomegranate in the Amarakosa. The earliest 
mention of d&fima occurs in the Bower Manuscript; the word is absent in Vedic 

4 At least it is thus stated in cyclopaedias; but the editions of the work, as 
reprinted in the Han Wei ts'un hi and Kifu ts'vA hi, do not contain this term. 

• Ch. 18, p. 3 b (ed. of Pai hoi). 

284 Sino-Iranica 

dona ("grain, berry, stone of a fruit, seed of grain or fruit"), d&ngR 
("kind of grain"), Sina danu ("pomegranate 9 '); 1 Sanskrit dhamka, 
dhanyaka, or dhaniyaka ("coriander"; properly "grains"). The no- 
tion conveyed by this series is the same ap that underlying Latin 
granatum, from granum ("grain 91 ); cf. Anglo-Saxon comappel and 
English pomegranate ("apple made up of grains 99 ). 

(3) 56? 5 tf nan Si liu or 35 tf H liu. This transcription is generally 
taken in the sense "the plant liu of the countries Nan and Si, or of the 
country Nan-Si. 99 This view is expressed in the Po wu #, which, as 
stated, also refers to the Can-K'ien legend, and to the term fu4in t 
and continues that this was the seed of the liu of the countries Nan 
and Si; hence, on the return of Can KHen to China, the name nan-U-liu 
was adopted. 8 Bretschneider intimates that Nan and Si were little 
realms dependent on K'an at the time of the Han. Under the T'ang, 
the name Nan referred to Bukhara, and Si to TaSESend; but it is hardly 
credible that these two geographical names (one does not see for what 
reason) should have been combined into one, in order to designate 
the place of provenience of the pomegranate. It is preferable to assume 
that 5fe 7S nan Si, *an-sek, an-sak, ar-sak, represents a angle name 
and answers to Arsak, the name of the Parthian dynasty, being on a 
par with 3? A nan-si, *Ar-sik, and $ B nan-si, *Ar-sai. In fact, 
j£ U is the best possible of these transcriptions. We should expect, 
of course, to receive from the Chinese a specific and interesting story as 
to how and when this curious name, which is unique in their botanical 
nomenclature, was transmitted;* but nothing of the kind appears to 
be on record, or the record, if it existed, seems to have been lost. It 
is manifest that also the plant-name liu (*riu, r'u) presents the tran- 
scription of an Iranian word, and that the name in its entirety was 
adopted by the Chinese from an Iranian community outside of Parthia, 
which had received the tree or shrub from a Parthian region, and there- 
fore styled it "Parthian pomegranate. 99 It is not likely that the tree 
was transplanted to China directly from Parthia; we have to assume 
rather that the transplantation was a gradual process, in which the 

1 W. Lbitner, Races and Languages of Dardistan, p. 17. 

s It is not correct, as asserted by Bretschneider (Chines* Recorder, 1871, 
p. 222), to say that this definition emanates from Li 5i-cen, who, in fact, quotes 
only the Po vm U, and presents no definition of his own except that the word Uu 
means ^J liu ("goitre"); this, of course, is not to be taken seriously. In Jehol, a 
variety of pomegranate is styled hoi fl| liu (O. Pranks, Beschreibung des Jehol* 
Gebietes, p. 75); this means literally, "liu from the sea," and signifies as much as 
"foreign liu" 

• Cf. nam-si hia* $ Jft ? ("Parthian incense") as designation for styrax 
benzoin (p. 464). 

The Pomegranate 285 

Iranian colonies outside of Iran proper, those of Sogdiana and Turkis- 
tan, played a prominent part. We know the Sogdian word for the 
pomegranate, which is written nYkh, and the reading of which has 
been reconstructed by R. Gauthiot 1 in the form *nar&k(a), developed 
from *anfir-fika. This we meet again in Persian anar, which was adopted 
in the same form by the Mongols, while the Uigur had it as nara. At 
all events, however, it becomes necessary to restore, on the basis of the 
Chinese transcription, an ancient *riu, *ru, of some Iranian dialect. 
This lost Iranian word, In my opinion, presents also the foundation of 
Greek £6a or /tout, — the origin of which has been hitherto unexplained or 
incorrectly explained, 2 — and the Semitic names, Hebrew ritnmon, 
Arabic rumman, Amharic rumdn, Syriac rumono, Aramaic rummana, 
from which Egyptian arhmdni or anhmdni (Coptic erman or Herman) 
is derived.' 

(4) 3¥ 4B io4iu 9 *zak (yak, n'iak)-liu (riu). This hybrid compound, 
formed of elements contained in 2 and 3, is found in the dictionary 
Kwan ya M %, written by Caft Yi 3RJR about a.d. 265.* It is also 
employed by the poet P'an Yo of the fourth century, mentioned above.* 
Eventually also this transcription might ultimately be traced to an 
Iranian prototype. Japanese zakuro is based on this Chinese form. 9 

While the direct historical evidence is lacking, the Chinese names of 
the tree point clearly to Iranian languages. Moreover, the tree itself 
is looted upon by the Chinese as a foreign product, and its first intro- 
duction into China appears to have taken place in the latter part of 
the third century a.d. 

In my opinion, the pomegranate-tree was transplanted to India, 

1 Essai but le vocalisme du sogdien, p. 49. Cf . also Armenian nrneni for the 
tree and nurn for the fruit. 

•The etymologies of the Greek word enumerated by Schbadbr (in Hehn, 
Kulturpflanzen, p. 347) are so inane and far-fetched that they do not merit dis- 
cussion. It is not necessary, of course, to hold that an immediate transmission of 
the Persian word took place, but we must look to a gradual propagation and to 
missing finks by way of Asia Minor. According to W. Muss-Arnolt (Transactions 
Am. Phil. Assoc., Vol. XXIII, 1892, p. no), the Cyprian form £uMa forbids all 
connection with the Hebrew. It is not proved, however, that this dialectic word 
has any connection with £6a; it may very well be an independent local development, 

■ V. Lorjct, Flore pharaonique, p. 76. Portuguese roma> romeira, from the 
Arabic; Anglo-Saxon riad-mppel. 

4 This is the date given by Wattbks (Essays on the Chinese Language, p. 38). 
Bsbtschnbidbr (Bot. Sin., pt. i t p. 164) fixes the date at about 227-340. 

• Tan lei han, Ch. 183, p. 9. 

6 Written also |?? ffi. B. Kaempfbr (Amoenitates exoticae, p. 800) already 
mentions this term as dsjakurjo, vulgo sakuro, with the remark, "Rara est hoc 
codo et fructu ingrato." 

286 Sino-Iranica 

likewise from Iranian regions, presumably in the first centuries of 
our era. The tree is not mentioned in Vedic, Pali, or early Sanskrit 
literature; and the word dalima, dafcma, etc., is traceable to Iranian 
*dulim(a), which we have to reconstruct on the basis of the Chinese 
transcription. The Tibetans appear to have received the tree from 
Nepal, as shown by their ancient term bal-poi sea-Sin ("seu tree of 
Nepal")* 1 Pram India the fruit spread to the Malayan Archipelago 
and Camboja. Both Cam dalim and Khmer iaiim 1 are based on the 
Sanskrit word. The variety of pomegranate in the kingdom of Nan-Sao 
in Yun-nan, with a skin as thin as paper, indicated in the Yu yah tsa 
tsu 9 * may also have come from India. J. Anderson 4 mentions pome- 
granates as products of Yun-nan. 

Pomegranate-wine was known throughout the anterior Orient at 
an early date. It is pointed out under the name &sis in Cant. VIII, 2 
(Vulgata: tnustum) and in the Egyptian texts under the name 5edeh*it.* 
Dioscorides* speaks of pomegranate-wine (JkAtjh obot). Ye-lu C*u- 
ts'ai, in his Siyulu (account of his journey to Persia, 1219-24), speak- 
ing of the pomegranates of Khojand, which are "as large as two fists 
and of a sour-sweet taste," says that the juice of three or five fruits is 
pressed out into a vessel and makes an excellent beverage. 7 In the 
country Tun-sun «S (Tenasserim) there is a wine-tree resembling 
the pomegranate; the juice of its flowers is gathered and placed in jars, 
whereupon after several days it turns into good wine. 8 The inhabitants 
of Hai-nan made use of pomegranate-flowers in fermenting their wine.* 
I have not found any references to pomegranate-wine prepared by the 
Chinese, nor is it known to me that they actually make such wine. 

It is known that the pomegranate, because of its exuberant seeds, 
is regarded in China as an emblem alluding to numerous progeny; it 
has become an anti-race-suicide symbol. The oldest intimation of this 
symbolism looms up in the Pet H ft Jfc, where it is told that two pome* 
granates were presented to King Nan-te 5fc tt of Ts'i X on the occasion 

1 This matter has been discussed by me in Toung Poo, 1916, pp. 408-410. In 
Lo-lo we have sa-bu-se in the A-hi dialect and se-bu-se in Nyi. Sa or se means "grain " 
(corresponding to Tibetan sa in sa-bon t "seed"). The last element u signifies 
"tree." The fruit is se-bn-ma (ma, "fruit"). 

Atmonisr and Cabaton, Dictionnaire cam-francais, p. aao. 

Ch. 18, p. 3 b. 

Report on the Expedition to Western Yunan, p. 93 (Calcutta* 1871). 

V. Lorbt, Flore pharaonique, pp. 77, 78. 


Bbbtschnbidbr, Mediaeval Researches, VoL I, p. 19. 

IAak Jfe, Ch. 54, p. 3. 
HntTH, Chau Ju-kua, p. 177. 

The Pomegranate 287 

of his marriage to the daughter of Li Tsu-Sou 2£ K <fc. The latter 
explained that the pomegranate encloses many seeds, and implies the 
wish for many sons and grandsons. Thus the fruit is still a favorite 
marriage gift or plays a rOle in the marriage feast. 1 The same is the 
case in modern Greece. Among the Arabs, the bride, when dismounting 
before the tent of the bridegroom, receives a pomegranate, which she 
gnashes on the threshold, and then flings the seeds into the interior of 
the tent. 1 The Arabs would have a man like the pomegranate, — bitter- 
sweet, mild and affectionate with his friends in security, but tempered 
with a just anger if the time call him to be a defender in his own or in 
his neighbor's cause. 8 

1 See, for instance, H. Doai, Recherche* sur les superstitions en Chine, pt i, 
VoL II, p. 479. 

1 A. Musil, Arabia Petraea, VoL III, p. 191. 

'CM. Doughty, Travels in Arabia Deserta, VoL I, p. 564. 


6. In A. de Candolle's book 1 we read, "Chinese works seem to 
show that sesame was not introduced into China before the Christian 
era. The first certain mention of it occurs in a book of the fifth or sixth 
century, entitled TsH min yao Su. Before this there is confusion between 
the name of this plant and that of flax, of which the seed also yields an 
oil, and which is not very ancient in China.' 9 Bretschneider is cited as 
the source for this information. It was first stated by the latter that, 
according to the Pen ts'ao, humatibtit (Sesamum orientate) was brought 
by Can K'ien from Ta-yuan. 1 In his "Botanicon Sinicum ,,, he asserts 
positively that hu ma, or foreign hemp, is a plant introduced from west- 
ern Asia in the second century B.C. 4 The same dogma is propounded 
by Stuaet. 1 

All that there is to this theory amounts to this. T'ao Hun-kin 
(a.d. 451-536) is credited in the Pen ts'ao kan nut with the statement 
that "huma M tit ('hemp of the Hu 9 ) originally grew in Ta-yuan 
(Fergana) % %L ^C 1%/ and that it hence received the name hu ma 
('Iranian hemp')." He makes no reference to Can KHen or to the time 
when the introduction must have taken place; and to every one 
familiar with Chinese records the passage must evoke suspicion through 
its lack of precision and chronological and other circumstantial evi- 
dence. The records regarding Ta-yuan do not mention hu ma, nor 
does this term ever occur in the Annals. Now, T'ao Hun-kin was a 
Taoist adept, a drug-hunter and alchemist, an immortality fiend; he 
never crossed the boundaries of his country, and certainly had no 
special information concerning Ta-yuan. He simply drew on his 
imagination by arguing, that, because mu-su (alfalfa) and grape sprang 

1 Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 420. 

1 Chinese Recorder, 1871, p. 222; adopted by Hurra, Toung Poo, V6L VI, 1895, 
p. 439, and maintained again in Journal Am. Or. Sae. 9 191 7, p. 92. 

* Pt. II, p. 206. 

4 Ibid., p. 204, he says, however, that the Pen ts % oo does not speak of flax, and 
that its introduction must be of more recent date. This conflicts with his statement 

• Chinese Materia Medica, p. 404. 

6 Ch. 22, p. 1. Likewise in the earlier Cen lei pen ts'ao, Ch. 24, p. 1 b. 

7 This tradition is reproduced without any r e f e r e n ce in the Pen ts'ao yen i of 
1 1 16 (Ch. 20, p. I, ed. of Lu Sin-yuan). 


Sesame and Flax 289 

from Ta-yuan (that is, a Hu country), hu ma also, being a Hu plant, 
must likewise have emanated from that quarter. Such vagaries 
cannot be accepted as history. All that can be inferred from the passage 
in question is that T'ao Hun-kin may have been familiar with hu ma. 
Li Si-Sen, quoting the Men kH pi Van 9 88 *P fH by Sen Kwa tt IS 1 
of the eleventh century, says, "In times of old there was in China only 
'great hemp' ia ma Jztit (Cannabis saliva) growing in abundance. 
The envoy of the Han, Can K'ien, was the first to obtain the seeds of 
oil-hemp jft tit 1 from Ta-yuan; hence the name hu ma in distinction 
from the Chinese species ia ma" The Can-K'ien tradition is further 
voiced in the Tun H of Cen Tsiao (1108-62) of the Sung. 1 The Tai 
p'in yii Ian,* published in a.d. 983, quotes a Pen ts % ao kin of unknown 
date as saying that Can K'ien obtained from abroad hu ma and hu tou} 
This legend, accordingly, appears to have arisen under the Sung (a.d. 
960-1278) ; that is, over a millennium after Can K'ien's lifetime. And 
then there are thinking scholars who would make us accept such stuff 
as the real history of the Han dynasty! 

In the T'ang period this legend was wholly unknown: the Tan Pen 
ts'ao does not allude to any introduction of hu ma, nor does this work 
speak of Can K'ien in this connection. 

A serious book like the Tu kin pen is % ao of Su Sufi, which for the 
first time has also introduced the name yu ma ("oil hemp"), says only 
that the plant originally grew in the territory of the Hu, that in appear- 
ance it is like hemp, and that hence it receives the name hu ma. 

Unfortunately it is only too true that the Chinese confound Sesamum 
indicum (family Pedaliaceae) and Linum usitatissimum (family Linaceae) 
in the single term hu ma ("Iranian hemp 9 '); the only apparent reason 
for this is the fact that the seeds of both plants yield an oil which is put 
to the same medicinal use. The two are totally different plants, nor 
do they have any relation to hemp. Philologically, the case is somewhat 
analogous to that of hu tou (p. 305). It is most probable that the two 
are but naturalized in China and introduced from Iranian regions, for 
both plants are typically ancient West-Asiatic cultivations. The alleged 
wild sesame of China 6 is doubtless an escape from cultivation. 

1 This is the author wrongly called "Gh'en Ts*ung-chung" by Bkbtschnbider 
(Bot. Sin., pt. II, p. 377). Ts'un-cun # + is his hao. 

1 A gynonyme of hu ma. 

1 Ch. 75. P. 33. 
4 Ch. 841, p. 6 b. 

• See below, p. 305. 

• Pokbss and Hemslby, Journal Linnean Soc., Vol XXVI, p. 236. 

290 Sino-Iranica 

Herodotus 1 emphasizes that the only oil used by the Babylonians 
is made from sesame. Sesame is also mentioned among their products 
by the Babylonian priest Berosus (fourth century B.C.). 1 

Aelius Gallus, a member of the Equestrian order, carried the Roman 
arms into Arabia, and brought back from his expedition the report that 
the Nomades (nomads) live on milk and the flesh of wild animals, and 
that the other peoples, like the Indians, express a wine from palms and 
oil from sesame.' According to Pliny, sesame comes from India, where 
they make an oil from it, the color of the seeds being white. 4 Both the 
seeds and the oil were largely employed in Roman pharmacology .* 
Megasthenes* mentions the cultivation of sesame in India. It likewise 
occurs in the Atharva Veda and in the Institutes of Manu (Sanskrit 
tila)? A. de Candoixe's view* that it was introduced into India from 
the Sunda Isles in prehistoric times, is untenable. This theory is based 
on a purely linguistic argument: "Rumphius gives three names for 
the sesame in these islands, very different one from the other, and from 
the Sanskrit word, which supports the theory of a more ancient existence 
in the archipelago than on the continent." This alleged evidence proves 
nothing whatever for the history of the plant, but is merely a fact of 
language. 9 There can now be no doubt that from a botanical viewpoint 
the home of the genus is in tropical Africa, where twelve species occur, 
while there are only two in India. 10 

In the Fan yi tnin yi tsi 9 n a Sanskrit synonyme of "sesame" is given as 
HJIB^ftl a-Vi-mu-to-k'ie, *a-di-muk-ta-g / a, i.e., Sanskrit adhi- 
muktaka, which is identified with kU-Sen (see below) and hu-ma. An 
old gloss explains the term as "the foreign flower of pious thoughtful* 
ness" (San se i hwa Sf Jft M tt), an example of which is the lighting of 
a lamp fed with the oil of three flowers (sandal, soma, and campaka 
[Michelia champaca]) and the placing of this lamp on the altar of the 

1 1. 193. 

1 MOllbr, Fragment* historiae graecae, VoL II, p. 496. Regarding Egypt, 
see V. Lorbt, Flore pharaonique, p. 57. 

• Pliny, VI, 28, Ji6i. 

4 Sesama ab India venit. Ex ea et oleum faciunt; colos eras Candidas (xvm, 
22, §96). 

I Pliny, xxn, 64, J 132. 

• Strabo, XV. 1, 13. 

7 Joebt, Plantes dans l'antiquitl, VoL II, p. 269. 

8 Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 422. 

9 The Malayan languages possess a common name for Stsamum indicum: 
Javanese and Malayan leha, Batak loha, Cam loM or laM; Khmer Urto. 

10 A. Englbr, Pflanzenfamilien, Vol. IV, pt. 3 b, p. 262. 

II Ch. 8, p. 6 (see above, p. 254). 

Sesame and Flax 291 

Triratna. 1 From the application of adhimuktaka it becomes self-evident 
also that sesame-oil must be included in this series. The frequent 
mention of this oil for sacred lamps is familiar to all readers of the 
Buddhist J&taka. The above Sanskrit-Chinese Dictionary adds the 
following comment: "This plant is in appearance like the 'great hemp 9 
(Cannabis saliva). It has red flowers and green leaves. Its seeds can 
be made into oil; also they yield an aromatic. According to the Tsuh 
kin yin me Inn Src M 51 % flfr, sesame (kti-$en) is originally charcoal, 
and, while for a long time buried in the soil, will change into sesame. 
In the wes te r n countries (India) it is customary in anointing the body 
with fragrant oil to use first aromatic flowers and then to take sesame- 
seeds. These are gathered and soaked till thoroughly bright; afterwards 
they proceed to press the oil out of the sesame, which henceforth be- 
comes fragrant." 

Of greater importance for our purpose is the antiquity of sesame in 
Iran. According to Herodotus 1 , it was cultivated by the Chorasmians, 
Hyrcanians, Parthians, Sarangians, and Thamanseans. In Persia 
sesame-oil was known at least from the time of the first Achaemenides. 8 
G. Watt 4 even looks to Persia and Central Asia as the home of the 
species; he suggests that it was probably first cultivated somewhere 
betwe e n the Euphrates valley and Bukhara south to Afghanistan and 
upper India, and was very likely diffused into India proper and the 
Archipelago, before it found its way to Egypt and Europe. 

Scsamum indicum (var. subindivisum Dl.) is cultivated in Russian 
IWkistan and occupies there the first place among the oil-producing 
plants. It thrives in the warmest parts of the valley of Fergana, and 
does not go beyond an elevation of two thousand five hundred feet. 
It is chiefly cultivated in the districts of Namanga and Andijan, though 
not in large quantity .' Its Persian name is kunjut. 

While there is no doubt that this species was introduced into China 
from Iranian regions, the time as to when this introduction took place 
remains obscure. First, there is no historical and dependable record 
of this event; second, the confusion brought about by the Chinese in 
treating this subject is almost hopeless. Take the earliest notice of 
ku ma died by the P*n ts'ao and occurring in the Pi* lu: "Hu ma is 
also called AaWtit S 9. It grows on the rivers and in the marshes of 

* Cf • Bmx, Handbook of Chincee Buddhism, p. 4. 

! m, 117. 

1 Jour, *p. cii. t Vol II, p. 71. Sesame it mentioned in Pahlavi literature 
(above, p, 193). 

'Gtnfdly or S e same OQ, p. n (Handbooks of Commercial Products, No. ai). 

ft & KoainisKt, Vegetation of Turldstaa (in Rnaataa), p. 50. 

29* Sino-Iranica 

San-tafi JL ft (south-eastern portion of San-si), and is gathered in the 
autumn. What is called isHn ian W j[ are the sprouts of the kO-Sen. 
They grow in the river-valleys of CuA-yuan *t* JK (Ho-nan)." Nothing 
is said here about a foreign introduction or a cultivation; on the con- 
trary, the question evidently is of an indigenous wild swamp-plant, 
possibly Mulgedium sibiriacum. 1 Both Sesamum and Linnm are thor- 
oughly out of the question, for they grow in dry loam, and sesame espe- 
cially in sandy soil. Thus suspicion is ripe that the terms hu ma and 
kU-$en originally applied to an autochthonous plant of San-si and 
Ho-nan, and that hu ma in this case moves on the same line as the term 
hu Sen in the Li sao (p. 195). This suspicion is increased by the fact 
that hu ma occurs in a passage ascribed to Hwai-nan-tse, who died in 
122 B.C., and cited in the T*ai pHn yfl Ian} Moreover, the Wu Si (or 
p % u) pen ts'ao, written in the first half of the third century by Wu P'u 
#| #, in describing hu ma, alludes to the mythical Emperor Sen-nuA 
and to Lei kuA • &, a sage employed by the Emperor Hwafi in his 
efforts to perfect the art of healing. 

The meaning of kti-Sen is " the great superior one." The later authors 
regard the term as a variety of Sesamum, but give varying definitions 
of it: thus, Tao Hufi-kifi states that the kind with a square stem is 
called kil-Sen (possibly Mulgedium), that with a round stem hu ma. 
Su KuA of the T'ang says that the plant with capsules (kio ft) of eight 
ridges or angles (pa ten A J%) is called kil-fen; that with quadrangular 
capsules, hu ma. The latter definition would refer to Sesamum indicum, 
the capsule of which is oblong quadrangular, two-valved and two-celled, 
each cell containing numerous oily seeds. 

M06 Sen j£l Mg, in his Si liao pen Vsao (written in the second half 
of the seventh century), observes that "the plants cultivated in fertile 
soil produce octangular capsules, while those planted in mountainous 
fields have the capsules quadrangular, the distinction arising from the 
difference of soil conditions, whereas the virtues of the two varieties are 
identical. Again, Lei Hiao 9 #fc of the fifth century asserts that 
kO-Sen is genuine, when it has seven ridges or angles, a red color, and 
a sour taste, but that it is erroneous to style hu ma the octangular 
capsules with two pointed ends, black in color, and funrishinga black oil. 
There is no doubt that in these varying descriptions entirely different 
plants are visualized. Kao C'efi of the Sung, in his Si wu ki yUan,* 


1 Stuart, Chinese Materia Medica, p. 269. This identification, however, is 

1 Ch. 989, p. 6 b. 

* Ch. 10, p. 29 b (see above, p. 279). 

Sesame and Flax 293 

admits that it is unknown what the hu ma spoken of in the Pm4s % ao 
literature really is. 

I have also prepared a translation of Li Si-Sen's text on the subject, 
which Bretschneider refrained from translating; but, as there are several 
difficult botanical points which I am unable to elucidate, I prefer to 
leave this subject to a competent botanist. In substance Li §i-2en 
understands by hu ma the sesame, as follows from his use of the modern 
term Zimat&A. He says that there are two crops, an early and a late 
one, 1 with black, white, or red seeds; but how he can state that the 
stems are all square is unintelligible. The criticism of the statements 
of his predecessors occupies much space, but I do not see that it enlight- 
ens us much. The best way out of this difficulty seems to me Stuart's 
suggestion that the Chinese account confounds Sesamum, Linum, 
and Mulgedium. The Japanese naturalist Ono Ranzan* is of the same 
opinion. He says that there is no variety of sesame with red seed, as 
asserted by Li Si-Sen (save that the blade seeds of sesame are reddish 
in the immature stage), and infers that this is a species of Linum which 
always produces red seeds exclusively. Ono also states that there is a 
close correlation between the color of the seeds and the angles of the 
capsules: a white variety will always produce two or four-angled cap- 
sules, while hexaqgular and octangular capsules invariably contain only 
b{ack seeds. Whether or in how fer this is correct I do not know. The 
confusion of Sesamum and Linum arose from the common name hu ma, 
but unfortunately proves that the Chinese botanists, or rather pharma- 
cists, were bookworms to a much higher degree than observers; for it 
is almost beyond comprehension how such radically distinct plants 
can be confounded by any one who has even once seen them. In view 
of this disconsolate situation, the historian can only beg to be excused. 

7. It is a point of great culture-historical interest that the Chinese 
have never utilized the flax-fibre in the manufacture of textiles, but 
that hemp has always occupied this place from the time of their 
earliest antiquity.' This is one of the points of fundamental diversity 
between East-Asiatic and Mediterranean civilizations, — there hemp, 
and here flax, as material for clothing. There are, further, two important 
facts to be considered in this connection, — first, that the Aryans 

1 In S. Couling's Encyclopedia Sinica (p. 504) it is stated that in China there is 
only one crop, but late and early varieties exist. 
' Hon*6 kdmoku keimd, Ch. 18, p. 2. 

1 In a subsequent study on the plants and agriculture of the Indo-Chinese, I 
hope to demonstrate that the Indo-Chinese nations, especially the Chinese and 
Tibetans, possess a common designation for "hemp," and that hemp has been 
cultivated by them in a prehistoric age. There also the history of hemp will be 

294 Sino-Iranica 

(Iranians and I ndo Aryans) possess an identical word for "hemp" (Avestan 
bangha, Sanskrit bhanga), while the European languages have a distinct 
designation, which is presumably a loan-word pointing to Finno-Ugrian 
and Turkish; and, second, that there is a common Old-Turkish word 
for "hemp" of the type kdndir, which stands in some relation to the 
Finno-Ugrian appellations. 1 It is most likely that the Scythians brought 
hemp from Asia to Europe. 1 On the other hand, it is well known what 
vital importance flax and linen claimed in the life of the Egyptians 
and the classical peoples. 8 Flax is the typically European, hemp the 
typically Asiatic textile. Surely Linum usitatissimum was known in 
ancient Iran and India. It was and is still wild in the districts included 
between the Persian Gulf, the Caspian Sea, and the Black Sea. 4 It 
was probably introduced into India from Iran, but neither in India nor 
in Iran wa6 the fibre ever used for garments: the plant was only culti- 
vated as a source of linseed and linseed-oil.* Only a relatively modern 
utilization of flax-fibres for weaving is known from a single locality in 
Persia, — K&zirGn, in the province of Fars. This account dates from the 
beginning of the fourteenth century, and the detailed description 
given of the process testifies to its novelty and exceptional character. 8 
This exception confirms the rule. The naturalization of Linum in China, 


of course, is far earlier than the fourteenth century. As regards the 
utilization of Linum, the Chinese fall in line with Iranians and Indo- 
Aryans; and it is from Iranians that they received the plant. The 
case is a clear index of the fact that the Chinese never were in direct 
contact with the Mediterranean culture-area, and that even such culti- 
vated plants of this area as reached them were not transmitted from 
there directly, but solely through the medium of Iranians. The case 
is further apt to illustrate how superficial, from the viewpoint of tech- 
nical culture, the influence of the Greeks on the Orient must have 
been since Alexander's campaign, as an industry like flax-weaving 
was not promoted by them, although the material was offered there 
by nature. 

For botanical reasons it is possible that Linum usitatissimum was 
introduced into China from Fergana. There it is still cultivated, and 
only for the exclusive purpose of obtaining oil from the seeds. 1 As has 

1 Z. Gombocz, Bulgarisch-tttrkische Lehnworter, p. 92. 

1 Cf . for the present, A. db Candollb, Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 148. 

1 Pliny, xix f 1-3; H. BlOmnbe, Technologie, Vol. I, 2d ed., p. 191. 

4 A. db Candollb, Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 130. 

1 See the interesting discussion of Watt, Commercial Products of India, p. 721. 

• G. Lb Stbangb, Description of the Province of Fars in Persia, p. 55. 

1 S. KorIinsd, Vegetation of Turlristan (in Russian), p. 51. 

Sesame and Flax 395 

been pointed out, the plant is indigenous also in northern Persia, and 
must have been cultivated there from ancient times, although we have 
no information on this point from either native documents or Greek 
authors. 1 

Bretschneider* says that "flax was unknown to the ancient 
Chinese; it is nowadays cultivated in the mountains of northern China 
(probably also in other parts) and in southern Mongolia, but only for 
the oil of its seeds, not for its fibres; the Chinese call it hu ma ('foreign 
hemp'); the Pen ts'ao does not speak of it; its introduction must be of 
more recent date. 9 ' This is erroneous. The Pen ts'ao includes this 
species under the ambiguous term hu ma; and, although the date of the 
introduction cannot be ascertained, the event seems to have taken 
place in the first centuries of our era. 

At present, the designation hu ma appears to refer solely to flax. 
A. Henry* states under this heading, "This is flax (Linum usitatis- 
simum), which is cultivated in San-si, Mongolia, and the mountainous 
parts of Hu-pei and Se-£'wan. In the last two provinces, from personal 
observation, flax would seem to be entirely cultivated for the seeds, 
which are a common article in Chinese drug-shops, and are used locally 
for their oil, utilized for cooking and lighting purposes." In another 
paper, 4 the same author states that Linum usitatissimum is called at 
Yi-2'afi, Se-£'wan, San H ma ill B 5 M ("mountain sap-hemp' 9 ), and 
that it is cultivated in the mountains of the Patuft district, not for the 
fibre, but for the oil which the seed yields. 

Chinese hu ma has passed into Mongol as xuma (khuma) with the 
meaning "sesame," 6 and into Japanese as goma, used only in the sense 
of Sesamum indicum, 1 while Linum usitatissimum is in Japanese ama 
or itinen-ama} 

Yao Min-hwi tfc W ff, in his book on Mongolia (Mon-ku &)»* 
mentions hu ma among the products of that country. There are several 
wild-growing species of Linum in northern China and Japan, — ya ma 

1 Jorbt, Plantes dans l'antiquit6, Vol. II, p. 69. 

* Bot. Sin., pt. II, p. 204. 

9 Chinese Jute, p. 6 (publication of the Chinese Maritime Customs, Shanghai, 

4 Chinese Names of Plants, p. 239 (Journal China Branch Royal As. Soc. t 
VoL XXII, 1887). 

1 The popular writing *£, according to the Pen ts*ao kan mu, is incorrect. 

• Kovalsvski, Dictionnaire mongol, p. 934. 
7 Matsumura, No. 2924. 

9 Ibid., No. 1839. 

t Ch. 3, p. 41 (Shanghai, 1907). 

2q6 Sino-Ikanica 

35 M (Japanese nume-goma or aka-goma), Linum perenne, and Japanese 
matsuba-ninjin or matsuba~nade$iko, Linum possarioides. 1 Foebes and 
Hemsley,* moreover, enumerate Linum nutans for Kan-su, and L. 
steUeroides for Ci-li, San-tuft, Manchuria, and the Korean Archipelago. 
In northern China, Linum sativum {San-si hu ma \U1S fflM) is 
cultivated for the oil of its seeds.* 

1 Matsumuea, Nos, 1837, 1838; Stuart, Chinese Materia Medica, p. 24a. 

* Journal Linnean Soc. 9 Vol. XXIII, p. 95. 

1 This species is figured and described in the Ci wu mt* H Vu k'ao. 


8* The Po wu &*, faithful to its tendencies regarding other Iranian 
plants, generously permits General &* K«ien to have also brought back 
from his journey the coriander, hu swi tH 3£ (Coriandrum sativum). 1 
Li 5i-Cen, and likewise K'aA-hi's Dictionary, repeat this statement 
without reference to the Po wu ti* and of course the credulous com- 
munity of the Changkienides has religiously sworn to this dogma.* 
Needless to say that nothing of the kind is contained in the General's 
biography or in the Han Annals. 4 The first indubitable mention of the 
plant is not earlier than the beginning of the sixth century a.d.; that 
is, about six centuries after the General's death, and this makes some 
difference to the historian. 1 The first Pen is'ao giving the name hu-swi 
is the Si liao pen is % ao $ written by Moil Sen in the seventh century, 
followed by the Pen ts'ao Si i of C'en Ts'aA-kH in the first half of the 
eighth century. None of these authors makes any observation on 
foreign introduction. In the literature on agriculture, the cultivation 
of the coriander is first described in the Ts*i min yao 5u of the sixth 
century, where, however, nothing is said about the origin of the plant 
from abroad. 

An interesting reference to the plant occurs in the Buddhist dic- 
tionary Yi ts*ie kin yin i (/x.), where several variations for writing 

1 This passage is not a modem interpolation, but is of ancient date, as it is cited 
in the Yi isHe its) ym i, <2l 24, p. a (regarding this work, see a b ov e, p. 25S). Whether 
it was contained in the original edition of the Po wu H, remains doubtful. 

* Under ft ("«*rkc") K'e*-hi cites the dictionary To* yOn, published by Sun 
Mien in aj>. 750, as saying that the coriander is due to Can KHen. 

• BftSTSCHJfzn>sm, C hin$i$ Recorder, 1S71, p. aai, where the term hu-swi Is 
wrongly identified with parsley, and Bot Sin., pt 1, p. as; H»tb, Toumg Poo, 
VoL VI. 1895, p. 439. 

4 The coriander is mentioned in several passages of the Kim kwei yao Ho by 
the physician Can CmVkxn of the second century aj>.; but, as stated above (p. 205), 
there is no guaranty that these passages belonged to the original edition of the 
work. M To eat pork together with raw coriander rots away the navel" (Ch. c, 
p. as b). "In the fourth and eighth months do not eat coriander, for it injures the 
intellect" (tttf., p. a$). "Coriander eaten for a long time makes man very forgetful; 

a patient must not eat coriander or kwam la w Is'oA !ff % £R (JLompsana 
opofomoidss)" «Ma\, p. aa. 

•An incidental reference to km swi is made in the Pom Is'ao kan mm in 
the description of the plant k*am er (see BaarscntaiDBm, Bot Sin., pt II, 
No, 438), and ascribed to La Ki, who hved in the latter part of the third century 
ajk In my cjrfnkn, this reading is merely due to a n^ 
description of the kthswi by Lu KL 



the character swi are given, also the synonymes hian ts'oi # £R 
("fragrant vegetable' 9 ) and kiah siin # *%} In Kiafi-nan the plant 
was styled hu swi SJ jfe, also ku hi 81 j£, the pronunciation of the 
latter character being explained by IS &'*, *gi. The coriander belongs 
to the five vegetables of strong odor (p. 303) forbidden to the geomancers 
and Taoist monks. 1 

I have searched in vain for any notes on the plant that might 
elucidate its history or introduction; but such do not seem to exist, 
not even in the various Pen ts*ao. As regards the Annals, I found only 
a single mention in the Wu Tai Si, 1 where the coriander is enumerated 
among the plants cultivated by the Uigur. In tracing its foreign origin, 
we are thrown back solely on the linguistic evidence. 

The coriander was known in Iran : it is mentioned in the BQndahiSn. 4 
Its medical properties are discussed in detail by Abu Mansur in his 
Persian pharmacopoeia. 1 Schlimher 6 observes, "Se cultive presque 
partout en Perse comme plante potag&re; les indigenes le croient 
antiaphrodisiaque et plus sp&nalement an£antissant les Erections." It 
occurs also in Fergana. 7 It was highly appreciated by the Arabs in their 
pharmacopoeia, as shown by the long extract devoted to it by Ibn 
al-Bait&r.' In India it is cultivated during the cold season. The San- 
skrit names which have been given on p. 284, mean simply "grain/ 9 
and are merely attributes, 9 not proper designations of the plant, for 
which in fact there is no genuine Sanskrit word. As will be seen below, 
Sanskrit kustumburu is of Iranian origin; and there is no doubt in my 
mind that the plant came to India from Iran, in the same manner as 
it appears to have spread from Iran to China. 

2fl 95 or |g ku-swi, *ko(go)-swi (su), appears to be the transcription 
of an Iranian form *koswi, koSwi, goSwi. Cf . Middle Persian goiniz; 

1 Two dictionaries, the Tse yOan ^ fi and YUn Ho $[ B&, are quoted in this 
text, but their date is not known tome. As stated in the Pen is* aoHi and Siwu kiyHan 
(Ch. io, p. 30; above, p. 2 79), the change from ku swi to hian swi was dictated by a taboo 
imposed by Si Lo 5 ft ( AJ> - 2 73~333). who was himself a Hu (cf. below, 
p. 300); but we have no contemporaneous account to this effect, and the attempt 
at explanation is surely retrospective. 

' Pen ts % oo han mu t Ch. 26, p. 6 b; and Stuart, Chinese Materia Medic*, p. 28. 

* Ch. 74, p. 4. 

4 Above, p. 19a. 

1 Achundow, Abu Mansur, p. 112. 

* Tenninologie, p. 156. 

7 S. KoaiiNSKi, Vegetation of Turlristan (in Russian), p. 51. 
9 L. Lbclerc, Traite" des simples, Vol. Ill, pp. 170-174. 

* Such are also the synonymes sQksmapatro, Rksnapatra, Oksnaphala ("with 
leaves or fruits of sharp taste"). 

The Coktandek 399 

New Persian ktinis, kubtiz, and gifts?*, also SUnte; 1 Kurd ksnis or kiiniS; 
Turkish kttniS; Russian kiinits; Aramaic kusbarta and kusbar (Hebrew 
gad, Punic yoih, are unconnected), Arabic kozbera or kosher el; Sanskrit 
kustumburu and kustumbari; Middle and Modern Greek foovotf apds 1 
and Kurw^rfi. 

According to the Hut k'ian &*, the coriander is called in Turkistan 
(that is, in Turkl) yutwna-su jk M & 

It is commonly said that the coriander is indigenous to the Mediter- 
ranean and Caucasian regions (others say southern Europe, the Levant, 
etc.), but it is shown by the preceding notes that Iran should be included 
in this definition. I do not mean to say, however, that Iran is the ex- 
clusive and original home of the plant. Its antiquity in Egypt and in 
Palestine cannot be called into doubt. It has been traced in tombs of 
the twenty-second dynasty (960-800 B.C.) ,* and Pliny 4 states that the 
Egyptian coriander is the best. In Iran the cultivation seems to have 
been developed to a high degree; and the Iranian product was propa- 
gated in all directions, — in China, India, anterior Asia, and Russia. 

The Tibetan name for the coriander, u-su, may be connected with 
or derived from Chinese hu-sui. L. A. Waddell' saw the plant culti- 
vated in a valley near Lhasa. It is also cultivated in Siam. 6 

Coriander was well known in Britain prior to the Norman Con- 
quest, and was often employed in ancient Welsh and English medicine 
and cookery. 7 Its Anglo-Saxon name is cellendre, coliandre, going back 
to Greek koridndron, koriannon. 

1 Another Persian word is bughunj. According to Steingass (Persian Diction- 
ary), UUH or t&lgl denotes a "wild coriander." 

1 The second element of the Arabic, Sanskrit, and Greek words seems to bear 
some relation to Coptic berHu, berehi (V. Lorbt, Flore pharaonique, p. 72). In 
Greece, coriander is still cultivated, but only sparsely, near Theben, Corinth, and 
Cyparissia (Th. v. Hbldrbich, Nutzpflanzen Griechenlands, p. 41). 

1 V. Lorbt, op, tit., p. 72; P. Wobnzg, Fflanzen im alten Aegypten, p. 225. 

4 xx, 20, $82. 

1 Lhasa, p. 316. 

9 Pallkgoix, Description du royaume thai, Vol. I, p. 126. 

* Fl&ckiger and Hanbu&y, Pharmacographia, p. 329. 


9. Another dogma of the Changkienomaniacs is that the renowned 
General should have also blessed his countrymen with the introduction 
of the cucumber (Cucumis sativus), styled hu kwa ffl JBt ("Iranian 
melon' 9 ) or hwah kwa !R JB£ ("yellow melon"). 1 The sole document 
on which this opinion is based is presented by the recent work of Li 
Si-Sen,* who hazards this bold statement without reference to any older 
authority. Indeed, such an earlier source does not exist: this bit of 
history is concocted ad hoc, and merely suggested by the name hu kwa. 
Any plants formed with the attribute hu were ultimately palmed off on 
the old General as the easiest way out of a difficult problem, and as a 
comfortable means of saving further thought. 

Li Si-Sen. falls back upon two texts only of the T*ang period, — the 
Pen ts'ao Si i, which states that the people of the north, in order to avoid 
the game of Si Lo 5 ft (a.d. 273-333), w ^° *&* °f Hu descent, tabooed 
the term hu kwa, and replaced it by hwah kwa; 9 and the Si i lu JfHstlfc 
by Tu Pao tfc Jf , who refers this taboo to the year 608 (fourth year 
of the period Ta-ye of the Sui dynasty). 4 If this information be correct, 
we gain a chronological clew as to the terminus a quo: the cucymber 
appears to have been in China prior to the sixth century a.d. Its culti- 
vation is alluded to in the 7Y t min yao Su from the beginning of the 
sixth century, provided this is not an interpolation of later times. 1 

According to Englek, 6 the home of the cucumber would most prob- 

1 Bbbtschnbidbe, Chinese Recorder, 1871, p. 21 (accordingly adopted by 
db Candqllb, Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 266); Stuart, Chinese Materia 
Medica, p. 135. In Japanese, the cucumber is ki-uri. 

' Pen is*ao kan mu, Ch. 28, p. 5 b. 

1 A number of other plant-names was hit by this taboo (cf. above, p. 298): thus 
the plant lo-lo X $ft (Ocimum basilicum), which bears the same character as Si Lo's 
personal name, as already indicated in the TsH min yao 5u (see also Siwuki yuan, 
Ch. xo t p. 30 b; Ci wu min H Vu k'ao, Ch. 5, p. 34; and Pen ts'ao kan mu, Ch. 26, 
p. 22 b). He is said to have also changed the name of the myrobalan Ko4i4o (below, 
p. 378) into ho-tse J»J J*. There is room for doubt, however, whether any of these 
plants existed in the China of his time; the taboo explanations may be makeshifts 
of later periods. 

4 This is the Ta ye H i lu (Records relative to the Ta-ye period, 605-618)1 
mentioned by Bbbtschnbidbr (Bot. Sin., pt. 1, p. 195). The Pen is'ao kan mu 
(Ch. 22, p. 1) quotes the same work again on the taboo of the term kuma(p. 288), 
which in 608 was changed into kiao ma j£ %%. 

1 Cf. Ci wu men H Vu k*ao 9 Ch. 5, p. 43. 

6 In Hehn, Kulturpflansen, p. 323. 


The Cucumber 301 

ably be in India; and Watt 1 observes, "There seems to be no doubt 
that one at least of the original homes of the cucumber was in North 
India, and its cultivation can be traced to the most apcient classic times 
of Asia." Dx Candoixe* traces the home of the plant to northwestern 
India. I am not yet convinced of the correctness of this theory, as the 
historical evidence in favor of India, as usual in such cases, is weak;* 
and the cultivation of the cucumber in Egypt and among the Semites 
is doubtless of ancient date. 4 At any rate, this Cucurbitacea belongs to 
the Bgypto-West-Asiatic ct^twe-sphere, and is not indigenous to 
China. There is, however, no trace of evidence for the gratuitous 
speculation that its introduction is due to General Caft K*ien. The 
theory that it was transmitted from Iranian territory is probable, but 
there is thus far no historical document to support it. The only trace 
of evidence thereof appears from the attribute Hu. 

Abu Mansur mentions the cucumber under the name qittd, adding 
the Arabic-Persian xiyar and kawanda in the language of Khorasan.' 
The word xiyar has been adopted into Osmanli and into Hindustani in 
the form sirtf • Persian xdwui or x&wa! denotes a cucumber kept for 
seed; it means literally "ox-eye" (gSo-a!; Avestan aH, Middle Persian 
of, Sanskrit ak$i 9 "eye"), corresponding to Sanskrit gav&kfi ("a kind 
of cucumber"). A Pahlavi word for "cucumber" is v&tran, which 
developed into New Persian bddrah, b&lan, or vSrah (Afghan bddran)S 

1 Commercial Products of India, p. 439. In Sanskrit the cucumber ia trapusa. 

' Op. £*L, p. 265. 

*Such a positive assertion aa that of de Candolle, that the cucumber wai 
cultivated in India for at toast three thousand years, cannot be accepted by any 
serious Historian. 

4 V. Loan, Flore pharaonique, p. 75; C Joist, Plantes dans l'antiquit*, 
VoL I, p. 61. 

• Aghumdow, Abu]Mansur, p. 106. 

6 This series ia said to mean also "citron. 9 ' The proper Persian word for the 
latter fruit is tmnmj (Afghan turamj, Balufi trunj). The origin of this word, as far 
as I know, has not yet been correctly eiplained, not even by HObscbmamk (Armen. 
Gram., p. 366). Vuluebs (Lexicon persko-latinum, VoL I, p. 439) tentatively 
w i tf tilt derivation from Sanskrit nroAfo, which is surely impossible. The real 
source is pristnted by Sanskrit wtitad**t* ("citron," Citrus m$d£ca). 


10. Although a number of alliaceous plants are indigenous to China, 1 
there is one species, the chive (Allium scorodoprasum; French rocambole), 
to which, as already indicated by its name hu swan SB M or hu $ 
("garlic of the Hu, Iranian garlic"), a foreign origin is ascribed by the 
Chinese. Again, the worn-out tradition that also this introduction 
is due to Cafi Klen, is of late origin, and is first met with in the 
spurious work PowuZi, and then in the dictionary T % ah yUn of the middle 
of the eighth century. 1 Even Li Si-den* says no more than that "people 
of the Han dynasty obtained the hu swan from Central Asia." It seems 
difficult, however, to eradicate a long-established prejudice or an error 
even from the minds of scholars. In 1915 I endeavored to rectify it, 
especially with reference to the wrong opinion expressed by Hirth in 
1895, that garlic in general must have been introduced into China 
for the first time by Cafi K'ien. Nevertheless the same misconception 
is repeated by him in 1917, 4 while a glance at the Botanicon Sinicum 1 
would have convinced him that at least four species of Allium are of 
a prehistoric antiquity in China. The first mention of this Central* 
Asiatic or Iranian species of Allium is made by T'ao HuA-kin 
(a.d. 45 1-536) , provided the statement attributed to him in the Ceh Iti pen 
ts % ao and Pen ts'ao kan mu really emanates from him. 6 When the new 
Allium wasintroduced, the necessity was felt of distinguishing it from the 
old, indigenous Allium sativum, that was designated by the plain root- 
word swan. The former, accordingly, was characterized as ta swan 
^C 3fc ("large Allium"); the latter, as siao /h swan ("small Allium"). 
This distinction is said to have first been recorded by T'ao HuA-kin. 
Also the Ku kin hi is credited with the mention of hu swan; this, how- 
ever, is not the older Ku kin £u by Ts'ui Pao of the fourth century, but, 
as expressly stated in the Pen ts'ao, the later re-edition by Fu Hou 

1 Cf. Vaunt Pao, 1915, pp. 96-99. 

* Bbbtschnbidbr, Bot Sin., pt. Ill, No. 244. 
1 Pen U % ao kan mu, Ch. 26, p. 6 b. 

4 Journal Am. Or. Soc. 9 Vol. XXXVII, p. 92. 

1 Pt II, Nos. 1-4, 63, 357-3^0. and III, Nos. 240-243. 

• The Kin kwei yao lio (Ch. c, p. 24 b) of the second century a.d. mentions km 
swan, but this in all probability is a later interpolation (above, p. 205). 


Chive, Onion, and Shallot 303 

ft ft of the tenth century. However, this text is now inserted in the 
older Ku kin Zu, 1 which teems with interpolations. 

Ta swan is mentioned also as the first among the five vegetables of 
strong odor tabooed for the Buddhist clergy, the so-called wu hun 
3t X. 1 This series occurs in the Brahmajala-sQtra, translated in 
a.d. 406 by Kumflrajlva.* If the term ta swan was contained in the 
original edition of this work, we should have good evidence for carry- 
ing the date of the chive into the Eastern Tsin dynasty (a.d. 317-419). 

11. There is another cultivated species of Allium (probably A. 
fistulosum) derived from the West. This is first mentioned by Sun Se- 
nriao H S IB, 4 in his Ts'ien kin Jft ft ^ 4 & ft (written in the begin- 
ning of the seventh century), under the name hu ts % uh $1 M, because 
the root of this plant resembles the hu swan 81 3$. It was usually styled 
swan-ls'uh MM or hu Wi ts'un (the latter designation in the K % ai pap 
fen is % ao of the Sung). In the Yin San ten yao (p. 236), written in 1331 
under the Yuan, it is called hui-hui ts'uh MMM ("Mohammedan 
onion").* This does not mean, however, that it was only introduced 
by Mohammedans; but this is simply one of the many favorite alter- 
ations of ancient names, as they were in vogue during the Mongol 
epoch. This Allium was cultivated in Se-S*wan under the Tang, as 
stated by Mofi Sen Jst Vft in his Si liao pen ts'ao, written in the second 
half of the seventh century. Particulars in regard to the introduction 
are not on record. 

12. There is a third species of Allium, which reached China under 
the T'ang, and which, on excellent evidence, may be attributed to 
Persia. In a.d. 647 the Emperor T'ai Tsun solicited from all his tribu- 
tary nations their choicest vegetable products, 6 and their response to 
the imperial call secured a number of vegetables hitherto unknown in 
China. One of these is described as follows: "Hun-fi onion # li M 
resembles in appearance the onion (ts'un, Allium fistulosum) , but is 
whiter and more bitter. On account of its smell, it serves as a remedy. 

1 Ch. c, p. 3 b. 

• This subject is treated in the Pen ts x ao kan mu (Ch. 26, p. 6 b) under the 
article swan, and summed up by Stuart (Chinese Materia Medica, p. 28). See, 
further, Db Groot, Le Code du Mah&y&na en Chine, p. 42, where the five plant- 
names are unfortunately translated wrongly (hiA-k% "asafcetida" [see p. 361], is 
given an alleged literal translation as "le lys d'eau montant"!), and Cbavannbs 
and Pbluot, Traite* manichlen, pp. 233-235. 

• Bunyiu Nanjio, Catalogue of the Buddhist Tripitaka, No. 1087. 
4 Cf . below, p. 306. 

1 Pern ts'ao hah mu, Ch. 26, p. 5. 

• We shall come back to this important event in dealing with the history of the 

3<H Sino-Iranica 

In its appearance it is like lan-lin-tun flB & 4K 1 but greener. When 
dried and powdered, it tastes like cinnamon and pepper. The root is 
capable of relieving colds."* The Fun 5i wen kien ki % adds that kun-t'i 
came from the Western Countries (Si yd). 

Hun-Vi is a transcription answering to ancient *gwun-de, and 
corresponds to Middle Persian gandena, New Persian g&nd&na, Hindi 
gandand, Bengali gundina (Sanskrit mleccha-kanda, "bulb of the bar- 
barians "), possibly the shallot {Allium ascalonicum; French tchalotte, 
ciboule) or A. porrum, which occurs in western Asia and Persia, but not 
in China. 4 

Among the vegetables of India, Huan Tsaft' mentions ¥ K hun-fo 
(*hun-da) ts % ai. Juuen left this term untranslated; Beal did not know, 
either, what to make of it, and added in parentheses karufu with an 
interrogation-mark. Waiters 8 explained it as "kunda (properly the 
oUbanum-tree)." This is absurd, as the question is of a vegetable culti- 
vated for food, while the olibanum is a wild tree offering no food. More- 
over, hun cannot answer to kun; and the Sanskrit word is not kunda, 
but kundu or kunduru. The mode of writing, hun, possibly is intended 
to allude to a species of Allium. Huan Tsaft certainly transcribed a 
Sanskrit word, but a Sanskrit plant-name of the form hunda or gunda 
is not known. Perhaps his prototype is related to the Iranian word 
previously discussed. 

1 The parallel text in the Ts*efu yuan kwei (Ch. 970, p. ia) writes only M-Js*. 
This plant is unidentified. 

1 Tan kui yao, Ch. 100, p. 3 b; and Ch. 200, p. 14 b. 

1 Ch. 7, p. 1 b (above, p. 232). 

4 A. de Candollb, Origin of Cultivated Plants, pp. 68-71; Lbclbrc, Trait* 
des simples, Vol. Ill, pp. 69-71; Achundow, Abu Mansur, pp. 113, 258. Other 
Persian names are tdrd and hawar* They correspond to Greek Tpiao*, Turkish 
pr&sa, Arabic kurHL The question as to whether the species ascakmicum or porrum 
should be understood by the Persian term gflnddnA, I have to leave in suspense and 
to refer to the decision of competent botanists. Schummkr (Tenninologie, p. 21) 
identifies Persian fUnddnd with Allium porrum; while, according to him, A. ascalon- 
icum should be musir in Persian. Vullbrs (Lexicon persico-latinum, Vol* II, p. 1036) 
translates the word by "porrum." On the other hand, Stuart (Chinese Materia 
Medica, p. 25), following P. P. Smith, has labelled Chinese kiai j£, an Allium 
anciently indigenous to China, as A. ascalonicum. If this be correct, the Chinese 
would certainly have recognized the identity of the foreign kun-Vi with kiai, provided 
both should represent the same species, ascaloni cum . Maybe also the two were 
identical species, but differentiated by cultivation. 

1 Ta Tan si yU ki, Ch. 2, p. 8 b. 

• On Yuan Chwang's Travels, VoL I, p. 178. 


13. Among the many species of pulse cultivated by the Chinese, 
there are at least two to which a foreign origin must be assigned. Both 
axe comprised under the generic term hu ^ « 2 ("bean of the Hu," 
or "Iranian bean"), but each has also its specific nomenclature. It 
is generally kipwn that, on account of the bewildering number of species 
and variations and the great antiquity of their cultivation, the history 
of beans is fraught with graver difficulties than that of any other group 
of plants. 

The common or garden pea (Pisum sativum) is usually styled wan 
tou RS (Japanese Hro-endo), more rarely ts*in siao ^ W^hS 
("green small pulse"), isHn pan ton W 9E 2 ("green streaked pulse"), 
and ma lei M X. A term ♦ 2 pi ton, *pit (pir) tou, is regarded as 
characteristic of the Tang period; while such names as hu ton, Sun 5u 
&aK ("pulse of the Zuii"), 1 and hui-hu tou HI «2 ("pulse of the 
Uigur; 9 ' in the Yin San Un yao of the Mongol period changed also into 
kui-hui tou 19 2, "Mohammedan pulse") are apt to bespeak the 
foreign origin of the plant. 1 Any document alluding to the event of the 
introduction, however, does not appear to exist in Chinese records. 
The term hu tou occurs in the present editions of the Ku kin lu 9 z hu-$a 
ft & being given as its syncmyme, and described as "resembling the 
UtouPkUL, but larger, the fruit of the size of a child's fist and eatable." 
The term li tou is doubtfully identified with Mucuna capitata; 4 but the 
species of the Ku kin tu defies exact identification ; and, as is well known, 
this book, in its present form, is very far from being able to claim abso- 
lute credence or authenticity. Also the Kwan H 9 written prior to 
a.d. 527, contains the term hu tou* but this name, unfortunately, is ambig- 
uous. Li Si-Sen acquiesces in the general statement that the pea has 
cqme from the Hu and 2uA or from the Western Hu (Iranians) ; he cites, 
however, a few texts, which, if they be authentic, would permit us to 

*This term is ambiguous, for originally it applies to the soy-bean (Glycine 
kispida), which is indigenous to China. 

* Cf. Pen ts'ao ton mu, Ch. 24, p. 7; and Kwan kWnfan p'u, Ch. 4, p. 11. The 
list of the names for the pea given by Brbtschnbidbb (Chinese Recorder, 1871, 
p. 333) is rather incomplete. 

1 Ch. B, p. 1 b. 

4 Stuart, Chinese Materia Medica, p. 269. The word li is also written <g£. 

s TeA pHn yaion,Ch. 841, p. 6 b. 


306 Sino-Iranica 

fix approximately the date as to when the pea became known to the 
Chinese. Thus he quotes the Ts % ien kin fan ^ & # of the Taoist 
adept Sun Se-miao il JB X, l of the beginning of the seventh century, as 
mentioning the term hu tou with the synonymes ts % in siao tou and mo4ei. 
The Ye huh hi* of the fourth century a.d. is credited with the statement 
that, when Si Hu tabooed the word hu tfl, the term hu ton was altered 
into kwo tou ■ SL ("bean of the country/' "national bean")- Accord- 
ing to Li £i-2en, these passages allude to the pea, for anciently the 
term hu tou was in general use instead of wan tou. He further refers to 
the T'ah ft Itf Jfc as saying that the pi tou comes from the Westerin 
2uh and the land of the Uigur, and to the dictionary Kwah ya by CaA 
Yi (third century a.d.) as containing the terms pi tou, wan tou, and liu 
tou S3. It would be difficult to vouchsafe for the fact that these 
were really embodied in the editio princeps of that work; yet it would 
not be impossible, after all, that, like the walnut and the pomegranate, 
so also the pea made its appearance on Chinese soil during the fourth 
century a.d. There can be no doubt of the fact that it was cultivated in 
China under the T'ang, and even under the Sui (a.d. 590-617). In the 
account of Liu-kiu (Formosa) it is stated that the soil of the island is 
advantageous for the cultivation of hu tou. 9 Wu KH-tsun 4 contradicts 
Li §i-8en's opinion, stating that the terms hu tou and wan tou apply to 
different species. 

None of the Chinese names can be regarded as the transcription of 
an Iranian word. Pulse played a predominant part in the nutrition of 
Iranian peoples. The country Si (Tashkend) had all sorts of pulse. 1 
Abu Mansur discusses the pea under the Persian name xullUr and the 
Arabic julban* Other Persian words for the pea are nujud and gergeru 
or xereghan? 

A wild plant indigenous to China is likewise styled hu tou. It is 
first disclosed by C'en Ts'aft-kH of the T'ang period, in his Pen ts'ao Si i, 
as growing wild everywhere in rice-fields, its sprouts resembling the 
bean. In the Ci wu mih ii Vu k % ao % we meet illustrations of two wild 

1 Regarding this author, see Wylie, Notes on Chinese Literature, pp. 97, 99; 
Bbbtschnbidbr, Bot. Sin., pt. 1, p. 43; L. Wibgbr, Taoisme, le canon, pp. 14a, 143, 
182; Psluot, Bull, de rEcolefrancaise, Vol. IX, pp. 435-458. 

1 See above, p. 280. 

6 Sui hi, Ch. 81, p. 5 b. 

4 Ci wu mih H Vu k % ao, Ch. 2, p. 130. 

1 Tai pH* kwan ya ki, Ch. 186, p. 7 b. 

4 Achundow, Abu Mansur, pp. 41, 223. 

v The latter is given by Smf.nnnta (Terminologie, p. 464). 

•Ch.2, pp. ii, 15. 

Gajlden Pea and Broad Bean 307 

plants. One is termed hui-hui iou (" Mohammedan bean"), first men- 
tioned in the Kiu hwah pen ts'ao of the fourteenth century, called also 
narho iou M fe 5, the bean being roasted and eaten. The other, 
named hu tou 9 is identified with the wild hu iou of C'en Ts'ah-kl; and 
Wu K'i-tsun, author of the Ci wu mih ii fu k'ao, adds the remark, 
"What is now called hu iou grows wild, and is not the hu iou [that is, 
the pea] of ancient times." 

14. On the other hand, the term hu iou tfi 5L refers also to Faba 
saliva (F. vulgaris, the vetch or common bean), according to Bret- 
Schneider, 1 "one of the cultivated plants introduced from western 
Asia into China, in the second century B.C., by the famous general 
Chang K'ien." This is an anachronism and a wild statement, which he 
has not even supported by any Chinese text. 1 The history of the species 
in China is lost, or was never recorded. The supposition that it was 
introduced from Iran is probable. It is mentioned under the name 
pag (gavirs) in the BQndahiSn as the chief of small-seeded grains. 8 
Abu Mansur has it under the Persian name baqila or bfiqld. 4 Its culti- 
vation in Egypt is of ancient date. 1 

15. Ts*an iou 13 ("silkworm bean," so called because in its 
shape it resembles an old silkworm), Japanese soromame, the kidney- 
bean or horse-bean {Vicia faba), is also erroneously counted by Bret- 
Schneider 6 among the Cafi-KHen plants, without any evidence being 
produced. It is likewise called hu iou tft 5, but no historical documents 
touching on the introduction of this species are on record. It is not 
mentioned in T'ang or Sung literature, and seems to have been intro- 
duced not earlier than the Yuan period (1 260-1367). It is spoken of 
in the Nun !u Jft # ("Book on Agriculture") of Wafi Cefi :E M of 
that period, and in the Kiu hwah pen is % ao tfc ~9L % $ of the early 

1 Bot. Sin., pt. II, No. 29. 

1 The only text to this effect that I know of is the Pen Is'ao kin, quoted in the 
T'ai P'in yU Ian (Ch. 841. p. 6 b), which ascribes to Can K'ien the introduction of 
sesame and hu iou; but which species is meant (Pisum sativum, Faba saliva, or 
Vicia faba) cannot be guessed. The work in question certainly is not the Pen ts'ao 
kin of Sen-nun, but it must have existed prior to a.d. 983, the date of the publication 
of the Tai p'in yil Ian. 

• West, Pahlavi Texts, Vol. I, p. 90. 

* Achxjndow, Abu Mansur, p. 20. 

• V. Loret, Flore pharaonique, p. 94. 

* Chinese Recorder, 1871, p. 221 (thus again reiterated by de Candollb, Origin 
of Cultivated Plants, p. 318). The Kwan k'un fan p'u (Ch. 4, p. 12 b) refers the 
above text from the Vai p*in yH Ian to this species, but also to the pea. This con- 
fusion is hopeh 

308 Sino-Ikanica 

Ming, 1 which states that "now it occurs everywhere. 19 Li &-&n says 
that it is cultivated in southern China and to a larger extent in Se~ 
£*wan. Waft Si-mou 3E ft JR, who died in 1591, in his Hio pntsaSu 
9 H IE IX, a work on horticulture in one chapter/ mentions an espe- 
cially large and excellent variety of this bean from Yun-nan. This is 
also referred to in the old edition of the Gazetteer of Yun-nan Province 
(Kiu Yiin-nan fun li) and in the Gazetteer of the Prefecture of Mu6- 
hwa in Yun-nan, where the synonyme nan tou^tlL ("southern bean") 
is added, as the flower turns its face toward the south. The New-Persian 
name of the plant is bageld.* 

1 Ci wu mt* H ru k'ao, Ch. 2, p. 14a. Bkktschnkideb. (Bot. Sin., pi. 1, p. 52) 
has re cog ni s ed Vidafaba among the illustrations of this work. 

* Cf. the Imperial Catalogue, Ch. n6, p. 37 b. 

• Scm.iicimt, Terminologies 562. Arabic bdq&L Finally, the Pom yi mtiA yi tsi 
(section 27) offers a Sanskrit term $0 fli ww-s**, *mwut-g'a a translated by ku Urn 
and explained as "a green bean." The corresponding Sanskrit word is mmdga 
(Pkastdms mango), which the Tibetans have rendered as mom sran riot, the term 
Moo alluding to the origin from northern India or Himalayan regions ( Jfts*. Soc. 
fimno+ugrimn*, V6L XI, p. 96). The Persians have b orro wed the Indian word in the 
form mnni f which is based on the Indian vernacular mwmga or mmmga (as in Singha- 
lese; PBU mugga). Phastdus swage is peculiar to India, and is mentioned in Vedic 
literature (Macdonsll and Keith, Vedic Index* VoL n, p. 166). 


1 6. Saffron is prepared from the deep orange-colored stigmas, 
with a portion of the style, of the flowers of Crocus sativus (family 
Iriaeae). The dried stigmas are nearly 3 cm long, dark red, and aro- 
matic, about twenty thousand of them making a pound, or a grain 
containing the stigmas and styles of nine flowers. It is a small plant 
with a fleshy bulb-like conn and grassy leaves with a beautiful purple 
flower blossoming in the autumn. As a dye, condiment, perfume, and 
medicine, saffron has always been highly prized, and has played an 
important part in the history of commerce. It has been cultivated in 
western Asa from remote ages, so much so that it is unknown in a 
wild state. It was always an expensive article, restricted mostly to the 
use of kings and the upper classes, and therefore subject to adulteration 
and substitutes. 1 In India it is adulterated with safflower (Carihamus 
tinctorius), which yields a coloring-agent of the same deep-orange color, 
and in Oriental records these products are frequently confused. Still 
greater confusion prevails between Crocus and Curcuma (a genus of 
Zingiber aceae) , plants with perennial root-stocks, the dried tubers of 
which yield the turmeric of commerce, largely used in the composition 
of curry-powder and as a yellow dye. It appears also that the flowers 
of Memecylon tinctorium were substituted for saffron as early as the 
seventh century. The matter as a sub ject of historical research is there- 
fore somewhat complex. 

Orientalists have added to the confusion of Orientals, chiefly being 
led astray by the application of our botanical term Curcuma, which is 
derived from an Oriental word originally relating to Crocus, but also 
confounded by the Arabs with our Curcuma. It cannot be too strongly 
emphasized that Sanskrit kunkuma strictly denotes Crocus sativus, 
but never our Curcuma or turmeric (which is Sanskrit haridra),* and 

1 Pliny already knew that there is nothing so much adulterated as saffron 
(adulterator nihil aeque.— xxi, 17, §31). £. Wiedemann (Sibber. Phys.-med. 
Sot, Brl. 9 1914, pp. 182, 197) has dealt with the adulteration of saffron from Arabic 
sources. According to Watt (Commercial Products of India, p. 430), it is too 
expensive to be extensively employed in India, but is in request at princely marriages, 
and for the caste markings of the wealthy. 

* This is not superfluous to add, in view of the wrong definition of kuhhuma 
given by Eitel (Handbook of Chiafcse Buddhism, p. 80). Sanskrit kfoer a (" saffron") 
and kdverl (" turmeric") do not present a confusion of names, as the two words 
are derived from the name of the trading-place Kavera, Chaveris of Ptolemy and 
Caber of Cosmas (see MacCundle, Christian Topography of Cosmas, p. 367). 


310 Sino-Iranica 

that our genus Curcuma has nothing whatever to do with Crocus or 

As regards Chinese knowledge of saffron! we must distinguish two 
long periods, — first, from the third century to the Tang dynasty 
inclusive, in which the Chinese received some information about the 
plant and its product, and occasionally tribute-gifts of it; and, second, 
the Mongol period (1260-1367), jrhen saffron as a product was actually 
imported into China by Mohammedan peoples and commonly used* 
This second period is here considered first. 

Of no foreign product are the notions of the Chinese vaguer than 
of saffron. This is chiefly accounted for by the fact that Crocus saiivus 
was hardly ever transplanted ipto their country, 1 and that, although 
the early Buddhist travellers to India caught a glimpse of the plant 
in Kashmir, their knowledge of it always remained rather imperfect. 
First of all, they confounded saffron with safHower (Carthomus tinctori- 
us), as the products of both plants were colloquially styled "red 
flower" (hun hwa & 36). Li Si-Sen* annotates, "The foreign (fan #) 
or Tibetan red flower [saffron] comes from Tibet (Si-fan), the places of 
the Mohammedans, and from Arabia (Tien-fan %Jfr). It is the 
hun-lan [Carthomus] of those localities. At the time of the Yuan 
(1260-1367) it was used as an ingredient in food-stuffs. According to 
the Po wu U of Cafi Hwa, Cafi K*ien obtained the seeds of the hun-lan 
[Carthomus] in the Western Countries (Si yu), which is the same species 
as that in question [saffron], although, of course, there is some difference 
causedbythedifferentdimaticconditions." It is hence erroneous to state, 
as asserted by P. P. Smith,* that "the story of Can K'ien is repeated for 
the saffron as well as for the safflower;" and it is due to the utmost con- 
fusion that Stuait 4 writes, "According to the Pen-ts*ao 9 Crocus was 
brought from Arabia by Ca6 K'ien at the same time that he brought the 
safflower and other Western plants and drugs." Can K'ien in Arabia! 
The Po wu li speaks merely of safflower (Carthomus), not of saffron 
(Crocus) , — two absolutely distinct plants, which even belong to different 
families; and .there is no Chinese text whatever that would link the 
saffron with Cafi K'ien. In fact, the Chinese have nothing to say re- 

1 It is curious that the Armenian historian Moses of Khorene, who wrote about 
the middle of the fifth century, attributes to China musk, saffron, and cotton (Yule, 
Cathay, Vol I, p. 93). Cotton was then not manufactured in China; likewise is 
saffron cultivation out of the question for the China of that period. 

* Pen Woo kan mu, Ch. 15, p. 14 b. 

* Contributions towards the Materia Medica of China, p. 189. 
4 Chinese Materia Medica, p. 131. 


gaidiiig the iiiLroductiaii or colli vBtkm of saffron, 1 The confusion of 
Ii &~£en is simply doe to an association of the two plants known as 
"red flower." Safflower is thus designated in the TsH min yao 5*\ 
further by Li Con ^ + of the T<ang and in the Sum St, where the yeu& 
red flower is stated to have been sent as tribute by the prefecture of 
Hin-yuan 9k JQ in Sen-sL 1 

The fact that Ii Si-Sen in the above passage was thinking of 
saffron becomes evident from two foreign words added to his nomen- 
clature of the product: namely, ill :£ £ ki-fu4an and Jit & 9 sa-foy 
to". The first character in the former transcription is a misprint for Jft 
tsa (*tsap, dzap); the last character in the latter form must be emen- 
dated into % lanS Tso-fu-lan and sa-fa4ak (Japanese safwan y Siamese 
farm), as was recognized long ago, represent transcriptions of 
Arabic ta % feran or sajardn, which, on its part, has resulted in our "saf- 

1 Bketschnbideb (Chinese Recorder, 1871, p. 223) asserts that saffron is not 
cultivated in Peking, bat that it is known that it is extensively cultivated in other 
parts of China. I know nothing about this, and have never seen or heard of any 
saffron cultivation in China, nor is any Chinese account to that effect known to me. 
Crocus sasmms is not listed in the great work of P. B. Forbes and W. B. Hbmslbt 
(An Enumeration of AH the Plants known from China Proper, comprising Vols. 
23, 26, and 36 of the Journal of ike Linnean Society), the most comprehensive syste- 
matic botany of China. Englk* (in Hehn, Kulturpflansen, p. 270) says that Crocus 
is cultivated in China. Watt (Dictionary, VoL II, p. 593) speaks of Chinese saffron 
imported into India. It is of especial interest that Marco Polo did not find saffron 
in China, but he reports that in the province of Pu-kien they have "a kind of fruit, 
resembling saffron, and which serves the purpose of saffron just as weU M (Yuls, 
Marco Polo, VoL II, p. 22s). It may be, as suggested by Yule after Fluckiger, that 
this is Gardenia florida, the fruits of which are indeed used in China for dyeing-pur* 
poses, producing a beautiful yellow color. On the other hand, the Pen ts'ao ham mu 
Si i (Ch. 4, p. 14 b) contains the description of a "native saffron" (f* kun kwa i 
itC ft» ia opposition to the "Tibetan red flower" or genuine saffron) after the Con- 
tinued Gazetteer of Pu-kien jfi |£ & ^. as follows: "As regards the native 
saffron, the largest specimens are seven or eight feet high. The leaves are like those 
of the p'i-pa Ht IE (Erioboirya japonica), but smaller and without hair. In the 
autumn it produces a white flower like a grain of make ($u-mi 5R Xfc, Zea mays)* 
It grows in Pu-cou and Nan-nen-cou |ff ft jHi [now Yan-ldan fll in Kwan-tun] 
in the mountain wilderness. That of Pu-cou makes a fine creeper, resembling the 
fu-yun (Hibiscus mutabilis), green above and white below, the root being like that of 
the ho H (Pachyrhixus tkunbergianus). It is employed in the pharmacopoeia, being 
finely chopped for this purpose and soaked overnight in water in which rice has been 
scoured; then it is soaked for another night in pure water and pounded: thus it is 
ready for prescriptions." This species has not been identified, but may well be 
Marco Polo's pseudo-saffron of Pu-kien. 

*rusutsi Ven t XX, Ch. 158. 

* Cf. Wattbrs, Essays on the Chinese Language, p. 348. This transcription, 
however, does not prove, as intimated by Watters, that "this product was first 
imported into China from Persia direct or at least obtained immediately from 
Persian traders." The word safardn is an Arabic loan-word in Persian, and may 
have been brought to China by Arabic traders as welL 

312 Sino-Iranica 

fron." 1 It is borne out by the very form of these transcriptions that 
they cannot be older than the Mongol period when the final consonants 
had disappeared. Under the T'ang we should have *dzap-fu-lam and 
*sat-fap-lan. This conclusion agrees with Li Si-Sen's testimony that 
saffron was mixed with food at the time of the Yuan, — an Indo-Persian 
custom. Indeed, it seems as if not until then was it imported and used 
in China; at least, we have no earlier document to this effect. 

Saffron is not cultivated in Tibet. There is no Crocus tibetanus, as 
tentatively introduced by Pehrot and Huuiek* on the basis of the 
Chinese term "Tibetan red flower." This only means that saffron is 
exported from Tibet to China, chiefly to Peking; but Tibet does not 
produce any saffron, and imports it solely from Kashmir. Stuart* 
says that "Ts'an huh hwa JK JtE3E ('Red flower from Tsan/ that is, 
Central Tibet) is given by some foreign writers as another name for 
saffron, but this has not been found mentioned by any Chinese writer." 
In fact, that term is given in the Pen ts x ao kah mu Si i 4 and the Ci wu 
mih Si Vu k x ao of 1848/ where it is said to come from Tibet (Si-tsan) 
and to be the equivalent of the Fan huh hwa of the Pen ts*ao kah mu. 
Ts*ah hwa is still a colloquial name for saffron in Peking; it is also called 
simply huh hwa ("red flower"). 6 By Tibetans in Peking I heard it 
designated gur-kum, Sa-ka-ma, and dri-bzah ("of good fragrance"). 
Saffron is looked upon by the Chinese* as the most valuable drug sent 
by Tibet, ts'ah hiah (" Tibetan incense") ranking next. 

Li 5i-8en 7 holds that there are two yUrkin • &, — the yU-kin aromatic, 
the flowers of which only are used; and the yUrkin the root of which is 
employed. The former is the saffron (Crocus sativus) ; the latter, a 
Curcuma. As will be seen, however, there are at least three yU-kin. 

Of the genus Curcuma, there are several species in China and 
Indo-China, — C. leucorrhiza (yU-kin), C. longa (kiah hwan §| or 

1 The Arabs first brought saffron to Spain; and from Arabic ta'far&n are derived 
Spanish asafran, Portuguese a$afr&o or asafrSo, Indo-Portuguese safr&o, Italian 
Mafferano, French safran, Rumanian sofrdn. The same Arabic root Casfur, "yellow") 
has supplied also those Romance words that correspond to our safflow, safflower 
(Carthamus tinctorius), like Spanish azafranillo, akuor, Portuguese afofroa, Italian 
asfaro, French safran; Old Armenian Mavhran, New Armenian nafran; Russian 
safran; Uigur sakparan. 

1 Mat. m£d. et pharmacopee sino-annamites, p. 94. 

* Chinese Materia Medica, p. 132. 
4 Ch. 4, p. 14 b. 

1 Ch. 4, p. 35 b. 

* It should be borne in mind that this name is merely a modern colloquialism, 
but huh kwa, when occurring in ancient texts, is not "saffron/' but "safflower 
(Carthamus tinctorius); see below, p. 324. 

1 Pen ts'ao kah mu, Ch. 14, p. 18. 


Saffron and Turmeric 313 


ginger-yellow"), C. pallida, C. petiolata, C. zedoaria. Which particular 
species was anciently known in China, is difficult to decide; but it 
appears that at least one species was utilized in times of antiquity. 
Curcuma longa and C. leucorrhisa are described not earlier than the Tang 
period, and the probability is that either they were introduced from the 
West; or, if on good botanical evidence it can be demonstrated that 
these species are autochthonous, 1 we are compelled to assume that 
superior cultivated varieties were imported in the Tang era. In regard 
td yU-kin (C leucorrhiza), Su Kun of the seventh century observes 
that it grows in Su (Se-fi*wan) and Si-2ufi, and that the Hu call it 
K j| ma-hi, *mo-d2ut (dzut),* while he states with reference to kian- 
hwan (C. longa) that the itdx 2% A call it |£ Su, *d£ut (dzut, dzur); 
he also insists on the close resemblance of the two species. Likewise 
C'en Ts'an-k'i, who wrote in the first part of the eighth century, states 
concerning kian-hwan that the kind coming from the Western Bar- 
barians (Si Fan) is similar to yU-kin and Su yao j£ X. s Su Sufi of the 
Sung remarks that yU-kin now occurs in all districts of Kwafi-tun and 
Kwan-si, but does not equal that of Se-2*wan, where it had previously 
existed. K'ou Tsun-si 4 states that yUrkin is not aromatic, and that in 
his time it was used for the dyeing of woman's clothes. Li Si-Sen re- 
minds us of the fact that yU-kin was a product of the Hellenistic Orient 
(Ta Ts'in): this is stated in the Wei lio of the third century, 5 and the 
Lian Su 9 enumerates yU-kin among the articles traded from Ta Ts'in 
to western India. 7 

The preceding observations, in connection with the foreign names 

1 According to Loureiro (Flora Cochin-Chinensis, p. 9), Curcuma longa 
grows wild in Indo-China. 

* This foreign name has not been pointed out by Bretschneider or Stuart or 
any previous author. 

'This term is referred (whether correctly, I do not know) to Kcempferia 
Pundurata (Stuart, Chinese Materia Medica, p. 227). Another name for this 
plant is $ |K 35 p'un-no hi (not mou), *bun-na. Now, Ta Mift states that the 

Curcuma growing on Hai-nan is ££ fK & p % un~no Su, while that growing in Kian-nan 
is kian-hwan (Curcuma longa). Kctmpferia belongs to the same order as Curcuma, 
— Scitamineae. According to Ma Ci of the Sung, this plant grows in Si-2un and in 
all districts of K wan-nan; it is poisonous, and the people of the West first test it 
on sheep : if these refuse to eat it, it is discarded. Chinese p % un-no, *bun-na, looks like 
a transcription of Tibetan bon-Ho, which, however, applies to aconite. 

4 Pen ts'ao yen i, Ch. 10, p. 3. 

* San kwo U, Ch. 30, p. 13. 

* Ch. 78, p. 7. 

7 The question whether in this case Curcuma or Crocus is meant, cannot be 
decided; both products were known in western Asia. C'en Ts , an-k*i holds that the 
yO-kin of Ta Ts'in was saffiower (see below). 

314 Sino-Iranica 

Su and moriu, are sufficient to raise serious doubts of the indigenous 
character of Curcuma; and for my part, I am strongly inclined to believe 
that at least two species of this genus were first introduced into Se-2*wan 
by way of Central Asia. This certainly would not exclude the possi- 
bility that other species of this genus, or even other varieties of the 
imported species, pre-existed in China long before that time; and this 
is even probable, in view of the fact that a fragrant plant yd V, which 
was mixed with sacrificial wine, is mentioned in the ancient Cou U 9 
the State Ceremonial 6f the Cou Dynasty, and in the Li ki. The com- 
mentators, with a few exceptions, agree on the point that this ancient 
yU was a yU-kin; that is, a Curcuma} 

In India, Curcuma longa is extensively cultivated all over the coun- 
try, and probably so from ancient times. The plant (Sanskrit haridrd) 
is already listed in the Bower Manuscript. From India the rhizome is 
exported to Tibet, where it is known as yuM>a or skyer-pa, the latter 
name originally applying to the barberry, the wood and root of which, 
like Curcuma, yield a yellow dye. 

Ibn al-Bait&r understands by kurkum the genus Curcuma, not Cro- 
cus, as is obvious from his definition that it is the great species of the 
tinctorial roots. These roots come from India, bang styled hard in 
Persian; this is derived from Sanskrit haridrd (Curcuma longa). Ibn 
Hassan, however, observes that the people of Basra bestow on hard 
the name kurkum, which is the designation of saffron, and to which it 
is assimilated; but then he goes on to confound saffron with the root of 
wars, which is a Memecylon (see below). 2 Turmeric is called in Persian 
sird-Zube or darsard ("yellow wood")- According to Garcia da Orta, 
it was much exported from India to Arabia and Persia; and there was 
unanimous opinion that it did not grow in Persia, Arabia, or Turkey, 
but that all comes from India.* 

The name yQrkin, or with the addition hian ("aromatic")/ is fre- 
quently referred in ancient documents to two different plants of Indian 
and Iranian countries, — Memecylon tinctorium and Crocus sativus, the 

1 Cf. Bretschnbider, Bot. Sin., pt. II, No. 408. 

* Leclbrc, Traits des simples, Vol. Ill, p. 167. 

* C. Markham, Colloquies, p. 163. 

4 As a matter of principle, the term yO-kin hian strictly refers to saffron. It is 
this term which Bretschnbider (Bot. Sin., pt. II, No. 408) was unable to identify, 
and of which Stuart (Chinese Materia Medica, p. 140) was compelled to admit, 
"The plant is not yet identified, but is probably not Curcuma.* 9 The latter remark 
is to the point. The descriptions we have of ytt-kirljjttan, and which are given below, 
exclude any idea of a Curcuma. The modern Japanese botanists apply the term yU~kin 
hian (Japanese ukkonkd) to Tulipa gesneriana, a flower of Japan (Matsuiiura, 
No. 3193). 

Saff&on and Tubmekic 3x5 

latter possibly confounded again with Curcuma. 1 It is curious that 
in the entire Penris'ao literature the fact has been overlooked that under 
the same name there is also preserved the ancient description of a tree. 
This fact has escaped all European writers,, with the sole exception of 
Palladius. In his admirable Chinese-Russian Dictionary 1 he gives 
the following explanation of the term yiLkin: "Designation of a tree 
in Ki-pin; yellow blossoms, which are gathered, and when they begin 
to wither, are pressed, the sap being mixed with other odorous sub- 
stances; it is found likewise in Ta Ts'in, the blossoms being like those 
of saffron, and is utilized in the coloration of wine." 

A description of this tree yU^kin is given in the Buddhist dictionary 
Yi ts'ie kin yin i % of a.d. 649 as follows: "This is the name of a tree, 
the habitat of which is in the country Ki-pin ft Sf (Kashmir). Its 
flowers are of yellow color. The trees are planted from the flowers. 
One waits till they are faded; the sap is then pressed out of them and 
mixed with other substances. It serves as an aromatic. The grains 
of the flowers also are odoriferous, and are likewise employed as aro- 

I am inclined to identify this tree with Memecylon tinctorium, M. 
edule, or Af. capitellatum (Melastomaceae), a very common, small tree 
or large dhrub in the east and south of India, Ceylon, Tenasserim, and 
the Andamans. The leaves are employed in southern India for dyeing 
a "delicate yellow lake." The flowers produce an evanescent yellow. 4 
In restricting the habitat of the tree to Kashmir, Huan Yift is doubtless 
influenced by the notion that saffron (yO-kin) was an exclusive product 
of Kashmir (see below). 

The same tree is described by Abu Mansur under the name wars 
as a saffron-like plant of yellow color and fragrant, and employed by 
Arabic women for dyeing garments.* The ancients were not acquainted 

1 A third identification has been given by Bretschneider (Chinese Recorder, 
1871, p. 222), who thought that probably the sumbul (Sumbulus moschatus) is meant. 
This is a mistaken botanical name, but he evidently had in mind the so-called musk- 
root of Euryangium or Ferula sumbul, of musk-like odor and acrid taste. The only 
basis for this identification might be sought in the fact that one of the synonymes 
given for yil-kin hian in the Pen ts'ao is ts'ao U hian 1$Lf£^ ("vegetable musk"); 
this name itself, however, is not explained. Saffron, of course, has no musk odor; 
and the term is % ao Se hian surely does not relate to saffron, but is smuggled in here 
by mistake. The Tien hai yd hen li (Ch. 3, p. I b, see above, p. 228) also equates yfl- 
kin Man* with is % ao Se hian, adding that the root is like ginger and colors wine yel- 
low. This would decidedly hint at a Curcuma. 

1 Vob II, p. 202. 

• Ch. 24, p. 8 (cf. Beginnings of Porcelain, p. 115; and above, p. 258). 
4 Watt, Dictionary of the Economic Products of India, Vol. V, p. 227. 

• Achundow, Abu Mansur, p. 145. 

316 Sino-Iranica 

with this dye. Abu Hanlfa has a long discourse on it. 1 Ibn Hassan 
knew the root of wars, and confounded it with saffron.* Ibn al-Bait&r 
offers a lengthy notice of it. 1 Two species are distinguished, — one from 
Ethiopia, black, and of inferior quality; and another from India, of a 
brilliant red, yielding a dye of a pure yellow. A variety called barida 
dyes red. It is cultivated in Yemen. Also the association with Cur- 
cuma and Crocus is indicated. ISak Ibn Amrfln remarks, "It is said 
that wars represents roots of Curcuma, which come from China and 
Yemen"; and Ibn Massa el-Basri says, "It is a substance of a brilliant 
red which resembles pounded saffron." This explains why the Chinese 
included it in the term yfLkin. Leclerc also has identified the wars 
of the Arabs with Memecylon tinctorium, and adds, "L'ouars n'est pas 
le produit exclusif de l'Arabie. On le rencontre abondamment dans 
Tlnde, notamment aux environs de Pondich&y qui en a envoy£ en 
Europe, aux dernidres expositions. II s'appelle kana dans le pays." 4 
The Yamato honzo speaks of yU-kin as a dye-stuff coming from Siam; 
this seems to be also Memecylon. 

The fact that the Chinese included the product of Memecylon in 
the term ytirkin appears to indicate that this cheap coloring-matter 
was substituted in trade for the precious saffron. 

While the Chinese writers on botany and pharmacology have over* 
looked yti~kin as the name of a tree, they have clearly recognized that 
the term principally serves for the designation of the saffron, the product 
of the Crocus sativus. This fact is well borne out by the descriptions 
and names of the plant, as well as by other evidence. 

The account given of Central India in the Annals of the Liang 
Dynasty* expressly states that yU-kin is produced solely in Kashmir 
(Ki-pin), that its flower is perfectly yellow and fine, resembling the 
flower fu-yun (Hibiscus mutabilis). Kashmir was always the classical 
land famed for the cultivation of saffron, which was (and is) thence 
exported to India, Tibet, Mongolia, and China. In Kashmir, Ucjcjiyana, 

1 Achundow, Abu Mansur, p. 272. 

1 Lbclbrc, Traite* des simples, Vol. Ill, p. 167. 

* Ibid., p. 409. 

4 Arabic wars has also been identified with Flemingia congesta (Watt, Diction- 
ary, Vol. Ill, p. 400) and MaUotus pkilippinensis {ibid., Vol. V, p. 114). The whole 
subject is much confused, particularly by Fl#ckigbr and Hanbuky (Pharma- 
cographia, p. 573; cf. also G. Jacob, Beduinenleben, p. 15, and Arab. Geographen, 
p. 166), but this is not the place to discuss it. The Chinese description of the yti-kin 
tree does not correspond to any of these plants. 

s Liah Su, Ch. 54, p. 7 b. This work was compiled by Yao Se-lien in the first 
half of the seventh century from documents of the Liang dynasty, which ruled from 
A.D. 502 to 556. 

Saffron and Tubmekic 3x7 

and Jagucja (Zabulist&n) it was observed by the famous pilgrim Huan 
Tsan in the seventh century. 1 The Buddhist traveller Yi Tsifi (671-695) 
attributes it to northern India. 1 

The earliest description of the plant is preserved in the Nan tou i 
wu &', written by Wan Cen in the third century a.d.,* who says, "The 
habitat of yO-kin is in the country Ki-pin (Kashmir), where it is culti- 
vated by men, first of all, for the purpose of being offered to the Buddha. 
After a few days the flower fades away, and then it is utilized on 
account of its color, which is uniformly yellow. It resembles the fu-yuh 
(Hibiscus) and a young lotus (Nelumbium speciosum), and can render 
wine aromatic." This characteristic is fairly correct, and unequivocally 
applies to the Crocus, which indeed has the appearance of a liliaceous 
plant, and therefore belongs to the family Irideae and to the order 
Lilii florae. The observation in regard to the short duration of the 
flowers is to the point. 4 

In a.d. 647 the country Kia-pH flP ift in India offered to the Court 
yU-kin hi an, which is described on this occasion as follows: "Its leaves 
are like those of the mai-men-tuh 9t P3 4fr (Ophiopogon spicatus). It 
blooms in the ninth month. In appearance it is similar to fu-yuh 
(Hibiscus mutdbilis). It is purple-blue ^S 9§F in color. Its odor may be 
perceived at a distance of several tens of paces. It flowers, but 
does not bear fruit. In order to propagate it, the root must be 

1 S. Juubn, Memoires sur les contrees occidentales, Vol. I, pp. 40, 131 ; Vol. 
II, p. 187 (story of the Saffron-Stupa, ibid., Vol. I, p. 474; or S. Beal, Buddhist 
Records, Vol. II, p. 125); W. W. Rockhill, Life of the Buddha, p. 169; S. Levi, 
Journal asialique, 1915, 1, pp. 83-85. 

*Taxakusu's translation, p. 128; he adds erroneously, "species of Curcuma." 

a Pen ts*ao kail tnu, Ch. 14, p. 22. 

4 Compare Pliny's (xxi, 17, §34) description of Crocus: "Floret vergiliarum 
occasu paucis diebus folioque florem expellit. Vlret bruma et colligitur; siccatur 
umbra, melius etiam hiberna." 

1 Taii hut yao, Ch. 200, pp. 14 a-b. This text was adopted by the Pen ts'ao 
JuiA mu (Ch. 14, p. 22), which quotes it from the T'ang Annals. Li Si-cen comments 
that this description agrees with that of the Nan tou i wu li, except in the colors of 
the flower, which may be explained by assuming that there are several varieties; in 
this he is quite correct. The flower, indeed, occurs in a great variation of colors, — 
purple, yellow, white, and others. W. Woodvillb (Medical Botany, Vol. IV, pi 763) 
gives the following description of Crocus: "The root is bulbous, perennial: the flower 
appears after the leaves, rising very little above the ground upon a slender succulent 
tube: the leaves rise higher than the flower, are linear, simple, radical, of a rich 
green colour, with a white line running in the centre, and all at the base inclosed 
along with the tube of the flower in a membranous sheath. The flower is large, of a 
bluish purple, or lilac colour: the corolla consists of six petals, which are nearly 
elliptical, equal, and turned inwards at the edges. The filaments are three, short, 
tapering, and support long erect yellow antherae. The germen is roundish, from 

318 Sino-Iranica 

The last clause means that the plant ip propagated from 
bulbs. There is a much earlier tribute-gift of saffron on record. In 
a.d. 519, King Jayavarman of Fu-nan (Camboja) offered saffron with 
storax and other aromatics to the Chinese Court. 1 Accordingly we have 
to assume that in the sixth century saffron was traded from India tp 
Camboja. In fact we know from the T'ang Annate that India, in her 
trade with Camboja and the anterior Orient, exported to these coun- 
tries diamonds, sandal-wood, and saffron. 1 The T'ang Annals, further, 
mention saffron as a product of India, Kashmir, U(J(Jiyana, J&gttda, 
and Baltistan.* In a.d. 719 the king of Nan (Bukhara) presented 
thirty pounds of saffron to the Chinese Emperor. 4 

Li Si-Sen has added to his notice of yU-kin hian a Sanskrit name 
$£# Fa-kUrino, *d2a-gu-ma, which he reveals from the Suvar- 
naprabhasa-sQtra, 8 This term is likewise given, with the translation 
yfrkin, in the Chinese-Sanskrit Dictionary Fan yi minyitsi.* This name 
has been discussed by me and identified with Sanskrit jaguia through 
the medium of a vernacular form * jaguma, the ending -ma corresponding 
to that of Tibetan Sa-kcwna* 

A singular position is taken by C'en Ts'an-kH, who reports, " YH-kin 
aromatic grows in the country Ta Ts'in. It flowers in the second or 
third month, and has the appearance of the hun-lan (safflower, Car" 
ihamus tinctorius) .* In the fourth or fifth month the flowers are gathered 
and make an aromatic." This, of course, cannot refer to the saffron 
which blooms in September or October. C'en Ts'an-k'i has created 
confusion, and has led $stray Li §i-5en, who wrongly enumerates huh- 
Ian hwa among the synonymes of yO-kin hian. 

The inhabitants of Ku-lin (Quilon) Sfc ft rubbed their bodies with 

which issues a slender style, terminated by three long convoluted stigmata, of a 
deep yellow colour. The capsule is roundish, three-lobed, three-celled, three-valved, 
and contains several round seeds. It flowers in September and October." 

1 According to the Lion hi; cf. Pblliot, Bull, dePBcolefrancaise, Vol. Ill, p. 270. 

' Tan 5u, Ch. 221 A, p. 10 b. 

' Kiu Tan hi, Ch. 221 B, p. 6; 198, pp. 8 b, 9; Tan Jte, Ch. 221 A, p. 10 b; cf. 
Chavannbs (Documents sur les Tou-kiue occidentaux, pp. 128, 150, 160, 166), 
whose identification with Curcuma longa is not correct. 

4 Chavannbs, ibid., p. 203. 

1 The passage in which Li Si-£en cites this term demonstrates clearly that he 
discriminated well between Crocus and Curcuma; for he adds that "t % a-k&~mo is 
the aromatic of the yO-kin flower (Crocus), but that, while it is identical in name 
with the yU-kin root {Curcuma) utilized at the present time, the two plants are 

• Ch. 8, p. 10 b. 

1 Toung Poo, 1916, p. 458. 

• See below, p. 324. 

Saffron and Turmeric 319 

yU-kin after every bath, with the intention of making it resemble the 
"gold body" of a Buddha. 1 Certainly they did not smear their bodies 
with "turmeric,"* which is used only as a dye-stuff, but with saffron. 
Annamese mothers rub the bodies of their infants with saffron-powder 
as a tonic to their skin. 8 

The Ain-i Akbari, written 1597 in Persian by Abul Fazl 'Allami 
(1551-1602), gives detailed information on the saffron cultivation in 
Kashmir/ from which the following extract may be quoted: "In the 
village of P&mpflr, one of the dependencies of Vlhl (in Kashmir), there 
are fields of saffron to the extent of ten or twelve thousand bighas, a 
sight that would enchant the most fastidious. At the close of the 
month of March and during all April, which is the season of cultivation, 
the land is plowed up and rendered soft, and each portion is prepared 
with the spade for planting, and the saffron bulbs are hard in the ground. 
In a month's time they sprout, and at the close of September, it is at 
its full growth, shooting up somewhat over a span. The stalk is white, 
and when it has sprouted to the height of a finger, one bud after another 
begins to flower till there are eight flowers. It has six lilac-tinted petals. 
Usually among six filaments, three are yellow and three ruddy. The 
last thr^e yield the saffron. [There are three stamens and three stigmas 
in each flower, the latter yielding the saffron.] When the flowers are 
past, leaves appear upon the stalk. Once planted it will flower for six 
years in succession. The first year, the yield is small: in the second as 
thirty to ten. In the third year it reaches its highest point, and the 
bulbs are dug up. If left in the same soil, they gradually deteriorate, 
but if taken up, they may be profitably transplanted." 

The Emperor JahAngir was deeply impressed by the saffron planta- 
tions of Kashmir, and left the following notes in his Memoirs:* — 

"As the saffron was in blossom, his Majesty left the city to go to 
Pamptir, which is the only pl^ce in Kashmir where it flourishes. Every 
parterre, every field, was, as far as the eye could reach, covered with 
flowers. The stem inclines toward the ground. The flower has five 
petals of a violet color, and three stigmas producing saffron are found 
within it, and that is the purest saffron. In an ordinary year, 400 

1 Li* wai tot to, Ch. 2, p. 13. 

* Hirth, Chau Ju-kua, p. 91. 

* Perrot and Hurrirr, Mat. mecl. et pharmacope'e sinoannamites, p. 94. 
Cf. also Marco Polo's observation (Yule's edition, Vol. II, p. 286) that the faces 
of stuffed monkeys on Java are daubed with saffron, in order to give them a manlike 

4 Translation of H. Blochmann, Vol. I, p. 84; VoL II, p. 357. 

• H. M. Elliot, History of India as told by Its Own Historians, Vol. VI, p. 375 

320 Sino-Iranica 

maundsy or 3200 KhurasSnl mounds, are produced- Half belongs to 
the Government, half to the cultivators, and a sir sells for ten rupees; 
but the price sometimes varies a little. It is the established custom to 
weigh the flowers, and give them to the manufacturers, who take them 
home and extract the saffron from them, and upon giving the extract, 
which amounts to about one-fourth weight of the flower, to the public 
officers, they receive in return an equal weight of salt, in lieu of money 

The ancient Chinese attribute saffron not only to Kashmir, but also 
to Sasanian Persia. The Cou !u l enumerates yU^kin among the products 
of Po-se (Persia); so does the Sui $u. % In fact, Crocus occurs in Persia 
spontaneously, and its cultivation must date from an early period. 
Aeschylus alludes to the saffron-yellow footgear of King Darius.* 
Saffron is mentioned in Pahlavi literature (above, p. 193). The plant is 
well attested for Derbend, Ispahan, and Transoxania in the tenth 
century by Istaxri and Edrisi. 4 YflqUt mentions saffron as the principal 
production of Rud-Derawer in the province Jebal, the ancient Media, 
whence it was largely exported.* Abu Mansur describes it under the 
Arabic name zafaran.* The Armenian consumers esteem most highly 
the saffron of Khorasan, which, however, is marketed in such small 
quantities that the Persians themselves must fill the demand with 
exportations from the Caucasus. 7 According to Schumicek, 8 part of 
the Persian saffron comes from Baku in Russia, another part is culti- 
vated in Persia in the district of Kain, but in quantity insufficient to 
fill the demand. In two places, — Rudzabar (identical with the above 
Rud-Derawer), a mountainous tract near Hamadan, and Mount 
Derbend, where saffron cultivation had been indicated by previous 
writers, — he was unable to find a trace of it. 

It is most probable that it was from Persia that the saffron-plant 
was propagated to Kashmir. A reminiscence of this event is preserved 
in the Sanskrit term vahlika, a synonyme of "saffron," which means 
"originating from the Pahlava." 9 The Buddhists have a legend to the 

1 Ch. 50, p. 6. 

9 Ch. 83, p. 7 b; also Wei is*, Ch. 102, p. 5 b. 
1 Hehn, Kulturpfianzen, p. 264. 
4 A. Jaubbrt, Geographie, pp. 168, 192. 

* B. db Mbynard, Dictionnaire gdogr. de la Perse, p. 267. See also G. Fbr- 
rand, Textes relatifs a rExtr&ne-Orient, Vol. II, pp. 618, 622. 

• Achundow, Abu Mansur, p. 76. 

7 E. Seidel, Mechithar, p. 151. Chardin (Voyages en Perse, Vol. II, p. 14) 
even says that the saffron of Persia is the best of the world. 

• Terminologie, p. 165. 

9 Cf. Toung Pao t 1916, p. 459. 

Safp&on and Turmeric % 321 

effect that Madhy&ntika, the first apostle of Buddha's word in ^.. -,.... ... , 

planted the saffron there. 1 If nothing else, this shows at least that the 
plant was regarded as an introduction. The share of the Persians in the 
distribution of the product is vividly demonstrated by the Tibetan 
word for "saBioii" kur-kum, gi*r-fow,gttr-gttm,whichis directly traceable 
to Persian kurkum or karkam, but not to Sanskrit kunkuma. 1 The 
Tibetans carried the word to Mongolia, and it is still heard among the 
Kalmuk on the Wolga. By some, the Persian word (Pahlavi kulkem) 
is traced to Semitic, Assyrian karkuma, Hebrew karkdm, Arabic kurkum; 
while others regard the Semitic origin as doubtful. 8 It is beyond the 
scope of this notice to deal with the history of saffron in the west and 
Europe, on which so much has been written. 4 

Pram the preceding investigation it follows that the word yU-kin 
V &, owing to its multiplicity of meaning, offers some difficulty to 
the translator of Chinese texts. The general rule may be laid down that 
yU-kin, whenever it hints at a plant or product of China, denotes a 
species of Curcuma, but that, when used with reference to India, Indo- 
China, and Iran, the greater probability is in favor of Crocus. The term 
yU-kin hiah ("yti-kin aromatic"), with reference to foreign countries, 
almost invariably appears to refer to the latter plant, which indeed 
served as an aromatic; while the same term, as will be seen below, with 
reference to China, again denotes Curcuma. The question may now be 
raised, What is the origin of the word yil-kin? And what was its original 
meaning? In 1886 HntTH* identified yU-kin with Persian karkam 
("saffron"), and restated this opinion in X911, 9 by falling back on an 
ancient pronunciation *hat-kam. Phonetically this is not very con- 
vincing, as the Chinese would hardly have employed an initial h for 

1 S uuiman , TlramUha, p. 13; cf. also J. Przylusk, Journal asiatiquo, 1914 
n. p. 537. 

• TountPoo, 1916, p. 474. Cf . also Sogdian kurkumba and Tokharian knrkama. 

• Hoax, Grondriss der iranischen Philologie, VoL I, pt. 2, p. 6. Besides kurkum, 
there axe Permian k&kbon and kaJUa, which denote "saffron in the flower." Old 
Armenian k*rk 9 tm is retarded ai a loan from Syriac knrkomd (HObscbhann, Armen. 
Gram,, p. 390). 

• In retard to saffron among the Arabs, see Liclbkc, Traits' des simple*, 
VoL II, pp. 208-410. In general cf. J. Bbcxmanh, Beytrftge sur Geschichte der 
Brfindungen, 1784, VoL II, pp. 79-9* (al*o in English translation); Fl0oqgbr and 
Hamuir, Phannaoographia, pp. 663-669; A. db Candollb, Geographic botanique, 
p. 857, and Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 166; Hsrn, Kultuipnansen (8th ed.) v 
pp. 364-270; Watt, Dictionary, VoL II, p. 599; W. Hbtd, Histoir^du commerce du 
levant, VoL II, p. 668, etc 

• Journal Ckma Branch Roy. At. Soc. f VoL XXI, p. 221. 

• Chan Jo-boa, p. 91. 

322 Sino-Iranica 

the reproduction of a foreign ft; but the character y* in transcriptions 
usually answers to *ut, ud. The whole theory, however, is exposed to 
much graver objections. The Chinese themselves do ?ot admit that 
yO-kin represents a foreign word; nowhere do they say that yil-kin is 
Persian, Sanskrit, or anything of the sort; on the contrary, they regard 
it as an element of their own language. Moreover, if yil-kin should 
originally designate the saffron, how, then, did it happen that this alleged 
Persian word was transferred to the genus Curcuma, some species of 
which are even indigenous to China, and which, at any rate, has been 
acclimated there for a long period? The case, indeed, is not simple, and 
requires closer study. Let us see what the Chinese have to say con* 
cerning the word yil-kin. Pelliot 1 has already clearly, though briefly, 
outlined the general situation by calling attention to the fact that as 
early as the beginning of the second century, yil-kin is mentioned in 
the dictionary Swo wen as the name of an odoriferous pl$nt, offered as 
tribute by the people of Yu, the present Yu-lin in Kwafi-si Province; 
hence he inferred that the sense of the word should be "gold of Yu," 
in allusion to the yellow color of the product. We read in the Swi kin 
lu *« tt* as follows: "The district Kwei-lin # #JP of the Ts'in 
dynasty had its name changed into the Yu-lin district • ft 8P in the 
sixth year of the period Yuan-tift (m B.C.) of the Emperor Wu of the 
Han dynasty. Wafi Mail made it into the Yu-p'in district • Z P. Yift 
Sao Ml W [second century a.d.], in his work 77 li fun su ki Hi *B ft 
&K, says, 'The Con li speaks of the yil SenWA (officials in charge of 
the plant yu"), who have charge of the jars serving for libations; when- 
ever libations are necessary for sacrifices or for the reception of guests, 
they attend to the blending of the plant yil with the odoriferous wine 
Fan, pour it into the sacred vases, and arrange them in their place.'* 
Yil is a fragrant plant. Flowers of manifold plants are boiled and mixed 
with wine fermented by means of black millet as an offering to the 
spirits: this is regarded by some as what is now called yil-kin hiah 
tt&$ (Curcuma); while others contend that it was brought as 
tribute by the people of Yu, thus connecting the name of the plant 
with that of the clan and district of Y&." The latter is the explanation 

1 Bull, de VBcolefranfaise, Vol. Ill, p. 270. 

* This work is a commentary to the Swi AtA, a canonical book on water-courses, 
supposed to have been written by San K'in under the Later Han dynasty, but it 
was elaborated rather in the third century. The commentary is due to Li Tao-yuan 
of the Hou Wei period, who died in a.d. 527 (his biography is in Wei It*, Ch. 89; 
Pet Is, Ch. 27). Regarding the various editions of the work, see Pblliot, BulL de 
VEcdU franQaise, Vol. VI, p. 364, note 4. 

1 Cf . Biot, Le Tcheou-li, VoL I, p. 465. 

Saffron and Turmeric 323 

favored by the $wo wen. 1 Both explanations are reasonable, but only 
one of the two can be correct. 1 My own opinion is this: yil is an ancient 
Chinese name for an indigenous Chinese aromatic plant; whether 
Curcuma or another genus, can no longer be decided with certainty. 1 
The term yU-kin means literally "gold of the yU plant," "gold" re- 
ferring to the yellow rhizome, 4 yU to the total plant-character; the con- 
crete significance, accordingly, is "yfl-rhizome" or "ytf-root." I do not 
believe, however, that yd-kin is derived from the district or clan of Yu; 
for this is impossible to assume, since yU as the name of a plant existed 
prior to the name of that district. This is clearly evidenced by the 
text of the Swi kin fu: for it was only in in B.C. that the name Yu-lin 
("Grove of the Yil Plant 91 ) came into existence, being then substituted 
for the earlier Kwei-lin ("Grove of Cinnamomum cassia"). It is the 
plant, consequently, which lent its name to the district, not the dis- 
trict which named the plant. As in so many cases, the Chinese con- 
found cause and effect. The reason why the name of this district was 
altered into Yu-lin is now also obvious. It must have' been renowned 
under the Han for the wealth of its yd-kin plants, which was less con- 
spicuous under the Ts*in, when the cassia predominated there. At 
any rate, yU-kin is a perfectly authentic and legitimate constituent 
of the Chinese language, and not a foreign word. It denotes an indig- 
enous Curcuma; while under the T'ang, as we have seen, additional 
species of this genus may have been introduced from abroad. The word 
yU-kin then underwent a psychological treatment similar to yen-U: 
as jvn-S/'safflower," was transformed to any cosmetic or rouge, so yd-kin 
"turmeric," was grafted on any dyes producing similar tinges of yellow. 
Thus it was applied to the saffron of Kashmir and Persia. 

1 The early edition of this work did not contain the form yU-kin, but merely the 
plain, ancient y&. Solely the Fan yi min yi tsi (Ch. 8, p. 10 b) attributes ( I believe, 
erroneously) the term yU-kin to the Swo wen. 

1 Li §i-cen says that the district Yu-lin of the Han period comprises the territory 
of the present Um jNi of Sun $$, Liu iff, Yun 1 , and Pin Jf of K wan-si and Kwei- 
fcou, and that, according to the Ta Min i Vun ti, only the district of Lo-£'en ft & 
in Liu-Sou fu (Kwan-si) produces yU-kin hian, which is that here spoken of (that is, 
Crocus), while in fact Curcuma must be understood. 

1 There is also the opinion that the ancient y& must jbe a plant similar 'to Ian 
BB, an orchidaceous plant (see the PH ya of Lu Tien and the Tun H of Cen Tsiao). 

4 Pallegodc (Description du royaume Thai ou Siam, Vol. I, p. 126) says, "Le 
curcuma est une racine bulbeuse et charnue, d'un beau jaune d'or." 


17. A. de Candolle, 1 while maintaining that the cultivation of 
safflower* (Carthamus tinctorius) is of ancient date both in Egypt and 
India, asserts on Bretschneider's authority that the Chinese received it 
pnly in the second century bx., when Can KHen brought it back from 
Bactriana. The same myth is repeated by Stuam. 1 The biography 
of the general and the Han Annals contain nothing to this effect. Only 
the Po wu Si enumerates hwan Ian Jt ft in its series of Can-KHen plants, 
adding that it can be used as a cosmetic (yen-Si HE 3t). 4 The Ku kin 
Su, while admitting the introduction of the plant from the West, makes 
no reference to the General. The TsH min yao Su discusses the method 
of cultivating the flower, but is silent as to its introduction. The fact 
of this introduction cannot be doubted, but it is hardly older than the 
third or fourth century a.d. under the Tsin dynasty. The introduction 
of safflower drew the attention of the Chinese to an indigenous wild 
plant (Basetta rubra) which yielded a similar dye and cosmetic, and 
both plants and their products were combined or confounded under 
the common name yen-Si. 

Basella rubra, a climbing plant of the family Basellaceae, is largely 
cultivated in China (as well as in India) on account of its berries, which 
contain a red juice used as a rouge by women and as a purple dye for 
making seal-impressions. This dye was the prerogative of the highest 

1 Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 164. 

* Regarding the history of this word, see Yule, Hobson-Jobson, p. 779. 

• Chinese Materia Medica, p. 94. It is likewise an erroneous statement of Stuart 
that Tibet was regarded by the Chinese as the natural habitat of this plant. This is 
due to a confusion with the term Si-ts'ah huh kwa ("red flower of Tibet ") f which refers 
to the saffron, and is so called because in modern times saffron is imported into 
China from Kashmir by way of Tibet (see p. 312). Neither Carthamus nor saffron is 
grown in the latter country. ' 

4 Some editions of the Po wu Si add, "At present it has also been planted in 
the land of Wei ffc (China)," which might convey the impression that it had only 
been introduced during the third century a.d., the lifetime of Can Hwa, author of 
that work. In the commentary to the Pei hu lu (Ch. 3, p. 12), the Powutiis quoted 
as saying, "The safflower (huh kwa H 3£, 'red flower') has its habitat in Persia, 
Su-le (Kashgar), and Ho-lu $f jft. Now that of Lian-han fH $| is of prime quality, 
a tribute of twenty thousand catties being annually sent to the Bureau of Weaving 
and Dyeing." The term huh kwa in the written language does not refer to " saffron," 
but to "safflower." Java produced the latter (Javanese kasumba), not saffron, as 
translated by Hieth (Chau Ju-kua, p. 78). The Can-KHen story is repeated in the 
Hwa kin of 1688 (Ch. 5, p. 24 b). 


Sapflower 325 

boards of the capital, the prefects of Sun-tfien and Mukden, and all 
provincial governors. 1 Under the name lo k'wei 3S %£ it is mentioned 
by T'ao Huft-kiii (a.d. 451-536), who refers to its cultivation, to the 
employment of the leaves as a condiment, and to the use of the berries 
as a cosmetic. 1 This probably came into use after the introduction of 
safflower. The Ku kin Zuf written by Ts\u Pao in the middle of the 
fourth century, states, "The leaves of yen-li & % resemble those of 
the thistle (ki IB) and the p % Urkuh W & (Taraxacum officinalis). Its 
habitat is in the Western Countries 6 3f , where the natives avail them- 
selves of the plant for dyeing, and designate it yen-U & ;£, while the 
Chinese call it hun-lan (&CK 'red indigo/ Carthamus tinctorius); 
and the powder obtained from it, and used for painting the face, is 
styled yen-U Jen W. [At present, because people value a deep-red 
color 1$, they speak of the yen-li flower which dyes; the yen-Si flower, 
however, is not the dye-plant yen-Zi, but has its own name, hun-lan 
(Carthamus tinctorius). Of old, the color intermediate between Pi # 
and white is termed huh $£, and this is what is now styled hun-lan.] " 4 
It would follow from this text that Basella was at an early date con- 
founded with Carthamus , but that originally the term yen-Si related to 
Carthamus only. 

The Pei hu lu h contains the following information in regard to the 
yen-li flower: "There is a wild flower growing abundantly in the 
rugged mountains of Twan-2ou JB #i 8 Its leaves resemble those of the 
Ian K (Indigo/era) ; its flowers, those of the liao M (Polygonum, prob- 
ably P. tinctorium). The blossoms ft, when pulled out, are from two 
to three inches long, and yield a green-white pigment. It blooms in 
the first month. The natives gather the bursting seeds while still in 
their shells, in order to sell them. They are utilized in the preparation 
of a cosmetic & $ W, and particularly also for dyeing pongee and 
other silks. Its red is not inferior to that of the Ian flower. Si Ts'o-£4 

1 P. Hoakg, Melanges sur radministration, pp. 80-81. 

1 Bretschnbidbr, Bot. Sin., pt. II, No. 148; pt. Ill, No. 258. 

1 Ch. c, p. 5 (ed. of Han Wei ts'un lit)- In regard to the historicity of this work, 
the critical remarks of the Imperial Catalogue (cf. Wylib, Notes on Chinese Litera- 
ture, p. 159) must be kept in mind. Cf. also above, p. 242. 

4 The passage enclosed in brackets, though now incorporated in the text of the 
Ku kin iu, is without any doubt later commentatorial wisdom. This is formally 
corroborated by the Pei hu lu (Ch. 3, p. 12), which omits all this in quoting the 
relevant text of the Ku kin lu. 

1 Ch. 3, p. xi (see above, p. 268). 

• Name of the prefecture of Cao-k'in j£ J| in Kwan-tun Province, This 
wild flower is BaseUa rubra. 

326 Sino-Iranica 

®mn y mhisYUsu!SiZuH $u Usttf* + •, says, 1 'These are hun- 
lan (Carthcmus) :* did you know these previously, Sir, or not? The 
people of the north gather these flowers, and dye materials a red-yellow 
by rubbing their surface with it. The fresh blossoms are made into a 
cosmetic/ Women, when dressing,use this pigment, it being the fashion 
to apply only a piece the size of a small bean. When distributed evenly, 
the paint is pleasing, as long as it is fresh. In my youth I observed this 
cosmetic again and again; and to-day I have for the first time beheld 
the hun-lan flower. Afterwards I shall raise its seeds for your benefit, 
Sir. The Hkul-nu styled a wife yen-ft W J& 9 4 a word just as pleasing as 
yenrtiV&~£ ('cosmetic'). The characters 18 and tt have the same sound 
yen; the character J£ has the sound % Si. I expect you knew this 
before, Sir, or you may read it up in the Han Annals. 9 Ceh KHen IB ft 1 
says that a cosmetic may be prepared from pomegranate flowers." 6 

The curious word yen-ti has stirred the imagination of Chinese 
scholars. It is not only correlated with the Hiuft-nu word yen-U y as 
was first proposed by Si Ts'o-iH, but is also connected with § Yea-& 
mountain. Lo YOan, in his Er ya i, remarks that the Hiuft-nu had a 
Yen-fi mountain, and goes on to cite a song from the Si ho kiu HlSft 
9 ♦,* which says, "If we lose our KH-lien mountain SB & tfl,* we cause 
our herds to diminish in number; if we lose our Yen-Si mountain, we 
cause our women to go without paint." The Pei pien pei tut 4b ft 
ll,a work of the Sung period, states, "The yen-U $t 3t of the Yen-& 
mountain M 3i tfl is the yen-U & IB of the present time. This moun- 

i This author is stated to have lived under the Tain dynasty (a.d. 265-4x9) 
in* the Tu Su tsi Ven, XX, Ch. 158, where this passage is quoted; but his book is 
there entitled YH yen wan $u £| §R EE £. The same passage is inserted in the 
Br yaiotLo YOan j/i M of the twelfth century, where the title is identical with 
that given above. 

• In the text of the T*u In; "At the foot of the mountain there are kun ion." 

• Cartkamns was already employed for the same purposes in ancient Egypt. 

« This is the Hiun-nu word for a royal consort, handed down in the Han Annals 
(Ts'ien Han Su, Ch. 94 A, p. 5). See my Language of the Yue-chi, p. 10. 

1 Author of the lost Hu pen ts'ao (above, p. 268). 

• Then follow a valueless anecdote anent a princess of the T*ang dynasty pre* 
paring a cosmetic, and the passage of the Ku kin lu given above. 

7 Mentioned in the 'Pang literature, but seems to date from an earlier period 
(B&btschnbidbr, Bot. Sin., pt. i, p. 190). 

1 A mountain-range south-west of Kan cbu in Kan-su {Si ki, Ch. 123, p. 4). 
The word k'i-Nen belongs to the language of the Hiun-nu and means ''heaven." 
In my opinion, it is related to Manchu kulun, which has the same meaning. The 
interpretations given by Wattbes (Essays, p. 362) and SHntATOU (Sprache der 
[-nu, p. 8) are not correct. 

9 The same text is quoted in the commentary to the Pei ku tu (Ch* 3, p. II b). 

Sapplower 327 

tain produces hun-lan {Carthamus) which yields yen-ft ('cosmetic 9 )- 1 ' 
All this, of course, is pure fantasy inspired by the homophony of the two 
words yen-li ("cosmetic") and Hiufi-nu yen-$i ("royal consort"). 
Another etymology propounded by Fu Hou ffc ft in his Cun hwa ku 
kinSu *«*^& (tenth century) is no more fortunate: he explains 
that yen-U is produced in the country Yen &, and is hence styled 85 9S 
yen^H ("sap of Yen"). Yen was one of the small feudal states at the 
time of the Cou dynasty. This is likewise a philological afterthought, 
for there is no ancient historical record to the effect that the state of 
Yen should have produced (exclusively or pre-eminently) Basella or 
Carthamus. It is perfectly certain that yen-U is not Chinese, but the 
transcription of a foreign word: this appears clearly from the ancient 
form & ;£, which yields no meaning whatever; ;£, as is well known, 
being a favorite character in the rendering of foreign words. This is 
further corroborated by the vacillating modes of writing the word, 
to which Li Si-Sen adds IB ftfe, 1 while he rejects as erroneous IS Jtt 
and BB %, and justly so. Unfortunately we are not informed as to the 
country or language from which the word was adopted: the Ku kin 
hi avails itself only of the vague term Si fafi ("Western Countries"), 
where Carthamus was called yen-U; but in no language known to me is 
there any such name for the designation of this plant or its product. 
The Sanskrit name for safflower is kusumbha; and if the plant had come 
from India, Chinese writers would certainly not have failed to express 
this clearly. The supposition therefore remains that it was introduced 
from some Iranian region, and that yen-it represents a word from an 
old Iranian direct now extinct, or an Iranian word somehow still 
unknown. The New-Persian name for the plant is gdwdilla; in Arabic 
it is qurtum.* 

Li Si-Sen distinguishes four kinds of yen-ti: (1) From Carthamus 
Hnctorius, the juice of the flowers of which is made into a rouge (the 
information is chiefly drawn from the Ku kin £u f as cited above). 
(2) From Basella rubra, as described in the Pet hu lu. (3) From the 
San4iu ill JB flower [unidentified, perhaps a wild pomegranate: above, 
p. 281], described in the Hu pen ts % ao. (4) From the tree producing 
gum lac (tse-kun ft fift 1 ), 1 this product being styled fif! & IB hu yenM 
("foreign cosmetic") and described in the Nan hat yao p % u Bf 1$ HI f£ 
of Li Sun 3 s *ft. 4 "At present," Li Si-6en continues, "the southerners 

1 Formed with the classifier 155, "red." 

* Achundow, Abu Mansur, p. 105. 
1 See below, p. 476. 

* He lived in the second half of the eighth century. 

328 Sino-Iranica 

make abundant use of tse-kun cosmetic, which is commonly called 
tse-kun. In general, all these substances may be used as remedies in 
blood diseases. 1 Also the juice from the seeds of lo kivei ?£ 3E (Basella 
rubra) may be taken, and, mixed evenly with powder, may be applied 
to the face. Also this is styled hu yen-Si." Now it becomes clear why 
Basella rubra, a plant indigenous to China, is termed hu yetirti in the 
T'un U of Cefi Tsiao and by Ma Ci of the tenth century: this name 
originally referred to the cosmetic furnished by Butea frondosa or other 
trees on which the lac-insect lives, 2 — trees growing in Indo-China, the 
Archipelago, and India. This product, accordingly, was foreign, and 
hence styled "foreign cosmetic" or "cosmetic of the barbarians" 
{hu yen-it). Since Basella was used in the same manner, that name 
was ultimately transferred also to the cosmetic furnished by this 
indigenous plant. 

What is not stated by Li Si-Sen is that yen-£i is also used with 
reference to Mirabilis jalapa, because from the flowers of this plant is 
derived a red coloring-matter often substituted for carthamine.* It 
is obvious that the term yenrfi has no botanical value, and for many 
centuries has simply had the meaning "cosmetic." 

Fan C'en-ta (1x26-93), in his Kwei hoi yil hen &/ mentions ayen-Zi 
M U tree, strong and fine, with a color like yen-Zi (that is, red), good 
for making arrowheads, and growing in Yun Sou, also in the caves of 
this department, and in the districts of Kwei-lin, in Kwan-si Province. 
A. Henry ' gives for Yi-S'afi in Se-£*wan a plant-name yen-U mafiK 
JfE ("cosmetic hemp"), identified with Patrinia villosa. 

1 On account of the red color of the berries. 

1 See p. 478. 

» Stuart, Chinese Materia Medica, p. 264; Matsumura, No. 2040; Prrrot and 
Hurrxbr, Matiere m&iicale et pharmacopee sino-annamites, p. 116, where lo-k*wei 
is erroneously given as Chinese name of the plant. 

« Ed. of Ciputsulaits'ufi l«, p. 28 b. 

1 Chinese Names of Plants, p. 239 (Journal China Branch Roy. As. Soc. t 
Vol. XXII, 1887). 


18. The Nan fan ts x ao mu Iwan W # ¥ >fC JR, the oldest Chinese 
work devoted to the botany of southern China, attributed to Ki Han 
ft 'ft', a minister of the Emperor Hwei S (a.d. 290-309), contains 
the following notice: 1 — 

"The ye-si-min JIP iS 35 flower and the moAi M %i flower (Jas- 
minum officinale, family Oleaceae) were brought over from western 
countries by Hu people SB A, and have been planted in Kwafi-tun 
(Nan hai ftf M). The southerners are fond of their fragrant odor, and 
therefore cultivate them . . . The mo-li flower resembles the white 
variety of ts*ianrmi 9f J$ (Cnidium monnieri), and its odor exceeds that 
of the ye-si-min" 

In another passage of the same work 9 it is stated that the U-hia 
JB V flower (Latvsonia alba),* ye-si^nin, and mo-li were introduced by 
Hu people from the country Ta Ts*in; that is, the Hellenistic Orient. 

The plant ye-si-min has been identified with Jasminum officinale; 
the plant mo-li, with Jasminum sambac. Both species are now cultivated 
in China on account of the fragrancy of the flowers and the oil that 
they yield. 4 

The passage of the Nan fan is % ao mu iwan, first disclosed by Bret- 
schneider,' has given rise to various misunderstandings. Hirth* 
remarked, "This foreign name, which is now common to all European 
languages, is said to be derived from Arabic-Persian jasamln [read 
ydsmin], and the occurrence of the word in a Chinese record written 
about a.d. 300 shows that it must have been in early use." Watters 7 
regarded ydsmin as "one of the earliest Arabian words to be found in 
Chinese literature." It seems never to have occurred to these authors 

1 Ch. a, p. 2 (ed. of Han Wei ts'ufi |«). 

• Ch. b, p. 3. 

* See below, p. 334. 

4 The sambac is a favored flower of the Chinese. In Peking there are special 
gardeners who cultivate it exclusively. Every day in summer, the flower-buds are 
gathered before sunrise (without branches or leaves) and sold for the purpose of 
perfuming tea and snuff, and to adorn the head-dress of Chinese ladies. Jasminum 
officinale is not cultivated in Peking (Brbtschnbider, Chinese Recorder, Vol. Ill, 
1871, p. 225). 

• Chinese Recorder, Vol. Ill, p. 225. ; 

* China and the Roman Orient, p. 270. 

7 Essays on the Chinese language, p. 354. 


330 Sino-Iranica 

that at this early date we know nothing about an Arabic or Persian 
language; and tins rapprochement is wrong, even in view of the Chinese 
work itself, which distinctly says that both ye-si-mih and mo-li were 
introduced from Ta Ts'in, the Hellenistic Orient. Pelliot 1 observes 
that the authenticity of the Chinese book has never been called into 
doubt, but expresses surprise at the fact that jasmine figures there 
under its Arabic name. But Arabic is surely excluded from the languages 
of Ta Ts*in. Moreover, thanks to the researches of L. Aurousseau,* 
we now know that the Nan Jan is % ao mu Swan is impaired by inter* 
polations. The passage in question may therefore be a later addition, 
and, at all events, cannot be enlisted to prove that prior to the year 300 
there were people from western Asia in Canton.' Still less is it credible 
that, as asserted in the Chinese work, the Nan yiie kin ki HI tt fT IB 
ascribed to Lu Kia 81 M, who lived in the third and second centuries 
B.C., should have alluded to the two species of Jasminum.* In fact, 
this author is made to say only that in the territory of Nan Yue the 
five cereals have no taste and the flowers have no odor, and merely 
that these flowers are particularly fragrant. Their names are not given, 
and it is Ki Han who refers them to ye-si-min and mo-li. It is out of 
the question that at the time of Lu Kia these two foreign plants should 
have been introduced over the maritime route into southern China; 
Lu Kia, if he has written this passage, may have as well had two other 
flowers in mind. 

The fact must not be overlooked, either, that the alleged introduction 
from Ta Ts'in is not contained in the historical texts relative to that 
country, nor is it confirmed by any other coeval or subsequent source. 

The Pei hu lu B mentions the flower under the names ye-si-mi flJ j& W 
and white mo-li fi J& %i 36 as having been transplanted to China by 
Persians, like the p % i-H-$a or gold-coin flower. 8 The Yu yan isa isu 
has furnished a brief description of the plant, 7 stating that its habitat 
is in Fu-lin and in Po-se (Persia). The Pen ts'ao kah mu, Kwah k'iin 
fan p*u, n and Hwa kin 9 state that the habitat of jasmine (tno-li) was 

1 Bull, de VEcole fran$aise f Vol. II, p. 146. 
1 See above, p. 263. 

• Hirth, Chau Ju-kua, p. 6, note 1. 

4 This point is discussed neither by Bretschneider nor by Hirth, who do not 
at all mention this reference. 

1 Ch. 3, p. 16 (see above, p. 268). 

• See below, p. 335. 

7 Translated by Hirth, Journal Am. Or. Soc. t Vol. XXX, 1910, p. 22. 

• Ch. 22, p. 8 b. 

• Ch. 4, p. 9. 

Jasmine 331 

originally in Persia, and that it was thence transplanted into Kwafi- 
tun. The first-named work adds that it is now (sixteenth century) 
cultivated in Yun-nan and K wan-tun, but that it cannot stand cold, 
and is unsuited to the climate of China. The Tan k'ien tsun l%¥$r9& 
jfe £fc of Yan Sen 41 tR (1 488-1 559) is cited to the effect that "the name 
not §& used in the north of China is identical with what is termed in the 
Tsin Annals fl # tsan nai hwa tf ('hair-pin ') §S$ 3E. 1 As regards this 
flower, it entered China a long time ago." 

Accordingly we meet in Chinese records the following names for 
jasmine: 2 — 

(1) Jffi *S 35 ye-st~min, * ya-sit(si$)-mifL, « Pahlavi yasmin, 
New Persian ydsamin, yasmin, yasmun, Arabic yasmin, or P 25 Sf 
ye -si-mi, *ya-sit-mit (in Yu yan isa tsu) = Middle Persian *yasmir (?).' 
Judging from this philological evidence, the statement of the Yu yan 
isa isu, and Li Si-Sen's opinion that the original habitat of the plant was 
in Persia, it seems preferable to think that it was really introduced from 
that country into China. The data of the Nan fan ts % ao mu twah are 
open to grave suspicion; but he who is ready to accept them is com- 
pelled to argue, that, on the one hand, the Persian term was extant in 
western Asia at least in the third century a.d., and that, on the other 
hand, the Indian word mallika (see No. 2) had reached Ta TsHn about 
the same time. Either suggestion would be possible, but is not con- 
firmed by any West-Asiatic sources. 4 The evidence presented by the 
Chinese work is isolated; and its authority is not weighty enough, the 
relation of the modern text to the original issue of about a.d. 300 is 
too obscure, to derive from it such a far-reaching conclusion. The 
Persian-Arabic word has become the property of the entire world: all 
European languages have adopted it, and the Arabs diffused it along 
the east coast of Africa (Swahill yasmini, Madagasy dzasimini). 

(2) M fl or ^ SI mo-li,* *mwat(mwal)-li =malli, transcription of 

1 This is the night-blooming jasmine (Nyctanthes arbor tristis), the musk-flower 
of India (Stuart, Chinese Materia Medica, p. 287). 

* There are numerous varieties of Jasminum, — about 49 to 70 in India, about 
39 in the Archipelago, and about 15 in China and Japan. 

' From the Persian loan-word in Armenian, yasmik, HObschmann (Armen. 
Gram., p. 198) justly infers a Pahlavi *yasmlk, beside y&smin. Thus also *y&smlt 
or *yasmlr may have existed in Pahlavi. 

4 It is noteworthy also that neither Dioscorides nor Galenus was acquainted 
with jasmine. 

1 For the expression of the element H are used various other characters which 
may be seen in the Kwa* k % Hn ft* p'u (Ch. 22, p. 8 b); they are of no importance 
for the phonetic side of the case. 

332 Sino-Iranica 

Sanskrit mallikd (Jasminum sambac), Tibetan mal4i-ka, Siamese tna-li t l 
Khmer maty or mlih, Cam molih. Malayan fnelaii is derived from 
Sanskrit malati, which refers to Jasminum grandiflorum. Mongol 
tnelirge is independent. Hirth's identification with Syriac molo 1 must 
be rejected. 

(3) tit flc san-mo, *san-mwat (Pukien mwak). This word is given 
in the Nan fan ts'ao mu Swan* as a synonyme of Lawsonia alba, furnish- 
ing the henna; but a confusion has here arisen, for the transcription 
does not answer to any foreign name of Lawsonia, but apparently cor- 
responds to Arabic zanbaq ("jasmine"), from which the botanical term 
sambac is derived. It is out of the question that this word was known 
to Ki Han: it is clearly an interpolation in his text. 

(4) It S* man hwa ("man flower") occurs in Buddhist literature, 
and is apparently an abridgment of Sanskrit sumand (Jasminum grandi- 
florum), which has been adopted into Persian as suman or soman. 

Jasminum officinale occurs in Kashmir, Kabul, Afghanistan, and 
Persia; in the latter country also in the wild state. 

Jasmine is discussed in Pahlavi literature (above, p. 192) and in the 
Persian pharmacopoeia of Abu Mansur. 4 C'an Te noticed the flower 
in the region of Samarkand.* It grows abundantly in the province of 
Fars in Persia.* 

Oil of jasmine is a famous product among Arabs and Persians, being 
styled in Arabic duhn as-zanbaq. Its manufacture is briefly described in 
Ibn al-Baitflr's compilation. 7 According to Istaxrl, there is in the 
province of Dar&bejird in Persia an oil of jasmine that is to be found 
nowhere else. SabOr and Slraz were renowned for the same product. 1 

The oil of jasmine manufactured in the West is mentioned in the 
Yu yah isatsuasa tonic. It was imported into China during the Sting 
period, as we learn from the Wei lio W £-,' written by Kao Se-sun 
ift flSt S, who lived toward the end of the twelfth and in the beginning 
of the thirteenth century. Here it is stated, "The ye-si-mih flower is 
a flower of the western countries, snow-white in color. The Hu 8J 
(Iranians or foreigners) bring it to Kiao-Sou and Canton, and every one 

1 Pallegoix, Description du royaume Thai, Vol. I, p. 147. 
1 Journal Am. Or. Soc., Vol. XXX, 1910, p. 23. 
1 Ch. b, p. 3. See below, p. 334. 
'Achundow, Abu Mansur, p. 147. 

• Brbtschneider, Mediaeval Researches, Vol. I, p. 131. 

• G. Lb Strange, Description of the Province of Pars, p. 51. 
7 L. Lbclerc, Traite* des simples, Vol. II, p. 111. 
1 P. Schwarz, Iran, pp. 53, 94, 97, 165. 

• Ch. 9, p. 9. 

Jasmine 333 

is fond of its fragrance and plants this flower. According to the Kwan 
Ion fn kin K^lft ('Gazetteer of Kwan-tun Province')* oil of 
jasmine is imported on ships; for the Hu gather the flowers to press 
from them oil, which is beneficial for leprosy JfE A. 1 When this fatty 
substance is rubbed on the palm of the hand, the odor penetrates through 
the back of the hand." 

1 According to the Arabs, it is useful as a preventive of paralysis and epilepsy 
(Leclbbc, L c). 


19. It is well known that the leaves of Loavsonia alba or L. inermis, 
grown all over southern China, are extensively used by women and 
children as a finger-nail dye, and are therefore styled ii kia hwa H6 V 
36 ("finger-nail flower")' 1 This flower is mentioned in the Sanfu hwan 
Vu,* of unknown authorship and date, as having been transplanted 
from Nan Yue (South China) into the Pu-li Palace at the time of the 
Han Emperor Wu (140-87 B.C.). This is doubtless an anachronism or 
a subsequent interpolation in the text of that book. The earliest datable 
reference to this plant is again contained in the Nan fan ts*ao mu twah by 
Ki Han,' by whom it is described as a tree from five to six feet in height, 
with tender and weak branches and leaves like those of the young elm- 
tree 4fk (Ulmus campestris), the flowers being snow-white like ye-si-min 
and mo-li, but different in odor. As stated above (p. 329), this work goes 
on to say that these three plants were introduced by Hu people from 
Ta Ts*in, and cultivated in KwaA-tun. 4 The question arises again 
whether this passage was embodied in the original edition. It is some- 
what suspicious, chiefly for the reason that Ki Han adds the synonyme 
satwno, which, as we have seen, in fact relates to jasmine. 

The Pet hu lu,* written about a.d. 875 by Twan Kun-lu, contains 
the following text under the heading li kia hwa: " The finger-nail flower 
is fine and white and of intense fragrance. The barbarians 41 A now 
plant it. Its name has not yet been explained. There are, further, the 
jasmine and the white mo-li. All these were transplanted to China by 
the Persians (Pose). This is likewise the case with the p'i-Si-Sa Jft P 
8fr (or 'gold coin') flower (Inula chinensis). Originally it was only 
produced abroad, but in the second year of the period Ta-t'ufi :fc RI 
(a.d. 536 of the Liang dynasty) it came to China for the first time 
($&2|S *f*;fc)." In the Yu yah tsa tsu,* written about fifteen years 
earlier, we read, "The gold-coin flower & tii 3E, it is said, was originally 
produced abroad. In the second year of the period Ta-t'ufi of the 

1 Cf. Notes and Queries on China and Japan, Vol. I, 1867, pp. 40-41. Stuart, 
Chinese Materia Medica, p. 232. 

1 Ch. 3, p. 9 b (see above, p. 263). 

» Ch. B, p. 3 (ed. of Han Wei ts'un Su). 

* Cf . also Hirth, China and the Roman Orient, p. 268. 

* Ch. 3, p. 16 (see above, p. 268). 

* Ch. 19, p. 10 b. 


Henna 335 

Liang (a.d. 536) it came to China. At the time of the Liang dynasty, 
people of Kin Sou ffl #i used to gamble in their houses at backgammon 
with gold coins. When the supply of coins was exhausted, they resorted 
to gold-coin flowers. Hence Yu Hun ft §£ said, 'He who obtains flowers 
makes money.' " The same work likewise contains the following note: 1 
"PH-H'Sa Rfc P 8fr is a synonyme for the gold-coin flower,* which was 
originally produced abroad, and came to China in the first year of 
the period Ta-t'ufi of the Liang (a.d. 535)." The gold-coin flower vis- 
ualized by Twan Kun-lu and Twan C'en-Si assuredly cannot be Inula 
chinensis, which is a common, wild plant in northern China, and which 
is already mentioned in the Pie lu and by T*ao Hufi-kifi. 1 It is patent 
that this flower introduced under the Liang must have been a different 
species. The only method of solving the problem would be to determine 
the prototype of p'i-fi-Sa, which is apparently. the transcription of a 
foreign word. It is not stated to which language it belongs; but, judging 
from appearances, it is Sanskrit, and should be traceable to a form 
like *vi§I§a (or *vige$a). Such a Sanskrit plant-name is not to be 
found, however. Possibly the word is not Sanskrit. 4 

The Pet hu lu, accordingly, conceives the finger-nail flower as an 
introduction due to the Persians, but does not allude to its product, 
the henna. I fail to find any allusion to henna in other books of the 
Tang period. I am under the impression that the use of this cosmetic 
did not come into existence in China before the Sung epoch, and that 
the practice was then introduced (or possibly only re-introduced) by 
Mohammedans, and was at first restricted to these. It is known that 
also the leaves of Impatiens balsamina (fun sien Mr lib) mixed with alum 
are now used as a finger-nail dye, being therefore styled San Si kia ts'ao 
tfeJB¥¥ ("plant dyeing finger-nails"), 8 — a term first appearing 
in the Kiu hwan pen ts*ao f published early in the Ming period. The 
earliest source that mentions the practice is the Kwei sin tsa H%k^£ 

1 Ch. 19, p. 10 a. 

1 The addition of *f before kin in the edition of Pat hat surely rests on an error. 

1 Cf. also Bketschnbidek, Bot. Sin., pt. Ill, p. 158. 

4 The new Chinese Botanical Dictionary (p. 913) identifies the gold-coin 
flower with Inula britannica. In Buddhist lexicography it is identified with 
Sanskrit j&ti (Jasminum grandiflorum; cf. Eitbl, Handbook, p. 52). The same 
word means also "kind, class"; so does likewise vi^e^a, and the compound jd/t- 
vifef* denotes the specific characters of a plant (Hoernlb, Bower Manuscript, 
p. 273). It is therefore possible that this term was taken by the Buddhists in 
the sense of "species of Jasminum" and that finally vi$c$ a was retained as the 
name of the flower. 

* Stuart, Chinese Materia Medica, p. 215; Pen ts % ao kan mu, Ch. 17 b, p. 12 b. 

336 Sino-Iranica 

It S 1 by Cou Mi M$S (1230-1320), who makes the following ob- 
servation: "As regards the red variety of the fun sien flower (ImpaHens 
balsamina), the leaves are used, being pounded in a mortar and mixed 
with a little alum. 2 The finger-nails must first be thoroughly cleaned, 
and then this paste is applied to them. During the night a piece of 
silk is wrapped around them, and the dyeing takes effect. This process 
is repeated three or five times. The color resembles that of the yen~£i 
(Basella rubrum). Even by washing it does not come off, and keeps 
for fully ten days. At present many Mohammedan women are fond 
of using this cosmetic for dyeing their hands, and also apply it to cats 
and dogs for their amusement." The Pen is % ao kan mu quotes only the 
last clause of this text. From what Cou Mi says, it does not appear 
that the custom was of ancient date; on the contrary, it does not seem 
to be older than the Sung period. 

None of the early Pen ts'ao makes mention of Lawsonia. It first 
appears in the Pen is % ao kan mu. All that Li §i-5en is able to note 
amounts'to this: that there are two varieties, a yellow and a white one, 
which bloom during the summer months; that its odor resembles that 
of mu-si ^C W (Osmanihus fragrans); and that it can be used for dyeing 
the finger-nails, being superior in this resjfct to the fun sien flower 
(Impatiens balsamina). Ceh Kafi-£uii IB PN +, an author of the Sung 
period, mentions the plant under the name i hian hwa H & 3E ("flower 
of peculiar fragrance"). 

It has generally been believed hitherto that the use of henna and 
the introduction of Lawsonia into China are of ancient date; but, in 
fact, the evidence is extremely weak. In my opinion, as far as the em- 
ployment of henna is concerned, we have to go down as far as the 
Sung period. It is noteworthy also that no foreign name of ancient date, 
either for the plant or its product, is on record. F. P. Sierra and Stua&t 
parade the term M jft hai-na (Arabic hinna) without giving a reference. 
The very form of this transcription shows that it is of recent date: in 
fact, it occurs as late as the sixteenth century in the Pen ts'ao kan mu} 
then in the K'Unfah p x u of 1630 4 and the Nun Zen ts'iian Su tk ft £ #, 
published in 1619 by Su Kwan-k'i fft it B£, the friend and supporter 
of the Jesuits. It also occurs in the Hwa kin of 1688. 6 

It is well known what extensive use of henna (Arabic hinna, hence 

i m*k±, p. 17 (ed. of Pat had). 

* In this manner the dye is also prepared at present. 
» Ch. 17 B, p. 12 b. 

* Kwaih k % *n fa* p'u, Ch. 26, p. 4 b. The passages of the first edition are 
especially indicated. 

1 Ch. 5, p. 23 b. 

Henna 337 

Malayan inei) has been made in the west from ancient times. The 
Egyptians stained their hands red with the leaves of the plant 1 (Egyp- 
tian puqer, Coptic kuper or khuper, Hebrew kopher, Greek icfrrpos). All 
Mohammedan peoples have adopted this custom; and they even dye 
their hair with henna, also the manes, tails, and hoofs of horses. 1 The 
species of western Asia is identical with that of China, which is sponta- 
neous also in Baluchistan and in southern Persia. 3 Ancient Persia 
played a prominent r61e as mediator in the propagation of the plant. 4 
"They [the Persians] have also a custom of painting their hands, and, 
above all, their nails, with a red color, inclining to yellowish or orange, 
much near the color that our tanners nails are of. There are those 
who also paint their feet. This is so necessary an ornament in their 
married women, that this kind of paint is brought up, and distributed 
among those that are invited to their wedding dinners. They there- 
with paint also the bodies of such as dye maids, that when they appear 
before the Angels Examinants, they may be found more neat and 
handsome. This color is made of the herb, which they call Chinne, 
which hath leaves like those of liquorice, or rather those of myrtle. It 
grows in the Province of Erak, and it is dry'd, and beaten, small as 
flower, and there is put thereto a little of the juyce of sour pomegranate, 
or citron, or sometimes only fair water; and therewith they color their 
hands. And if they would have them to be of a darker color, they rub 
them afterwards with wall-nut leaves. This color will not be got off in 
fifteen days, though they wash their hands several times a day." 6 It 

1 V. Loret, Flore pharaonique, p. 80; Wosnig, Pflanzen ixn alten Aegypten, 


1 L. Leclerc, Traits des simples, Vol. I, p. 469; G. Jacob, Studien in arabischen 
Geographen, p. 172; A. v. Kreher, Culturgeschichte des Orients unter den Chalifen, 
Vol. II, p. 325. 

* C. Joret, Plantes dans l'antiquitl, Vol. II, p. 47. 

* Schwbinfurth, £. Eihnofogie, Vol. XXIII, 1891, p. 658. 

1 A. Olbarius, Voyages of the Ambassadors to the Great Duke of Muscovy 
and the King of Persia (1633-39), p. 234 (London, 1669). I add the very exact 
description of the process given by Schlimmer (Terminologie, p. 343): "C'est avec 
la pondre fine des feuilles seches de cette plante, largement cultivee dans le midi 
de la Perse, que les indigenes se colorent les cheveux, la barbe et les ongles en rouge- 
orange. La poudre, formee en pate avec de l'eau plus ou moins chaude, est appliquee 
sur les cheveux et les ongles et y reste pendant une ou deux heures, ayant soin de la 
tenir constamment humide en empechant l'evaporation de son eau; apres quoi la 
partie est lavee soigneusement; 1'effet de l'application du henna est de donner une 
couleur rouge-orange aux cheveux et aux ongles. Pour transformer cette couleur 
rougeatre en noir luisant, on enduit pendant deux ou trois autres heures les cheveux 
ou la barbe d'une seconde pate formee de feuilles pulvensees finement d'une espece 
d'indigof ere, cultivee sur une large echelle dans la province de Kerman. Ces mani- 
pulations se pratiquent d'ordinaire au bain persan, ou la chaleur humide diminue 

338 Sino-Ijianica 

seems more likely that the plant was transmitted to China from Persia 
than from western Asia, but the accounts of the Chinese in this case are 
too vague and deficient to enable us to reach a positive conclusion. 

In India, Lawsonia alba is said to be wild on the Coromandel coast. 
It is now cultivated throughout India. The use of hernia as a cosmetic 
is universal among Mohammedan women, and to a greater or lesser 
extent among Hindu also; but that it dates "from very ancient times," 
as stated by Watt, 1 seems doubtful to me. There is no ancient Sanskrit 
term for the plant or the cosmetic (mendhJ or mendhika is Neo-Sanskrit) , 
and it would be more probable that its use is due to Mohammedan 
influence. Joist* holds that the tree, although it is perhaps indigenous, 
may have been planted only since the Mohammedan invasion. 1 

Fkansois Pykaed, who travelled from 1601 to 1610, reports the 
henna-furnishing plant on the Maldives, where it is styled innapa 
(—kino-fed, "henna-leaf"). "The leaves are bruised," he remarks, 
"and rubbed on their hands and feet to make them red, which they 
esteem a great beauty. This color does not yield to any washing, nor 
until the nails grow, or a fresh skin comes over the flesh, and then (that 
is, at the end of five or six months) they rub them again." 4 

singuE&rement la duree de reparation." While the Persians dye the whole of their 
hands as far as the wrist, also the soles of their feet, the Turks more commonly 
only tinge the nails; both use it for the hair. 

1 Commercial Products of India, p. 707. 

* Plantes dans Taatiquite', VoL II, p. 273. ♦ 

* Cf. also D. Hoofer, Oil of Lawsonia alba. Journal As. Soc. Bengal, VoL IV, 
I9°8» P. 35- 

* Voyage of F. Pyrard, ed. by A. Gray, VoL II, p. 361 (Halduyt Society). The 
first edition of this work appeared in Paris, 161 1. 


20. Upder the term hu fun (Japanese koto) £B M ("thing tree of 
the Hu, Iranian Paulawnia imperialis;" that is, Populus balsamifera), 
the Annals of the Former Han Dynasty mention a wild-growing tree 
as characteristic of the flora of the Lob-nor region; for it is said to be 
plentiful in the kingdom of San-San if flF. 1 It is self-evident from the 
nomenclature that this was a species new to the Chinese, who discovered 
it in their advance through Turkistan in the second century B.C., but 
that the genus was somewhat familiar to them. The commentator 
Moft K'an states on this occasion that the hu fun tree resembles the 
mulberry (Moms alba), but has numerous crooked branches. A more 
elaborate annotation is furnished by Yen Si-ku (a.d. 579-645)1 who 
comments, "The hu fun tree resembles the Vuh M (Paulawnia *m- 
perialis), but not the mulberry; hence the name hu fun is bestowed 
upon it. This tree is punctured by insects, whereupon flows down a 
juice, that is commonly termed hu fuh lei #J M u% ('hu^fuh tears'), 
because it is said to resemble human tears. 1 When this substance 
penetrates earth or stone, it coagulates into a solid mass, somewhat on 
the order of rock salt, called wu-fuh kien fll M Nt C natron of the tw*-fim 
tree/ Sierculia platanifolia). It serves for soldering metal, and is now 
used by all workmen." 1 

The T % uh Hen IS Jl, written by Tu Yu tt f6 between the years 
766 and 8ox, says that "the country Lou •* among the Si 2ufi 6 3& 
produces an abundance of tamarisks Sf 9f (Tamarix chinensis), hu fuh, 
and pas ts*ao fi 9 ('white herb or grass')/ the latter being eaten by 

1 Ts'ien Han Su, Ch. 96 a, p. 3 b. Cf . A Wyus, Journal Anthropological In- 
sfstefe, Vol. X, 1881, p. 35. 

• Pliny (xn, x8, 1 33) speaks of a thorny shrub in Ariana on the borders of India, 
valuable for its tears, resembling the myrrh, but difficult of access on account of the 
adhering thorns (Contermina Indis gens Ariana appellator, cui spina lacrima pretiosa 
murrae simili, difficili accessu propter aculeos adnexos). It is not known what plant 
is to be understood by the Plinian text; but the analogy of the "tears" with the 
above Chinese term is noteworthy. 

» This text has been adopted by the Tai p'tn kwan y& hi (Ch. 181, p. 4) in 
describing the products of Lou-Ian. 

* Abbreviated for Lou-Ian X Ml, the original name of the kingdom of San-ian. 
1 This is repeated from the Han Annals, which add also rushes. The "white 

grass" is explained by Yen 5i-ku as " resembling the grass yu Jfc (Setaria viridis), but 
finer and without awns; when dried, it assumes a white color, and serves as fodder 
for cattle and horses." 



340 Sino-Iranica 

cattle and horses. The hu Vun looks as if it were corroded by insects. 
A resin flows down and comes out of this tree, which is popularly called 
'hu-Vun tears'. It can be used for soldering gold (or metal) and silver. 
In the colloquial language, they say also lU # instead of lei 9 which is 
faulty." 1 

The T'an pen ts'ao* is credited with this statement: "Hu Vun lei 
is an important remedy for the teeth. At present this word is the name of 
a place west of Aksu. The tree is full of small holes. One can travel 
for several days and see nothing but hu Vun trees in the forests. The 
leaves resemble those of the Vun (JPaulownia). The resin which is like 
glue flows out of the roots." 

The Lin piao lu i l states positively that hu fun lei is produced in 
Persia, being the sap of the hu fun tree, and adds that there are also 
''stone tears," Si lei H S, which are collected from stones. 

Su Kufi, the reviser of the Pen ts % ao of the T'ang, makes this ob- 
servation: 4 "Hu Vun lei is produced in the plains and marshes as well 
as in the mountains and valleys lying to the west of Su-5ou It JN. 
In its shape it resembles yellow vitriol (hwan fan H &),* but is far 
more solid. The worm-eaten trees are styled hu Vun trees. When their 
sap filters into earth and stones, it forms a soil-made product like 
natron. This tree is high and large, its bark and leaves resembling those 
of the white poplar and the green Vun If 4R. It belongs to the family 
of mulberries, and is hence called hu Vun tree. Its wood is good for 
making implements." 

Han Pao-Sen It flfc #, who edited the Su pen ts'ao S & 3£ about 
the middle of the tenth century, states, "The tree occurs west of Lian- 
2ou iSC jHI (in Kan-su). In the beginning it resembles a willow; when 
it has grown, it resembles a mulberry and the Vun. Its sap sinks into 
the soil, and is similar to earth and stone. It is used as a dye like the 
ginger-stone (kian Si X ??).• It is extremely salty and bitter. It is 
dissolved by the application of water, and then becomes like alum 
shale or saltpetre. It is collected during the winter months." 

Ta Min ;Jc 9B, who wrote a Pen ts % ao about a.d. 970, says with 
reference to this tree, "There are two kinds, — a tree-sap which is not 
employed in the pharmacopoeia, and a stone-sap collected on the 

Cf. Ceh lei pen ts 9 ao 9 Ch. 13, p. 33. 

As quoted in the Ci wu min H Vu k'ao, Ch. 35, p. 8 b. 

Ch. B, p. 7 a (see above, p. 268). 

Ceh lei pen ts'ao, I.e. 

P. db M£ly, Lapidaire chinois, p. 149. 

A variety of stalactite (see P. db M£ly, Lapidaire chinois, p. 94; Ghbsts, 
Produits, p. 343; Ceh lei pen ts'oo, Ch. 5, p. 33). 

The Balsam-Poplar 341 

surface of stones; this one only is utilized as a medicine. It resembles 
in appearance small pieces of stone, and those colored like loess take 
the first place. The latter are employed as a remedy for toothache/ 9 
Su Sun, in his Tu kin pen ts'ao, remarks that it then occurred among 
the Western Barbarians (Si Fan), and was traded by merchants. He 
adds that it was seldom used in the recipes of former times, but that 
it is now utilized for toothache and regarded as an important remedy in 

Li Si-Sen 1 refers to the chapter on the Western Countries (Si yU 
Swan) in the Han Annals, stating that the tree was plentiful in the 
country Ku-Si $ SP (Turf an). No such statement is made in the 
Annals of the Han with regard to this country, but, as we have seen, 
only with reference to San-San. 2 He then gives a brief r£sum£ of the 
matter, setting down the two varieties of "tree-tears" and "stone- 

The Ming Geography mentions hu Vuh lei as a product of Hami. 
The Kwah yii ki* notices it as a product of the Chikin Mongols between 
Su-6ou and Sa-2ou. The Si yU wen kien lu, A written in 1777, states in 
regard to this tree that it is only good as fuel on account of its crooked 
growth: hence the natives of Turkistan merely call it odon or otun, 
which means "wood, fuel" in Turkish. 6 The tree itself is termed in 
TurkI tograk. 

The Hui k x iah Si 9 likewise describes the hu Vuh tree of Hami, saying 
that the Mohammedans use its wood as fuel, but that some with 
ornamental designs is carved into cases for writing-brushes and into 

Bretschneider 7 has identified this tree with Populus euphratica, 
the wood of which is used as fuel in Turkistan. It is not known, however, 
that this tree produces a resin, such as is described by the Chinese. 
Moreover, this species is distributed through northern China; 8 while 
all Chinese records, both ancient and modern, speak of the hu Vuh 

1 Pen ts'ao kan m«, Ch. 34, p. 22. 

• There is a passage in the Svri kin tu where the hu fun is mentioned, and may 
be referred to Ku-Si (Chavannks, Toung Poo, 1905, p. 569). 

1 Above, p. 251. 

4 Ch. 7, p. 9 (Wyue, Notes on Chinese Literature, p. 64). 

• This passage has already been translated correctly by W. Schott (Abh. Berl. 
Ak., 1842, p. 370). It was not quite comprehended by Bretschneidbh (Mediaeval 
Researches, Vol. II, p. 179), who writes, "The characters hu Vung here are intended 
to render a foreign word which means 'fuel'." 

• Above, p. 230. 

7 Mediaeval Researches, Vol. II, p. 179. 

• Forbes and Hemslby, Journal Linnean Society, Vol. XXVI, p. 536. 

34* Sino-Iranica 

exclusively as a tree peculiar to Turkistan and Persia. The correct 
identification of the tree is Populus balsamifera, var. genuina Wesm. 1 
The easternmost boundary of this tree is presented by the hills of 
Kumbum east of the KukunOr, which geographically is part of Central 
Asia. The same species occurs also in Siberia and North America; it 
is called liard by the French of Canada. It is met with, further, wild 
and cultivated, in the inner ranges of the north-western Himalaya, 
from Kunawar, altitude 8000 to 13000 feet, westwards. In western 
Tibet it is found up to 14000 feet. 1 The buds contain a balsam-resin 
which is considered antiscorbutic and diuretic, and was formerly im- 
ported into Europe under the name bourne facot and tacamahaca 1 com- 
munis (or vulgaris). Watt says that he can find no account of this 
exudation being utilized in India. It appears from the Chinese records 
that the tree must have been known to the Iranians of Central Asia 
and Persia, and we shall pot fail in assuming that these were also the 
discoverers of the medical properties of the balsam. It is quite credible 
that it was efficacious in alleviating pain caused by carious teeth, as it 
would form an air-tight coating around them. 

1 Matsumura, Shokubutsu mei-i, No. 2518. 

* G. Watt, Dictionary of the Economic Products of India, Vol. VI, p. 325. 

•The tacamahaca (a word of American-Indian origin) was first described 
by Nicoloso db Monardbs (Dos libros el uno que trata de todas las cosas que traen 
de nuestras Indias Occidentales, Sevilla, 1569) : " Assi mismo traen de nueva Espafia 
otro genero de Goma, o resina, que llaman los Indios Tacamahaca. Y este mismo 
nombre dieron nuestros Bspafioles. Es resina sacada por incision de un Arbol 
grande como Alamo, que es muy oloroso, echa el fruto Colorado oomo simiente de 
Peonia. Desta Resina o goma, usan mucho los Indios en sus enfermedades, mayor- 
mente en hinchazones, en qualquiera parte del cuerpo que se engendran, por que las 
i^ssuduemadura.ydeshazenmrauillosamente/'etc. A copy of this very scarce work 
is in the Edward E. Ayer collection of the Newberry Library, Chicago; likewise 
the continuation Segunda parte del libro, de las cosas que se traen de nuestras 
Indias Occidentales (Sevilla, 1571). 


21. The word "manna," of Semitic origin (Hebrew man, Arabic 
mann), h&s been transmitted to us through the medium of Greek n&va 
in the translation of the Septuaginta and the New Testament. Manna 
is a saccharine product discharged from the bark or leaves of a number 
of plants under certain conditions, either through the puncture of insects 
or by making incisions in the trunk and blanches. Thus there are 
mannas of various nature and origin. The best-known manna is the 
exudation of Fraxinus ornus (or Ornus europaea), the so-called manna- 
ash, occurring in the Mediterranean region and Asia Minor. 1 The chief 
constituent of manna is manna-sugar or mannite, which occurs in 
many other plants besides Fraxinus. 

The Annals of the Sui Dynasty ascribe to the region of Kao-5'afi 
18 H (Turfan) a plant, styled yah ts'e #* M ("sheep-thorn"), the upper 
part of which produces honey of very excellent taste. 2 

C'en Ts'an-k'i, who wrote in the first part of the eighth century, 
states that in the sand of Kiao-ho 3fc W (Yarkhoto) there is a plant 
with hair on its top, and that in this hair honey is produced; it is styled 
by the Hu (Iranians) *£ft (=fft) B kf+p % <hlo 9 *k / it(k'ir)-bwu$-la.» 
The first element apparently corresponds to Persian xar ("thorn") or 
the dialectic form ydr? the second, to Persian burra or bura ("lamb"), 5 
so that the Chinese term yah ts % e presents itself as a literal rendering 
of the Persian (or rather a Middle-Persian or Sogdian) expression. 
In New Persian the term %ar-i-$utur ("camel-thorn") is used, and, 
according to Aitchison, also zar-i-buzi ("goat's thorn"). 6 

It is noteworthy that the Chinese have preserved a Middle-Persian 
word for "manna," which has not yet been traced in an Iranian source. 
The plant (Hedysarutn alhagi), widely diffused over all the arid lowlands 

1 Cf. the excellent investigation of D. Hanbuky, Science Papers, pp. 355-368. 

1 Sui !u, Ch. 83, p. 3 b. The same text is also found in the Wei Su and Pei H; 
in the Tai pin hwan yH ki (Ch. 180, p. 11 b) it is placed among the products of 
Ku-fi $ IP i» Turfan. 

1 Stuart (Chinese Materia Medica, p. 258) erroneously writes the first char- 
acter j&. He has not been able to identify the plant in question. 

* P. Horn, Grundriss der iranischen Philologie, VoL I, pt. 2, p. 70. 

* In dialects of northern Persia also varre, varra, and werh (J. db Morgan, 
Mission en Perse, Vol. V, p. 208). 

1 Cf. D. Hoofbr, Journal As. Sac. Bengal, Vol. V, 1909, p. 33. 


344 Sino-Iranica 

of Persia, furnishes manna only in certain districts. Wherever it fails 
to yield this product, it serves as pasture to the camels (hence its name 
"thorn of camels"), and, according to the express assurance of Schlim- 
mer, 1 also to the sheep and goats. "Les indigenes des contr£es de la 
Perse, oil se fait la r£colte de teren-djebin, me disent que les pasteurs 
sont obliges par les institutions communales de s'&oigner avec leurs 
troupeaux des plaines oil la plante mannif fere abonde, parce que les 
moutons et chftvres ne manqueraient de faire avorter la r&xrite." In 
regard to a related species (Hedysarutn semenowi), S. KorZinski* 
states that it is particularly relished by the sheep which fatten on it. 

The Lian se kuh ise ki 9z H & ? IE* is cited in the Pen ts'ao kahmu 
as follows: "In Kao-£'an there is manna (ts*e mi M X). Mr. Kie j& 
& says, In the town Nan-pHn Bf ^ ifc the plant yah ts % e is devoid of 
leaves, its honey is white in color and sweet of taste. The leaves of the 
plant yah ts % e in Salt City (Yen 2*e6 81 St) are large, its honey is dark 
W in color, and its taste is indifferent. Kao-S'aft is the same as Kiao-ho, 
and is situated in the land of the Western Barbarians (Si Fan K $);* 
at present it forms a large department (fa tou ;Jc #1)." 

Wan Yen-te, who was sent on a mission to Turfan in a.d. 981, 
mentions the plant and its sweet manna in his narrative. 6 

Cou K'u-fei, who wrote the Lih wax iai to in 1178, describes the 
"genuine manna (sweet dew)" M It H of Mosul (49 9r tt Wu-se-li) 
as follows: 7 "This country has a number of famous mountains. When 
the autumn-dew falls, it hardens under the influence of the sun-rays 
into a substance of the appearance of sugar and hoar-frost, which is 
gathered and consumed* It has purifying, cooling, sweet, and nutritious 
qualities, and is known as genuine manna/' 8 

Wan Ta-yuan & ^C W, in his Too i Hlio A !fc M X of 1349,* has 

1 Tenninologie, p. 357. 

• Vegetation of Turkistan (in Russian), p. 77. 

9 The work of Can Yue (a.d. 667-730); see The Diamond, this volume, p. 6. 

« Other texts write ¥ hu. 

1 This term, which in general denotes Tibet, but certainly cannot refer to Tibet 
in this connection, has evidently misled Stuart (Chinese Materia Medica, p. 258) 
into saying that the substance is spoken of as coming from Tangut. 

• Cf. W. Schott, Zur Uigurenfrage II, p. 47 (Abh. Berl. Akad., 1875). 

7 Ch. 3, p. 3 b (ed. of Ci putsulai ts'uA Su). Regarding the term kan lu, which 
also translates Sanskrit aiwrjte, see Chavannbs and Pblliot, Traite* manicheen, 

p. 155. 

• The same text with a few insignificant changes has been copied by Cao 2u»kwa 
(Hurra's translation, p. 140). 

9 Regarding this work, cf. Pelliot, Bull, de VEcdU franfaise, VoL IV, p. 253. 

Manna 345 

the following note regarding manna (kan lu) in Ma-k'0-se-H: 1 "Every 
year during the eighth and ninth months it rains manna, when the 
people make a pool to collect it. At sunrise it will condense like water* 
drops, and then it is dried. Its flavor is like that of crystallized sugar. 
They also store it in jars, mixing it with hot water, and this beverage 
serves as a remedy for malaria. There is an old saying that this is the 
country of the Amritarftja-tathftgata "ft* Jt rE & 2K.'* 

Li £i-2en, after quoting the texts of C'en Ts'afi-k'i, the Pet &', etc.,* 
arrives at the conclusion that these data refer to the same honey-bearing 
plant, but that it is unknown what plant is to be understood by the 
term yah ts'e. 

The Turk! name for this plant is yantaq, and the sweet resin accumu- 
lating on it is styled yantaq Sttk&ri ("yantaq sugar"). 4 

The modern Persian name for the manna is t&r-dngubin (Arabic 
terenjobin; hence Spanish tereniabin) ; and the plant which exudates the 
sweet substance, as stated, is styled xar^iSutur ("camel-thorn"). The 
manna suddenly appears toward the close of the summer during the 
night, and must be gathered during the early hours of the morning. It 
is eaten in its natural state, or is utilized for syrup (Hre) in Central Ada 
or in the sugar-factories of Meshed and Yezd in Persia. 6 The Persian 
word became known to the Chinese from Samarkand in the tran- 
scription tarlaiirkurpin & W ~& JC. 6 The product is described under 
the title kan lu ^ % ("sweet dew") as being derived from a small 
plant, one to two feet high, growing densely, the leaves being fine like 
those of an Itidigofera (Ian). The autumn dew hardens on the surface 
of the stems, and this product has a taste like sugar. It is gathered and 
boiled into sweetmeats. Under the same name, kan-lu, the Kwanyil ki 7 
describes a small plant of Samarkand, on the leaves of which accumu- 
lates in the autumn a dew as sweet in taste as honey, the leaves resem- 

1 Unidentified. It .can hardly be identified with Mosul, as intimated by 

1 Rockhill, T*oung Poo, 1915, p. 622. This Buddhist term has crept in here 
owing to the fact that kan lu ("sweet dew") serves as rendering of Sanskrit amtita 
("the nectar of the gods") and as designation for manna. 

' Also the Yu yah tsa tsu, but this passage refers to India and to a different 
plant, and is therefore treated below in its proper setting. 

4 A. v. Lb Coq, Sprichwdrter und Lieder aus Turfan, p. 99. If the supposition 
of B. Munkacsi (KeUti sxemle, Vol. XI, 1910, p. 353) be correct, that Hungarian 
gyanta (gydnta, jdnta, gyenta, "resin") and gyantdr ("varnish") may be Turkish 
loan-words, the above Turk! name would refer to the resinous character of the plant. 

* VAmbery, Skizzen aus Mittelasien, p. 189. 

• Ta Mih % fun U t Ch. 89, p. 23. 

7 Ch. 24, p. 26, of the edition printed in 1744; this passage is not contained in 
the original edition of 1600 (cf. above, p. 251, regarding the various editions). 

346 Sino-Iranica 

bling those of an Indigofera (Ian); and in the same work 1 this plant is 
referred to Qara-Khoja A JN under the name yan is % e. Also the Ming 
Annals 2 contain the same reference. The plant in question has been 
identified by D. Hanbury with the camel-thorn (Alhagi camelorum), 
a small spiny plant of the family Leguminosae, growing in Iran and 
Turkistan. 8 

In the fourteenth century, Odoric of Pordenone found near the 
city Huz in Persia manna of better quality and in greater abundance 
than in any part of the world. 4 The Persian-Arabic manna was made 
known in Europe during the sixteenth century by the traveller and 
naturalist Pierre Belon du Mons (1518-64), 6 who has this account: 
"Les Caloieres auoyfit de la Mfine liquide recueillie en leurs montagnes, 
qu'ils appellent Tereniabin f a la difference de la dure: Car ce que les 
autheurs Arabes ont appellS Tereniabin, est gardfe en pots de terre 
comme miel, et la portent vendre au Caire: qui est ce qu' Hippocrates 
nomma miel de Cedre, et les autres Grecs ont nommg Ros6e du mont 
Liban: qui est differente & la Manne blanche seiche. Celle que nous 
auons en Prance, apport£e de Brianson, recueillie dessus les Meleses & 
la sommjt6 des plus hautes montagnes, est dure, differente & la susdicte. 
Parquoy estant la Manne de deux sortes, Ion en trouve au Caire de 
Pvne et de l'autre es boutiques des marchands, expos^e en vente. 
L'vne est appellee Manne, et est dure: l'autre Tereniabin, et est liquide: 
et pource qu'en auons fait plus long discours au liure des arbres tousiours 
verds, n'en dirons autre chose en ce lieu." The Brianson manna men- 
tioned by Belon is collected from the larch-trees (Pinus larix) of south- 
ern France. 6 Garcia da Orta 7 described several kinds of manna, one 
brought to Ormuz from the country of the Uzbeg under the name 
xirquest or xircast, "which means the milk of a tree called quest, for xir 
[read iir) is milk in the Persian language, so that it is the dew that falls 

1 Ch. 24, p. 6, of the original edition; and Ch. 24, p. 30 b, of the edition of 1744. 

• Ch. 329 (cf. Brbtschneidbr, Mediaeval Researches, Vol. II, p. 192). 

• The plant is said to occur also in India (Sanskrit vitfUadH and g&ndh&ri; that 
is, from Gandhara), Arabia, and Egypt, but, curiously, in those countries does not 
produce a sugar-like secretion. Consequently it cannot be claimed as the plant 
which furnished the manna to the Israelites in the desert (see the Dictionnaire de 
la Bible by P. Vigouroux, Vol. I, col. 367). The manna of northern India became 
known to the Chinese in recent times (see Lu Vah kuA li k % i Jjfc ft & jfe £R> p. 44* 
in fr't* loo t'a* ts'uA jf«). 

4 Yule, Cathay, new ed., VoL II, p. 109; Cordibr's edition of Odoric, p. 59. 

• Les Observations de plusieurs smgularitez, pp. 228-229 (Anvers, 1555). 

• Flucdgbr and Hanbury, Pharmacographia, p. 416. 
7 C Marjcham, Colloquies, p. 280. 

Manna 347 

from these trees, or the gum that exudes from them. 1 The Portuguese 
corrupted the word to siracost" The other kind he calls tiriam-jabim 
or trumgibim (Persian ttir-&ngulnn). "They say that it is found among 
the thistles and in small pieces, somewhat of a red color. It is said that 
they are obtained by shaking the thistles with a stick, and that they are 
larger than a coriander-seed when dried, the color, as I said, between 
red and vermilion. The vulgar hold that it is a fruit, but I believe 
that it is a gum or resin. They think this is more wholesome than the 
kind we have, and it is much used in Persia and Ormuz." " Another 
kind comes in large pieces mixed with leaves. This is like that of Cala- 
bria, and is worth more money, coming by way of Bafiora, a city of 
renown in Persia. Another kind is sometimes seen in Goa, liquid in 
leather bottles, which is like coagulated white honey. They sent this 
to me from Ormuz, for it corrupts quickly in our land, but the glass 
flasks preserve it. I do not know anything more about this medicine." 
John Fryer 2 speaks of the mellifluous dew a-nights turned into manna, 
which is white and granulated, and not inferior to the Calabrian. 
According to G. Watt, 8 shirkhisi is the name for the white granular 
masses found in Persia on the shrub Cotoneasier nummularia; white 
taronjabin {-tdr-&ngubin) is obtained from the camel-thorn {Alhagi 
camelorum and A. maurorum), growing in Persia, and consisting of a 
peculiar sugar called melezitose and cane-sugar. The former is chiefly 
brought from Eferat, and is obtained also from Atraphaxis spinosa 
(Polygonaceae) . 4 

It is thus demonstrated also from a philological and historical point 
of view that the yan ts % e and k % ie-p % o-lo of the Chinese represent the 
species Alhagi camelorum. 

Another Persian name for manna is xoSkenjutnn, which means "dry 
honey." An Arabic tradition explains it as a dew that falls on trees in 
the mountains of Persia; while another Arabic author says, "It is dry 
honey brought from the mountains of Persia. It has a detestable odor. 
It is warm and dry, warmer and dryer than honey. Its properties in 
general are more energetic than those of honey." 6 This product, called 

1 Garcia's etymology is only partially correct. The Persian word is Hr-xe5t. 
which means "goat's milk." Hence Armenian Hrixtid, HrxeSd, Hraxuig, or Siraxui 
(cf. £. Seidel, Mechithar, p. 210). 

* New Account of East India and Persia, Vol. II, p. 201.' 
1 Agricultural Ledger, 1900, No. 17, p. 188. 

* See FlOckigbs and Hanbury, op. ciU t p. 415. According to Schlimmer 
(Terminologie, p. 357), this manna comes from Herat, Khorasan, and the district 

1 L. Lbclbrc, Traite* des simples, Vol. II, p. 32. 

348 Sino-Iranica 

in India guzangabin, is collected from the tamarisk (Tamarix gallica, 
yar. mannifera Ehrenb.) in the valleys of the Peninsula of Sinai and 
also in Persia. 1 In the latter country, the above name is likewise applied 
to a manna obtained from Astragalus florulentus and A. adscendens 
in the mountain-districts of Chahar-Mahal and Faraidan, and especially 
about the town of Khonsar, south-west of Ispahan. The best sorts of 
this manna, which are termed gaz-alefi or gaz-khonsar (from the prov- 
ince Khonsar), are obtained in August by shaking it from the branches, 
the little drops finally sticking together and forming a dirty, grayish- 
white, tough mass. According to Schlimmer, 8 the shrub on which this 
manna is formed is common everywhere, without yielding, however, 
the slightest trace of manna, which is solely obtained in the small 
province Khonsar or Khunsar. The cause for this phenomenon is 
sought in the existence there of the Coccus mannifer and in the absence 
of this insect in other parts of the country. Several Persian physicians 
of Ispahan, and some European authors, have attributed to the puncture 
of this insect the production of manna in Khonsar; and Schlimmer 
recommends transporting and acclimatizing the insect to those regions 
where Tamarix grows spontaneously. 

It has been stated that the earliest allusion to tamarisk-manna is 
to be found in Herodotus, 8 who says in regard to the men of the city 
Callatebus in Asia Minor that they make honey out of wheat and the 
fruit of the tamarisk. The case, however, is different; Herodotus does 
not allude to the exudation of the tree. 

Stuart 4 states that tamarisk-manna is called Pen iu 8? #L The 
tamarisk belongs to the flora of China, three species of it being known. 5 
The Chinese, as far as I know, make no reference to a manna from any 
of these species; and the term pointed out by Stuart merely refers to 
the sap in the interior of the tree, which, according to the Pen ts'ao, is 
used in the Materia Medica. Cen Tsiao ft flfc of the Sung period, in 
his 'Pun li 3$ ;S, 6 simply defines Pen iu as "the sap in the wood or 
trunk of the tamarisk." 7 

1 See particularly D. Hooper, Tamarisk Manna, Journal As. Soc. Bengal, 
Vol. V, 1909, pp. 31-36. 

1 Terminologie, p. 359. 

• vn, 31. 

4 Chinese Materia Medica, p. 259. 

■ Brbtschnbidbr, Bot. Sin., pt. II, No. 537; Pen ts'ao kail mu, Ch. 35 B, p. 9. 

• Ch. 76, p. 12. 

7 The Turk! name for the tamarisk is yulgun. In Persian it is styled gas or 
gasm (Kurd goto or gesu), the fruit gasmoMak or gawmasA (gas basrah, the manna of 
the tree); further, balangmus't, balangmusk, or balanjmuik, and Arabic-Persian 

Manna 349 

There is, further, an oak-manna collected from Quercus vallonea 
Kotschy and Q. persica. These trees are visited in the month of August 
by immense numbers of a small white Coccus, from the puncture of 
which a saccharine fluid exudes, and solidifies in little grains. The people 
go out before sunrise, and shake the grains of manna from the branches 
on to linen cloths spread out beneath the trees. The exudation is also 
collected by dipping into vessels of hot water the small branches on 
which it is formed, and evaporating the saccharine solution to a syrupy 
consistence, which in this state is used for sweetening food, or is mixed 
with flour to form a sort of cake. 1 

Aside from the afore-mentioned mannas, Schlimmeb 2 describes two 
other varieties which I have not found in any other author. One he 
calls in Persian Hker eighal ("sugar eighal"), saying that it is produced 
by the puncture of a worm in the plant. This worm he has himself 
found in fresh specimens. This manna is brought to Teheran by the 
farmers of the Elburs, Lawistan, and Dimawend, but the plant occurs 
also in the environment of Teheran and other places. Although this 
manna almost lacks sweetness, it is a remarkable pectoral and alleviates 
obstinate coughs. The other is the manna of Apocynum syriacum, 
known in Persia as Hker al-o$r and imported from Yemen and Hedjaz. 
According to the Persian pharmacologists, it is the product of a 
nocturnal exudation solidified during the day, similar to small 
pieces of salt, either white, or gray, and even black. It is likewise 
employed medicinally. 

Manna belonged to the food-products of the ancient Iranians, and 
has figured in their kitchen from olden times. When the great king so- 
journed in Media, he received daily for his table a hundred baskets full 
of manna, each weighing ten mines. It was utilized like honey for 
the sweetening of beverages. 8 I am inclined to think that the Iranians 
diffused this practice over Central Asia. 

The Yu yah isa tsu has a reference to manna of India, as follows: 
"In northern India there is a honey-plant growing in the form of a 
creeper with large leaves, without withering ip. the autumn and winter. 
While it receives hoar-frost and dew, it forms the honey." According 
to G. Watt, 4 some thirteen or fourteen plants in India are known to 

1 FlOckigbr and Hanbuby, Pharmacographia, p. 416; Hanbury, Science 
Papers, p. 287; Schlimmbr (Terminologie, p. 358) attributes the oak-manna to the 
mountains of Kurdistan in Persia. 

1 Terminologie, p. 359. 

* C. Jorbt, Plantes dans l'antiquitl, Vol. II, p. 93. Regarding manna in Persia, 
see also E. Sbidel, Mechithar, p. 163. 

4 Commercial Products of India, p. 929, 

350 Sino-Iranica 

yield, under the parasitic influence of insects or otherwise, a sweet fluid 
called "manna." This is regularly collected and, like honey, enters more 
largely than sugar into the pharmaceutical preparations of the Hindu. 

The silidous concretion of crystalline form, found in the culms or 
joints of an Indian bamboo (Bambusa arundinacea) and known as 
tabashir, is styled in India also "bamboo manna," — decidedly a 
misnomer. On the other hand, a real manna has sometimes been 
discovered on the nodes of certain species of bamboo in India. 1 The 
subject of tabashir has nothing to do with manna, nor with Sino-Iranian 
relations; but, as the early history of this substance has not yet been 
correctly expounded, the following brief notes may not be unwelcome* 9 
Specimens of tabashir, procured by me in China in 1902, are in the 
American Museum of Natural History in New York.* 

We now know that tabashir is due to an ancient discovery made in 
India, and that at an early date it was traded to China and Egypt. 
In recent years the very name has been traced in the form iabasis 
(rhfiaois) in a Greek papyrus, where it is said that the porous stone is 
brought down [to Alexandria] from [upper] Egypt: the articles of 
Indian commerce were shipped across the Red Sea to the Egyptian 
ports, and then freighted on the Nile downward to the Delta. 4 The 
Indian origin of the article is evidenced, above all, by the fact that the 
Greek term tabasis (of the same phonetic appearance as Persian tab&Sir) 
is connected with Sanskrit tavdk-k&rd (or tvak-k$ird; kfira, u vegetable 
juice"), and permits us to reconstruct a Prakrit form tabaStra; for the 
Greek importers or exporters naturally did not derive the word from 
Sanskrit, but from a vernacular idiom spoken somewhere on the west 
coast of India. Or, we have to assume that the Greeks received the 
word from the Persians, and the Persians from an Indian Prakrit. 5 

The Chinese, in like manner, at first imported the article from India, 
calling it "yellow of India" (T % ietirtu hwan % ** Jf). It is first men- 
tioned under this designation as a product of India in the Materia 
Medica published in the period K'ai-pao (a.d. 968-976), the K*ai poo 

1 See G. Watt, Agricultural Ledger, 1900, No. 17, pp. 185-189. 

* The latest writer on the subject, G. P. Kunz (The Magic of Jewels and Charms, 
pp. 233-235, Philadelphia, 1915), has given only a few historical notes of mediaeval 

1 Cat. No. 70, 13834. This is incidentally mentioned here, as Dr. Kunz states 
that very little of the material has reached the United States. 

4 H. Dibls, Antike Technik, p. 123. 

* The Persian tabOBr is first described by Abu Mansur (Achundow, p. 95), 
and is still eaten as a delicacy by Persian women {ibid., p. 247). In Armenian it is 

Tabashir 351 

pen ts'ao; but at the same time we are informed that it was then obtained 
from all bamboos of China, 1 and that the Chinese, according to their 
habit, adulterated the product with scorched bones, the arrowroot 
from Pachyrhizus angulatus, and other stuff. 2 The Pen ts'ao yen i of 
1116 s explains the substance as a natural production in bamboo, yellow 
like loess. The name was soon changed into "bamboo-yellow" (£u 
hwan U Jf) or "bamboo-grease" (JSu kao). 4 It is noticeable that the 
Chinese do not classify tabashir among stones, but conceive it as a 
production of bamboo, while the Hindu regard it as a kind of pearl. 

The earliest Arabic author who has described the substance is 
Aba Dulaf , who lived at the Court of the Samanides of Bokhara, and 
travelled in Central Asia about a.d. 940. He says that the product 
comes from MandQrapatan in northwestern India (Abulfeda and 
others state that Tana on the island of Salsette, twenty miles from 
Bombay, was the chief place of production), and is exported from there 
into all countries of the world. Itisproducedby rushes, which, when they 
are dry and agitated by the wind, rub against one another; this motion 
develops heat and sets them afire. The blaze sometimes spreads over 
a surface of fifty parasangs, or even more. Tabashir is the product of 
these rushes. 5 Other Arabic authors cited by Ibn al-Bait&r derive the 
substance from the Indian sugarcane, and let it come from all coasts 
of India; they dwell at length on its medicinal properties. 6 Garcia 
da Orta (1563), who was familiar with the drug, also mentions the 
burning of the canes, and states it as certain that the reason they set 
fire to them is to reach the heart; but sometimes they do not follow 
this practice, as appears from many specimens which are untouched 
by fire. He justly says that the Arabic name (tabaSir, in his Portuguese 
spelling tabaxir) is derived from the Persian, and means "milk or juice, 
or moisture.' 1 The ordinary price for the product in Persia and Arabia 
was its weight in silver. The canes, lofty and large like ash-trees, 

1 The Ceh lei pen Woo (Ch. 13, p. 48) cites the same text from a work Lin hai 

ZifltM f& apparently an other work than the Lin hai i wu H mentioned by Bret- 
schnbider (Bot. Sin., pt. 1, p. 169). 

* The following assertion by Stuart (Chinese Materia Medica, p. 64)is erroneous: 
"The Chinese did not probably derive the substance originally from India, but it is 
possible that the knowledge of its medicinal uses were derived from that country, 
where it has been held in high esteem from very early times." The knowledge of 
this product and the product itself first reached the Chinese from India, and nat- 
urally induced them to search for it in their own bamboos. 

• Ch. 14, p. 4 b (ed. of Lu Sin-yuan). 

* Pen ts'ao kan mu, Ch. 37, p. 9. 

1 G. Frrrand, Textes relatifs a 1'Extretne-Orient, p. 225. 

• L. Leglbrc, Traite" des simples, Vol. II, pp. 399-401. 

352 Sino-Iranica 

according to his statement, generate between the knots great humidity, 
like starch when it is much coagulated. The Indian carpenters, who 
work at these canes, find thick juice or pith, which they put on the lum- 
bar region or reins, and in case of a headache on the forehead; it is used 
by Indian physicians against over-heating, external or internal, and 
for fevers and dysentery. 1 The most interesting of all accounts remains 
that of Odoric of Pordenone (died in 133 1), who, though he does not 
name the product and may partially confound it with bezoar, alludes 
to certain stones found in canes of Borneo, "which be such that if any 
man wear one of them upon his person he can never be hurt or wounded 
by iron in any shape, and so for the most part the men of that country 
do wear such stones upon them." 2 

J. A. de Mandelslo 5 gives the following notice of tabashir: "It 
is certain that on the coast of Malabar, Coromandel, Bisnagar, and 
near to Malacca, this sort of cane (called by the Javians tnambu [bam- 
boo] ) produces a drug called sacar mambus, that is, sugar of mambu. 
The Arabians, the Persians, and the Moores call it tabaxir, which in 
their language signifies a white frozen liquor. These canes are as big 
as the body of a poplar, having straight branches, and leaves something 
longer than the olive-tree. They are divided into divers knots, wherein 
there is a certain white matter like starch, for which the Persians and 
Arabians give the weight in silver, for the use they make of it in physick, 
against burning feavers, and bloudy fluxes, but especially upon the first 
approaches of any disease. 19 

1 C. Markham , Colloquies of Garcia da Orta, pp. 409-414. A list of Sanskrit 
synonymes for tabashir is given by R. Schmidt (ZDMG, Vol. LXV, 1911, p. 745). 

* Yule, Cathay, new ed. by Cordibr, Vol. II, p. 161. 

* Voyages and Travels, p. 120 (London, 1669). 


22. The riddles of asafoetida begin with the very name: there is no 
adequate explanation of our word asa or assa. The new Oxford English 
Dictionary ventures to derive it from Persian fed or aza. This word, 
however, means nothing but "mastic/ 1 a product entirely different 
from what we understand by asafoetida (p. 252). In no Oriental language 
is there a word of the type asa or aza with reference to this product, so 
it could not have been handed on to Europe by an Oriental nation. 
Kaempfxs, who in 1687 studied the plant in Laristan, and was fairly 
familiar with Persian, said that he was ignorant of the origin of the 
European name. 1 Limi, the renowned author of the Dictionnaire 
fraasais, admits that the origin of asa is unknown, and wisely abstains 
from any theory. 2 The supposition has been advanced that asa was 
developed from the laser or laserpiHum of Pliny (xix, 5), the latter 
having thus been mutilated by the druggists of the middle ages. 
This etymology, first given by Garcia pa Orta»* has been indorsed 
by E. Boaszczow, 4 a Polish botanist, to whom we owe an excellent 
investigation of the asa-furnishing plants. Although this explanation 
remains as yet unsatisfactory, as the alleged development from laser 
to asa is merely inferred, but cannot actually be proved from mediaeval 
documents, 1 it is better, at any rate, than the derivation from the 

Asafoetida is a vegetable product consisting of resin, gum, and 
itial oil in varying proportions, the resin generally amounting 
to more than one-half, derived from different umbelliferous plants, as 
Ferula narthex, alliacea, fcrtido, persica, and scorodosma (or Scarodosma 

1 AmoemUtcs exoticae, p. 539* 

• The suggestion has also been made that asa may be derived from Greek 
an (?) (''disgust") or from Persian aligns* ("asafoetida"); thus at least it is said by 
P. Stuhlmamm (Beitrage stir Kulturgeschichte Ostafrikas, p. 609). Neither is con- 
vincing . The former moves on the same high level as Li 5t-6en v s explanation of 
•4P*t ( M The K»fKortatt« call out a, expressing by this exclamation their horror at 
the abominable odor of this resin"). 

• C Mamham, Colloquies, p. 41. John Paikinson (Theatrum botanicum, 
p. 1969, London, 1640) says* "There is none of the ancient Authours either Greeke, 
Latine, or Arabian, that hath made any mention of Asa, either dnlcis or fatida, 
but was first depraved by the Druggists and Apothecaries in forraigne parts, that in 
stead of Laser said Asa, from whence ever since the name of Asa hath continued." 

« M*moirt* U VAcad. 4e Sk PHersbeurg, Vol. Ill, No. 8, i860, p. 4. 

• DuCahgb does not even list the word "asafoatsda." 


354 Sino-Iranica 

fcctidum). 1 It is generally used in India as a condiment, being espe- 
cially eaten with pulse and rice. Wherever the plant grows, the fresh 
leaves are cooked and eaten as a green vegetable, especially by the 
natives of Bukhara, who also consider as a delicacy the white under part 
of the stem when roasted and flavored with salt and butter. In the 
pharmacopoeia it is used as a stimulant and antispasmodic. 

Abu Mansur, the Persian Li Si-Sen of the tenth century, discrimi- 
nates between two varieties of asafcetida (Persian anguyon, Arabic 
anjudan), a white and a black one, adjding that there is a third kind 
called by the Romans ses alius. It renders food easily digestible, strength- 
ens the stomach, and alleviates pain of the joints in hands and feet. 
Rubbed into the skin, it dispels swellings, especially if the milky juice 
of the plant is employed. The root macerated in vinegar strengthens 
and purifies the stomach, promotes digestion, and acts as an appetizer. 1 

The Ferula and Scorodosma furnishing asafcetida are typically 
Iranian plants. According to Abu Hanlfa, 3 asa grows in the sandy plains 
extending between Bost and the country Klkan in northern Persia. 
Abu Mansur designates the leaves of the variety from Sarachs near 
Merw as the best. According to Istaxxi, asa was abundantly produced 
in the desert between the provinces Seistan and Makran; according to 
Edrlsi, in the environment of Kaleh Bust in Afghanistan. Kaempfer 
observed the harvest of the plant in Laristan in 1687, and gives the 
following notice on its occurrence: 4 "Patria eius sola est Persia, non 
Media, Libya, Syria aut Cyrenaica regio. In Persia plantain hodie 
alunt saltern duorum locorum tractus, videlicet campi montesque circa 
Heraat, emporium provinciae Chorasaan, et jugum montium in 
provincia Laar, quod a flumine Cuur adusque urbem Congo secundum 
Persid sinus tractum eztenditur, duobus, alibi tribus pluribusve para- 
sangis a litore." Herat is a renowned place of production, presumably 
the exclusive centre of production at the present day, whence the 
product is shipped to India. 

The exact geographical distribution has been well outlined by E. 
Borszczow.' Aside from Persia proper, Scorodosma occurs also on the 
Oxus, on the Aral Sea, and in an isolated spot on the east coast of the 
Caspian Sea. Judging from Chinese accounts, plants yielding asa 
appear to have occurred also near Khotan (see below), Turfan, and 

1 The genus Ferula contains about sixty species. 

9 Achundow, Abu Mansur, p. 8. 

1 Lbclerc, Traits des simples, Vol. I, p. 143. 

4 Amoenitates exoticae, p. 291. 

• Perulaceen der aralocaspischen Wuste (Memoir es de VAcad. de Si. P iters- 
bourg, Vol. Ill, No. 8, i860, p. x6). 

Asajcetida 355 

Shahrokia. 1 We do not know, however, what species here come into 

Cao 2u-kwa states that the home of asafoetida is in Mu-ku-lan 
>fC A H y in the country of the Ta-& (Ta-d2ik, Arabs). 3 Mu-ku-lan is 
identical with Mekran, the Gedrosia of the ancients, the Makft of 
the Old-Persian inscriptions. Alexander the Great crossed Gedrosia 
on his campaign to India, and we should expect that his scientific staff, 
which has left us so many valuable contributions to the flora of Iran 
and north-western India, might have also observed the plant furnishing 
asafoetida; in the floristic descriptions of the Alexander literature, how- 
ever, nothing can be found that could be interpreted as referring to 
this species. H. Bretzl* has made a forcible attempt to identify a 
plant briefly described by Theophrastus, 4 with Scorodosma fcetidum; 
and A. Ho&t,' in his new edition and translation of Theophrastus, has 
followed him. The text runs thus: "There is another shrub [in Aria] 
as large as a cabbage, whose leaf is like that of the bay in size and 
shape. And if any animal should eat this, it is certain to die of it. 
Wherefore, wherever there were horses, they kept them under control" 
[that is, in Alexander's army]. This in no way fits the properties of 
Ferula or Scorodosma, which is non-poisonous, and does not hurt any 
animal. It is supposed also that the laserpitium or silphion and laser 
of Pliny 6 should, at least partially, relate to asafoetida; this, however, 
is rejected by some authors, and appears to me rather doubtful. Garcia 
da Orta 7 has already denied any connection between that plant of the 
ancients and asa. L. Leclerc 8 has discussed at length this much-dis- 
puted question. 

The first European author who made an exact report of asafoetida 

1 Bretschneider, Mediaeval Researches, Vol. II, pp. 193, 254. The inter- 
pretation of lu-wei ("rushes") as asafoetida in the Siyuki {ibid., Vol. I, p. 85) seems 
to me a forced and erroneous interpretation. 

1 Hirth and Rockhill, Chao Ju-kua, p. 224. 

1 Botanische Forschungen des Alexanderzuges, p. 285. 

4 Histor. plant, IV. iv, 12. 

1 Vol. I, p. 321. 

• xix, 15. The Medic juice, called silphion, and mentioned as a product of 
Media by Strabo (XI. xin, 7), might possibly allude to a product of the nature 01 
asafoetida, especially as it is said in another passage (XV. 11, 10) that silphion grew 
in great abundance in the deserts of Bactriana, and promoted the digestion of the 
raw flesh on which Alexander's soldiers were forced to subsist there. According to 
others, the silphion of the ancients is Thapsia garganica (Engler, Pflanzenfamilien, 
VoL III, pt. 8, p. 247). Regarding the Medic oil (oleum Medicum) see Ammianus 
Marcellinus, xxm, 6. 

7 C. Markham, Colloquies, p. 44. 

9 Trait* des simples, Vol. I, p. 144. 

356 Sino-Iranica 

was Ga*cia da Okta in 1563. However, living and studying in Goa, 
India, he did not learn from what plant the product was derived. On 
its use in India he comments as follows: "The thing most used through- 
out India, and in all parts of it, is that Assa-f etida, as well for medicine 
as in cookery. A great quantity is used, for every Gentio who is able 
to get the means of buying it will buy it to flavor his food. The rich 
eat much of it, both Banyans and all the Gentios of Cambay, and he 
who imitates Pythagoras. These flavor the vegetables they eat with it; 
first rubbing the pan with it, and then using it as seasoning with every- 
thing they eat. All the other Gentios who can get it , eat it, and laborers 
who, having nothing more to eat than bread and onions, can only eat 
it when they fed a great need for it. The Moors all eat it, but in smaller 
quantity and only as a medicine. A Portuguese merchant highly praised 
the pot-herb used by these Banyans who bring this Assa-fetida, and 
I wished to try it and see whether it pleased my taste, but as I do not 
know our spinach very well, it did not seem so palatable to me as it 
did to the Portuguese who spoke to me about it. There is a respected 
and discreet man in these parts, holding an office under the king, who 
eats Assa-fetida to give him an appetite for his dinner, and finds it 
very good, taking it in doses of two drachms. He says there is a slightly 
bitter taste, but that this is appetising like eating olives. This is before 
swallowing, and afterwards it gives the person who takes it much con- 
tent. All the people in this country tell me that it is good to taste and 
to smell." 

Chr. Acosta or Da Costa 1 gives the following account: "Altiht, 
anjuden, Assa fetida, dulce y odorata medicina (de que entire los Doo- 
tores ha auido differenciay controuersia) esonaGoma, que del Cozagone 
traen a Ormuz, y de Ormuz a la India, y del Guzarate y del reyno Dely 
(tierra muy fria) la qual por la otra parte confina con el CoraQone, y con 
la region de Chiruan, comosiente Auicena. Esta Gomaes llamadade 
los Arabios Altiht, y Antit, y delos Indios Ingu, o Ingara. £1 arbol de 
adonde mana, se llama Anjuden, y otros le llaman Angeydan. 

"La Assa se aplica para leufttar el miembro viril, cosa muy vsada en 
aquelks partes: y novieneapropositoparaladiminuciondelcoito,vsar 
del tal {urno de Regaliza. Y en las diuisiones pone Razis Altiht por 
medicina para las fiestas de Venus: y Assa dulds no la pone Doctor 
Arabe, ni Griego, ni Latino, que sea de autoridad, porque Regaliza 
se llama en Arabio Ctaz, y el {urno del cozido, y reduzido en forma de 
Arrope, le llaman los Arabes Robalguz, y los Espafioles corrompiendole 

1 Tractado de las drogas, y meditioas de las Indias orientates, p. 362 (Burgos, 


el nombre le llaman Rabaguz. De suerte que Robalguz en Arabio, qtiiere 
dezir gumo basto de Regaliza: porque Rob, es.gumo basto, y Al, ar- 
ticulo de genitiuo, de, y Cuz, regaliza, y todo junto significa gumo 
basto de Regaliza: y assi no se puede llamar a este gumo Assa dulcis. 
Los Indios la loan para el estomago, para facilitar el vientre, y para 
consumir l$s ventosid^das. Tambien curan con esta medicina los 
cauallos, que echan mucha ventosidad. En tanto tienen esta medicina 
que le llama aquella gente, principalmente la de Bisnaguer, manjar 
delos Dioses." 

John Fryer 1 relates, "In this country Assa Fcetida is gathered at 
a place called Descoon;' some deliver it to be the juice of a cane or reed 
inspissated; others, of a tree wounded: It differs much from the stink- 
ing stuff called Hing, it being of the Province of Carmania:* This latter 
is that the Indians perfume themselves with, mixing it in all their pulse, 
and make it up in wafers to correct the windiness of their food, which 
they thunder up in belchings from the crudities created in their stom- 
achs; never thinking themselves at ease without this Theriac: And this 
is they cozen the Europeans with instead of Assa Fcstida, of which 
it bears not only the smell, but color also, only it is more liquid." 

J. A. de Mandelslo 4 reports as follows: "The Hingh, which our 
drugsters and apothecaries call Assa fcetida, comes for the most part 
from Persia, but that which the Province of Utrad produces in the Indies 
is the best, and there is a great traffick driven in it all over Indosthan. 
The plant which produces it is of two kinds; one grows like a bush, and 
hath small leaves, like rice, and the other resembles a turnip-leaf, and 
its greenness is like that of fig-tree leaves. It thrives best in stony and 
dry places, and its gum begins to come forth towards the latter end 
of summer, so that it must be gathered in autumn. The traffick of it 
is so much the greater in those parts, upon this account, that the 
Benjans of Guzuratta make use of it in all their sawces, and rub their 

1 New Account of East India and Persia, Vol. II, p. 195 (Hakluyt Soc., 1912). 

* Kuh-i Dozgan, west of Kuristan. 

* Hing is mentioned by Fkybr (Vol. I, p. 286) as in use among the natives of 
southern India, "to correct all distempers of the brain, as well as stomach," "a sort 
of liquid Assa Fcetida, whereby they smell odiously." This is the product of Ferula 
aUiacea, collected near Yesd in Khorasan and in the province of Kerman, and 
chiefly used by the natives of Bombay (FLttCKiGER and Hanbury, Pharmacographia, 
pp. 319-320; Watt, Commercial Products of India, p. 534). Fryer's distinction be- 
tween hing and asafoetida shows well that there were different kinds and grades of 
the article, derived from different plants. Thus there is no reason to wonder that 
the Chinese Buddhist authors discriminate between hingu and a-wei (Chavannbs 
and Pblliot, Traite* manicheen, p. 234); the Vou ts'ai ("stinking vegetable") is 
probably also a variety of this product. 

4 Voyages and Travels, p. 67 (London, 1669). 

358 Sino-Iranica 

pots and drinking vessels therewith, by which means they insensibly 
accustom themselves to that strong scent, which we in Europe are 
hardly able to endure." 

The Chinese understand by the term arwei products of two different 
plants. Neither Bretschneider nor Stuart has noted this. Li Si-ten 1 
states that "there are two kinds of awei, — one an herb, the other a 
tree. The former is produced in Turkistan (Si yu), and can be sun- 
dried or boiled: this is the kind discussed by Su Kun. The latter is 
produced among the Southern Barbarians (Nan Fan), and it is the 
sap of the tree which is taken: this is the kind described by Li Sun, 
Su Sufi, £nd C'en C'efi." Su Kun of the T'ang period reports that 
"arwei grows among the Western Barbarians (Si Fan) and in K'un- 
lun.* Sprouts, leaves, root, and stems strongly resemble the pat U fi 
2£ {Angelica anomala). The root is pounded, and the sap extracted 
from it is dried in the sun and pressed into cakes. This is the first 
quality. Cut-up pieces of the root, properly dried, take the second 
rank. Its prominent characteristic is a rank odor, but it can also stop 
foul smells; indeed, it is a strange product. The Brahmans say that 
hUtirkA (Sanskrit hingu, see below) is the same as o-wei, and that the 
coagulated juice of the root is like glue; also that the root is sliced, 
dried in the sun, and malodorous. In the western countries (India) 
its consumption is forbidden. 1 Habitual enjoyment of it is said to do 
away with foul breath. The barbarians (2% A) prize it as the Chinese 
do pepper." This, indeed, relates to the plant or plants yielding asa, 
and Li Si-den comments that its habitat is in Hwo Sou (Qarft-Khqja) 
and Sa-lu-hai-ya (Shahrokia). 4 Curiously enough, such a typical Iran- 
ian plant is passed over with silence in the ancient historical texts 
relative to Sasanian Persia. The only mention of it in the pre-T'ang 
Annals occurs in the Sui Su* with reference to the country Ts'ao ft 
north of the Tshifi-lift (identical with the Ki-pin of the Han), while 
the T*ai pHh hwan yU fet 8 ascribes a-wei to Ki-pin. 

The Yu yah tsa tsu 7 contains the following account of the product: 

1 Pen ts'ao kan mu, Ch. 34, p. 21. 

* K*un-lun is given as place of production in the Kwan H, written prior to 
A.D. 527, but there it is described as the product of a tree (see below). 

1 It was prohibited to the monks of the Mahftyana (cf . S. Livi, Journal asiatique, 
1915, 1, p. 87). 

4 Brbtschnbidbr, Mediaeval Researches, VoL II, pp. 253, 254, also 193. 

1 Ch. 83, p. 8 (also in the Pei It). 

• Ch. 182, p. 12 b. 
7 Ch. 18, p. 8 b. 


u A*vei is produced in Gazna flff HB IP (*Gia-ja-na); 1 that is, in north- 
ern India. In Gazna its name is hin-yU (Sanskrit kingu). Its habitat 
is also in Persia, where it is termed o-yd-tsie (see below). The tree 
grows to a height of eight and nine feet.* The bark is green and yellow. 
In the third month the tree forms leaves which resemble a rodent's 
ear. It does not flower, nor does it produce fruit. The branches, when 
cut, have a continuous flow of sap like syrup, which consolidates, and 
is styled o-wei. The monk from the country Pu-lin, Wan 9f by name, 
and the monk from Magadha, T'i-p*o H 9 (*De-bwa, Sanskrit Deva), 
agree in stating that the combination 8 of the sap with rice or beans, and 
powdered, forms what is called cuvei" 4 

Another description of a-wei by the Buddhist monk Hwei 2i 8c H , 
born in a.d. 68o, has been made known by S. Lftvi.* The Chinese pil- 
grim points out that the plant is lacking in China, and is not to be seen 
in other kingdoms except in the region of Khotan. The root is as large 
as a turnip and white; it smells like garlic, and the people of Khotan 
feed on this root. The Buddhist pilgrim Yi Tsin, who travelled in 
a.d. 671-695, reports that cwvei is abundant in the western limit of 
India, and that all vegetables are mixed with it, clarified butter, oil, 
or any spice. 6 

Li Sun, who wrote in the second half of the eighth century, states 
that, "according to the Kwan &', arwei grows in the country KHin-lun; 
it is a tree with a [sap of the appearance of the resin of the peach-tree. 
That which is black in color does not keep; that of yellow color is the 
best. Along the Yangtse in Yun-nan is fpund also a variety like the 
one imported in ships, juicy, and in taste identical with the yellow brand, 
but not yellow in color." Su Sufi of the Sung period remarks that there 
is a-wei only in Kwan-fou (K wan-tun), and that it is the coagulated 
sap of a tree, which does not agree with the statement of Su Kun. 
C'en C'en Ht ^ft, a distinguished physician, who wrote the Pen ts'ao 

1 In the Pen ts'ao kan mu, where the text is quoted from the Hat yao pen ts'ao 
of Li Sun, Persia is coupled with Gazna. Gazna is the capital of Jaguda, the Tsao- 
ku-£'a of Huan Tsan, the Zabulistan of the Arabs. Huan Tsan reported that 
asafoetida is abundant there (S. Julien, Memoires sur les contrees ocddentales. 
Vol. II, p. 187. Cf. S. L£vi, Journal osiatique, 1915, I, p. 83). 

• Thus in the text of the Pen t$*ao; in the edition of Pat hat: eighty or ninety 
feet. In fact, the stems of Ferula reach an average height of from eight to ten feet. 

1 Instead of Jp of the text I read %0 with the Pen ts'oo. 

4 The translation of this passage by Hirth (Chau Ju-kua, p. 225) does not 
render the sense correctly. The two monks mean to say that the sap or resin is a 
condiment added to a dish of rice or beans, and that the whole mixture bears the 

• Journal osiatique, 191 5, 1, p. 89. 

• Takakusu, I-tsing, pp. 128, 137. 

360 Sino-Iranica 

pie Swo about a.d. 1090, says, "A-wi is classed among trees. People 
of Kian-su and Ce-kiafi have now planted it. The odor of the branches 
and leaves is the same, but they are tasteless and yield no sap." The 
above K'un-lun refers to the K'un-lun of the Southern Sea; 1 and Li 
Si-&n comments that "this tree grows in Sumatra and Siam, and that 
it is not very high. The natives take a bamboo tube and stick it into 
the tree; the tube gradually becomes filled with the sap of the tree, and 
during the winter months they smash the tube and obtain the sap." 
Then he goes on to tell the curious tale of the sheep, in the same r*\***t**r 
as Cao 2u-kwa.* 

£ao 2u-kwa's notice that the resin is gathered and packed in skin 
bags is correct; for Garcia da Orta 8 reports that the gum, obtained 
by making cuts in the tree, is kept in bullock's hides, first anointed with 
blood, and then mixed with wheat flour. It is more difficult to account 
for the tradition given by the Chinese author, that, in order to neutralize 
the poison of the plant, a sheep is tied to the base of the tree and shot 
with arrows, whereupon the poison filters into the sheep that is doomed 
to death, and its carcass forms the asafoetida. This bit of folk-lore was 
certainly transmitted by Indian, Persian, or Arabic navigators, but any 
corresponding Western tradition has not yet been traced. Hobeich 
Ibn el-Hacen, quoted by Ibn al-Bait&r, 4 insists on the poisonous action 
of the plant, and spys that the harvests succeed in Sind only when asa 
is packed in a cloth and suspended at the mouth of water-courses, where 
the odor spread by the harvest will kill water-dogs and worms. Here 
we likewise meet the notion that the poisonous properties of the plant 
are capable of killing animals, and the sheep of the Chinese tradition 
is obviously suggested by the simile of white sheep-fat and the white 
vegetable fat of asa. In reality, sheep and goats are fond of the plant 
and fatten on it. 6 The asa ascribed to the country Ts'efi-t'an in the Sun 
Si* was surely an imported article. 

1 Not to the K*un-lun mountains, as assumed by Stuart (Chinese Materia 
Medica, p. 173). 

1 Needless to say, this Malayan asafoetida can have been but a substitute; but 
to what plant it refers, I am unable to say. The Tun si yah k*ao (Ch. 2, p. 18; 3, 
p. 6 b), published in 1618, mentions o-wei as product of Siam and Java. T'an Ts*ui 
{ft 3£, in his Tien haiyuhehti, written in 1799 (Ch. 3, p. 4, ed. of Wen yin louyU 
ti ts'uh In), states that the o-wei of Yun-nan is produced in Siam, being imported 
from Siam to Burma and brought from Burma up the Kin-Sa loan. 

• C. Markham, Colloquies, p. 47. 

4 Lbclbrc, Traite* des simples, Vol. I, p. 447. 

• £. Karmffbr, Amoenitates ezoticae, p. 540; C, Jorbt, Plantes dans l'antiquitl, 
Vol. II, p. 100. 

• Ch. 490; cf. Hirth, Chao Ju-kua, p. 127. I am not convinced that Ts'en-t'an 
is identical with Ts'en-pa or Zanguebar. 


In regard to the modern employment of the article, S. W. Williams 1 
writes, "It is brought from Bombay at the rate of $15 a picul, and 
ranks high in the Materia Medicaof the Chinese physician; it is exhibited 
in cholera, in syphilitic complaints and worms, and often forms an 
ingredient in the pills advertised to cure opium-smokers." It is chiefly 
believed, however, to assist in the digestion of meat and to correct the 
poison of stale meats (ptomaine poisoning), mushrooms, and herbs. 1 
In Annam it is carried in small bags as a preventive of cholera. 9 

The following ancient terms for asafoetida are on record: — 

(1) Persian W ft • a-yO-tsie, *a-ta-zet= Middle Persian *anguzad; 
New Persian anguia, anguiad, anguydin, anguwan, angudan, angiitak 
(stem an£w+Jad— "gum"*); Armenian ankuiad, anjidan, Old Arme- 
nian anguiot, angiat; Arabic anjudan. Ga*cia gives anjuden or angeidan 
as name of the tree from which asa is extracted. 

(2) Sanskrit HI MM*, *hft-gu; #K hin-yfi, *hft-fift; M9k 
hOn-k% *hfin-gft; corresponding to Sanskrit hingu. In my opinion, 
the Sanskrit word is an ancient loan from Iranian.' Gaecia gives imgo 
at imgara as Indian name, and forms with initial i appear in Indian 
vernaculars: cf. Telugu inguva; cf., further, Japanese ingu, Malayan 
angu (according to J. Bontius, who wrote in 1658, the Javanese and 
Malayans have also the word kin). 

(3) W 01 chwei, 'arfiwai; 3fe HI (in the Nirvfloa-sQtra) yon-kwei, 
*aft-kwai, correspond to an Indian or Iranian vernacular form of the 
type *a6kwaor *aftlcwai, that we meet in Tokharian B or Kufia ankwa.* 
This form is obviously based on Iranian angu, angwa. 

(4) Mongol %9IE xa-suni (thus given as a Mongol term in the 
Pin ts'ao kan mu after the Yin San Un yao of the Mongol period, written 
in 1331), corresponds to Persian kasni, kisni, or gisni ("asafoetida"), 
derived from the name of Gazni or Gazna, the capital of Zabulistan, 
which, according to HOan Tsafi, was the habitat of the plant. A Mon- 
gol word of this type is not listed in the Mongol dictionaries of Kova- 
levslri and Golstunslri, but doubtless existed in the age of the Yfian, 

1 Chinesn Co mm e rci al Guide, p. 8a 

9 Stuabt, Chinese Materia Medica, p. 174. 

* Pbbbot and Hubbibb, Mat. mad. et pharmaoopee stnoannainitet, p. 161. 

♦ a, Saodcritjait^(Ht«^dly/ , gum, Uc'')- asafoetida. HObschkann, Annan. 
Gram., p. 98. 

• D'Hsbbslot (Bfttiotheque orientate, Vol. I, jx 226; Vol II, p. 327) derived 
the Persian word (written by him a*f»«* **&"> **t*; Arabic ingiu, ingudan) from 
Indian h*nk and a**f*, taf», for the reason that in India this drug it principally 
used; Una certainly is not correct. 

• Ct Tamt Pa* % 1915, pp. 274-975. 

362 Sino-Iranica 

when the Mongols introduced the condiment into China under that 
name, while they styled the root S M yin-Zan. In modern Mongol, 
the name of the product is Stngun, which is borrowed from the Tibetan 
word mentioned below. 

In the Tibetan dialect of Ladfikh, asafoetida is called kin or sip. 1 
The name sip or sup was reported by Falcone*, who was the first to 
discover in 1838 Ferula narthex in western Tibet on the slopes of the 
mountains dividing Tiadftkh from Kashmir. 1 The word sip f however, 
is not generally Tibetan, but only of local value; in all probability, 
it is not of Tibetan origin. The common Tibetan word is Sin-kun, 
which differs from the Iranian and Indian terms, and which, in view of 
the fact that the plant occurs in Tibetan regions, may be a purely Tibe- 
tan formation. 

Finally it may be mentioned that, according to Borszczow,* 
Scorodosma is generally known to the inhabitants of the Aralo-Caspian 
territory under the name sasyk-karai or keurdk-kurai, which means 
as much as "malodorous rush." The Bukharans call it sasyk-kawar 
or simply kawar. 

1 Ramsay, Western Tibet, p. 7. 

' Transactions Linnean Soc. t VoL XX, pt. 1, 1846, pp. 285-291. 

1 Op. cit. f p. 25. 


23. There is only a angle Chinese text relative to galbanum, which 
is contained in the Yu yah isa tsu, 1 where it is said, "P , t-to , i 8ft 1 H 
(•bit-dzi, bir-zi, bir-zai) is a product of the country Pose (Persia). 
In Pu-lin it is styled fB *6 58 tt ha*rp % o4&4 % a (*san-bwi6-li-da).» The 
tree grows to a height of more than ten feet, with a circumference of 
over a foot. Its bark is green, thin, and extremely bright. The leaves 
resemble those of the asafoetida plant (a-wei), three of them growing 
at the end of a branch. It does not flower or bear fruit. In the west- 
ern countries people are accustomed to cut the leaves in the eighth 
month; and they continue to do this more and more till the twelfth 
month. The new branches are thus very juicy and luxuriant; without 
the trimming process, they would infallibly fade away. In the seventh 
month the boughs are broken off, and there is a yellow sap of the 
appearance of honey and slightly fragrant, which is medicinally em- 
ployed in curing disease/ 9 

Hirth has correctly identified the transcription p % i-isH with Persian 
birsai, which, however, like the other Po-se words in the Yu yah isa isu 9 
must be regarded as PaMavi or Middle Persian; 4 and the Fu-lin han- 
p % o4i4*a he has equated with Aramaic xelb&nita, the latter from Hebrew 
xtlbitidk, one of the four ingredients of the sacred perfume (Exodus, 
xxx, 34-38). This is translated by the Septuaginta x<A0&"i and by 
the Vulgate galbanum. The substance is mentioned in three passages 

•Ch. 18, p. 11 b. 

' Hibth, who Is the first to have translated this text (Journal Am. Or. Sec. 
Vol. XXX, p. 21), writes this character with the phonetic element Iff, apparently 
in agreement with the edition of the Tsin tai pi $u; but this character is not author* 
ised by K'an*hi ( and it is difficult to see how it could have the phonetic value p*i; 
we should expect ni. The above character is that given by K*an-hi, who cites under 
it the passage in question. It is thus written also in the Mtn kian p'u £ £ H by 
Ye Tfn-kwei f Si(p. io v ed. of Hian yen is'un In) and in the Pen ts'oo ha* 
mu (Ch. 33. p. 6), where the pronunciation is explained by JJJ *biet. The editors 
of cyclopedias were apparently staggered by this character, and most of them 
have chosen the phonetic man, which is obviously erroneous. None of our 
Chinese dictionaries lists the character. 

1 The Pen Woo kan mn (/. c.) annotates that the first character should have 
the sound $ **» *dwat ( which is not very probable. 

4 There are also the forms pirtsd, Mrs*/ (Luxate, Trait** des simples, Vol. I, 
p. 201). bam&t barije, and basrud; in India bireja, fanda-birota. Another Persian 
term given by ScaLimfSt (Terminologie, p. 294) is wtSIL 


364 Sino-Iranica 

by Theophrastus: 1 it is produced in Syria from a plant called rAvog 
("all-heal"); it is only the juice (6iros) which is called x<&&&n, and 
which "was used in cases of miscarriage as well as for sprains and 
such-like troubles, also for the ears, and to strengthen the voice. The 
root was used in childbirth, and for flatulence in beasts of burden, 
further in making the iris-perfume {Ipivov nbpov) because of its fra- 
grance; but the seed is stronger than the root. It grows in Syria, and 
is cut at the time of wheat-harvest." 3 

Pliny says that galbanum grows on the mountain Amanus in Syria 
as the exudation from a kind of ferula of the same name as the resin, 
sometimes known as stagonitis.* Its medicinal employment is treated 
by him in detail. 4 Dioscorides 6 explains it as the gum of a plant which 
has the form of a ferula, growing in Syria, and called by some metopion. 
Abu Mansur 6 discusses the drug under the Arabic name quinna and the 
Persian name bdrzdd. During the middle ages galbanum was well known 
in Europe from the fourteenth century onward. 7 

The philological result is confirmed by the botanical evidence, 
although Twan C'efi-fi's description, made from an oral report, not as 
an eye-witness, is naturally somewhat deficient; but it allows us to 
recognize the characteristics of a Ferula. It is perfectly correct that the 
leaves resemble those of the asafoetida Ferula, as a glance at the ex- 
cellent plates in the monograph of Borszczow (op. cit.) will convince 
one. It is likewise correct that the leaves grow at the ends of the twigs, 
and usually by threes. It is erroneous, however, that the tree does not 
flower or bear fruit. 8 The process of collecting the sap is briefly but 
well described. Nothing positive is known about the importation of gal- 
banum into China, although W. Ainslie 8 stated in 1826 that it was 

1 Histor. plant., IX. 1, 2; DC. vn, 2; IX. xx, 2. The term occurs also in the 
Greek papyri. 

• Cf . the new edition and translation of Theophrastus by A. Hoar (Vol. II, 
p. 261). I do not see how the term "balsam of Mecca" (ibid., p. 219), which is a 
misnomer anyhow, can be employed in the translation of an ancient Greek 

1 Dat et galbanum Syria in eodem Amano monte e ferula, quae eiusdem nominis, 
resinae modo; stagonitim appellant (xn, 56, { 126). 

4 xxiv, 13. 

• in, 87 (cf. Lbclbrc, Traite* des simples, Vol. Ill, p. 115). 

• Achundow, Abu Mansur, p. 108. 

7 See, for instance, K. v. Mbgbnbbkg, Buch der Natur (written in 1349-50), 
ed. P. Pfeiffer, p. 367; FLttcxiGEK and Hanbuby, Phannacographia, p. 321. 

• • The fruits are already mentioned by Theophrastus (Hist, plant., DC. ix, 2) 
as remedies. 

9 Materia Indica, VoL I, p. 143. 

Galbanum 365 

sent from Bombay to China, and Stuakt 1 regards this as entirely 
probable; but this is merely a supposition unsupported by any tangible 
data: no modern name is known under which the article might come. 
The three names given for galbanum in the English-Chinese Standard 
Dictionary are all wrong: the first, a-yil, refers to asafoetida (see above, 
P- 361);' the second, jft, denotes Liquidambar orientates; and the third, 
pai sun hian ("white pine aromatic"), relates to Pinus bungeana. 
The Pen ts'ao kanmu*has the notice on p^-k^ as an appendix to "manna." 
Li &-2en, accordingly, did not know the nature of the product. He is 
content to cite the text of the Yu yan tsa tsu and to define the medical 
properties of the substance after C'en Ts'an-kH of the Tang. Only 
under the T'ang was galbanum known in China. 

The trees from which the product is obtained are usually identified 
with Ferula galbaniflua and F. rubricaulis or erubescens, both natives 
of Persia. The Syrian product used by the Hebrews and the ancients 
was apparently derived from a different though kindred species. 
F. rubricaulis, said by the botanist Buhse to be called in Persian khas- 
suih* is diffused all over northern Persia and in the Da&na Mountains 
in the southern part of the country; itris frequent in the Demawend and 
on the slopes of the Alwend near Hamadan.' No incisions are made 
in the plant: the sap flowing out of the lower part of the stalks and from 
the base of the leaves is simply collected. The gum is amber-yellow, 
of not disagreeable, strongly aromatic odor, and soon softens between 
the fingers. Its taste is slightly bitter. Only in the vicinity of Hamadan, 
where the plant is exuberant, has the collecting of galbanum developed 
into an industry. 

Schwocer* distinguishes two kinds, — a brown and a white-yel- 
lowish galbanum. The former (Persian bar zed or barije), the product of 
Ferula galbaniflua 9 is found near De Gerdon in the mountains Sa-ute- 
polagh between Teheran and Gezwin, in the valleys of Lars (Blburs), 
Khereghan, and Sawe, where the villagers gather it under the name 
balubu. The latter kind is the product of Dorema anchezi Boiss., en- 

1 Chinese Materia Medica, p. 181. 

1 This is the name given! for galbanum by P. P. Smith (Contributions towards 
the Materia Medica, p. 100), but it is mere guesswork. 

• Ch. 33, p. 6. 

4 Evidently identical with what Watt (Commercial Products of India, p. 535) 
writes khossnib, explaining it as a kind of galbanum from Shlrftz. Lobw (Aram. 
Pflansennamen, p. 163) makes kassnih of this word. The word intended is apparently 
the kasni mentioned above (p. 361). 

• Boiszczow, op, cit. t p. 35. 

• Tenninotogie, p. 295* 

366 Sino-Iranica 

countered by Buhse in the low mountains near Reshm (white galbanum). 
Galbanum is also called kilyanl in Persian. 

Borszczow has discovered in the Aralo-Caspian region another 
species of Ferula, named by him F. schafr from the native word Sair 
(=» Persian Hr, "milk- juice") for this plant. The juice of this species 
has the same properties as galbanum; also the plant has the same 

Abu Mansur 1 mentions a Ferula under the name sakbUnaj (Arabic 
form, Persian sakbtna), which his translator, the Persian physician 
Achundow, has identified with the Sagapenum resin of Ferula persica, 
said to be similar to galbanum and to be gathered in the mountains 
of Luristan. According to FlCckiger and Hanbtoy, 1 the botanical 
origin of Sagapenum is unknown; but there is no doubt that this word 
{aay6nn\vov in Dioscorides, in, 95, and Galenus; sacapenium in Pliny, 
xn, 56), in mediaeval pharmacy often written serapinum, is derived 
from the Persian word. 

The galbanum employed in India is imported from Persia to Bom- 
bay. Watt 1 distinguishes three kinds known in commerce, — Levant, 
Persian solid, and Persian liquid. The first comes from Shiraz, the 
second has an odor of turpentine, and the third is the gaoshir or jawd- 
shir; the latter being a yellow or greenish semi-fluid resin, generally 
mixed with the stems, flowers, and fruits of the plant. It is obtained from 
the stem, which, when injured, yields an orange-yellow gummy fluid. 
Generally, however, the galbanum of commerce forms round, agglu- 
tinated tears, about the size of peas, orange-brown outside, yellowish- 
white or bluish-green inside. The odor is not disagreeable, like that 
of asafoetida, and the taste is bitter. 

Galbanum consists of about 65 per cent resin, 20 per cent gum, and 
from 3 to 7 per cent volatile oil. 

1 Achundow, Abo Mansur, p. 84. 

* Pharmacographia, p. 342. 

1 Commercial Products of India, p. 535. 


34. Oak-galls (French noix de galles, Portuguese galhas) are globular 
excrescences caused by the gall-wasp (Cynips quercus folit) puncturing 
the twigs, leaves, and buds, and depositing its ova in several species 
of oak (chiefly Quercus lustianica var. infectoria), to be found in Asia 
Minor, Armenia, Syria, and Persia. In times of antiquity, galls were 
employed for technical and medicinal purposes. In consequence of 
their large percentage (up to 60 per cent) of tannic or Gallo-tannic 
add, they served for tanning, still further for the dyeing of wool and 
the manufacture of ink. 1 Both Theophrastus 3 and Dioscorides* men- 
tion galls under the name Ktids. Abu Mansur describes galls under 
the Arabic name afs. 4 

The greater part of the galls found in Indian bazars come from 
Persia, being brought by Arab merchants.' The Sanskrit name 
m&juphala (phala, "fruit") is plainly a loan-word from the Persian 

In Chinese records, oak-galls are for the first time mentioned under 
the term wu-H-tse ft&'dF' as products of Sasanian Persia. 9 They 
first became known in China under the Tang from Persia, being intro- 
duced in the Materia Medica of the Tang Dynasty (Pan pen ts'ao). 
The T*an pen tu J& ♦ tt states that they grow in sandy deserts, 7 and 
that the tree is like the tamarisk (Ven IS ). A commentary, cited as 
kin tu ^ t£, adds that they are produced in Persia, while the Cen lei 
pen U'act says that they grow in the country of the Western 2uh 
(Iranians). The Yu yan isa tsu* gives a description of the plant as 
follows: "Wu-Si-tse M 5 •? are produced in the country Po-se (Persia), 

1 BL0MMBB, Technologic Vol. I, ad ed., pp. 251, 268. 

• Hist, plant. III. vin, 6. 

9 1, 146 (cf. Lactate, Trait* de* simples, Vol II, p. 457). See also Pliny, xux 
63; xn f 26; xxit, 109. 

4 Acbumdow, Abu Mansur, p. 98. 

• W. Ainsue, Materia Indica, Vol. I, p. 145; Watt, Commercial Products of 
India, p. 911. 

• Sui fu, Ch. S3, p. 7 b. 

' According to another reading, "in sandy deserts of the Western 2un" (that 

Ch. 14, p. ao. 

9 Ch. 18, p. 9. 


368 Sino-Iranica 

where they are styled M JR mo-tsei, *mwa-dfak. 1 The tree grows to 
a height of from six to seven feet, 2 with a circumference of from eight to 
nine feet. The leaves resemble those of the peach, but are more oblong. 
It blossoms in the third month, the flowers being white, and their 
heart reddish. The seeds are round like pills, green in the beginning, 
but when ripe turning to yellow-white. Those punctured by insects 
and perforated are good for the preparation of leather; those without 
holes are used as medicine. This tree alternately produces galls one 
year and acorns (8t M •? pa-lii tse, *bwa£-lu; Middle Persian *ballu, 
barru [see below], New Persian baluf), the size of a finger and three 
inches long, the next."' The latter notion is not a Chinese fancy, but 
the reproduction of a Persian belief. 4 

The Geography of the Ming (Ta Mih i Vuh &) states that galls are 
produced in the country of the Arabs (Ta-Si) and all barbarians, and 
that the tree is like the camphor-tree (Laurus camphor a) f the fruits 
like the Chinese wild chestnuts (mao-li J£ 35). 

The Chinese transcriptions of the Iranian name do not "all repre- 
sent Persian mami" as reiterated by Hirth after Watters, but repro- 
duce older Middle-Persian forms. In fact, none of the Chinese render- 
ings can be the equivalent of masA. 

(i) M W (Yu yah tsa isu) mo-tsei, *mwa-d2ak (dzak, zak), answers 
to a Middle Persian *mad2ak (madzak or mazak). 

(2) & 5 mo-H y *mak-zak, = Middle Persian *maxzak. 

(3) M 5 wu-H t *mwu-zak, = Middle Persian *muzak. 

(4) &?S mu~Si, *mut-zak,= Middle Persian *muzak. Compare 
with these various forms Tamil matakai, Telugu matikai, and the 
magican of Barbosa. 

(5) #3£* mo-Vu, *mwa-du,— Middle Persian *madu. 

$► & # to-mu-lM (in Cao 2u-kwa), *§a-mut-lwut, answers to Iranian 

1 Instead of tsei, some editions write $f U6 (•dzak, dzak), which is phonetically 
the same. 

1 The text has jfc, which should be corrected into X, for the tree seldom rises 
higher than six feet. 

1 The text of the following last clause is corrupted, and varies in the different 
editions; it yields no acceptable sense. HntTH's translation (Chao Ju-kua, p. 215) 
is not intelligible to me. Wattbrs (Essays on the Chinese Language, p. 349) is 
certainly wrong in saying that "the Chinese do not seem to know even yet the 
origin of these natural products" (oak-galls); this is plainly refuted by the above 
description. The Tu Su tsi Veh (XX, Ch. 310) and Ci wu mi* H ru k % ao (Ch. 35, 
p. 21) even have a tolerably good sketch of the tree, showing galls on the leaves. 

4 B. Sbtdbl, Mechithar, p. 127. 

• The character l(i Va in Cao Zu-kwa, and thus adopted by Hirth (p. 215), is 
an error. 

Oak-Galls 369 

lah-baluf ("the edible chestnut/' Castanea vulgaris), which appears in 
the BdndahiSn (above, p. 193), as correctly identified by Hirth; but 
9M>p n u4u and pa-Ul of the Yu yah isa tsu (see above) would indicate 
that the Chinese heard bulu and balu without a final t, and such forms 
may have existed in Middle-Persian dialects. In fact, we have this 
type in the dialect of the Kurd in the form berru, and in certain Kurd 
dialects barU and bam. 1 

1 Cf. J. db Morgan, Mission scientifique en Perse, Vol. V, p. 133. The Iranian 
term means literally "acorn of the Shah, royal acorn," somehow a certain analogy 
to Greek Aife 0AXok* ("acorn of Zeus"). The origin of Greek jwrtauor or 
«e>r«PDP is sought in Armenian kask ("chestnut") and kaskeni ("chestnut- tree"; 
see Schradb* in Hehn, Kulturpnansen, p. 402). According to the Armenian Geog- 
raphy of Moses of Khorene, the tree flourished in the Old-Armenian province 
Duruperan (Daron); according to Galenus, near Sardes in Asia Minor; according to 
Dafld, on Cyprus; according to Abu Mansur, also in Syria; while, according to the 
tame author, Persia imported chestnuts from Adherbeijan and Arran; according to 
Schlimmer, from Russia (E. Sbxdbl, Mechithar, p. 152). It is striking that the 
Chinese did not see the identity of the Iranian term with their J»° JR. the common 
chestnut, several varieties of which grow in China. 


25. As indicated by our word indigo" (from Latin indicum), this 
dye-stuff took its origin from India. The indigo-plant (Indigofera 
tinetoria), introduced into Persia from India, is discussed by Abu Man- 
sur under the name nil or Ilia. The leaves are said to strengthen the 
hair. The hair, if previously dyed with henna, becomes brilliant black 
from the pounded leaves of the plant. Another species, J. linifolia, 
is still used in Persia for dyeing beard and hair black. 1 The Persian 
words are derived from Sanskrit nila, as is likewise Arabic nllej} Also 
nili Hindi ("Indian indigo") occurs in Persian. Garcia da Orta has 
handed down a form anil* and in Spanish the plant is called aftil 
(Portuguese and Italian am*/). 4 It may be permissible to assume that 
indigo was first introduced into Sasanian Persia under the reign of 
Khosrau I AnOSarwan (a.d. 531-579); for MasQdl, who wrote about 
a.d. 943, reports that this king received from India the book KdRla 
wa Dimna, the game of chess, and the black dye-stuff for the hair, 
called the Indian. 6 

Under the designation ts'in tai W ft ("blue cosmetic for painting 
the eyebrows") the Chinese became acquainted with the true indigo 
and the Iranian practice mentioned above. The term is first on record 
as a product of Ts'ao flf (Jagmja) 6 and Ku-lan {ft M in the vicinity of 
Tokharestan; 7 during the T'ang period, the women of Fergana did not 
employ lead-powder, but daubed their eyebrows with tsHn tai.* Ma Ci 
of the tenth, century says that "Win tai came from the country Po-se 
(Persia), but that now in T'ai-yttan, Lu-liii, Nan-k'aft, and other 

1 Achundow, Abu Mansur, pp. 144, 271. Schlimmbe (Tenninologie, p. 395} 
gives ringi HI and westne as Persian words for indigo-leaves. 

* Lbclbrc, Traits des simples, Vol. Ill, p. 384. 

* C. Markham* Colloquies, p. 51. The form anil is also employed by P. Ptoard 
(Vol. II, p. 359, ed. of Hakluyt Society), who says that indigo is found only in the 
kingdom of Cambaye and Surat. 

4 Robdigbr and Pott (£. /. Kunde d. Morg., Vol. VII, p. 125) regard this 
prefix a as the Semitic article (Arabic al-nll, on-nV). 

* Bajlbibr db Mbynakd and Pavbt db Courtbillb, Les Prairies d'or, Vol. II, 
p. 203. 

6 Sui I«, Ch. 83, p. 8 (see above, p. 317). 

7 Tai *V*t kwan yU ki f Ch. 186, p. 12. It was also found in Ki-pin (ibid., 
Ch. 182, p. 12 b). 

1 Ibid., Ch. 181, p. 13 b. 


Indigo 371 

places, a dye-stuff of similar virtues is made from Hen IK (the indigenous 
Polygonum tinctorium)." 1 Li Si-Sen holds the opinion that the Persian 
Win tat was the foreign lan-tien £ R (Indigo/era tinctoria). It must not 
be forgotten that the genps Indigo/era comprises some three hundred 
species, and that it is therefore impossible to hope for exact identifica- 
tions in Oriental records. Says G. Watt 1 on this point, "Species of 
Indigofera are distributed throughout the tropical regions of the globe 
(both in the Old and New Worlds) with Africa as their headquarters. 
And in addition to the Indigoferas several widely different plants yield 
the self-same substance chemically. Hence, for many ages, the dye 
prepared from these has borne a synonymous name in most tongues, 
and to such an extent has this been the case that it is impossible to say 
for certain whether the ntta of the classic authors of India denoted the 
self-same plant which yields the dye of that name in modern com- 
merce." " Indigo," therefore, is a generalized commercial label for a 
blue dye-stuff, but without botanical value. Thus also Chinese indigo 
is yielded by distinct plants in different parts of China.' 

It is MtigniftT that the Chinese at one time imported Indigo from 
Persia, where it was doubtless derived from India, and do not refer 
to India as the principal indigo-producing country. An interesting 
article on the term tsHh ted has been written by HntTH. 4 

1 Pern If '00 Aa* mu, Ch. 16, p. 35 b. 

* Commercial Products of India, p. 663. 

* Butcchnbidbs, Bot. Sin., pt. II, p. 212. 
4 Ghtneaiache Studiea, pp. 243-358. 


26. 1 While rice is at present a common article of food of the Persian 
people, being particularly enjoyed as pilau/ it was entirely unknown 
in the days of Iranian antiquity. No word for "rice" appears in the 
A vesta. 1 Herodotus 1 mentions only wheat as the staple food of the 
Persians at the time of Cambyses. This negative evidence is signally 
confirmed by the Chinese annals, which positively state that there is 
no rice or millet in Sasanian Persia; 4 and on this point Chinese testi- 
mony carries weight, since the Chinese as a rice-eating nation were 
always anxious to ascertain whether rice wa^ grown and consumed by 
foreign peoples. Indeed, the first question a travelling Chinese will 
ask on arrival at a new place will invariably refer to rice, its qualities 
and valuations. This is conspicuous in the memoirs of Cafi K'ien, 
the first Chinese who travelled extensively across Iranian territory, 
and carefully noted the cultivation of rice in Fergana (Ta-y&an), fur- 
ther for Parthia (An-si), and T4ao-& (Chaldaea). The two last-named 
countries, however, he did not visit himself, but reported what he had 
heard about them. In the Sasanian epoch, Chinese records tell us 
that rice was plentiful in Ku£a, KaSgar (Su-lek), Khotan, and Ts'ao 
(Jaguda) north of the Ts\i6-liii; 6 also in Si (Tashkend). 6 On the 
other hand, Aristobulus, a companion of Alexander on his expedition 
in Asia and author of an Alexander biography written after 285 B.C., 
states that rice grows in Bactriana, Babylonia, Susis, and in lower 
Syria; 7 and Diodorus 8 likewise emphasizes the abundance of rice in Susi- 

1 Toung Poo, 1916, p. 481. 

1 Modi, in Spiegel Memorial Volume, p. xxxvn. 

• m, 22. 

4 Wei hi, Ch. 102, pp. 5 b-6 a; Cou Su, Ch. 50, p. 6. Tabari (translation of 
N6LDBKE, p. 244) mentions rice among the crops taxed by Khusrau I (a.d. 531-578); 
but this is surely an interpolation, as in the following list of taxes rice is not men- 
tioned, while all other crops are. Another point to be considered is that in Arabic 
manuscripts, when the diacritical marks are omitted, the word birinj may be read 
as well naranj, which means "orange" (cf. Ouselby, Oriental Geography of Bbn 
Haulcal, p. 221). 

• Sui !», Ch. 83, pp. 5 b, 7 b. 

• Tai pS* kwan yU ft, Ch. 186, p. 7 b. 
1 Strabo, XV. x, 18. 



Rice 373 

ana. From these data Hehn 1 infers that under the rule of the Persians, 
and possibly inconsequence of their rule, rice-cultivation advanced from 
the Indus to the Euphrates, and that from there came also the Greek 
name 6>uf a. This rice-cultivation, however, can have been but sporadic 
and along the outskirts of Iran; it did not affect Persia as a whole. The 
Chinese verdict of "no rice" in Sasanian Persia appears to me con- 
clusive, and it further seems to me that only from the Arabic period 
did the cultivation of rice become more general in Persia. This con- 
clusion is in harmony with the account of Hwi Cao S ft, a traveller 
in the beginning of the eighth century, who reports in regard to the 
people of Mohammedan Persia that they subsist only on pastry and 
meat, but have also rice, which is ground and made into cakes. 1 This 
conveys the impression that rice then was not a staple food, but merely 
a side-issue of minor importance. Y&qQt mentions rice for the prov- 
inces Khuristfln and Sabur.* Abu Mansur, whose work is largely based 
on Arabic sources, is the first Persian author to discuss fully the subject 
of rice. 4 Solely a New-Persian word for "rice" is known, namely birinj 
or gurinj (Armenian and Ossetic brinj), which is usually regarded as a 
loan-word from Sanskrit vrihi; Afghan vriie (with Greek bpvf a, 0p(f a) 
is still nearer to the latter. In view of the historical situation, the 
reco ns truction of an Avestan *verenja* or an Iranian *vrinji, 9 and the 
theory of an originally Aryan word for "rice," seem to me inadmissible. 

1 Kulturpflanien, p. 505. 

• Horn, Journal Am. Or. Soc., VoL XXXIII, 1913, pp. 202, 204, 207. 

• B. ob Mkynasd, Dictfonnaire geographique de la Perse, pp. 217, 294. 

4 Achtjkoow, Abu Mansur, p. 5. J. Schiltbbrgbk (1396-1427), in his Bondage 
and Travels (p. 44, ed. of Hakluyt Society, 1879) speaks of the "rich country called 
GOan, where rice and cotton alone is grown." 

• P. Horn, Neuperaische Etymologic, No. 208. 

• H. HftBscmcAHif , Perriache Studien, p. 27. 


27. The pepper-plant (hu tsiao, Japanese ko5d, SB JR, Piper nigrum) 
deserves mention in this connection only inasmuch as it is listed among 
the products of Sasanian Persia. 1 Ibn Haukal says that pepper, sandal, 
and various kinds of drugs, were shipped from Sir&f in Persia to all 
quarters of the world. 2 Pepper must have been introduced into Persia 
from India, which is the home of the shrub.* It is already enumerated 
among the plants of India in the Annals of the Han Dynasty. 4 The 
Yu yah tsa tsu* refers it more specifically to Magadha, 6 pointing out 
its Sanskrit name marica or morica in the transcription Wc JBt ;£ mei- 
K-&'. 7 The term hu tsiao shows that not all plants whose names have 
the prefix hu are of Iranian origin: in this case hu distinctly alludes 
to India. 8 Tsiao is a general designation for spice-plants, principally 
belonging to the genus Zanihoxylon. Li §i-2en 9 observes that the black 
pepper received its name only for the reason that it is bitter of taste 
and resembles the tsiao, but that the pepper-fruit in fact is not a tsiao. 
It is interesting to note that the authors of the various Pen ts'ao seem 
to have lost sight of the fact of the Indian origin of the plant, and do 
not even refer to the Han Annals. Su Kuft states that hu tsiao grows 
among the Si 2uA, which plainly shows that he took the word hu in 
the sense of peoples of Central Asia or Iranians, and substituted for it 

1 SuiSu, Ch. 83, p. 7 b; Cou Su, Ch. 50, p. 6; and WeiSu, Ch. 102, p. 6. According 
to Hirth (Chau Ju-kua, p. 223), this would mean that pepper was brought to China 
by Persian traders from India. I am unable to see this point. The texts in question 
simply give a list of products to be found in Persia, and say nothing about exporta- 
tion of any kind. 

* W. Ouselby, Oriental Geography of Ebn Haukal, p. 133. Regarding the for- 
mer importance of Slraf, which "in old times was a great city, very populous and 
full of merchandise, being the port of call for caravans and ships," see G. Lb Strange, 
Description of the Province of Pars, pp. 41-43. 

* In New Persian, pepper is called pilpil (Arabidzed filfil, fulful), from the 
Sanskrit fnppatL 

4 Hon Han !«, Ch. 1 1 8, p. 5 b. 

•Ch. 18, p. ix. 

* Cf . Sanskrit m&gadha as an epithet of pepper. 

' In fact, this form presupposes a vernacular type *mericu 

*Hu tsiao certainly does not mean "Western Barbarians (Tartar) pepper," 
as conceived by Waiters (Essays on the Chinese Language, p. 441). What had 
the "Tartars" to do with pepper? The Uigur adopted simply the Sanskrit word in 
the form murl. 

* Ptm ts'ao ka* mu t Ch. 32, p. 3 b. 


Pepper 375 

its synonyme Si 2uft; at least, it appears certain that the latter term 
bears no reference to India. Li §i-£en gives as localities where the 
plant is cultivated, "all countries of the Southern Barbarians (Nan 
Fan), Kiao-£i (Annam), Yun-nan, and Hai-nan." 

Another point of interest is that in the T % an pen is % ao of Su KuA 
appears a species called San hu isiao tf] ffl Ut or wild pepper, described 
as resembling the cultivated species, of black color, with a grain the 
size of a blade bean, acrid taste, great heat, and non-poisonous. This 
plant-name has been identified with Lindera glauca by A. Henry, 1 
who says that the fruit is eaten by the peasants of Yi-S'afi, Se-S'wan. 
The same author offers a ye hu4siao ("wild pepper"), being Zanthoxy- 
lum setosum. 

Piper langim or Chaoica roxburgkii, Chinese *$ or * pi-po t 
•pit-pat (pal), from Sanskrit pippaR, is likewise attributed to Sasanian 
Persia.* This pepper must have been also imported into Iran from 
India, for it is a native of the hotter parts of India from Nepal east- 
ward to Assam, the Khasia hills and Bengal, westward to Bombay, 
and southward to Travancore, Ceylon, and Malacca.* It is therefore 
surprising to read in the Pen ts*ao of the T'ang that pi-po grows in the 
country Po-se: this cannot be Persia, but refers solely to the Malayan 
Po-se. For the rest, the Chinese were very well aware of the Indian 
origin of the plant, as particularly shown by the adoption of the San- 
skrit name. It is first mentioned in the Nan fan ts'ao mu twan, unless 
it be there one of the interpolations in which this work abounds, but 
it is mixed up with the betel-pepper (Chovica betel). 

1 Chinese Names of Plants, No. 45. 

* Com iu t Ch. 50, p. 6. 

1 Watt, Commercial Products of India, p. 891. 


28. The sugar-cane (Saccharum officinarum) is a typically Indian 
or rather Southeast-Asiatic, and merely a secondary Iranian culti- 
vation, but its history in Iran is of sufficient importance to devote here 
a few lines to this subject. The Sui Annals 1 attribute hard sugar 
(Si-mi 15 3f, literally, "stone honey") and patir-mi ^ 3f ("half honey ") 
to Sasanian Persia and to Ts'ao (Jagucja). It is not known what kind 
of sugar is to be understood by the latter term. 2 Before the advent 
of sugar, honey was the universal ingredient for sweetening food-stuffs, 
and thus the ancients conceived the sugar of India as a kind of honey 
obtained from canes without the agency of bees.* The term Si-mi first 
appears in the Nan fan ts'ao mu Iwah* which contains the first de- 
scription of the sugar-cane, and refers it to Kiao-S (Tonking) ; according 
to this work, the natives of this country designate sugar as Si-mi, which 
accordingly may be the literal rendering of a Kiao-& term. In a.d. 285 
Pu-nan (Camboja) sent fa-Zd ft M ("sugar-cane") as tribute to China.* 

It seems that under the T'ang sugar was also imported from Persia 
to China; for Mon Sen, who wrote the Si liao pen ts'ao in the second 
half of the seventh century, says that the sugar coming from Po-se 
(Persia) to Se-i*wan is excellent. Su Kun, the reviser of the T x an pen 
ts'ao of about a.d. 650, extols the sugar coming from the Si 2un, which 
may likewise allude to Iranian regions. Exact data as to the introduc- 
tion and dissemination of the sugar-cane in Persia are not available. 
E. O. v. Lippmann* has developed an elaborate theory to the effect that 

1 Sui Su, Ch. 83, p. 7 b. 

1 It is only contained in the Sui Su t not in the Wei Su (Ch. 102, p. 5 b), which 
has merely Si-mi. The sugar-cane was also grown in Su-le (Kashgar): Tai p'in 
kwan yU ki, Ch. 181, p. 12 b. 

* Pliny, xn, 17. 
4 Ch. 1, p. 4. 

* This word apparently comes from a language spoken in Indo-China; it is already 
ascribed to the dictionary Swo wen. Subsequently it was replaced by kan "ff 
("sweet") Id or kan ^ ld % presumably also the transcription of a foreign word. 
The Nan TV* Su mentions lu-td as a product of Pu-nan (cf . Pblliot, Bull, de VEcole 
franqaise, Vol. Ill, p. 262). In C*i-t'u iff J* (Siam) a wine of yellow color and fine 
aroma was prepared from sugar and mixed with the root of a Cucurbitacea (Sui Su, 
Ch. 82, p. 2 b). 

'Geschichte des Zuckers, p. 93 (Leipzig, 1890); and Abhandlungen, Vol. I, 
p. 263. According to the same author, the Persians were the inventors of sugar- 
refining; but this is purely hypothetical 


Sugar 377 

the Christians of the city Gunde&pOr, which was in connection with 
India and cultivated Indian medicine, should have propagated the 
cane and promoted the sugar-industry. This is no more than an in- 
genious speculation, which, however, is not substantiated by any 
documents. The facts in the case are merely, that according to the 
Armenian historian Moses of Khorene, who wrote in the second half 
of the fifth century, sugar-cane was cultivated in Elymais near Gunde- 
S&pOr, and that later Arabic writers, like Ibn Haukal, MuqaddasI, 
and Yaqat, mention the cultivation of the cane and the manufacture 
of sugar in certain parts of Persia. The above Chinese notice is of some 
importance in showing that sugar was known under the Sasanians in 
the sixth century. The Arabs, as is well known, took a profound inter- 
est in the sugar-industry after the conquest of Persia (a.d. 640), and 
disseminated the cane to Palestine, Syria, Egypt, etc. The Chinese 
owe nothing to the Persians as regards the technique of sugar-pro- 
duction. In a.d. 647 the Emperor T'ai Tsufi was anxious to learn its 
secrets, and sent a mission to Magadha in India to study there the 
process of boiling sugar, and this method was adopted by the sugar- 
cane growers of Yaft-2ou. The color and taste of this product then were 
superior to that of India. 1 The art of refining sugar was taught the 
Chinese as late as the Mongol period by men from Cairo. 1 

1 TaH km yao, Ch. 100, p. 21. 

* Yulb, Marco Polo, Vol. II, pp. 226, 230. The latest writer on the subject of 
sugar in Persia is P. Scbwarz (Der Islam, Vol VI, 1915, pp. 269-279), whose 
researches are restricted to the province of Ahwax. In opposition to C. Ritter, who 
regarded Slraf on the Persian Gulf as the place whither the sugar-cane was first 
transplanted from India, he assigns this role to Hormuz; the first mention of refined 
sugar he finds in an Arabic poet of the seventh century. Lippmann's work is not 
known to him. 


29. The myrobalan Terminalia chebula, ho-li-lo 89916 (*ha-ri- 
lak, Japanese kariroku, Sanskrit haritaki, Tokharian arirdk, Tibetan 
Ortu-ra, NewSrl halala; Persian hatila, Arabic halilaj and ihRligat), was 
found in Persia. 1 The tree itself is indigenous to India, and the fruit 
was evidently imported from India into Persia. 1 This is confirmed by 
the fact that it is called in New Persian hcdlla (Old Armenian haliU), 
or halila-i kabuli, hinting at the provenience from Kabul.' 

In the "Treatise on Wine," Tsiu p % u 8 H f « written by Tou Kin ■ E 
of the Sung, it is said, "In the country Pose there is a congee made 
from the three myrobalans (san-lo tsian H $&3H), 6 resembling wine, and 
styled atirmo-lo BK fc 16 (amalaka, Phyllanihus emblica) or pH-li-lo 
Ht IS ft (vibhitaka, Terminalia belerica)." The source of this state- 
ment is not given. If Po-se in this case refers to Persia, it would go 
to show that the three myrobalans were known there. 

On the other hand, there is quite a different explanation of the 
term san-lo tsian. According to Ma Ci, who wrote in the tenth cen- 
tury, this is the designation for a wine obtained from a flower of sweet 
flavor, growing in the countries of the West and gathered by the Hu. 
The name of the flower is R5 & Vo-te, *da-tik. 6 In this case the term 
san-lo may represent a transcription; it answers to ancient *sam-lak, 

1 Sui Su, Ch. 83, p. 7 b; Con Su, Ch. 50, p. 6. 

* Cf. Toung Poo, 1915, pp. 275-376. Ho-li-lo were products of A-lo-yi-lo p| 
jK 48 jK in the north of Uc>Jiyana (rat pHn kwan y& ki, Ch. 186, p. 12 b). 

* Cf. G. Fekkand, Testes relatifs a l'Eztr6me-Orient 9 p. 227. 

4 Ed. of Tan Sun ts'un hi, p. 20. 

8 The son lo are the three plants the names of which terminate in lo, — ho4i-lo 
(Terminalia chebula), p % i~li-lo (T. belerica, Sanskrit vibhitaka, Persian batUa), and 
a-mo-lo or an-mo-lo (PhyUanthus emblica, Sanskrit amalaka, Persian amola). 

* The text is in the Tu hi isi Veh, XX, Ch. 182, tsa hma ts'ao pu, hut k % ao a, 
p. 13 b. I cannot trace it in the Pen ts'ao kan mu. 



30. A fruit called yellow peach (hwan fao H Hi) or gold peach 
(kin fao & lfc)> of the size of a goose-egg, was introduced into China 
under the reign of the Emperor T'ai Tsufi of the Tang (a.d. 629-649), 
being presented by the country K'aft St (Sogdiana). 1 This introduction 
is assigned to the year 647 in the Tan hut yao,* where it is said that 
Sogdiana offered to the Court the yellow peach, being of the size of a 
goose-egg and golden in color, and hence styled also "gold peach." A 
somewhat earlier date for the introduction of this fruit is on record in 
the Ts'e fu ytian kwei* which has the notice that in a.d. 625 (under 
the Emperor Kao Tsu) Sogdiana presented gold peaches (kin fao) and 
silver peaches (yin fao) f and that by imperial order they were planted 
in the gardens. This fruit is not mentioned in the Pen-Woo literature; 
it is not known what kind of fruit it was. Maybe it was a peculiar 
variety of peach. 


31. Fu4se W -J* is enumerated among the products of Sasanian 
Persia in the Sui Su. A Pai 3 fu-tse is attributed to the country Ts*ao 
(J&guda) north of the Ts*u&-lifi,' and to Ki-pin.* 

In the form H ^ fu-tse, it occurs in a prescription written on a 
wooden tablet of the Han period, found in Turkistan. 7 Fu-tse ffc ^ is 
identified with Aconiium fischeri, cultivated on a large scale in Caft-mift 
hien in the prefecture of Lu-fian, Se-£*wan. s It is not known, however, 
that this species occurs in Persia. 

Yi Tsi& calls attention to the fact that the medicinal herbs of India 
are not the same as those of China, and enumerates tubers of aconite 
together vrithfu-tse among the best drugs of China, and which are never 
found in India. 9 

1 Fun H worn Mm ki, Ch. 7, p. 1 b (ed. of Kifu is'** ht). 

• Ch. 200, p. 14; alto Tai ft* hwan yd ki, Ch. 183, p. 3. 

• Ch. 070, p. 8 b. 

4 Ch. 83, p. 7 b; alto Com ht 9 Ch. 50, p. 6. 

• Sm Su, ibid., p. 8 a. 

• Toi pH hwan yfl M< Ch. i8a, p. u b. 

1 Chavakxes, DocnmenU dc l'epoque dn Han, p. 115, No. 530. 
1 Stuabt, Chinf* Materia Medica, p. 10. 

• Takakusu, Record of the Buddhist Religion, p. 148. 



32. Of the two species of mustard, Brassica or Sinapis juncea and 
5. alba, the former has always been a native of China (kiai ^). The 
latter, however, was imported as late as the Tang period. It is first 
mentioned by Su Kun in the Pen is % ao of the Tang (about a.d. 650) as 
coming from the Western 2un (Si 2un),> a term which, as noted, fre- 
quently refers to Iranian regions. In the Su pen ts % ao 5J # 3£, published 
about the middle of the tenth century by Han Pao-Sen f$ % #, we 
find the term tibRhu kiai ("mustard of the Hu"). C'en Ts'afi-kH of 
the Tang states that it grows in Tai-yuan and Ho-tun H M (San-si), 
without referring to the foreign origin. Li £i-2en* annotates that this 
cultivation comes from the Hu and 2un and abounds in Su (Se-iVan), 
hence the names hu kiai and Su kiai ("mustard of Se-fiVan"), while 
the common designation is pai kiai ("white mustard")- This state 
of affairs plainly reveals the fact that the plant was conveyed to China 
over the land-route of Central Asia, while no allusion is made to an 
oversea transplantation. As shown by me on a previous occasion/ 
the Si-hia word si-na ("mustard") appears to be related to 
Greek sinapi, and was probably carried into the Si-hia kingdom 
by Nestorian missionaries, who, we are informed by Marco 
Polo, were settled there. The same species was likewise foreign 
to the Tibetans, as is evidenced by their designation "white turnip' 9 
{yuhs-kar). In India it is not indigenous, either: Watt 4 says that 
if met with at all, it occurs in gardens only within the tem- 
perate areas, or in upper India during the winter months; it is not 
a field crop. 

This genus comprises nearly a hundred species, all natives of the 
north temperate zones, and most of them of ancient European cultiva- 
tion (with an independent centre in China). 

Abu Mansur 6 distinguishes under the Arabic name karnab five kinds 
of Brassica; — Nabathaean, Brassica stive stris } B. marina, B. cypria 

1 The same definition is given by Tan Sen-wei in his Cen lei pen Woo (Ch. 27, 
p. 15). 

* Pen ts*ao kan mu, Ch. 26, p. 12. 

• Toung Poo, 1915, p. 86. 

4 Commercial Products of India, p. 176. 
1 Achundow, Abu Mansur, p. no. 


Brassica 381 

(qanbit) and Syrian from Mosul. He further mentions Brassica rapa 
under the name ielgem (Arabic Saljam). 1 

33. One of the synonymes of yiin-Vai $ C (Brassica rapa) is hu 
ts'ai ffl £R ("vegetable of the Hu"). According to Li Si-ten, 1 this term 
was first applied to this vegetable by Fu K'ien MR Ml of the second 
century his T % un su wen 3§ fS 3C. If this information were correct, 
this would be the earliest example of the occurrence of the term Hu in 
connection with a cultivated plant; but this Hu does not relate to 
Iranians, for Hu Hia 28 to , in his Pat pin fan "5 #1 3f , a medical 
work of the Sui period (a.d. 589-618), styles the plant sai ts'ai 91 4&, 
which, according to Li Si-den, has the same significance as hu ts'ai, and 
refers to 9tf\* Sai-wai, the Country beyond the Passes, Mongolia. 
Some even believe that Yun-t'ai is a place-name in Mongolia, where 
this plant thrives, and that it received therefrom its name. Such 
localities abstracted from plant-names are usually afterthoughts and 
fictitious.' The term yiln-Vai occurs in the early work Pie lu. 

Schummer 4 mentions Brassica capitate (Persian kalam pti), B. 
caulozapa (kalam gomri), and B. napus or rapa (ielgem). I have already 
pointed out that the Persians were active in disseminating species of 
Brassica and Raphanus to Tibet, the Turks, and Mongolia. 5 Reference 
has been made above (p. 199) to the fact that Brassica rapa (yiln-Vai) 
was introduced into China from Turkish tribes of Mongolia under the 
Later Han dynasty, and it would be reasonable to conclude that these 
had previously received the cultivation from Iranians. 9 Brassica rapa 
is very generally cultivated in Persi^ and most parts of India during 
the dry season, from October until March. 7 Yiln-Vai is enumerated 
among the choice vegetables of the country % jft Mo-lu, *Mar-luk, in 

The country of the Arabs produced the rape-turnip (manrisin 
M If, Brassica rapa-depressa) with roots the size of a peck ^*, round, 
and of very sweet flavor. 9 

Yi Tsin, the Buddhist pilgrim of the seventh century, makes some 
commeqt on the difference between Indian and Chinese Brassicaby saying, 

Acbumdow, Abu Maasur, p. 87. 

Pern is'eo hok mm, Ch. 26, p. 9 b. 

Compare p. 401. 

Tenmnologie, p. 93. 

Tomnt Peo, 1913, pp. «4. *7- 

The case would then be analogous to the history of the water-mdoa. 

W. Roxaumoo, Flora Indica, p. 497. 

r<* l*«* kwon yg ki, Ch. l86 t p. 16 b. 

Ibid., Ch. 186, p. 15 b. 

382 Sino-Ieaniga 

"Man-tsin occurs [in India] in sufficient quantity and in two varieties, 
one with white, the other with black seeds. In Chinese translation it is 
called mustard (kie-tse 3F ■?). As in all countries, oil is pressed from it 
for culinary purposes. When eating it as a vegetable, I found it not 
very different from the man-tsin of China; but as regards the root, which 
is rather tough, it is not identical with our man-tsin. The seeds are 
coarse, and again bear no relation to mustard-seeds. They are like those 
of Hovenia dulcis (U-kil $R|$), transformed in their shape in conse- 
quence of the soil." 1 

1 This sentence is entirely misunderstood by J. Takakusu in his translation of 
Yi Tsin's work (p. 44), where we read, "The change in the growth of this plant is 
considered to be something like the change of an orange-tree into a bramble when 
brought north of the Yangtse River." The text has: £3B$R4llBttX7f£- 
There is nothing here about an orange or a bramble or the Yangtse. The character 
$j£ is erroneously used for jf|>, as is still the case in southern China (see Stuart, 
Chinese Materia Medica, p. 209), and #J Jft is a well-known botanical name for a 
rhamnaceous tree (not an orange), Hovenia dulcis. "Change of an orange-tree into 
a bramble" is nonsense in itself. 


34. Under the foreign term f$ M fi-lo, *ii-la, the Chinese have 
not described the fennel (Foeniculum vulgar e), as erroneously asserted 
by Waiters 1 and Stuart, 1 but cummin (Cuminum cyminum) and 
caraway (Carum carui). This is fundamentally proved by the prototype, 
Middle Persian Ura or zira, Sanskrit fira, of which ti-lo (*2i-la) forms 
the regular transcription.* In India, jira refers to both cummin and 
caraway. 4 Although Cuminum is more or less cultivated in most prov- 
inces of India, except Bengal and Assam, there is, according to Watt, 
fairly conclusive evidence that it is nowhere indigenous; but in several 
districts it would appear to be so far naturalized as to hrfve been re- 
garded as "wild," even by competent observers. No doubt, it was 
transmitted to India from Iran. Cummin was known to the ancient 
Persians, being mentioned in the inscription of Cyrus at Persepolis,* 
and at an early period penetrated from Iran to Egypt on the one hand, 
and to India on the other. 4 

Avicenna distinguishes four varieties of cummin (Arabic katnmun)? 
— that of Kirm&n, which is black; that of Persia, which is yellow and 
more active than the others; that of Syria, and the Nabathaean.* Each 
variety is both spontaneous and cultivated. Abu Mansur regards that 
of Kinnfin as the best, and styles it fir*** hitman} This name, accord- 
ing to ScHUinren, 10 would refer to caraway, also called zire-i $iah 9 n 
cummin is styled in Persian zire-i setme or sefid. Caraway (Carum 

1 Essays on the Chinfse Language, p. 440. He even adds "coriander," which 
is sit jsm (p. 297). 

• Chinese Materia Medica, p. 176. Fennel is kwi hiah jHf £• while a synonyme 
el aimtnin is siao kwi kia* ("email fennel"). 

• In the tame form, the word occurs in Tibetan, st-ra (T*<mng Pao, 1916, p. 475). 
4 G. Watt. Commercial Products of India, p. 44a. 

• Joist, Flantes dans l'antiquit*, VoL II, p. 66. 

• Ibid., p. 358. 

9 Hebrew k am m dn, Assyrian hamanu, resulting in Greek cftjuaor, Latin cussl- 
•*j», cyw timum , or c im l mum ; Armenian caman; Persian fofttti*. 

■ Lbclsbc, Trait* des simples, VoL III, p. 196. 

• Achttxdow, Abu Mansur, pp. 11a, 358. 

" Terminologse, p. tia. 

u In India, the Persian word siak refers to the black caraway (Carum butbocasia- 
uwm), which confirms Schlimmer*s opinion. Also Avicenna's black cummin of 
KirmSn apparently represents this species. This plant is a native of Baluchistan, 
Afghanistan, Kashmir, and Lahol, mainly occurring as a weed in cultivated land. 


384 Sino-Iranica 

carui), however, is commonly termed in Persian Sah-nre ("cummin of 
the Shah") or sire-i ruml ("Byzantine or Turkish cummin")* 1 

While the philological evidence would speak in favor of a trans- 
mission of cummin from Persia to China, this point is not clearly brought 
out by our records. C*en Ts'an-k'i, who wrote in the first half of the 
eighth century, states that K4o grows in Pu-fi ft « (Bhoja, Sumatra). 
Li Sun, in his Hat yao pen ts'ao, says after the Kwan Sou ki Mf H\ IE 
that the plant grows in the country Po-se;' and Su Sufi of the Sung 
notes that in his time it occurred in Lift-nan (Kwan-tun) and adjoining 
regions. Now, the Kwan ton ki is said to have been written under the 
Tsin dynasty (a.d. 265-420) ; s and, as will be shown below in detail, the 
Po-se of Li Sun almost invariably denotes, not Persia, but the Malayan 
Po-se. Again, it is Li Sun who does not avail himself of the Iranian form 
Si-lo=Ura 9 but of the Sanskrit form firaka, possibly conveyed through 
the medium of the Malayan Po-se. 

Li Si-2en has entered under H-lo another foreign word in the form 
SUE© ts'e-fnou-lo (Mii-nyu-lak), which he derived from the K % ai 
poo pen ts'aOy and which, in the same manner as H-lo, he stamps as a 
foreign word. This transcription has hitherto defied identification, 4 
because it is incorrectly recorded. It is met with correctly in the Cen 
lei pen ts*a<fi in the form & ft ts*e-lo, *dK-lak(rak), and this answers 
to Sanskrit firaka. This form is handed down in the Hat yao pen ts'ao, 
written by Li Sun in the eighth century. Thus we have, on the one 
hand a Sanskrit form firaka, conveyed by the Malayan Po-se to Kwaxl- 
tun in the T'ang period, and on the other hand the Iranian type ft- 
lo=&ra, which for phonetic reasons must likewise go back to the era 
of the T'ang, and which we should suppose had migrated overland to 
China. The latter point, for the time being, remains an hypothesis, 
which will perhaps be elucidated by the documents of Turkistan. 

1 Corresponding to Arabic kar&wy&, the source of our word caraway. 

1 The Ceh lei pen ts'ao (Ch. 13, p. 27 b) repeats this without citing a source. 

* Cf . below, p. 475. 

4 Stuart, Chinese Materia Medica, p. 176. 

1 Ch. 13, p. 17 b. 


35. The Chinese records of the date-palm (Phoenix dactylifera) 
contain two points that are of interest to science: first, a contribution 
to the geographical distribution of the tree in ancient times; and, 
second, a temporary attempt at acclimating it in China. The tree is 
not indigenous there. It is for the first time in the T'ang period that 
we receive some information about it; but it is mentioned at an earlier 
date as a product of Sasanian Persia in both the Wei iu and Sui iu, 
under the name ts'ien nien isao ^ *E$L ("jujubes of thousand years/' 
the jujube, Zisypkus vulgaris, being a native of China). 1 In the Yu yah 
isa tsu* the date is styled Po-se isao 2fc Sr Jft ("Persian jujube "), with 
the observation that its habitat is in Po-se (Persia), or that it comes 
from there.* The Persian name is then given in the form ft M Vu-mah, 
*k'ut(k v ur)-man, which would correspond to a Middle Persian *xurmaA 
(*khurmang), P&zand and New Persian zurtnd, that was also adopted 
by Osmanli and Neo-Greek, xovPM&t ("date") and Kovp^aZr^a ("date- 
palm"), Albanian karme} The Tan iu* writes the same word il S 
hu-man, *gu£(gur)-ma£i, answering to a Middle-Persian form *gurmaft 
or *kurman. The New-Persian word is rendered fSf ft tit k'u~lu(ru)-tna 
in the Pen ts % ao kan mu;* this is the style of the Yuan transcriptions, 7 

1 This name was bestowed upon the tree, not, as erroneously asserted byfHiRTH 
(Chau Ju-kua, p. 210), "evidently on account of the stony hardness of the dates on 
reaching China," but, as stated in the Pen ts'ao kan mu (Ch. 31, p. 8), owing to the 
long-enduring character of the tree ~% JU ft Sf j\ «&• The same explanation 
holds good for the synonyme wan sui isao ("jujube of ten thousand or numerous 
years "). Indeed, this palm lives to a great age, and trees of from one to two hundred 
years old continue to produce their annual crop. 

* Ch. 18, p. 10. 

* The same term, Po-se isao, appears in a passage of the Pet hu lu (Ch. 2, p. 9 b), 
where the trunk and leaves of the sago-palm (Sago rumphii) are compared with those 
of the date. 

4 In Old Armenian of the fifth century we have the Iranian loan-word armav, 
and hence it is inferred that the * of Persian was subsequently prefixed (HtiBscH- 
mann, Persische Studien, p. 265; Armen. Gram., p. in). The date of the Chinese 
transcriptions proves that the initial * existed in Pahlavi. 

• Ch. 221 b, p. 13. 

• Ch, 31, p. 21. It is interesting to note that Li Si-gen endeavors to make out 
a distinction between k'u-man and k % u-lu-ma by saying that the former denotes the 
tree, the latter the fruit; but both, in his opinion, are closely allied foreign words. 

7 The T'ang transcription, of course, is not "probably a distorted transcription 
of khurma" as asserted by Brbtschnbidbr (Chinese Recorder, 1871, p. 266), but, on 
the contrary, is very exact. 


386 SinoIranica 

and first occurs in the Co ken IwRf tt, published in 1366. The Persian 
word has also migrated into the modern Aryan languages of India, 
as well as into the Malayan group: Javanese kunna; Cam kuramo; 
Malayan, Dayak, and Sunda korma; Bugi and Makassar koromma; 
also into Khmer: romd, lotnd, amd. 

Following is the description of the tree given in the Yu yah tsa tsu: 
" It is thirty to forty feet in height, 1 and has a circumference of from 
five to six feet. The leaves resemble those of the t*u Veh dt W (a kind 
of rattan), and remain ever green. It blooms in the second month. 
The blossoms are shaped like thosa-of the banana, and have a double 
bottom. They open gradually; and in the fissure are formed more than 
ten seed-cases, two inches long, yellow and white in color. When the 
kernel ripens, the seeds are black. In their appearance they resemble 
dried jujubes. They are good to eat and as sweet as candy." 

Another foreign word for the date is handed down by C'en Ts'aft-kH 
in his Pen ts'ao Si i, in the form M M wu-lou, *bu-nu. He identifies 
this term with the "Persian jujube," which he says grows in Persia, 
and has the appearance of a jujube. Li Si-Sen annotates that the mean- 
ing of this word is not yet explained. Neither Bretschneider nor any 
one else has commented on this name. It is strikingly identical with 
the old Egyptian designation of the date, bunnu* It is known that 
the Arabs have an infinite number of terms for the varieties of the date 
and the fruit in its various stages of growth, and it may be that they 
likewise adopted the Egyptian word and transmitted it to China. The 
common Arabic names are nakhl and iamr (Hebrew tamar, Syriac 
temar). On the other hand, the relation of wu-lou to the Egyptian word 
may be accidental, if we assume that wu-lou was originally the designa- 
tion of Cycas revoluia (see below), and was only subsequently trans- 
ferred to the date-palm. 

The Lin piao lu i* by Liu Sun contains the following interesting 
account: — 

"In regard to the date ('Persian jujube'), this tree may be seen in 
the suburbs of Kwafi-Sou (Canton). The trunk of the tree is entirely 
without branches, is straight, and rises to a height of from thirty to 
forty feet. The crown of the tree spreads in all directions, and forms 
over ten branches. The leaves are like those of the 'sea coir-palm 9 

1 It even grows to a height of sixty or eighty feet 

* V. Lokbt, Flore pharaonique, p. 34. I concur with Loret in the opinion that 
the Egyptian word is the foundation of Greek 4oim{. The theory ;of Hbhn (Kul- 
turpflanzen, p. 273) and upheld by Schbadbk (ibid., p. 284), that the latter might 
denote the Phoenician tree, does not seem to me correct. 

• Ch. b, p. 4 (see above, p. 268). 

The Date-Palm 387 

(hat isun M 49, Chamaerops excelsa). 1 The trees planted in KwaA-£ou 
bear fruit once in three or five years. The fruits resemble the green 
jujube growing in the north, but are smaller. They turn from green 
to yellow. When the leaves have come out, the fruit is formed in 
clusters, each cluster generally bearing from three to twenty berries, 
which require careful handling. The foreign as well as the domestic 
land is consumed in our country. In color it resembles that of granulated 
sugar. Shell and meat are soft and bright. Baked into cakes or steamed 
in water, they are savory. The kernel is widely different from that of 
the jujube of the north. The two ends are not pointed [as in the jujube], 
but doubly rolled up and round like a small piece of red kino X tf .* 
They must be carefully handled. When sown, no shoots sprout forth 
for a long time, so that one might suppose they would never mature." 

The date is clearly described in this text; and we learn from it that 
the tree was cultivated in Kwan-tun, and its fruit was also imported 
during the T'ang period. As Liu Sun, author of that work, lived under 
the Emperor Cao Tsuft (a.d. 889-904), this notice refers to the end of 
the ninth century. 1 A. de Candolle 4 states erroneously that the 
Chinese received the tree from Persia in the third century of our era. 

In his note on the date, headed by the term wu~lou tse t Li Si-Sen 1 
has produced a confusion of terms, and accordingly brought together 

1 In the text of this work, as cited in the Pen ts'ao kan mu, this clause is worded 
as follows: "The leaves are like those of the tsun-Ul f$ fH (Chamaerops excelsa), 
and hence the people of that locality style the tree [the date] kai tsun ('sea/ that is, 
foreign coir-palm')." This would indeed appear more logical than the passage 
above, rendered after the edition of Wu yin tie*, which, however, must be regarded 
as more authoritative. Not only in this extract, but also in several others, does the 
Pen is'ao kan mu exhibit many discrepancies from the Wu yin Hen edition; this 
subject should merit closer study. In the present case there is only one other point 
worthy of special mention; and this is, that Li Si-cen, in his section of nomenclature, 
gives the synonyme $ Jft fan Uao ("foreign jujube") with reference to the Lin 
piao lu i. This term, however, does not occur in the text of this work as trans- 
mitted by him, or in the Wu yin Hen edition. The latter has added a saying of the 
Emp eror Wen j£ of the Wei dynasty, which has nothing to do with the date, and 
in which is found the phrase JL Jft fan Uao ("all jujubes"). In other editions, /a« 
("foreign ") was perhaps substituted for this/an, so that the existence of the 
synonyme established by Li and adopted by Bretschneider appears to be very 

* See below, p. 478. 

* It is singular that Bretschneider, who has given a rather uncritical digest of 
the subject from the Pen ts'ao, does not at all mention this transplantation of the 
tree. To my mind, this is the most interesting point to be noted. Whether date* 
palms are still grown in Kwan*tun, I am not prepared to say; but, as foreign authors 
do not mention the fact, I almost doubt it. 

4 Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 303. 

* Pern Is*** kan a% Ch. 31, p. 8. 

388 SinoIranica 

a number of heterogeneous texts. Bretschneider 1 has accepted all this 
in good faith and without criticism. It is hardly necessary to be a 
botanist in order to see that the texts of the Nan fan is'ao mu Swan 
and Co ken lu, alleged to refer to the date, bear no relation to this tree.* 
The hat tsao M Jft described in the former work 8 may very well refer 
to Cycas revoluta* The text of the other book, which Bretschneider does 
not quote by its title, and erroneously characterizes as "a writer of the 
Ming," speaks of six "gold fruit" (kin kwo 4fcift) trees growing in 
C'en-tu, capital of Se-£*wan, and, according to an oral tradition, planted 
at the time of the Han. Then follows a description of the tree, the 
foreign name of which is given as k % u-lu-ma (see above), and which, 
according to Bretschneider, suits the date-palm quite well. It is hardly 
credible, however, that this tree could ever thrive in the climate of 
Se-Cwan, and Bretschneider himself admits that the fruit of Salisburia 
adiantifolia now bears also the name kin kwo. Thus, despite the fact 
that the Persian name for the date is added, the passage of the Co ken 
lu is open to the suspicion of some misunderstanding. 

Not only did the Chinese know that the date is a product of Persia, 
but they knew also that it was utilized as food by certain tribes of the 

1 Chinese Recorder, 1871', pp. 265-267. 

* Bretschneider, it should be understood, was personally acquainted with only 
the flora of Peking and its environment; for the rest, his familiarity with Chinese 
plants was mere book-knowledge, and botany as a science was almost foreign to 
him. Research in the history of cultivated plants was in its very beginning in 
his days; and his methods relating to such subjects were not very profound, and were 
rather crude. 

* Ch. b, p. 4. Also Wu K'i-tsun, author of the Ci wu m«* H ('« h*ao (Ol 17, 
p. 21), has identified the term wu4ou-tse with hai tsao. 

4 Stuart, Chinese Materia Medica, p. 140; but Stuart falls into the other ex- 
treme by identifying with this species also the terms Po-se tsao, ts'ien nien tsao, 
etc, which without any doubt relate to the date. In Bretschneider's translation 
of the above text there is a curious misunderstanding. We read there, "In the year 
285 a.d. Lin-yi offered to the Emperor Wu-ti a hundred trees of the hai tsao. The 
prince Li-sha told the Emperor that in his travels by sea he saw fruits of this tree, 
which were, without exaggeration, as large as a melon." The text reads, "In the 
fifth year of the period T'ai-k'an (a.d. 284), Lin-yi presented to the Court a hundred 
trees. Li Sao-kun 2|£ 'P 5f§ (the well-known magician) said to the Emperor Wu 
of the Han, 'During my sea-voyages I met Nan-k4 Sen 56? JB *ti (the magician of 
the Blest Islands), who ate jujubes of the size of a gourd, which is by no means an 
exaggeration/ " The two events are not interrelated; the second refers to the second 
century B.C. Neither, however, has anything to do with the date. The working of 
Chinese logic is visibly manifest: the sea-travels of Li Sao-kun are combined with 
his fabulous jujube into the sea- jujube (hai tsao), and this imaginary product is 
associated with a real tree of that name. Li Si-£en's example shows at what fancies 
the Chinese finally arrive through their wrong associations of ideas; and Bret- 
schneider's example finally demonstrates that any Chinese data must first betaken 
under our microscope before being accepted by science. 

The Date-Palm 389 

East-African coast. The early texts relating to Ta Ts*in do not mention 
the palm; but at the end of the article Fu-lin (Syria), the T*an hi speaks 
of two countries. Ml IB Mo-lin (*Mwa-lin, Mwa-rin) and 5k $6 fll 
Loo-p'o-sa (*Lav-bwi6-sar), as being situated 2000 li south-west of 
Fu-lin, and sheltering a dark-complexioned population. The land is 
barren, the people feed their horses on dried fish, and they themselves 
subsist on dates. 1 Bretschneider' was quite right in seeking this 
locality in Africa, but it is impossible to accept his suggestion that 
"perhaps the Chinese names Mo-lin and Lao-p'o-sa are intended to 
express the country of the Moors (Mauritania) or Lybia." Hirth* 
did not discuss this weak theory, and, while locating the countries 
in question along the west coast of the Red Sea, did not attempt to 
identify the transcriptions. According to Ma Twan-lin, the country 
Mo-lin is situated south-west of the country Jfe fll A Yaft-sa-lo, which 
Hirth tentatively equated with Jerusalem. This is out of the question, 
as YaA-sa-lo answers to an ancient AA-saJ(sar)-la(ra). 4 Moreover, it 
is on record in the Tai pHn kwan yil ki l that Mo-lin is south-west of 
fb fll S P'o-sa-lo (*Bwiff-saS-la), so that this name is clearly identical 
with that of Ma Twan-lin and the transcription of the T'ang Annals. 
In my opinion, the transcription *Mwa-lin is intended for the Malindi 
of Edrlsl or Mulanda of YflqQt, now Malindi, south of the Equator, in 
Seyidieh Province of British Bast Africa. Edrlsl describes this place 
as a large city, the inhabitants of which live by hunting and fishing. 
They salt sea-fish for trade, and also exploit iron-mines, iron being the 
source of their wealth. 6 If this identification be correct, the geographical 
definition of the T'ang Annals (2000 li south-west of Pu-lin) is, of course, 
deficient; but we must not lose sight of the fact that these data rest 
on a hearsay report hailing from Fu-lin, and that, generally speaking, 
Chinese calculations of distances on sea-routes are not to be taken too 
seriously. 7 Under the Ming, the same country appears as Ml # Ma-lin, 
the long of which sent an embassy to China in 1415 with a gift of 

1 In the transcription ku-moA t as given above, followed by the explanation that 
this is the " Persian jujube." The date is not a native of eastern Africa, nor does it 
thrive in the tropics, but it was doubtless introduced there by the Arabs (cf . P. 
Stokmck, Jfttf. Sem. Or. Spr., 1914, II, p. 156; A. Emgler, Nutspflanzen Oat- 
Afrikas, p. ia). 

' Knowledge p o ssess ed by the Chinese of the Arabs, p. 25. 

• China and the Roman Orient, p. 204. 

• If Mo-lin was on the littoral of the Red Sea, it would certainly be an absurdity 
to define its location as south-west of Jersualem* 

• Ch. 184, p. 3. 

• Dorr and db Gobjs, Bdrut's description de t'Afrique, p. 56 (Leiden, 1866). 
1 Cf. C hin es e Clay Figures, pp. 80-81, note. 

39<> Sino-Iranica 

giraffes. 1 It likewise appears in the list of countries visited by Geh Ho, x 
where Ma-lin and La-sa M Jtt are named, the latter apparently being 
identical with the older I*ao-p'o-sa. s 

The Chinese knew, further, that the date thrives in the country of 
the Arabs (Ta-&), 4 further, in Oman, Basra, and on the Coromandel 
Coast. 5 It is pointed out, further, for Aden and Onnuz. 6 

There is no doubt that the date-palm has existed in southern Persia 
from ancient times, chiefly on the littoral of the Persian Gulf and in 
Mekran, Baluchistan. It is mentioned in several passages of the 
BQndahiSn. 7 Its great antiquity in Babylonia also is uncontested 
(Assyrian gtfimmaru).* Strabo 9 reports how Alexander's army was 
greatly distressed on its march through the barren Gedrosian desert. 
The supplies had to come from a distance, and were scanty and un- 
frequent, so much so that the army suffered greatly from hunger, the 
beasts of burden dropped, and the baggage was abandoned. The army 
was saved by the consumption of dates and the maxrow of the palm* 
tree. 10 Again he tells us that many persons were suffocated by eating 
unripe dates. 11 Philostratus speaks of a eunuch who received Apollonius 
of Tyana when he entered the Parthian kingdom, and offered him 
dates of amber color and of exceptional size. 11 In the Province of Pars, 
the date-palm is conspicuous almost everywhere. 11 In Babylon, Persian 
and Aramaic date-palms were distinguished, the former being held in 
greater esteem, as their meat perfectly detaches itself from the stone, 
while it partially adheres in the Aramaic date. 14 The same distinction 

• Ta Mi* i Vuh ti, Ch. 90, p. 24. 

• Mi* H, Ch. 304. 

• It is not Ma*lin-la-sa, the name of a single country, as made out by Grobne- 
veldt (Notes on the Malay Archipelago, p. 170). 

4 Tai p*i* kwan yU ki, Ch. 186, p. 15 b. 

• Hirth, Chau Ju-kua, pp. 133, 137, 96. 

• Rockhill, Tounz Pao t 1915, p. 609. The word to-$a-pu, not explained by 
him, represents Arabic daidb (" date-wine"; see Lbclerc, Traite* des simples, 
VoL II, p. 49). N0LDEKB (Persische Studien, II, p. 42) explains this word from 
<ttl ("honey") and Persian db ("water"). 

7 Above, p. 193. 

•Herodotus, 1, 193; E. Bonavia, Flora of the Assyrian Monuments, p. 3; 
Handcock, Mesopotamian Archaeology, pp. 12-13. 

•xv, 2, §7. 

10 Cf. Theophrastus, Histor. plant., IV. rv, 13. 

u Ibid., IV. nr, 5; and Pliny, xm, 9. 

12 C. Joret, Plantes dans l'antiquit6, Vol. II, p. 93. 

u G. Lb Strange, Description of the Province of Fars, pp. 31, 33, 35, 39, 40, 

u I. Lobw, Aramaeische Pflanzennamen, p. 112. 

The Date-Palm 391 

was made in the Sasanian empire: in the tax laws of Khosrau I (a.d. 
531-578), four Persian date-palms were valued and taxed equally with 
six common ones. 1 As already remarked, the Wei and Sui Annals 
attribute the date to Sasanian Persia, and the date is mentioned in 
Pahlavi literature (above, p. 193). At present dates thrive in the low 
plains of Kerman and of the littoral of the Persian Gulf; but the crops 
are insufficient, so that a considerable importation from Bagdad takes 
place. 1 

A. de Candolle* asserts, "No Sanskrit name is known, whence it 
may be inferred that the plantations of the date-palm in western India 
are not very ancient. The Indian climate does not suit the species." 
There is the Sanskrit name kharjura for Phoenix sylvestris, that already 
occurs in the Yajurveda. 4 This is the wild date or date-sugar palm, 
which is indigenous in many parts of India, being most abundant in 
Bengal, Bihar, on the Coromandel Coast, and in Gujarat. The edible 
date (P. daciylifera) is cultivated and self-sown in Sind and the southern 
Panj&b, particularly near Multan, Muzaffargarh, the Sind Sagar Doab, 
and in the Trans-Indus territory. It is also grown in the Deccan and 
Gujarat.* Its Hindi name is khajura, Hindustani khajur, from Sanskrit 
kharjura. It is also called sindhi, seindi, sendri, which names allude to 
its origin from Sind. Possibly Sanskrit kharjura and Iranian khurma(n) , 
at least as far as the first element is concerned, are anciently related. 

1 Noldrke, Tabari, p. 245. 

• Schummek, Tenninologie, p. 175. 

1 Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 303. 

• Macdonbix and Keith, Vedic Index, Vol I, p. 215. 

• G. Watt, Commercial Products of India, pp. 883, 885. 


36. In regard to the spinach (Spinacia oleracea), Bretschneider 1 
stated that "it is said to come from Persia. The botanists consider 
western Asia as the native country of spinach, and derive the names 
Spinacia, spinage, spina* f ipinards, from the spinous seeds; but as the 
Persian name is esfinadsh, our various names would seem more likely 
to be of Persian origin." The problem is not quite so simple, however. 
It is not stated straightforwardly in any Chinese source that the spinach 
comes from Persia; and the name " Persian vegetable" (Po-se te'ai) is 
of recent origin, being first traceable in the Pen ts'ao kan mu, where 
Li Si-£en himself ascribes it to a certain Fan Si-yin j{? ± R. 

Strangely enough, we get also in this case a taste of the Can-KSen 
myth. At least, H. L. Joly* asserts, "The Chinese and Japanese Reposi- 
tory says that Chang K'ien brought to China the spinach." The only 
Chinese work in which I am able to find this tradition is the T'un H 
3§ j&,' written by Cen Tsiao IK H of the Sung dynasty, who states in 
cold blood that Can K'ien brought spinach over. Not even the Pen 
ts'ao kan mu dares repeat this fantasy. It is plainly devoid of any 
value, in view of the fact that spinach was unknown in the west as 
far back as the second century B.C. Indeed, it was unfamiliar to the 
Semites and to the ancients. It is a cultivation that comes to light 
only in mediaeval times. 

In perfect agreement with this state of affairs, spinach is not men- 
tioned in China earlier than the T'ang period. As regards the literature 
on agriculture, the vegetable makes its first appearance in the Cun §u 
!uUm* f written toward the end of the eighth century/ Here it is 
stated that the spinach, po-lin % 2£ 1$ (*pwa-lih), came from the country 
Po-lin i|H (*Pwa-lia, Paliiiga). 

The first Pen ts'ao that speaks of the spinach is the Cen lei pen ts'ao 
written by T'an Sen-wei in a.d. 1108.* This Materia Medica describes 
altogether 1746 articles, compared with n 18 which are treated in the 
Kia yu putu pen ts % ao (published in the period Kia-yu, a.d. 1056-64), 
so that 628 new ones were added. These are expressly so designated in 

1 Chinese Recorder, 1871, p. 223. 

* Legend in Japanese Art, p. 35. 

* Ch. 75, p. 32 b. 

4 Bretschnbidee, Bot. Sin., pt. 1, p. 79, 

* Ch. 29, p. 14 b (print of 1587). 


The Spinach 393 

the table of contents preceding each chapter, and spinach ranks among 
these novelties. Judging from the description here given, it must have 
been a favorite vegetable in the Sung period. It is said to be particularly 
beneficial to the people in the north of China, who feed on meat and 
flour (chiefly in the form of vermicelli), while the southerners, who 
subsist on fish and turtles, cannot eat much of it, because their water 
food makes them cold, and spinach brings about the same effect. 1 
The Kia yU (or hwa) lu$K (or S) » by Liu Yu-si 9\M& (a.d. 
772-842) is cited to the effect that "po-lih $£ || was originally in the 
western countries, and that its seeds came thence to China* in the 
same manner as alfalfa and grapes were brought over by Can K*ien. 
Originally it was the country of Po-lin JS £fe, and an error arose in the 
course of the transmission of the word, which is not known to many at 
this time.' 9 

The first and only historical reference to the matter that we have 
occurs in the T % an hui yao? where it is on record, "At the time of the 
Emperor Tai Tsun (a.d. 627-649), in the twenty-first year of the period 
Cefi-kwan (a.d. 647), Ni-p'o-lo (Nepal) sent to the Court the vegetable 
po-lin itt $£, resembling the flower of the hun-lan ££ £ (Carihamus 
tinctorius), the fruit being like that of the tsi-li 31 ££ (Tribulus \er- 
restris). Well cooked, it makes good eating, and is savory." 4 

This text represents not only the earliest datable mention of the 
vegetable in Chinese records, but in general the earliest reference to it 
that we thus far possess. This document shows that the plant then was 
a novelty not only to the Chinese, but presumably also to the people 
of Nepal; otherwise they would not have thought it worthy of being 
sent as a gift to China, which was made in response to a request of the 

1 John Gbrasdb (The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes, p. 260, London, 
1597) remarks, "Spinach is evidently colde and moist, almost in the second degree, 
but rather moist. It is one of the potherbes whose substance is waterie." 

* According to another reading, a Buddhist monk (set) is said to have brought 
the seeds over, which sounds rather plausible. G. A. Stuart remarks that the herb 
is extensively used by the monks in their lenten fare. 

* Ch. 200, p. 14 b (also Ch. 100, p. 3 b). Cf. Ts'efu yOan kwei, Ch. 970, p. 12, 
and Pei hu lu, Ch. 2, p. 19 b (ed. of Lu Sin-yuan). 

* The Tai p x in yU Ian (Ch. 980, p. 7) attributes this text to the Tang Annals. 
It is not extant, however, in the account of Nepal inserted in the two Tan lu, nor 
in the notice of Nepal in the Tan hui yao. Pen ts % ao hah mu, Tu iu tsi Veh, and 
Ci vm min it Vu h*ao (Ch. 5, p. 37) correctly cite the above text from the Van hui 
yao, with the only variant that the leaves of the poAin resemble those of the hun- 
lan. The Fun H wen kien hi (Ch. 7, p. 1 b) by Fun Yen of the ninth century 
(above, p. 232), referring to the same introduction, offers a singular name for the 
spinach in the form Jfc Jl fR f( po4o-pa-tsao t *pa-la-bat-tsaw, or, if tsao, denot- 
ing several aquatic plants, does not form part of the transcription, *pa-la-bat(bar). 

394 SlNO-IfcANICA 

Emperor Tai Tsufi that all tributary nations should present their 
choicest vegetable products. Yuan Wen jfc 3fiC, an author of the Sung 
period, in his work Wehyukien pHn SJPI BB IP, 1 states that the spinach 
(po-lin) comes frotti (or is produced in) the country Ni-p'o-lo (Nepal) 
in the Western Regions. 9 The Kia yu pen ts'ao, compiled in a.d. 1057, 
is the first Materia Medica that introduced the spinach into the pharma- 

The colloquial name is po ts'ai $& 3$ ("po vegetable"), po being 
abbreviated for po-lin. According to Wan Si-mou 3: ft Jft (who died 
in 1591)1 in his Kwa su su H WL £K, the current name in northern China 
is Fi ken U % ai # JR % ("red-root vegetable"). The Kwan k'Unfan p*u 
uses also the term yin-wu ts'ai ("parrot vegetable"), named for the 
root y which is red, and believed to resemble a parrot. Aside from the 
term Pose ts % ai, the Pen ts'ao kan mu Si i A gives the synonymes hun 
ts'ai itt2R ("red vegetable") and yan fl£ ts'ai ("foreign vegetable"). 
Another designation is $an-hu is % ai ("coral vegetable"). 

A rather bad joke is perpetrated by the Min hi Kit, a description 
of Pu-kien Province written at the end of the sixteenth or beginning of 
the seventeenth century, where the name po-lin is explained as 2fc tit 
po leh ("waves and edges"), because the leaves are shaped like wave- 
patterns and have edges. There is nothing, of course, that the Chinese 
could not etymologize. 5 

There is no account in the traditions of the T'ang and Sung periods 
to the effect that the spinach was derived from Persia; and in view of 
the recent origin of the term "Persian vegetable," which is not even 
explained, we are tempted at the outset to dismiss the theory of 
a Persian origin. Stuart 6 even goes so far as to say that, "as the Chinese 
have a tendency to attribute everything that comes from the south- 
west to Persia, we are not surprised to find this called Po-se ts'ao, 'Per- 

1 Ch. 4, p. II b (ed. oiWuyHi tien, 1775)- 

'tt?£Ul!i#ffi!i£&H- This could be translated also, "in the 
Western Regions and in the country Ni-p'o-lo." 

* Ci wu mi* H Vu Vao, Ch. 4, p. 38 b. 

4 Ch. 8, p. 87 b. 

•Of greater interest is the following fact recorded in the same book. The 
spinach in the north of China is styled "bamboo (lu if) po4in," with long and 
bitter stems; that of Pu-kien is termed "stone (If 5) po4in" and has short and 
sweet stems. — The Min l«, in 154 chapters, was written by Ho KHao-yuan fjf $ 
JJt from Tsin-kian in Fu-kien; he obtained the degree of tsin H in 1586 (cf. Cat. of 
the Imperial Library, Ch. 74, p. 19). 

• Chinese Materia Medica, p. 417. 

The Spinach 395 

sian vegetable. 1 " l There is, however, another side to the case. In all 
probability, as shown by A. de Candolle,* it was Persia where the 
spinach was first raised as a vegetable; but the date given by him, 
"from the time of the Graeco-Roman civilization/' is far too early. 8 
A. deCandolle's statement that the Arabs did not carry the plant to Spain 
has already been rectified by L. Leclerc; 4 as his work is usually not in 
the hands of botanists or other students using de Candolle, this may 
aptly be pointed out here. 

According to a treatise on agriculture (Kitdb el-fcdaha) written by 
Ibn al-Aww&m of Spain toward the end of the eleventh century, spinach 
was cultivated in Spain at that time. 6 Ibn Haddjaj had then even 
written a special treatise on the cultivation of the vegetable, saying that 
it was sown at Sevilla in January. From Spain it spread to the rest of 
Europe. Additional evidence is afforded by the very name of the 
plant, which is of Persian origin, and was carried by the Arabs to Europe. 
The Persian designation is aspanah, aspanaj or as find j; Arabic isfenah 
or isbenah. Hence Mediaeval Latin spinachium or spinariumf Spanish 

1 The outcry of Waiters (Essays on the Chinese Language, p. 347) against the 
looseness of the term Pose, and his denunciation of the "Persian vegetable" as "an 
example of the loose way in which the word is used," are entirely out of place. It 
is utterly incorrect to say that " they have made it include, beside Persia itself, Syria, 
Turkey, and the Roman Empire, and sometimes they seem to use it as a sort of 
general designation for the abode of any barbarian people to the south-west of 
the Middle Kingdom." Po-se is a good transcription of Pflxsa, the native designa- 
tion of Persia, and strictly refers to Persia and to nought else. When F. P. Smith applied 
the name po~ts % ai to Convolvulus rcptans, this was one of the numerous confusions 
and errors to which he fell victim. Likewise is it untrue, as asserted by Watters, 
that the term has been applied even to beet and carrot and other vegetables not 
indigenous in Persia. As on so many other points, Watters was badly informed on 
this subject also. 

* Origin of Cultivated Plants, pp. 98-100. 

* This conclusion, again, is the immediate outcome of Bretschneider's Chang- 
kienomania: for A. de Candolle says, "Bretschneider tells us that the Chinese 
name signifies 'herb of Persia,' and that Western vegetables were commonly intro- 
duced into China a century before the Christian era." 

4 Traite* des simples, Vol. I, p. 61. 

* L. Leclerc, Histoire de la mldecine arabe, VoL II, p. 112. The Arabic work 
has been translated into French by Clement-Mullet under the title Ibn al Awwam, 
le livre de ragriculture {2 vols., Paris, 1864-67). De Candolle's erroneous theory 
that "the European cultivation must have come from the East about the fifteenth 
century/' unfortunately still holds sway, and is perpetuated, for instance, in the 
last edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. 

* The earliest occurrence of this term quoted by Du Camgb refers to the year 
1351, and is contained in the Transactio inter Abbatem et Monachos Crassenses. 
Spinach served the Christian monks of Europe as well as the Buddhists of China. 
O. Schrader (Reallexikon, p. 788) asserts that the vegetable is first mentioned by 
Albertus Magnus (1193-1280) under the name spinachium, but he fails to give a 

396 SinoIranica 

espinaca, Portuguese espinafre or espinacio, Italian spinace or spinaceio, 
Provencal espinarc, Old French espinoche or ipinoche, French tpinard. 1 
The Persian word was further adopted into Armenian spanax or 
asbanax, Turkish spandk or ispandk, Comanian yspanac, Middle 
Greek spinakion, Neo-Greek spanaki(on) or spanakia (plural). 
There are various spellings in older English, like spynnage, 
spenege, spinnage, spinage, etc. In English literature it is not men- 
tioned earlier than the sixteenth century. W. Turner, in his 
"Herball" of 1568, speaks of "spinage or spinech as an herbe lately 
found and not long in use." 

However, in the latter part of the sixteenth century, spinach was 
well known and generally eaten in England. D. Rembert Dodoens* 
describes it as a perfectly known subject, and so does John Gerarde,* 
who does not even intimate that it came but recently into use. The 
names employed by them are Spanachea, Spinachia, Spinacheum olus, 
Hispanicum olus, English spinage and spinach. John Parkinson 4 
likewise gives a full description and recipes for the preparation of the 

The earliest Persian mention of the spinach, as far as I know, is 
made in the pharmacopoeia of Abu Mansur. 5 The oldest source cited 
by Ibn al-Bait&r (1 1 9 7-1 248) 6 on the subject is the "Book of Nabathaean 
Agriculture" (Faldha nabafiya), which pretends to be the Arabic trans- 
lation of an ancient Nabathaean source, and is believed to be a forgery 
of the tenth century. This book speaks of the spinach as a known 
vegetable and as the most harmless of all vegetables; but the most 
interesting remark is that there is a wild species resembling the culti- 
vated one, save that it is more slender and thinner, that the leaves are 

specific reference. It is a gratuitous theory of his that the spinach must have been 
brought to Europe by the Crusaders; the Arabic importation into Spain has escaped 
him entirely. 

1 The former derivation of the word from "Spain" or from spina ("thorn"), in 
allusion to the prickly seeds, moves on the same high level as the performance of the 
Min to. Iittre* cites Menagier of the sixteenth century to the effect, " Les espinara 
sont ainsi appelles a cause de leur graine qui est espineuse, bien qu'il y en ait de ronde 
sans piqueron." In the Supplement, Littie* points out the oriental origin of the word, 
as established by Devic 

1 A Niewe Herball, or Historie of Plants, translated by H. Lttb, p. 556 (Lon- 
don, 1578). 

1 The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes, p. 260 (London, 1597). 

* Paradisus in sole paradisus terrestris, p. 496 (London, 1629). 

1 ACHUNDOW, Abu Mansur, p. 6. 

6 L. Lbclekc, Trait6 des simples, Vol. I, p. 60. 

The Spinach 397 

more deeply divided, and that it rises less from the ground. 1 A. de 
Candolle states that "spinach has not yet been found in a wild state, 
unless it be a cultivated modification of Spinacia tetandra Steven, which 
is wild to the south of the Caucasus, in Turkistan, in Persia, and in 
Afghanistan, and which is used as a vegetable under the name of 
Samum" The latter word is apparently a bad spelling or misreading 
for Persian iondn or Sumin (Armenian zomin and Somin), another 
designation for the spinach. 

The spinach is not known in India except as an introduction by the 
English. The agriculturists of India classify spinach among the English 
vegetables.' The species Spinacia teirandra Roxb., for which Rox- 
burgh 8 gives the common Persian and Arabic name for the spinach, 
and of which he says that it is much cultivated in Bengal and the 
adjoining provinces, being a pot-herb held in considerable estimation 
by the natives, may possibly have been introduced by the Moham- 
medans. As a matter of fact, spinach is a vegetable of the temperate 
zones and alien to tropical regions. A genuine Sanskrit word for the 
spinach is unknown. 4 Nevertheless Chinese po4ih f *pwa-li6, must 
represent the transcription of some Indian vernacular name. In Hin- 
dustani we have palak as designation for the spinach, and palan or 
palate as name for Beta vulgaris, PuStu palak,* apparently developed 
from Sanskrit pdlanka, pMankya, palakyH, polakyd, to which our 
dictionaries attribute the meaning "a land of vegetable, a land of 
beet-root, Beta bengaleHsis"; in Bengali palunf To render the coin- 
cidence with the Chinese form complete, there is also Sanskrit Pfilakka 

1 Perhaps related to AtripUx L., the so-called wild spinach, chiefly cultivated 
in Prance and eaten like spinach. The above description, of course, must 
not be construed to mean that the cultivated spinach is derived from the 
so-called wild spinach of the Nabathssans. The two plants may not be in- 
terrelated at alL 

• N. G. Munaji, Handbook of Indian Agriculture, ad ed., p. 300 (Calcutta, 
1907); but it is incorrect to state that spinach originally came from northern Asia. 
A. db Cakdoixb {op. cvf., p. 99) has already observed, "Some popular works repeat 
that spinach is a native of northern Asia, but there is nothing to confirm this sup- 


•Flora Indies, p. 718. 

« A. BoaooAH, in his English-Sanskrit Dictionary, gives a word f&kaprabheda 
with this meaning, but this simply signifies "a kind of vegetable," and ia accord- 
ingly an explanation. 

• H. W. Buxxw, Report on the Yusufsais, p. 355 (Lahore, 1864). 

• Beta is much cultivated by the natives of Bengal, the leaves being consumed 
in stews (W. Roxbuegb, Flora Indica, p. 360). Another species, Beta mcriHma, is 
also known as "wild spinach." It should be remembered that the genus Beta belongs 

^the same familv (CheMo6odiaceae) as S6i*acia. 

398 SinoIranica 

or Palaka 1 as the name of a country, which has evidently resulted in 
the assertion of Buddhist monks that the spinach must come from a 
country Palinga. The Nepalese, accordingly, applied a word relative 
to a native plant to the newly-introduced spinach, and, together with 
the product, handed this word on to China. The Tibetans never became 
acquainted with the plant; the word spo ts*od, given in the Polyglot 
Dictionary, 2 is artificially modelled after the Chinese term, spo (pro- 
nounced po) transcribing Chinese po, and ts'od meaning "vegetable." 
Due regard being paid to all facts botanical and historical, we are 
compelled to admit that the spinach was introduced into Nepal from 
some Iranian region, and thence transmitted to China in a.d. 647. 
It must further be admitted that the Chinese designation "Persian 
vegetable," despite its comparatively recent date, cannot be wholly 
fictitious, but has some foundation in fact. Either in the Yuan or in 
the Ming period (more probably in the former) the Chinese seem to 
have learned the fact that Persia is the land of the spinach. I trust that 
a text to this effect will be discovered in the future. All available his- 
torical data point to the conclusion that the Persian cultivation can 
be but of comparatively recent origin, and is not older than the sixth 
century or so. The Chinese notice referring it to the seventh century 
is the oldest in existence. Then follow the Nabathaean Book of Agri- 
culture of the tenth century and the Arabic introduction into Spain 
during the eleventh. 

1 The latter form is noted in the catalogue of the MahAmttyttrl, edited by S. 
L£vi {Journal asiatigue, 1915, 1, p. 42). 

• Ch. 27, p. 19 b. 


37. In the preceding notes we observed that the name for a species 
of Beta was transferred to the spinach in India and still serves in China 
as designation for this vegetable. We have also a Sino-Iranian name 
for a Beta, % M, kUn-t*a, *gwun-d'ar, which belonged to the choice 
vegetables of the country "M Jtk Mo-lu, *Mar-luk, in Arabia. 1 The 
Cen su wen ffttS-jfC 1 says that it is now erroneously called ken ta ts'ai 
tt ^C 3S or ta ken ts*ai, which is identical with tien ts'ai SB & ("sweet 
vegetable ")- Stuart 3 gives the latter name together with 3ff SI kUn-t*a, 
identifying it with Beta vulgaris, the white sugar beet, which he says 
grows in China. Stuart, however, is mistaken in saying that this plant 
is not mentioned in the Pen ts % ao. It is noted both in the Cen lei pen 
ts*ao A and the Pen ts'ao kan mu,* the latter giving also the term kiln-Va, 
which is lacking in the former work. Li §i-&n observes with reference 
to this term that its meaning is unexplained, a comment which usually 
betrays the foreign character of the word, but he fails to state the 
source from which he derived it. There is no doubt that this kiin-Va 
is merely a graphic variant of the above % j£* Th e writing 3ff is as 
early as the T'ang period, and occurs in the Yu yah tsa tsu* where the 
leaves of the yu Hen ts'ao Hh tt V ("herb with oily spots") are com- 
pared to those of the kiln-Va. 1 A description of the kiin-Va is not con- 
tained in that work, but from this incidental reference it must be 
inferred that the plant was well known in the latter half of the ninth 

Beta vulgaris is called in New Persian Zugundur or tegonder, and 
is mentioned by Abu Mansur.* The corresponding Arabic word is 
silk* The Chinese transcription made in the T'ang period is apparently 
based on a Middle-Persian form of the type *gundar or *gundur. Beta 
vulgaris is a Mediterranean and West-Asiatic plant grown as far as the 

1 Tai ft* kwam yAki f Cb. 186, p. 16 b. 

• Ch. ia, p. 3. This work was published in 1884 by Ho Yi-hiA ft tt ff- 
1 C hine s e Materia Medica, p. 68. 

4 Ch. a8, p. 9. 

• Ch. 37, p. 1 b. Gf. also Yomato kon»S $ Ch. 5, p. 26. 

• Ch. 9, p. 9 b. 

1 "On each leaf there are black spots opposite one another." 

1 A muHD OW, Abu Mansur, p. 81. 

9, Traite* des simples, Vol. II, p. 374. 


4oo Sino-Iranica 

Caspian Sea and Persia. According to de Candolle, 1 its cultivation 
does not date from more than three or four centuries before our era* 
The Egyptian illustration brought forward by F. Woenig* in favor of 
the assumption of an early cultivation in Egypt is not convincing to 

It is therefore probable, although we have no record referring to the 
introduction, that Beta vulgaris was introduced into China in the Tang 
period, perhaps by the Arabs, who themselves brought many Persian 
words and products to China. For this reason Chinese records some- 
times credit Persian words to the Ta-& (Arabs); for instance, the 
numbers on dice, which go as Ta-Si, but in fact are Persian.* 

The real Chinese name of the plant is tien ts*ai il &, the first 
character being explained in sound and meaning by St tien ("sweet"). 
Li Si-Sen identifies tien ts'ai with kiin-Va. The earliest description 
of tien ts'ai comes from Su Kufi of the Tang, who compares its leaves to 
those of Sen ma Jt Jtt (Actea spicata, a ranunculaceous plant), adding 
that the southerners steam the sprouts and eat them, the dish being very 
fragrant and fine. 4 It is not stated, however, that tien ts'ai is an im- 
ported article. 

38. Reference was made above to the memorable text of the Tan 
hut yao, in which are enumerated the vegetable products of foreign 
countries sent to the Emperor T'ai Tsun of the T'ang dynasty at his 
special request in a.d. 647. After mentioning the spinach of Nepal, 
the text continues thus: — 

11 Further, there was the ts'o ts*oi fi£3R ('wine vegetable') with 
broad and long leaves. 6 It has a taste like a good wine and k'u ts'ai 
iSf 3R ('bitter vegetable,' lettuce, Lactuca), and in its appearance is like 
kU g, 6 but its leaves are longer and broader. Although it is somewhat 
bitter of taste, eating it for a long time is beneficial. Hu k'in #1 7f 

1 Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 59; see also his Geographic botanique, p. 831 

* Pflanzen im alten Aegypten, p. 218. 

* See Toung Pao, VoL I, 1890, p. 95. 

4 A tien ts'ai mentioned by T'ao Hun-kin, as quoted in the Pen ts'ao hah m«, 
and made into a condiment la lj£ for cooking-purposes, is apparently a different 

• The corresponding text of the 7V* fu yOan kwei (Ch. 970, p. 12) has the 
addition, "resembling the leaves of the Scn-kwo flfc jR(." The text of the Pei km 
lu (Ch. 2, p. 19 b) has, "resembling in its appearance the Sen-hwo, but with leaves 
broader and longer/' This tree, also called kin Men $ 3£ (see Yu yan tsa tsu, 
Ch. 19, p. 6), is believed to protect houses from fire; it is identified with Sedum erythro* 
stictum or Sempervivum teetotum (Bkbtschnbidbr, Bot. Sin., pt. Ill, No. 205; 
Stuart, Chinese Materia Medica, p. 401). 

• A general term for plants like Lactuca, Cichorium, Sonchus. 

Suga* Beet and Lettuce 401 

resembles in its appearance the k'in ff ( ( celery/ Apium graveolens), 
and has a fragrant flavor." 

Judging from the description, the vegetable ts'o ts'ai appears to have 
been a species of Laciuca, Cichorium, or Sonchus. These genera are 
closely allied, belonging to the family Cichoraceae, and are confounded 
by the Chinese under a large number of terms. A. de Candolle 1 
supposed that lettuce (Laciuca saliva) was hardly known in China at 
an early date, as, according to Loureiro, Europeans had introduced it 
into Macao. 1 With reference to this passage, Bretschneider' thinks 
that de Candolle "may be right, although the Pen ts'ao says nothing 
about the introduction; the Sen ts'ai & £& (the common name of lettuce 
at Peking) or pai-kU 6 f| seems not to be mentioned earlier than by 
writers of the Tang (6x8-906)." Again, de Candolle seized on this 
passage, and embodied it in his "Origin of Cultivated Plants" (p. 96). 
The problem, however, is not so simple. Bretschneider must have 
read the Pen is*ao at that time rather superficially, for some species of 
Laciuca is directly designated there as being of foreign origin. Again, 
twenty-five years later, he wrote a notice on the same subject, 4 in which 
not a word is said about foreign introduction, and from which, on the 
contrary, it would appear that Laciuca, Cichorium, and Sonchus, have 
been indigenous to China from ancient times, as the bitter vegetable 
{k'u U % ai) is already mentioned in the Pen kin and Pie lu. The terms 
pat fctf 6 H and k % u ku 9 J? are supposed to represent Cichorium 
endivia; and wo-kU X §, Laciuca sativa. In explanation of the latter 
name, Li &-&n cites the Mo Wo kui si * * f* JP by P'efi C'efi £?R, 
who wrote in the first half of the eleventh century, as saying that wo 
ts'ai IK ft ("wo vegetable") came from the country A Kwa, and hence 
received its name.* The Ts'in i lu to H ttfc, a work by T'ao Ku N ft 
of the Sung period, says that "envoys from the country Kwa came 
to China, and at the request of the people distributed seedsof a vegetable; 
they were so generously rewarded that it was called is'ien kin ts'ai 
T £ flJ ('vegetable of a thousand gold pieces 9 ); now it is styled uw- 

I Geographie botanique, p. 843. 

* Hits certainly is a weak argument. The evidence, in fact, proves nothing. 
Europeans also introduce their own sugar and many other products of which China 
has a great plenty. 

• Chinese Recorder, 1871, p. 223. 
« Bot. Sin., pC III, No. 257* 

I I do not know how Stuart (p. 229) gets at the definition "in the time of the 
Han dynasty." The same text is also contained in the 5tt po wu H (Ch. 7, p. I b), 
written by Li Si ^E ^ about the middle of the twelfth century. 

402 Sino-Iranica 

kU.' n These are vague and puerile anecdotes, without chronological 
specification. There is no country Kwa, which is merely distilled from 
the character ff, and no such tradition appears in any historical text. 9 
The term wo-kU was well known under the T'ang, being mentioned in 
the Pen ts*ao Si i of C'en Ts'afi-k'i, who distinguishes a white and a 
purple variety, but is silent as to the point of introduction. 3 This 
author, however, as can be shown by numerous instances, had a keen 
sense of foreign plants and products, and never failed to indicate them 
as such. There is no evidence for the supposition that Lactuca was 
introduced into China from abroad. All there is to it amounts to this, 
that, as shown by the above passage of the T*an hui yao, possibly supe- 
rior varieties of the West were introduced. 

In Persia, Lactuca saliva (Persian kahu) occurs both wild and culti- 
vated. 4 Cichoreum is kasm in Persian, hinduba in Arabic and Osmanli.* 

39. The hu k n in, mentioned in the above text of the T*an hut yao, 
possibly represents the garden celery, Apium graveolens (Persian kerefs 
or karafs) (or possibly parsley, Apium petroselinum) of the west. 8 It 
appears to be a different plant from the hu k % in mentioned above (p. 196)* 

Hu k*in is likewise mentioned among the best vegetables of the 
country M H Mo-lu, *Mwat-luk, Mar-luk, in Arabia. 7 

In order to conclude the series of vegetables enumerated in the 
text of the T'an hui yao, the following may be added here. 

In a.d. 647 the king of Gandhara (in north-western India) sent to 
the Chinese Court a vegetable styled fu-Vu W dt £S (" Buddha-land 
vegetable"), each stem possessing five leaves, with red flowers, a yellow 
pith, and purple stamens. 8 

1 1 have looked up the text of the Ts'in i lu, which is reprinted in the Tan Sun 
ts'un 5u and Si yin huan ts'un Su. The passage in question is in Ch. 2, p. 7 b, and 
printed in the same manner as in the Pen ts'ao han mu, save that the country is called 
Kao $, not Kwa ft. It is easy to see that these two characters could be con- 
founded, and that only one of the two can be correct; but Kao does not help us any 
more than Kwa. Either name is fictitious as that of a country. 

* We have had several other examples of alleged names of countries being 
distilled out of botanical names. 

1 K'ou Tsun-Si is likewise; see his Pen Woo yen i (Ch. 19, p. 2). 
4 Schlimmbr, Terminologie, p. 337. 

8 See Achundow, Abu Mansur, p. 146; B. Sbidel, Mechithar, p. 134; Lbglsbc, 
Traite* des simples, Vol. II, p. 28. 

6 Cf. Achundow, Abu Mansur, pp. no, 257. Celery is cultivated only in a few 
gardens of Teheran, but it grows spontaneously and abundantly in the mountains 
of the Bakhtiaris (Schlimmbr, Terminologie, p. 43). 

7 rat p'in kwan yH ki, Ch. 186, p. 16 b. 

* Van hui yao, Ch. 200, p. 4 b; and Tan 1st, Ch. 221 B, p. 7. The name of 
Gandhara is abbreviated into *d'ar, but in the corresponding passage of the Tak 
hui yao (Ch. 100, p. 3 b) and in the Ts*eju yUan kwei (Ch. 970, p. 12) the name is 
written completely {£ $£ Kien-ta, *G'an-d'ar. 


40. In regard to Ricinus communis (family Euphorbiaceae) the 
accounts of the Chinese are strikingly deficient and unsatisfactory. 
There can be no doubt that it is an introduced plant in China, as it 
occurs there only in the cultivated state, and is not mentioned earlier 
than the Tang period (6x8-906) with an allusion to the Hu. 1 Su Kufi 
states in the T^ah pen ts'ao, "The leaves of this plant which is culti- 
vated by man resemble those of the hemp (Cannabis saliva), being very 
large. The seeds look like cattle-ticks (niu pei *¥ ffe). s The stems of 
that kind which at present comes from the Hu* are red and over ten 
feet high. They are of the size of a isao kia ft It (Gleditschia sinensis). 
The kernels are the part used, and they are excellent.' 1 It would seem 
from this report that two kinds of Ricinus are assumed, one presumably 
the white-stemmed variety known prior to Su KuA's time, and the red- 
stemmed variety introduced in his age. Unfortunately we receive no 
information as to the exact date and provenience of the introduction. 

The earliest mention of the plant is made by Herodotus, 4 who 
ascribes it to the Egyptians who live in the marshes and use the oil 
pressed from the seeds for anointing their bodies. He calls the plant 
silliky prion* and gives the Egyptian name as kiki* In Hellas it grows 
spontaneously (oftrojiara eYferai), but the [Egyptians cultivate it along 
the banks of the rivers and by the sides of the lakes, where it produces 
fruit in abundance, which, however, is malodorous. This fruit is 

1 Pen Woo koA mu t Ch. 17 a, p. xi. Bkbtschnsidbr (Chinese Recorder, 1871, 
p. 342) says that it cannot be decided from Chinese books whether Ricinus is in- 
digenous to China or not, and that the plant is not mentioned before the Tang. 
The allusion to the Hu escaped him. 

• Hence the name £ or jfffc Ml P* ma (only in the written language) for the 
plant (Peking colloquial iama 9 "great hemp M ). Tins etymology has already been ad- 
vanced by Su Sun of the Sung and confirmed by Li Si-cen, who explains the insect as 
the "louse of cattle." This interpretation appears to be correct, for it represents a 
counterpart to Latin ricinus, which means a "tick": Nostri earn ritinum vocant a 
similitndifra seminis (Pliny, zv, 7, 1 25). The Chinese may have hit upon this simile 
independently, or, what is even more likely, received it with the plant from the West. 

• This appears to be the foundation for Stuart's statement (Chinese Materia 
Medica, p. 378) that the plant was introduced from "Tartary." 

• The common name was eehrm (Theophrastus, Hist plant., I. x, 1), Latin 

• This word has not yet been traced in the hieroglyphic texts, but in Coptic. 
In the demotic dftti i nmi ti Ricinus is degom (V. Lour, Flore pharaonique, p. 49). 


4<H Sino-Iranica 

gathered, and either pounded and pressed or roasted and boiled, and 
the oily fluid is collected. It is found to be unctuous and not inferior to 
olive-oil for burning in lamps, save that it emits a disagreeable odor. 
Seeds of Ricinus are known from Egyptian tombs, and the plant is still 
cultivated in Egypt. Pliny 1 states that it is not so long ago that the 
plant was introduced into Italy. A. de Candolle* traces its home to 
tropical Africa, and I agree with this view. Moreover, I hold that it was 
transplanted from Egypt to India, although, of course, we have no 
documentary proof to this effect. Ricinus does not belong to the plants 
which were equally known to the Iranians and Indo-Aryans. It is not 
mentioned in the Vedas or in the Laws of Manu.' The first datable 
references to it occur in the Bower Manuscript, where its oil and root 
are pointed out under the names eran4a 9 gandharva, rubugaka, and 
vak$a#a* Other names are ruvu, ruvuka, or ruvuka, citraka, gandharva- 
hastaka, vyaghrapuccha ("tiger's-tail"). The word era$4a has become 
known to the Chinese in the form i-lan # U,« and was adopted into the 
language of KuSa (Tokharian B) in the form hiratuja* From India 
the plant seems to have spread to the Archipelago and Indo-China 
(Malayan, Sunda, and Javanese jarak; Khmer lohon; Annamese du du 
trait, kai-dua, or kai-du-du-tia; Cam tatnnVn, lahaun, lahon)} The 
Miao and the Lo-lo appear to be familiar with the plant: the former 
call it zrwa-fio;' 1 the latter, t % e-tu-ma (that is, "fruit for the poisoning 
of dogs"). 8 

In Iran the cultivation of Ricinus has assumed great importance, 
but no document informs us as to the time of its transplantation. It 
may be admitted, however, that it was well known there prior to our 
era. 9 The Persian name is bedanjir, pandu, punde, or pendu; in Arabic 
it is xarva or xirva. 

1 xv, 7, S 25. 

* Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 422. 

* Jorbt, Plantes dans l'antiquitl, Vol. II, p. 270. 
4 Fan yi miA yi tsi, section 24. 

• S. Levi, Journal asiaiique, 1911, II, p. 123. 

* On the cultivation in Indo-China, see Perrot and Hurribr, Mat. m£d. et 
phannacopee sino-annamites, p. 107. Regarding the Archipelago, see A. de Can* 
dolls, op. cit., p. 422; W. Marsden, History of Sumatra, p. 92; J. Crawfurd, 
History of the Indian Archipelago, Vol. I, p. 382. The plant is reported wild from 
Sumatra and the Philippines, but the common Malayan name jarak hints at an 
historical distribution. 

7 P. M. Savina, Dictionnaire miao-tseu-francais, pp. 205, 235. 

* P. Vial, Dictionnaire francais-lolo, p. 290. Also the Arabs used Ricinus as a 
dog-poison (Leclbrc, Traite* des simples, VoL II, p. 20). 

9 Joret, op. cit.t p. 72. 


41. Iran was the centre from which the almond (Atnygdalus com- 
munis or Prunus omygdalus) spread, on the one hand to Europe, and on 
the other to China, Tibet, and India. As to India, it is cultivated but 
occasionally in Kashmir and the Panjab, where its fruits are mediocre. 
It was doubtless imported there from Iran. The almond yields a gum 
which is still exported from Persia to Bombay, and thence re-exported 
to Europe. 1 The almond grows spontaneously in Afghanistan and 
farther to the north-east in the upper Zarafshan valley, and in the 
Chotkal mountains at an altitude of -1000-1300 m, also in Aderbeidjan, 
Kurdistan, and Mesopotamia. According to Schliicmer, 2 Atnygdalus 
coparia is very general on the high mountains, and its timber yields 
the best charcoal. 3 

The Greeks derived the almond from Asia Minor, and from Greece 
it was apparently introduced into Italy. 4 In the northern part of Media, 
the people subsisted upon the produce of trees, making cakes of apples, 
sliced and dried, and bread of roasted almonds. 6 A certain quantity of 
dried sweet almonds was to be furnished daily for the table of the 
Persian kings. 6 The fruit is mentioned in Pahlavi literature (above, 

p. 193)- 

The Yin yai Sen Ian mentions almonds among the fruit grown in 

Aden. 7 The Arabic name is lewze or lauz. Under this name the medicinal 

properties of the fruit are discussed in the Persian pharmacopoeia of 

Abu Mansur, who knew both the sweet almond (baddm-i Htin) and the 

bitter one (baddm-i tdlx).* It is curious that bitter almonds were used 

as currency in the empire of the Moguls. They were brought into the 

1 G. Watt, Commercial Products of India, p. 905; and Dictionary, Vol. VI, 
p. 343. Jorbt, Plantes dans l'antiquite\ Vol. II, p. 279. W. Roxburgh (Flora 
Indica, p. 403) concluded that the almond is a native of Persia and Arabia, whereas 
it does not succeed in India, requiring much nursing to keep it alive. 

* Terminologie, p. 33. 

1 A really wild almond is said to be very common in Palestine and Syria (A. 
Aaronsohn, Agric. and Bot. Explorations in Palestine, p. 14). 

4 Hshn, Kulturpflanzen, pp. 393, 40a; Fluckiger and Hanbury, Fharma- 
cographia, pp. 244, 245. 

• Strabo, XI. xni, 11. 

6 Polyaenus, Strategica, rv f 32. 

7 Rockbill, Toung Pao t 191 5, p. 609. 

8 Aghundow, Abu Mansur, p. 128. 



406 Sino-Iranica 

province of Gujarat from Persia, where they grow in dry and arid 
places between rocks; they are as bitter as colocynth, and there is no 
fear that children will amuse themselves by eating them. 1 

What Waiters 2 has stated about the almond is for the greater part 
inexact or erroneous. "For the almond which does not grow in China 
the native authors and others have apparently only the Persian name 
which is Bdd&n. This the Chinese transcribe parian A Ht or G IL and 
perhaps also, as suggested by Bretschneider, pa-lan « ff." First, the 
Persian name for the almond is baddm; second, the Chinese characters 
given by Watters are not apt to transcribe this word, as the former 
series answers to ancient *pat-dam, the latter to *pa-dan. Both A 
and B only had an initial labial surd, but never a labial sonant, and 
for this reason could not have been chosen for the transcription of a 
foreign ba in the T'ang period, when the name of the almond made its 
d6but in China. Further, the character fi, which was not possessed 
of a final labial nasal, would make a rather bad reproduction of the 
required element dam. In fact, the characters given by Watters are 
derived from the Pen is'ao kah mu* and represent merely a comparative- 
ly modern readjustment of the original form made at a time when 
the transposition of sonants into surds had taken effect. The first form 
given by Watters, as stated in the Pen ts'ao itself, is taken from the 
Yin ian ten yao (see p. 236), written by Ho Se-hwi during the Yuan 
period; while the second form is the work of Li Si-2en, as admitted by 
himself, and accordingly has no phonetic value whatever. 4 Indeed, we 
have a phonetically exact transcription of the Iranian term, handed 
down from the T'ang period, when the Chinese still enjoyed the pos- 
session of a well-trained ear, and, in view of the greater wealth of sounds 
then prevailing in their speech, also had the faculty of reproducing 
them with a fair degree of precision. This transcription is presented by 
9k 9t p % o-tan, *bwa-dam, almond {Amygdalus communis or Prunus 
amygdalus), which actually reproduces Middle Persian vadam, New 
Persian baddm (Kurd badem, beiv and baif, "almond-tree"). 5 This term f 

1 Tavbrnibr, Travels in India, Vol. I, p. 27. 

* Essays on the Chinese Language, p. 348. 

* Ch. 29, p. 4. Hence adopted also by the Japanese botanists (Matsumura, 
No. 2567), but read amendo (imitation of our word). 

4 He further gives as name for the almond hu-lu-ma ££|[a Persian xurmd 
(khurtnd), but this word properly refers to the date (p. 385). From the Ta Min i 
fun H (Ch. 89, p. 24), where the almonds of Herat are mentioned, it appears that 
hu-lu-ma (xurmd) was the designation of a special variety of almond, "resembling 
a jujube and being sweet." 

8 The assertion of Stuart (Chinese Materia Medica,p.4o),that pa-lan may refer 
to some country in Asia Minor or possibly be another name for Persia, is erroneous. 

The Almond 407 

as far as I know, is first mentioned in the Yu yah isa tsu, 1 where it is 
said, "The flat peach IB tt grows in the country Pose (Persia), where 
it is styled p % o4an. The tree reaches a height of from fifty to sixty feet, 
and has a circumference of four or five feet. Its leaves resemble those 
of the peach, but are broader and larger. The blossoms, which are 
white in color, appear in the third month. When the blossoms drop, the 
formation of the fruit has the appearance of a peach, but the shape 
is flat. Hence they are called 'flat peaches.' The meat is bitter and 
acrid, and cannot be chewed; the interior of the kernel, however, is 
sweet, and is highly poized in the Western Regions and all other coun- 
tries." Although the fact of the introduction of the plant into China 
is not insisted upon by the author, Twan C'en-si, his description, which 
is apparently based on actual observation, may testify to a cultivation 
in the soil of his country. This impression is corroborated by the testi- 
mony of the Arabic merchant Soleiman, who wrote in a.d. 851, and 
enumerates almonds among the fruit growing in China. 2 Hie cor- 
rectness of the Chinese reproduction of the Iranian name is confirmed 
by the Tibetan form bo-dam, Uigur and Osmanli badam, and Sanskrit 
vatama or badama, derived from the Middle Persian.* 

The fundamental text of the Yu yah isa tsu has unfortunately es- 
caped Li Si-5en, author of the Pen is'ao kah mu, and he is accordingly 
led to the vague definition that the almond comes from the old terri- 
tory of the Mohammedans; in his time, he continues, the tree occurred 
in all places West of the Pass (Kwan si; that is, Kan-su and Sen-si). 
The latter statement is suppressed in Bretschneider'$ translation of 
the text, 4 probably because it did not suit his peremptory opinion that 
the almond-tree does not occur in China. He did not know, either, of 
the text of the Yu yah isa tsu, and his vague data were adopted by A. 
de Candolle. 6 

Loubeiro 6 states that the almond is both wild and cultivated in 

1 Ch. 18, p. 10 b. 

* M. Rbinaud, Relation des voyages, Vol. I, p. 22. 

* Cf. the writer's Loan- Words in Tibetan, No. 11 1. It should be repeated also 
in this place that the Tibetan term p'a-tin, which only means "dried apricots," 
bears no relation to the Persian designation of the almond, as wrongly asserted by 
Watters. — The almond is also known to the Lo-lo (Nyi Lo-lo Hi-ma, Ahi Lo-lo 
i-ni-zo, isa). 

4 Chinese Recorder, 1870, p. 176. 

8 Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 219. He speaks erroneously of the Pen ts*ao 
published in the tenth or eleventh century. Bretschneider, of course, meant the 
Pen Woo of the sixteenth century. 

* Flora cochinchinensis, p. 316. Perrot and Hurribr (Matiere mddicale et 
pharm. sino-annamites, p. 153) have an Amygdalus cochinchinensis for Annam. 

4o8 Sino-Iranica 

China. Bunge says that it is commonly cultivated in North China; but 
that recent botanists have not seen it in South China, and the one 
cultivated near Peking is Prunus davidiana, a variety of P. persica. 1 
These data, however, are not in harmony with Chinese accounts which 
attribute the cultivation of the almond to China; and it hardly sounds 
plausible that the Chinese should confound with this tree the apricot, 
which has been a native of their country from time immemorial, 
Watters asserts that "the Chinese have mixed up the foreign almond 
with their native apricot. The name of the latter is hin #, and the 
kernels of its fruit, when dried for food, are called hin-ien # C This 
name is given also to the kernels of almonds as imported into China 
from their resemblance in appearance and to some extent in taste to 
the seeds of apricots." The fact that almond-meat is styled "apricot- 
kernel" does not prove that there is a confusion between hin and /wi- 
fe*, or between almond and apricot. The confusion may be on the 
part of foreigners who take apricot-kernels for almonds. 1 

It has been stated by Bretschneider* that the word pa-Urn JE fll 
(* pa-lam), used by the travellers Ye-lu £*u-ts'ai and C'aft C'un, might 
transcribe the Persian word badam. This form first appears in the Sun 
Si (Ch. 490) in the account of Fu-lin, where the first element is written 
phonetically B , 4 so that the conclusion is almost warranted that this 
word was transmitted from a language spoken in Fu-lin. In all prob- 
ability, the question is of a Fu-lin word of the type palam or param (per- 
haps faram, fram, or even *spram). 

The fruit pa-lan must have been known in China during the Sung, 
for it is mentioned by Fan C'en-ta JE /ft :Jc (1126-93), in Ins Kwei hoi 
yii hen &,' in the description of the Si li 7S 31 (Aleurites triloba), which 

■ ■ i 11 

1 Brbtschnbidbr, Early Researches into the Flora of China, p. 149; Forbes 
and Hemslby, Journal Linnean Soc, Vol. XXIII, p. 217. W. C. Blasdalb (Descrip- 
tion of Some Chinese Vegetable Pood Materials, p. 48, Washington, 1899) men- 
tions a peculiar variety of the almond imported from China into San Francisco. 
The almond is cultivated in China according to K. v. Scherzbr (Berichte dsterr. 
ExpecL nach Siam, China und Japan, p. 96). L. db Rbinach (Le Laos, p. 280) 
states that almond-trees grow in the northern part of Laos. 

* F. N. Mbybr (Agricultural Explorations in the Orchards of China, p. 53) 
supposes erroneously that the consumption of apricot-kernels has given rise to the 
statement that almonds grow in China. Cf. Schlbgbl's Nederlandsch-Chineesch 
Woordenboek, Vol. I, p. 226. 

* Mediaeval Researches, Vol. I, p. 20. 

4 Cf. Hirth, China and the Roman Orient, p. 63. His identification with 
Greek flaXaw, which refers only to the acorn, a wild fruit, is hardly satisfactory, 
for phonetic and historical reasons. For Hirth's translation of $ by "almonds' 9 
in the same clause read "apricots." 

•Ed.ot£iputsuZai ts'uA l«, p. 24. 

The Almond 409 

is said to be like pa-lan-tse. In the Gazetteer of C'en-te fu, pa-lan ien 
tl is given as a variety of apricot. 1 

Ho Yi-hift, in his Ceh su wen, published in 1884,* observes that "at 
present the people of the capital style the almond porta B &, which is 
identical with pa-tan EL JL The people of Eastern Ts4 M H (§an-ttin) 
call the almond, if it is sweet and fine, ien kin Ml # (hazel-nut apricot), 
because it has the taste of hazel-nuts. 9 According to the Hian tsu pi ki 
9 IB. ¥ IE, a certain kind of almond, styled 'almond of the I wu hui 
Park' H ft fk 26, is exported from Herat Pp S8. At present it occurs 
in the northern part of China. The fruit offered in the capital is large 
and sweet, that of San-tun is small with thin and scant meat.' 1 

The old tradition concerning the origin of the almond in Persia 
is still alive in modern Chinese authors. The Gazetteer of San-se Sou 
in the prefecture of T'ai-p'in, Kwan-si Province, states that the 
flat peach is a cultivation of the country Po-se (Persia). 4 The tree 
is (or was) cultivated in that region. Also the Hwa mu siao li 36 ?fc 
A* Si? (p. 29 b) 6 testifies to indigenous cultivation by saying that almond- 
trees grow near the east side of mountains. It may be, of course, that 
the almond has shared the fate of the date-palm, and that its cultiva- 
tion is now extinct in China. 6 

1 O. Franks, Beschreibung des Jehol-Gebietes, p. 75. 

1 Ch. 12, p. 5 b (see above, p. 399). 

' This observation is also made by Li Si-fen. 

4 SaA-sc lou U Jt JB f\\ jj£p, Ch. 14, p. 7 b (published in 1835). 

* Published in the C'un ts*ao Vah tsi t£ lp[ j£ Hk during the period Tao-kwan 

• Haubr (Erzeugnisse der Provinz Chili, Mitt. Sent. or. Spr., 1908, p. 14) men- 
tions almonds, large and of sweet flavor, as a product of the district of Mi-yun in Ci-li, 
and both sweet and bitter almonds as cultivated in the district of Lwan-p'in in 
the prefecture of C'en-te (Jehol), the annual output of the latter locality being 
given as a hundred thousand catties, — a hardly credible figure should almonds 
really be involved. Hauer's article is based on the official reports submitted by the 
districts to the Governor-General of the Province in 1904; and the term rendered 
by him "almond" in the original is ta pien fen ^C m fr> apparently a local or 
colloquial expression which I am unable to trace in any dictionary. It is at any 
rate questionable whether it has the meaning " almond/' O. Franks, in his description 
of the Jehol territory, carefully deals with the flora and products of that region 
without mentioning almonds, nor are they referred to in the Chinese Gazetteer 
of C'en-te fu. 


42. The fig (Ficus carted) is at present cultivated in the Yang-tse 
valley as a small, irregular shrub, bearing a fruit much smaller and 
inferior in quality to the Persian species. 1 According to the Pen ts'ao 
kah mu, its habitat is Yan-£ou (the lower Yang-tse region) and Yun- 
nan. In his time, Li Si-den continues, it was cultivated also in £e- 
kian, Kian-su, Hu-pei, Hu-nan, Pu-kien, and Kwan-tun (^ £S W itt) 
by means of twigs planted in the ground. The latter point is of par- 
ticular interest in showing that the process of caprification has remained 
unknown to the Chinese, and, in fact, is not mentioned in their works. 
The fig is not indigenous to China; but, while there is no information in 
Chinese records as to the when and how of the introduction, it is per- 
fectly clear that the plant was introduced from Persia and India, not 
earlier than the T'ang period. 

The following names for the fig are handed down to us: — 

(1) Po-se (Persian) R I* a-ii, *a-»t(2ir) (or M W a-y*', *a-yik),* 
corresponds to an Iranian form without n, as still occurs in Kurd heBr 
or ezir. There is another reading, IB. tsah, which is not at the outset 
to be rejected, as has been done by Watters' and Hirth. 4 The Pen 
ts'ao kah mvf comments that the pronunciation of this character (and 
this is apparently an ancient gloss) should be IS t % u t *dzu, *tsu, *ts*u f 
so that we obtain *adzu, *atsu, *ats\i. This would correspond to an 
ancient Iranian form *aju. At any rate, the Chinese transcriptions, in 
whatever form we may adopt them, have nothing to do with New 
Persian anfir, as asserted by Hirth, but belong to an older stage of 
Iranian speech, the Middle Persian. 

(2) 8fc B yih-li* *afi-2it(r). This is not "apparently a tran- 

1 Stuart, Chinese Materia Medica, p. 174. The Ci wu mih H Vu k % ao (Ch. 36, 
p. 2), however, speaks of the fig of Yun-nan as a large tree. According to P. N. 
Mbyer (Agricultural Explorations in the Orchards of China, p. 47), the fig is grown 
in northern China only as an exotic, mostly in pots and tubs. In the milder parts of 
the country large specimens are found here and there in the open. He noticed black 
and white varieties. They are cultivated in San-hwa |Sr fll in the prefecture of 
£*an-Sa, Hu-nan (San kwa hien li, Ch. 16, p. 15 b, ed. 1877), a k° m the prefecture 
of Sun-t*ien, Ci-li (Kwah-sH Sun fienfu ft, Ch. 50, p. 10). 
, * Yu yon isa tsu, Ch. 18, p. 13. 

• Essays on the Chinese Language, p. 349. 
4 Journal Am. Or. Soc., Vol. XXX, p. 20. 

• Ch. 31, p. 9. 

• Pen ts'ao kan mu, Ch. 31, p. 26. 


The Fig 411 

scription of Hindustani afijir," as affirmed by Hirth, but of New Persian 
anjlr or enfir, the Hindustani (as well as Sanskrit aHfira) being simply 
borrowed from the Persian; Bukhara injir, Afghan intsir; Russian 

(3) Fu-lin Ht Mf ti-ni or ii-len & or *B (*ti-tsen, *ti-ten) ; the latter 
variant is not necessarily to be rejected, as is done by Hirth. Cf. 
Assyrian tittu (from *tintu); Phoenician tin; Hebrew ti'nu, te'enah; 1 
Arabic fin, tine, titna; Aramaic ts'inta, tenia, Una; Pahlavi tin (Semitic 
loan-word). The Semitic name is said to have taken its starting-point 
from south-eastern Arabia, where also, in the view of the botanists, the 
origin of fig-culture should be sought; but in view of the Assyrian 
word and the antiquity of the fig in Assyria, 1 this theory is not probable. 
There is no doubt that the Chinese transcription answers to a Semitic 
name; but that this is the Aramaic name, as insisted on by Hirth in 
favor of his theory that the language of Fu-lin should have been Aramaic, 
is not cogent. The transcription ti-ni, on the contrary, is much nearer 
to the Arabic, Phoenician, and Hebrew forms.* 

(4) flE ft #fr (or better Bfc) yu-Van-po, *u-dan-pat(par), *u-dan- 
bar= Sanskrit udambara (Ficus glomeraia)* According to Li Si-Sen, 
this name is current in Kwan-tun. 

(5) fa 36:51 wu hwa kwo ("flowerless fruit"), 8 Japanese ilijiku. 
The erroneous notion that the fig-tree does not bloom is not peculiar 
to Albertus Magnus, as Hirth is inclined to think, but goes back to 
times of antiquity, and occurs in Aristotle and Pliny. 6 This wrong 
observation arose from the fact that the flowers, unlike those of most 
fruit-trees, make no outward appearance, but are concealed within the 

1 In the so-called histories of the fig concocted by botanists for popular consump- 
tion, one can still read the absurdity that Latin ficus is to be derived from Hebrew 
feg. Such a Hebrew word does not exist. What does exist in Hebrew, is the word pag, 
occurring only in Canticle (n, 13), which, however, is not a general term for the fig, 
but denotes only a green fig that did not mature and that remained on the tree during 
the winter* Phonetically it is impossible to connect this Hebrew word with the Latin 
one. In regard to the fig among the Semites, see, above all, the excellent article of 
E. Lbvbsqub in the Dictionnaire de la Bible (Vol. II, col. 2237). 

* B. Bona via, Flora of the Assyrian Monuments, p. 14. 

* It is surprising to read Hirth's conclusion that "ti-ni is certainly much nearer 
the Aramean word than the Greek awtf [better ovkop] for fig, or kpwebt for capri- 
ficus." No one has ever asserted, or could assert, that these Greek words are derived 
from Semitic; their origin is still doubtful (see Schrader in Hehn, Kulturpflanzen, 
p. 100). 

4 Fan yi min yi tsi, Ch. 8, p. 5. 

'Also other fruits are described under this name (see Ci wu min H t'u k*ao, 
Ch. 16, pp. 58-60). The terms under 4 and 5 are identified by Kao Si-ki ]& :fc iSf 
in his Tien lu U yU Ji jjft H fft (Ch. A, p. 60, published in 1690, ed. of 5wo lin). 

* xvi, 39. 

412 Sino-Iranica 

fruit on its internal surface. On cutting open a fig when it has attained 
little more than one-third its size, the flowers will be seen in full develop- 
ment. 1 

The common fig-tree (Ficus carica) is no less diffused over the Iran- 
ian plateau than the pomegranate. The variety rupestris is found in 
the mountains Kuh-Kiluyeh; and another species, Ficus johannis, 
occurs in Afghanistan between Tebbes and Herat, as well as in Baluchis- 
tan. 2 In the mountain districts of the Taurus, Armenia, and in the 
Iranian table-lands, fig-culture long ago reached a high development. 
Toward the east it has spread to Khorasan, Herat, Afghanistan, as well 
as to Merw and Khiwa.* There can be no doubt, either, that the fig was 
cultivated in Sasanian Persia; for it is mentioned in Pahlavi literature 
(above, p. 192), and we have a formal testimony to this effect in the 
Annals of the Liang dynasty, which ascribe udantbara to Po-se (Persia) 
and describe the blossoms as charming. 4 In India, as stated, this term 
refers to Ficus glomerate; in China, however, it appears to be also used 
for Ficus carica. Huan Tsan 5 enumerates udambara among the fruits 
of India. 

Strabo 6 states that in Hyrcania (in Bactria) each fig-tree annually 
produced sixty medimni (one bushel and a half) of fruit. According to 
Herodotus, 7 Croesus was dissuaded from his expedition against Cyrus 
on the plea that the Persians did not even drink wine, but merely water, 
nor did they have figs for sustenance. This, of course, is an anecdote 
without historical value, for we know surely enough that the ancient 
Persians possessed both grapes and wine. Another political anecdote 
of the Greeks is that of Xerxes, who, by having Attic figs served at his 
meals, was daily reminded of the fact that the land where they grow was 
not yet his own. The new discovery of the presence of figs in ancient 
Babylonia warrants the conclusion that they were likewise known and 
consumed in ancient Persia. 

We have no means of ascertaining as to when and how the fig 
spread from Iran to China. The Yu yah tsa tsu is reticent as to the 
transmission, and merely describes the tree as existing in Fu-lin and 

1 Lindlby and Moore, Treasury of Botany, pt. 1, p. 492. 

* C. Jorbt, Plantes dans l'antiquitl, Vol. II, p. 45. 

* G. Eisbn, The Fig: Its History, Culture, and Curing, p. 20 (U. S. Department 
f of Agriculture, Washington, 1901). 

4 Liah lit, Ch. 54, p. 14 b. Read yu-t'an-po instead of yu-po-?an t as there printed 
through an oversight. 

• Ta TaA si yH ki, Ch. 2, p. 8. 

• II. 1, 14. 

f I, 71. 

The Fig 413 

Persia. 1 We have, however, the testimony of the Arabic merchant Solei- 
man, who wrote in a.d. 851, to the effect that the fig then belonged to 
the fruits of China. 1 

Bretschneider has never written on the subject, but did communicate 
some notes to the botanist Solms-Laubach, from whom they were taken 
over by G. Eisen. 8 Here we are treated to the monstrous statement, 
''The fig is supposed to have reached China during the reign of the 
Emperor Tschang-Kien [sic I], who fitted out an expedition to Turan 
in the year 127 a.d." [sic!]. It is safe to say that Bretschneider could 
not have perpetrated all this nonsense; but, discounting the obvious 
errors, there remains the sad fact that again he credited Can K'ien with 
an introduction which is not even ascribed to him by any Chinese text. 
It is not necessary to be more Chinese than the Chinese, and this 
Changkienomania is surely disconcerting. What a Hercules this Can 
K*ien must have been 1 It has never happened in the history of the world 
that any individual ever introduced into any country such a stupendous 
number of plants as is palmed off on him by his epigone admirers. 

Li §i-2en, in his notice of the "flowerless fruit, 9 ' does not fall back 
on any previous Pen ts'ao; of older works he invokes only the Yu yah 
isa isu and the Fan yU U 3f fk S&, which mention the udambara of 

The fig of Yfin-nan deserves special mention. Wu K'i-tsun, 
author of the excellent botanical work Ci wu mih U Vu k*ao, has de- 
voted a special chapter (Ch. 36) to the plants of Yfin-nan, the first of 
these being the yu-Von (udambara) flower, accompanied by two illus- 
trations. From the texts assembled by him it becomes clear that this 
tree was introduced into Yun-nan from India by Buddhist monks. 
Among other stories, he repeats that regarding the monk P'u-tfi(Bodhi)* 
pa-po, which has been translated by C. Sainson; 4 but whereas Yan Sen, 
in his Nan too ye Si, written in 1550, said that one of these trees planted 
by the monk was still preserved in the Temple of the Guardian Spirit 
db ± • of Yun-nan fu, Wu KH-tsun states after the Yiln^nan fun U 
that for a long time none remained in existence, owing to the ravages 
and burnings of troops. Judging from the illustration, the fig-tree of 
Yun-nan is a species, different from Ficus carica. The genus Ficus 

1 Contrary to what is stated by A. db Candollb (Origin of Cultivated Plants, 
p. 296) after Bretschneider. But the description of the fig in that Chinese work 
leaves no doubt that the author speaks from observation, and that the fig, 
\ was cultivated in the China of his time. 

s M. Reinaud, Relation des voyages, Vol. I, p. 22. 

• Op. cit., p. 30. 

4 Histoire du Nan-Tchao, p. 196. 

414 Sino-Iranica 

comprises nearly a hundred and sixty species, and of the cultivated fig 
there is a vast number of varieties. 

According to the Yamato-honzo 1 of 1709, figs {itijiku) were first 
introduced into Nagasaki in the period Kwan-ei % ik (1624-44) from 
the islands in the South-Western Ocean. This agrees with E. Kaeic- 
pfer's* statement that figs were brought into Japan and planted by 

1 Ch. 10, p. 26 b. 

1 History of Japan, Vol. I, p. 180 (ed. reprinted Glasgow, 1906). 


43. The Yu yan isa tsu 1 has the following notice of an exotic plant: 
"The ts'i-Vun # ift (*dzi-tun, *zi-tun) tree has its habitat in the coun- 
try Po-se (Persia), likewise in the country Fu-lin (Syria). In Fu-lin it 
is termed # £ ts % i-V& (*dzi, zi-ti). The tree grows to a height of twenty 
or thirty feet. The bark is green, the flowers are white, resembling 
those of the shaddock (yu tt, Citrus grandis), and very fragrant. 
The fruit is similar to that of the yan4*ao J8 tft (Averrhoa carambola) 
and ripens in the fifth month. The people of the Western countries 
press an oil out of it for frying cakes and fruit, in the same man- 
ner as sesame seeds (kit-Sen E ft)* are utilized in China." 

The transcription tsH-Vun has been successfully identified by Htrth 4 
with Persian zeitun, save that we have to define this form as Middle 
Persian; and Fu-lin ts*i-t x i with Aramaic zaiia (Hebrew zayiO). This 
is the olive-tree (Olea Europaea).* The Persian word is a loan from 
the Semitic, the common Semitic form being *zeitu (Arabic zeitun). It 
is noteworthy that the Fu-lin form agrees more closely with Grusinian 
and Ossetic zetH, Armenian jet, dzet ("olive-oil "), zeit ("olive"), Arabic 
zait* than with the Aramaic word. The olive-tree, mentioned in 
Pahlavi literature (above, p. 193), grows spontaneously in Persia and 
Baluchistan, but the cultivated species was in all likelihood received 
by the Iranians (as well as by the Armenians) from the Semites. The 
olive-tree was known in Mesopotamia at an early date: objects in 
clay in the form of an olive belonging to the time of Urukagina, one 
of the pre-Sargonic rulers of Lagash, are still extant. 7 

x Ch. 18, p. 11. 

* A gloss thus indicates the reading of this character by the fan ts'ie j& ^. 

• See above, p. 292. 

1 Journal Am. Or. Soc. t Vol. XXX, 1910, p. 19. 

8 See, for instance, the illustrated article "olivier" in Dujardin-Beaumetz 
and Egassb, Plantes m&iicinales indigenes et ezotiques (p. 492, Paris, 1889), which 
is a very convenient and commendable reference-book, particularly valuable for 
its excellent illustrations. Cf. also S. Krauss, Talmudische Archaologie, Vol. II, 
p. 214; S. Frabnkbl, Die aramaischen Fremdworter im Arabischen, p. 147. 

• W. Miller, Sprache der Osseten, p. 10; HObschmann, Arm. Gram., p. 309. 

'Handcock, Mesopotamian Archaeology, p. 13. The contributions which 
A. Engler has made to the olive in Hehn's Kulturpflanzen (p. 1 18) are just as sing- 
ular as his notions of the walnut. Leaves of the olive-tree have been found in Pliocene 
deposits near Mongardino north-west of Bologna, and this is sufficient for Engler 
to "prove" the autochthonous character of the tree in Italy. All it proves, if the 


416 Sino-Iranica 

Schlimmer 1 says that Olea europaea is largely cultivated by the 
inhabitants of Mendjil between Besht and Ghezwin in Persia) and 
that the olives are excellent; nevertheless the oil extracted is very bad 
and unfit to eat. The geographical distribution of the tree in Iran 
has well been traced by F. Spiegel.* 

The word ts'i-fun has been perpetuated by the lexicographers of 
the Emperor K'ien-lun (1736-95). It makes its appearance in the 
Dictionary of Four Languages, in the section "foreign fruit."* For 
the Tibetan and Mongol forms, one has chosen the transcriptions 
IH-tun siu (transcribing tse •?) and Utun jimin respectively; while it is 
surprising to find a Manchu equivalent ulusun y which has been correctly 
explained by H. C. v. d. Gabelentz and Sakharov. In the Manchu- 
Chinese Dictionary TsHn wen pu hut, published in 1771, we find the 

fact be correct, is that a wild olive once occurred in the Pliocene of Italy, which 
certainly does not exclude the idea and the well-established historical fact that the 
cultivated olive was introduced into Italy from Greece in historical times. The 
notice of Pliny (xv, 1) weighs considerably more in this case than any alleged 
palseontological wisdom, and the Pliocene has nothing to do with historical times 
of human history. The following is truly characteristic of Engler's uncritical stand- 
point and his inability to think historically: "Since the fruits of the olive-tree are 
propagated by birds, and in many localities throughout the Mediterranean the con- 
ditions for the existence of the tree were prepared, it was quite natural also that the 
tree settled in the localities suitable for it, before the Oriental civilized nations 
made one of the most important useful plants of it." If the birds were the sole 
propagators of the tree, why did they not carry it to India, the Archipelago, and 
China, where it never occurred? The distribution of the olive shows most clearly 
that it was brought about by human activity, and that we are confronted with a 
well-defined geographical zone as the product of human civilization, — Western 
Asia and the Mediterranean area. There is nothing in Engler like the vision and 
breadth of thought of a de Candolle, in whose Origin of Cultivated Plants we read 
(p. 280), "The question is not clearly stated when we ask if such and such olive- 
trees of a given locality are really wild. In a woody species which lives so long and 
shoots again from the same stock when cut off by accident, it is impossible to know 
the origin of the individuals observed. They may have been sown by man or birds 
at a very early epoch, for olive-trees of more than a thousand years old are known. 
The effect of such sowing 14 a naturalization, which is equivalent to an extension 
of area. The point in question is, therefore, to discover what was the home of the 
species in very early prehistoric times, and how this area has grown larger by dif- 
ferent modes of transport. It is not by the study of living olive-trees that this can 
be answered. We must seek in what countries the cultivation began, and how it 
was propagated. The more ancient it is in any region, the more probable it is that 
the species has existed wild there from the time of those geological events which took 
place before the coming of prehistoric man." Here we meet a thinker of critical 
acumen, possessed of a fine historical spirit, and striving for truth nobly and honestly; 
and there, a dry pedant, who thinks merely in terms of species and genera, and is 
unwilling to learn and to understand history. 

1 Terminologie, p. 406. 

* Eranische Altertumskunde, Vol. I, pp. 257-258. 

1 Appendix, Ch. 3, p. 10. 

The Olive 417 

following definition of ulusun in Chinese: " Ts'i-fun is a foreign fruit, 
which is produced in the country Po-se (Persia). The bark of the tree 
is green, the flowers are white and aromatic. Its fruit ripens in the fifth 
month and yields an oil good for frying cakes. 1 ' This is apparently based 
on the notice of the Yu yan tsa tsu. The Manchu word ulusun (-sun 
being a Manchu ending) seems to be an artificial formation based on 
Latin oleum (from Greek elaion), which was probably conveyed through 
the Jesuit missionaries. 

The olive remained unknown to the Japanese; their modern bo- 
tanical science calls it oreifu H?l^, which reproduces our "olive." 1 
The Japanese botanists, without being aware of the meaning of ts'i-tun, 
avail themselves of the characters for this word (reading them ego-no-kt) 
for the designation of Styrax japonica} 

The so-called Chinese olive, kan-lan tit flt , has no affinity with the 
true olive of the West-Asiatic and Mediterranean zone, although its 
appearance comes very near to this fruit. 8 The name kan-lan applies 
to Canarium album and C. pitnela, belonging to the order Burseraceae, 
while the olive ranks in that of the Oleaceae* Ma Ci, who, in his K % ai 

1 Matsumura, No. 2136. 

a Ibid., No. 3051. 

* The kan-lan tree itself is suspected to be of foreign origin; it was most probably 
introduced from Indo-bhina into southern China. Following are briefly the reasons 
which prompt me to this opinion. 1. According to Li £i-£en, the meaning of the 
name kan-lan remains unexplained, and this comment usually hints at a foreign word. 
The ancient pronunciation was *kam-lam or *kam-ram, which we still find in 
Annamese as kam-lan. The tree abounds in Annam, the fruit being eatable and 
preserved in the same manner as olives (Perrot and Hurrier, Mat. mid. et phar- 
macopee sino-annamites, p. 141). Moreover, we meet in Pa-yi, a T'ai language 
spoken in Yun-nan, a word (mak)-k % am t which in a Pa-yi-Chinese glossary is rendered 
by Chinese kan-lan (the element mak means "fruit"; see P. W. K. Miller, Toung 
Poo, Vol. Ill, p. 27). The relationship of Annamese to the Tai languages has been 
clearly demonstrated by H. Masfbro, and it seems to me that Chinese *kam-lam 
is borrowed from Annam-T'ai. There are many more such Chinese botanical names, 
as I hope to show in the near future. 2. The plant appears in Chinese records 
at a comparatively recent date. It is first described in the Nan lou i wu li of the 
third century as a plant of Kwan-tun and Fu-kien and in the Nan fan U % ao mu twan 
(Ch. c, p. 3 b). It is mentioned as a tree of the south in the Kin lou 1st of the Em- 
peror Yuan of the Liang in the sixth century (see above, p. 222). A description of 
it is due to Liu Sun in his Lin piao lu i (Ch. B, p. 5 b). In the materia medica it 
first appears in the K'ai poo pen ts % ao of the end of the tenth century. ~ 3. The tree 
remained always restricted to the south-eastern parts of China bordering on Indo- 
China, According to the San fu hwan t'u, it belonged to the southern plants brought 
to the Fu-U Palace of the Han Emperor Wu after the conquest of Nan Yue (cf . 
above, p. 262). 

4 The fruit of Canarium is a fleshy drupe from three to six cm in length, which 
contains a hard, triangular, sharp-pointed seed. Within this are found one or more 
oily kernels. The flesh of the fresh, yellowish-green fruit, like that of the true olive, 
is somewhat acrid and disagreeable, and requires special treatment before it can 

418 Sino-Iranica 

poo pen is % ao (written between a.d. 968 and 976), describes the kan-lan, 
goes on to say that "there is also another kind, known as Po-se kan-lan 
('Persian kan-lan'), growing in Yun Sou I #l, 1 similar to kan-lan in 
color and form, but different in that the kernel is divided into two sec- 
tions; it contains a substance like honey, which is soaked in water and 
eaten." The San se Ion &* mentions the plant as a product of Saft-se 
Sou in Kwan-si. It would be rather tempting to regard this tree as the 
true olive, as tentatively proposed by Stuakt;* but I am not ready to 
subscribe to this theory until it is proved by botanists that the olive- 
tree really occurs in Kwan-si. Meanwhile it should be pointed out that 
weighty arguments militate against this supposition. First of all, the 
Po-se kan-lan is a wild tree: not a word is said to the effect that it is 
cultivated, still less that it was introduced from Po-se. If it had been 
introduced from Persia, we should most assuredly find it as a culti- 
vation; and if such an introduction had taken place, why should it be 
confined to a few localities of Kwan-si? Li Si-Sen does not express aa 
opinion on the question; he merely says that the fan ~JS Ian, another 
variety of Canarium to be found in Kwafi-si (unidentified), is a kind 
of Po-se kan-lan, which proves distinctly that he regards the latter 
as a wild plant. The T'ang authors are silent as to the introduction of 
the olive; nevertheless, judging from the description in the Yu yah tsa 
tsu y it may be that the fruit was imported from Persia under the T'ang. 
Maybe the Po-se kan-lan was so christened on account of a certain 
resemblance of its fruit to the olive; we do not know. There is one 
specific instance on record that the Po-se of Ma Ci applies to the 
Malayan Po-se (below, p. 483); this may even be the case here, but the 
connection escapes our knowledge. 

S. Juiien 4 asserts that the Chinese author from whom he derives 
his information describes the olive-tree and its fruit, but adds that 
the use of it is much restricted. The Chinese name for the tree is not 
given. Finally, it should be pointed out that Ibn Batata of the four- 
be made palatable. Its most important constituent is fat, which forms nearly one- 
fourth of the total nutritive material. Cf. W. C. Blasdalb, Description of Some 
Chinese Vegetable Pood Materials, p. 43, with illustration (U. S. Department of 
Agriculture, Bull. No. 68, 1899). The genus Canarium comprises about eighty 
species in the tropical regions of the Old World, mostly in Asia (Englee, Pflan- 
zenfamilien, VoL III, pt. 4, p. 240). 

1 Name under the T'ang dynasty of the present prefecture Nan-nin in Kwan-si 

* Ch. 14, p. 7 b (see above, p. 409). 

1 Chinese Materia Medica, p. 89. 

4 Industries de l'empire chinois, p. 120. 

The Olive 419 

teenth century positively denies the occurrence of olives in China. 1 
Of course, this Arabic traveller is not an authority on Chinese affairs: 
many of his data concerning China are out and out absurd He may 
even not have visited China, as suggested by G. Ferrand; notwith- 
standing, he may be right in this particular point. Likewise the Arch- 
bishop of Soltania, who wrote about 1330, states, "There groweth 
not any oil olive in that country." 2 

1 Yulb, Cathay, VoL IV, p. 118. 
» Ibid., VoL III, p. 96. 


44. In his Pen ts % ao H i, written during the first half of the eighth 
century, C'en Ts'an-k'i has this notice regarding an exotic plant: 
"A-lo-p'o W f& t& (*a-lak-bwut) grows in the country Fu-lin (Syria), 
its fruit resembling in shape that of the tsao kia ^M (Gleditschia or 
Gymnocladus sinensis), save that it is more rounded and elongated. 
It is sweet of taste and savory." 1 

In the Ceh lei pen fcVw* we read that "a4o-p*o grows in the country 
Fu-£ W 35 "; that is, Bhoja, Sumatra. Then follows the same descrip- 
tion as given above, after C'en Ts'aft-k'i. The name p % o-lo-men tsao 
kia 31 18 PI -6 M is added as a synonyme. Li §i-2en* comments that 
P'o-lo-men is here the name of a Si-yu IS J$ ("Western Regions") 
country, and that Po-se is the name of a country of the south-western 
barbarians; that is, the Malayan Po-se. The term p % o-lo-men tsao kia, 
which accordingly would mean "Gleditschia of the P'o-lo-men coun- 
try," he ascribes to C'en Ts'afi-kH, but in his quotation from this 
author it does not occur. The country P'o-lo-men here in question is 
the one mentioned in the Man $u. A 

A somewhat fuller description of this foreign tree is contained in 
the Yu yan tsa tsu,* as follows: "The Persian tsao kia (Gleditschia) has 
its habitat in the country Po-se (Persia), where it is termed hu-ye- 
yen-mo & # ff K, while in Fu-lin it is styled o-li-VU-fa W $&£&.* 
The tree has a height of from thirty to forty feet, and measures from 
four to five feet in circumference. The leaves resemble those of Citrus 
medica (kou yilan #J tfc), but are shorter and smaller. During the cold 
season it does not wither. 7 It does not flower, and yet bears fruit. 8 
Its pods are two feet long. In their interior are shells (ko ko fiB HI). 
Each of these encloses a single seed of the size of a finger, red of color, 

1 Pen ts*ao kan mu, Ch. 31, p. 9 b, where the name of the plant is wrongly 
written a-p'o-h. The correct form a-lo-p*o is given in the Cen lei pen ts*ao. 

* Ch. 12, p. 56 (ed. of 1587). 

1 Pen ts'ao kan mu, Ch. 31, p. 9 b. 

4 See below, p. 468. 

8 Ch. 1 8, p. 12. Also Li §i-£en has combined this text with the preceding one 
under the heading a-p'o-lo (instead of a-khp'o). 

* The Pen ts % ao kan mu (Ch. 31, p. 9 b), in quoting this text, gives the Po-se 
name as hu-ye-yen and the Fu-lin name only as a4i. 

7 This means, it is an evergreen. 

* This is due to erroneous observation. 


Cassia Pods and Carob 421 

and extremely hard. The interior [the pulp] is as black as [Chinese] 
ink and as sweet as sugar-plums. It is eatable, and is also employed in 
the pharmacopoeia." 

The tree under consideration has not yet been identified, at least not 
from the sinological point of view. 1 The name a-lo-p % o is Sanskrit; and 
the ancient form *a-lak(rak, rag)-bwut(bud) is a correct and logical 
transcription of Sanskrit aragbadha, aragvadha, aragvadha, or drgvadha, 
the Cassia or Cathartocarpus fistula (Leguminosae), already mentioned 
by the physician Caraka, also styled suvarnaka ("gold-colored") and 
rdjataru ("king's tree"). 1 This tree, called the Indian laburnum, 
purging cassia, or pudding pipe tree from its peculiar pods (French 
eanificier), is a native of India, Ceylon, and the Archipelago 9 (hence 
Sumatra and Malayan Po-se of the Chinese), "uncommonly beautiful 
when in flower, few surpassing it in the elegance of its numerous long, 
pendulous racemes of large, bright-yellow flowers, intermixed with the 
young, lively green foliage." 4 The fruit, which is common in most 
bazars of India, is a brownish pod, about sixty cm long and two cm 
thick. It is divided into numerous cells, upwards of forty, each con- 
taining one smooth, oval, shining seed. Hence the Chinese comparison 
with the pod of the Glediischia, which is quite to the point. These pods 
are known as cassia pods. They are thus described in the "Treasury of 
Botany " : "Cylindrical, black, woody, one to two feet long, not splitting, 
but marked by three long furrows, divided in the interior into a number 
of compartments by means of transverse partitions, which project 
from the placentae. Each compartment of the fruit contains a single 
seed, imbedded in pulp, which is used as a mild laxative." Whether 
the tree is cultivated in Asia I do not know; Garcia da Orta affirms 
that he saw it only in a wild state. 6 The description of the tree and 
fruit in the Yu yan tsa tsu is fairly correct. Cassia fistula is indeed 
from twenty to thirty feet high (in Jamaica even fifty feet). The seed, 
as stated there, is of a reddish-brown color, and the pulp is of a dark 
viscid substance. 

1 Stuart (Chinese Materia Medica, p. 496) lists the name a-p'o-lo (instead of 
a4o-p % 6) among "unidentified drugs." Bretschneider has never noted it. 

1 A large number of Sanskrit synonymes for the tree are enumerated by Rodigbr 
and Pott (Zeitschrift f. d. K. d. Morg., Vol. VII, p. 154); several more may be added 
to this list from the Bower Manuscript. 

1 Garcia da Orta (Markham, Colloquies, p. 114) adds Malacca and Sofala. 
In Javanese it is tehgtdi or trehgulu 

4 W. Roxburgh, Flora Indica, p. 349. 

1 Likewise P. Pyrard (Vol. II, p. 361, ed. of Hakluyt Society), who states that 
" it grows of itself without being sown or tended." 

423 Sino-Iranica 

When I had established the above identification of the Sanskrit 
name, it was quite natural for me to lay my hands on Matsuicura's 
"Shokubutsu mei-i" and to look up Cassia fistula under No. 754: 
it was as surprising as gratifying to find there, "Cassia fistula M £6 ft 
namban-saikachi." This Japanese name means literally the "Gleditschia 
japonica (sa*foz#= Chinese tsao-kia-tse) of the Southern Barbarians' 9 
(Chinese Nan Fan). The Japanese botanists, accordingly, had suc- 
ceeded in arriving at the same identification through the description 
of the plant; while the philological equation with the Sanskrit term 
escaped them, as evidenced by their adherence to the wrong form 
frp'o-lo, sanctioned by the Pen ts'ao kan mu. The case is of methodo- 
logical interest in showing how botanical and linguistic research may 
supplement and corroborate each other: the result of the identification 
is thus beyond doubt; the rejection of a-p % o-lo becomes complete, and 
the restitution of a~lo-p'o 9 as handed down in the Cen lei pen ts'ao, 
ceases to be a mere philological conjecture or emendation, but is raided 
into the certainty of a fact. 

The Arabs know the fruit of this tree under the names xarnub hindi 
("Indian carob") 1 and xiyar ianbdr ("cucumber of necklaces," from 
its long strings of golden flowers). 2 Abul Abbas, styled en-Nebati 
("the Botanist"), who died at Sevilla in 1239, the teacher of Ibn 
al-Bait&r, who preserved extracts from his lost work Rihla ("The 
Voyage"), describes Cassia fistula as very common in Egypt, par- 
ticularly in Alexandria and vicinity, whence the fruit is exported to 
Syria;* it commonly occurs in Bassora also, whence it is exported to 
the Levant and Irak. He compares the form of the tree to the walnut 
and the fruit to the carob. The same comparison is made by ISak Ibn 
Amran, who states in Leclerc's translation, " Dans chacun de oes tubes 
est renfermee une pulpe noire, sucree et laxative. Dans chaque com- 
partiment est un noyau qui a le volume et la forme de la graine de 
caroubier. La partie employee est la pulpe, & ^exclusion du noyau et du 

The Persians received the fruit from the Arabs on the one hand, and 
from north-western India on the other. They adopted the Arabic word 
xiyar-Sanbdr* in the form xiyar-Zambar (compare also Armenian xiar- 

1 Leclerc, Traits des simples, Vol. II, p. 17. 

* Ibid., p. 64. Also qtita hindi ("Indian cucumber"), ibid., Vol. Ill, p. 62. 

' Garcia da Orta says that it grows in Cairo, where it was also found by 
Pierre Belon. In ancient times, however, the tree did not occur in Egypt: Lorbt, 
in his Flore pharaonique, is silent about it. It was no doubt brought there by the 
Arabs from India. 

4 Garcia da Orta spells it hiar-xamber. 

Cassia Pods and Carob 423 

iamb, Byzantine Greek xMpvbpfcp* x^acra^T Ap) ; and it is a Middle- 
Persian variation of this type that is hidden in the "Persian" tran- 
scription of the Yu yan tsa tsu, hu-ye~yen-mo & U JBt R, anciently 
*xut(xur)-ya-d2em(dzem)-m'wak(bak, bax). The prototype to be 
restored may have been *xaryad2ambax. There is a New-Persian word 
for the same tree and fruit, bakbar. It is also called kdbuli ("coming 
from Kabul"). 

The Fu-lin name of the plant is W 38 * ffc arli-VU-]a, *a-li(ri)- 
go-vati. I. Loew 1 does not give an Aramaic name for Cassia fistula, 
nor does he indicate this tree, neither am I able to find a name for it in 
the relevant dictionaries. We have to take into consideration that the 
tree is not indigenous to western Asia and Egypt, and that the Arabs 
transplanted it there from India (cf . the Arabic terms given above, 
"Indian carob," and "Indian cucumber"). The Fu-lin term is evi- 
dently an Indian loan-word, for the transcription *a-ri-go-va$ cor- 
responds exactly to Sanskrit argvadha, answering to an hypothetical 
Aramaic form *arigbada or *arigfada. In some editions of the Yu yan 
tsa tsu, the Fu-lin word is written a-li or a-li-fa, *a-ri-va$. These would 
likewise be possible forms, for there is also a Sanskrit variant arevata 
and an Indian vernacular form alt (in Panjabl). 

The above texts of C"en Ts'afi-k'i and Twan C'efi-S, author of 
the Yu yan tsa tsu, give occasion for some further comments. Pelliot* 
maintained that the latter author, who lived toward the end of the 
ninth century, frequently derived his information from the former, who 
wrote in the first part of the eighth century; 3 from the fact that C'en 
in many cases indicates the foreign names of exotic plants, Pelliot is 
inclined to infer that Twan has derived from him also his nomenclature 
of plants in the Fu-lin language. This is by no means correct. I have 
carefully read almost all texts preserved under the name of C'en (or 
his work, the Pen ts*ao Si i) in the Cen lei pen ts % ao and Pen ts % ao kan mu, 
and likewise studied all notices of plants by Twan; with the result 
that Twan, with a few exceptions, is independent of C'en. As to Fu-lin 
names, none whatever is recorded by the latter, and the above text is 
the only one in which the country Fu-lin figures, while he gives the 
plant-name solely 'in its Sanskrit form. In fact, all the foreign names 
noted by C'en come from the Indo-Malayan area. The above case 
shows plainly that Twan's information does not at all depend on C'en's 

1 Aramaeische Pflanzennamen. 

* Toung Poo, 1912, p. 454. 

* The example cited to this effect {Bull, de VEcole fran$aise t Vol. IV, p. 1130) 
is not very lucky, for in fact the two tests are clearly independent. 

424 Sino-Iranica 

passage: the two texts differ both as to descriptive matter and nomen- 
clature. In regard to the Fu-lin information of Twan, Hirth's opinion 1 
is perfectly correct: it was conveyed by the monk Wan, who had 
hailed directly from Fu-lin.* The time when he lived is unknown, but 
most probably he was a contemporary of Twan. The Fu-lin names, 
accordingly, do not go back to the beginning of the eighth century, but 
belong to the latter half of the ninth. 

An interesting point in connection with this subject is that both 
the Iranian and the Malayan Po-se play their r61e with reference to 
the plant and fruit in question. This, as far as I know, is the only in- 
stance of this kind. Fortunately, the situation is perfectly manifest on 
either side. The fact that Twan C'efi-S hints at the Iranian Po-se 
(Persia) is well evidenced by his addition of the Iranian name; while 
the tree itself is not found in Persia, and merely its fruit was imported 
from Syria or India. The Po-se, alluded to in the Cen lei pen ts'ao and 
presumably traceable to C'en Ts'an-k'i, unequivocally represents the 
Malayan Po-se: it is joined to the names of Sumatra and P'o-lo-men; 
and Cassia fistula is said to occur there, and indeed occurs in the Malayan 
zone. Moreover, Li Si-£en has added such an unambiguous definition 
of the location of this Po-se, that there is no room for doubt of its identity. 

45. Reference has been made to the similarity of cassia pods to 
carob pods, and it would not be impossible that the latter were included 
in the "Persian Gleditschia" of the Chinese. 

Ceratonia siliqua, the carob-tree, about thirty feet in height, is 
likewise a genus of the family Leguminosae, a typical Mediterranean 
cultivation. The pods, called carob pods, carob beans, or sometimes 
sugar pods, contain a large quantity of mucilaginous and saccharine 
matter, and are commonly employed in the south of Europe for feeding 
live-stock, and occasionally, in times of scarcity, as human food. The 
popular names "locust-pods" or "St. John's Bread" rest on the suppo- 
sition that the pods formed the food of St. John in the wilderness 
(Luke, xv, 16); but there is better reason to believe that the locusts 
of St. John were the animals so called, and these are still eaten in the 
Orient. The common Semitic name for the tree and fruit is Assyrian 
xarubu, Aramaic xaruba, Arabic xarrub and xarnub. 1 New Persian 
xurnub (khurnub) or xarnub, also xarrub (hence Osmanli xar4p, A Neo- 

1 Journal Am. Or. Soe. t Vol. XXX, 1910, p. 18. 

* Cf . above, p. 359. 

• Egyptian diarudi, garuta, darruga; Coptic garate, are Greek loan-words 
(the tree never existed in Egypt, as already stated by Pliny, xni, 16), from up6rt*. 

4 Also ketiibujnusu ("goat's horn"). 

Cassia Pods and Carob 425 

Greek xapotnctw, Italian carrobo or car rub o, Spanish algarrobo, French 
caroube or carouge), is based on the Semitic name. Leleki is another 
Persian word for the tree, according to Schummer, 1 peculiar to Gilan. 

The Arabs distinguish three varieties of carob, two of which are 
named saidaldni and Sabum* There is no doubt that the Arabs who 
were active in transplanting the tree to the west conveyed it also to 
Persia. A. de Candolle does not mention the occurrence of the carob 
in that country. It is pointed out, however, by the Mohammedan 
writers on Persia. It is mentioned as a cultivation of the province 
SabQr by Muqaddasl 8 and Yflqttt. 4 Abu Mansur discusses the medicinal 
properties of the fruit in his pharmacopoeia; he speaks of a Syrian and 
a Nabathaean xarnub} Schummer 6 remarks that the tree is very 
common in the forest of Gilan; the pods serve the cows as food, and are 
made into a sweet and agreeable syrup. No Sanskrit name for the 
tree exists, and the tree itself did not anciently occur in India. 7 

A botanical problem remains to be solved in connection with Cassia 
fistula. DuHalde 9 mentions cassia-trees (Cassia fistula) in the province 
of Yun-nan toward the kingdom of Ava. "They are pretty tall, and 
bear long pods; whence 'tis called by the Chinese, Chang-ko-tse-shu, 
the tree with long fruit (ft M •? Ht) ; its pods are longer than those we 
see in Europe, and not composed of two convex shells, like those of 
ordinary pulse, but are so many hollow pipes, divided by partitions 
into cells, which contain a pithy substance, in every respect like the 
cassia in use with us." S. W. Williams 9 has the following: u Cassia 
fistula, tfc tfc it hwai hwa ts*in 9 is the name for the long cylindrical pods 
of the senna tree (Cathartocarpus) , known to the Chinese as fan kwo-ts* 
iu 9 or tree with long fruit. They are collected in Kwaft-si for their 
pulp and seeds, which are medicinal. The pulp is reddish and sweet, 
and not so drastic as the American sort; if gathered before the seeds 
are ripe, its taste is somewhat sharp. It is not exported, to any great 

1 Tenninologie, P* 120. The pods are also styled 

1 L. Lbclbrc, Trait* des simples, Vol. II, p. 16. 

' P. Schwabs, Iran, p. 32. 

1 BAftBflut de Mstkakd, Dtctsonnaire gtographique de la Perse, p. 394. 

* Achundow, Aba Mansur, p. 59. 

* Tenninologie, p. 119. 

T The alleged word for the carob, fimbibksia, given in the English-Sanskrit 
of A. Bobooah, is a modern artificial formation from eimbi or gimba 
("pod"). According to Watt, the tree is now almost naturalised in the Salt Range 
and other parts of the Panjab. 

1 Description of the Empire of China, Vol I, p. 14 (or French ed., Vol. I, p. 26). 

* Chinese Commercial Guide, p. 114 (5th ed., 1863). 

426 Sino-Iranica 

extent, west of the Cape." P. P. Smith, 1 with reference to this state- 
ment of Williams, asserts that the drug is unknown in Central China, 
and has not been met with in the pages of the Pen ts'ao. Likewise 
Stuart, 8 on referring to DuHalde and Williams, says, "No other 
authorities are found for this plant occurring in China, and it is not 
mentioned in the Pen ts'ao. The Customs Lists do not mention it; so, 
if exported as Williams claims, it must be by land routes. The subject 
is worthy of investigation. ,, Cassia fistula is not listed in the work of 
Forbes and Hemsley. 

There is no doubt that the trees described by DuHalde and Williams 
exist, but the question remains whether they are correctly identified. 
The name hwai used by Williams would rather point to a Sofhora, 
which likewise yields a long pod containing one or five seeds, and his 
description of the pulp as reddish does not fit Cassia fistula. Contrary 
to the opinions of Smith and Stuart, the species of Williams is referred 
to in the Pen ts*ao hah mu? As an appendix to his a-p % o-lo (instead of 
a-h-p'o), Li Si-6en treats of the seeds of a plant styled lo-wah-t$e jK 
3 ■?, quoting the Kwei hat yil hen Si by Fan C'en-ta (1126-93) ** 
follows: "Its habitat is in Kwan-si. The pods are several inches long, 
and are like those of thefei tsao JJB .& (Gleditschia or Gymnocladus sinen- 
sis) and the too tou 73 1£ (Canavallia ensiformis). The color [of the 
pulp] is standard red IE £)*. Inside there are two or three seeds, which 
when baked are eatable and of sweet and agreeable flavor." 4 This lo-wah 
is identified with Tamarindus indica;* and this, I believe, is also the 
above plant of Williams, which must be dissociated from Cassia fistula; 
for, while Li Si-2en notes the latter as a purely exotic plant, he does not 
state that it occurs in China; as to lo-wah, he merely regards it as a 
kindred affair on account of the peculiar pods: this does not mean, of 
course, that the trees yielding these pods are related species. The 
fruit of Tamarindus indica is a large swollen pod from four to six inches 
long, filled with an acid pulp. In India it is largely used as food, being 
a favorite ingredient in curries and chutnies, and for pickling fish. It is 
also employed in making a cooling drink or sherbet. 6 

1 Contributions towards the Materia Medica of China, p. 53. 
' Chinese Materia Medica, p. 96. 

* Ch. 31, p. 9 b. 

4 The text is exactly reproduced (see the edition in the Ci pu tsulai to'ttit iu, 
p. 24). 

* Matsumura, No. 3076 (in Japanese Idsen-modama-rdbdH). 

* Watt, Commercial Products of India, p. 1067. 


46. The Yu yah isa tsu 1 contains the following notice: "The 
habitat of the nai-kH J*t j£ is in the country Fu-lin (Syria). Its sprouts 
grow to a height of three or four feet. Its root is the size of a duck's 
egg. Its leaves resemble those of the garlic (Allium sativum). From the 
centre of the leaves rises a very long stem surmounted by a six-petaled 
flower of reddish-white color. 1 The heart of this flower is yellow-red, and 
does not form fruit. This plant grows in the winter and withers during 
the summer. It is somewhat similar to shepherd's-purse (fsi KF, 
Capsella bursa-pastoris) and wheat. 8 An oil is pressed from the flowers, 
with which they anoint the body as a preventive of colds, and is em- 
ployed by the king of Fu-lin and the nobles in his country." 

Li Si-£en, in his Pen ts % ao kah mu, A has placed this extract in his 
notice of fwi sien 3K {ft (Narcissus tazetta)* and after quoting it, adds 
this comment: "Judging from this description of the plant, it is similar 
to Narcissus; it cannot be expected, of course, that the foreign name 
should be identical with our own." 8 He is perfectly correct, for the 
description answers this flower very well, save the comparison with 
Capsella. Dioscorides also compares the leaves of Narcissus to those of 
Allium, and says that the root is rounded like a bulb. 7 

The philological evidence agrees with this explanation; for nai-k'i> 
*nai-gi, apparently answers to Middle Persian *nargi, New Persian 
nargis (Arabic narjis)? Aramaic narkim, Armenian narges (Persian 

1 Ch. 18, p. 12 b. 

1 Cf. the description of Theophrastus (Hist, plant., vn, 13): "In the case of 
narcissus it is only the flower-stem which comes up, and it immediately pushes up 
the flower." Also Dioscorides (rv, 158) and Pliny (xxi, 25) have given descriptions 
of the flower. 

1 This sentence is omitted (and justly so) in the text, as reprinted in the Pen 
1s'ao kan mu; for these comparisons are lame. 

4 Ch. 13, p. 16. 

1 Also this species is said to have been introduced from abroad (Hwa mu siao tt 
~fo ?fC /h 3a?. P- *9 t>, in &un ts*ao Vah tsi t Ch. 25). 

1 In another passage of his work (Ch. 14, p. 10) he has the same text under 
Ian nai \U §!f {Kampferia galanga), but here he merely adds that the description 
of the Yu yan tsa tsu is "a. little like San nai" 

7 Lbclbrc, Traits des simples, Vol. Ill, p. 368. 

9 According to HObschmann (Armen. Gram., p. 201), the New-Persian form 
would presuppose a Pahlavi *narkis. In my opinion, Greek v&ptuaaot is derived from 
an Iranian language through the medium of an idiom of Asia Minor, not vice versd, 
as believed by Nokldeke (Persische Studien, II, p. 43). 


428 Sino-Iranica 

loan-word), denoting Narcissus tazetta, which is still cultivated in 
Persia and employed in the pharmacopoeia. 1 Oil was obtained from the 
narcissus, which is called vapiclcawv in the Greek Papyri. 2 

Hirth 8 has erroneously identified the Chinese name with the nard. 
Aside from the fact that the description of the Yu yah tsa isu does not 
at all fit this plant, his restoration, from a phonetic viewpoint, remains 
faulty. K'an-hi does not indicate the reading not for the first character, 
as asserted by Hirth, but gives the readings nai, ni, and yih. The second 
character reads feV, which is evolved from *gi, but does not repre- 
sent ii y as Hirth is inclined to make out. 4 

For other reasons it is out of the question to see the nard in the 
term nai-k*i; for the nard, a product of India, is well known to the 
Chinese under the term kan sun hiah "H* tfi* #.' The Chinese did not 
have to go to Fu-lin to become acquainted with a product which reached 
them from India, and which the Syrians themselves received from 
India by way of Persia. Hebrew nerd (Canticle), Greek ?&/>5os, 7 
Persian nard and nard, are all derived from Sanskrit nalada, which 
already appears in the Atharvaveda. 8 Hirth 's case would also run 
counter to his theory that the language of Pu-lin was Aramaic, for 
the word nard does not occur there. 

1 Schlimmer, Terminologie, p. 390. Narcissus is mentioned among the aromatic 
flowers growing in great abundance in Bi&vOr, province of Pars, Persia (G. Lb 
Strange, Description of the Province of Pars, p. 51). It is a flower much praised 
by the poets Hafiz and JamL 

* T. Rbil, Beitrage zur Kenntnis des Gewerbes im hellenistischen Aegypten, 
p. 146. Regarding narcissus-oil, see Dioscorides, 1, 50; and Leclerc, Traite* des 
simples. Vol. II, p. 103. 

* Journal Am. Or. Soc. t Vol. XXX, 1910, p. 22. 

4 See particularly Pblliot, Bull, de I'EeolefranQaise, Vol. IV, p. 291. 
B Stuart, Chinese Materia Medica, p. 278. 

• I. Loew, Aram. Pflanzennamen, pp. 368-369. 
7 First in Theophrastus, Hist, plant., IX. vn, 2. 

• See p. 455. 


47. The Yu yah tsa tsu 1 has the following notice of an exotic plant 
referred exclusively to Syria: "The plant R €6 & a-p'o-ts'an (*a-bwut- 
sam) has its habitat in the country Fu-lin (Syria). The tree is over ten 
feet high. Its bark is green and white in color. The blossoms are 
fine IB, two being opposite each other (biflorate). The flowers resemble 
those of the rape-turnip, matirtsih S ff (Brassica rapa-depressa), 
being uniformly yellow. The seeds resemble those of the pepper-plant, 
kurtsiao Hi 4R (Piper nigrum). By chopping the branches, one obtains 
a juice like oil, that is employed as an ointment, serving as a remedy for 
ringworm, and is useful for any disease. This oil is held in very high 
esteem, and its price equals its weight in gold." 

As indicated in the Pen ts'ao kah mu H i* the notice of the plant 
o-p'o-san has been adopted by two works, — the &ehfu Vuh hwi li St 
tfe #, which simply notes that it grows in Fu-lin; and the Hwa i hwa 
mu k % ao SI M t6 >fc # (" Investigations into the Botany of China and 
Foreign Countries"), which has copied the account of the Yu yah tsa 
tsu without acknowledgment. Neither of these books gives any addi- 
tional information, and the account of the Yu yah tsa tsu remains the 
only one that we possess. 

The transcription *a-bwut(bwur)-sam, which is very exact, leads 
to Aramaic and Talmudic afursama mcowm' (Greek /WuraMor, 
Arabic baUss&n), the balm of Gilead (Amyris gileadensis, Balsamoden- 
dran giliadense 9 or Commiphora opobalsamum, family Burseraceae) of 
ancient fame. This case splendidly corroborates Hirth's opinion that 
the language of Fu-lin (or rather one of the languages of Fu-lin) was 
Aramaic. The last two characters p*o-ts'an (*bwut-sam) could very 
well transcribe Greek balsam; but the element FJ excludes Greek and 
any other language in which this word is found, and admits no other 
than Aramaic. In Syriac we have apurs&nd and pursdmd (pursma) f 
hence Armenian aprsam or aprasam. 4 In Neo-Hebrew, afdbalsmdn or 

1 Ql 18, p. 13. 

1 Ch. 4, p. 15. 

• 1. Loew, Aramaeische Pflansmnamen. p. 73. Also afarsma and ofarsmfin 
(J. Bcxroar, Lexicon chaldaicum. p. 109; J. Lhvy, Neuhebr. Worterbuch, Vol. I, 
p. 151). Cf. & KiAuas, Talmudiache ArchAologie, Vol. I, pp. 234-336. 

4 HCBsanuuor , Annenische Grmmmatik, p. 107. I do not believe in the Persian 
origin of this word, as tentatively pr oposed by this author. 


430 SinoIranica 

afofalstnon is derived from the Greek drofiaXaafiov. 1 It is supposed also 
that Old-Testament Hebrew basam refers to the balsam, and might 
represent the prototype of Greek balsamon, while others deny that the 
Hebrew word had this specific meaning. 2 In my opinion, the Greek 
/ cannot be explained from the Hebrew word. 

Twan C'en-S's description of the tree, made from a long-distance 
report, is tolerably exact. The Amyris gileadensis or balsam-tree is an 
evergreen shrub or tree of the order Atnyridaceae, belonging to the 
tropical region, chiefly growing in southern Arabia, especially in the 
neighborhood of Mecca and Medina, and in Abyssinia. As will be seen, 
it was transplanted to Palestine in historical times, and Twan was 
therefore justified in attributing it to Fu-lin. The height of the tree is 
about fourteen feet, with a trunk eight or ten inches in diameter. It 
has a double bark, — an exterior one, thin and red, and an interior one, 
thick and green; when chewed, it has an unctuous taste, and leaves an 
aromatic odor. The blossoms are biflorate, and the fruit is of a gray 
reddish, of the size of a small pea, oblong, and pointed at both ends. 
The tree is very rare and difficult to cultivate. Twan's oil, of course, 
is the light green, fragrant gum exuded from the branches, always highly 
valued as a remedy, especially efficacious in the cure of wounds. 9 It 
was always a very costly remedy, and Twan's valuation (equaling its 
weight in gold) meets its counterpart in the statement of Theophrastus 
that it sells for twice its weight in silver. 

Flavius Josephus (first century a.d.) 4 holds that the introduction 
of the balsam-tree into Palestine, which still flourished there in his 
time, is due to the queen of Saba. In another passage 5 he states that 
the opobalsamum (sap of the tree) grows at Engedi, a city near the lake 
Asphaltitis, three hundred furlongs from Jerusalem; and again, 6 that it 
grows at Jericho: the balsam, he adds in the latter passage, is of all 
ointments the most precious, which, upon any incision made in the wood 
with a sharp stone, exudes out like juice. 

Prom the time of Solomon it was cultivated in two royal gardens. 

1 J. Levy, op. tit., Vol. I, p. 137. 

1 £. Lbvbsqub in Dictionnaire de la Bible, Vol. I, col. 1517. The rapproche- 
ment of b&s&m and balsamon has already been made by d'Hbrbelot (Bibliotheque 
orientate, Vol. I, p. 377), though he gives basam only as Persian. The Arabic form 
is derived from the Greek. 

1 Jeremiah, vni, 22. Regarding its employment in the pharmacology of the 
Arabs, see Leclbrc, Traite* des simples, Vol. I, pp. 255-257. 

4 Antiquitates judaicae, VIII. VI, 6. 

1 Ibid., EX. 1, 2. 

• Ibid., XIV. IV, 1. 

The Balm of Gilead 431 

This fact was already known to Theophrastus, 1 who gives this account: 
"Balsam grows in the valley of Syria. They say that there are only 
two parks in which it grows, one of about four acres, the other much 
smaller. The tree is as tall as a good-sized pomegranate, and is much 
branched; it has a leaf like that of rue, but it is pale; and it is ever- 
green. The fruit is like that of the terebinth in size, shape, and color, 
and this too is very fragrant, indeed more so than the gum. The gum, 
they say, is collected by making incisions, which is done with bent 
pieces of iron at the time of the Dog-star, when there is scorching heat; 
and the incisions are made both in the trunks and in the upper parts 
of the tree. The collecting goes on throughout the summer; but the 
quantity which flows is not very large: in a day a single man can 
collect a shell-full. The fragrance is exceedingly great and rich, so that 
even a small portion is perceived over a wide distance. However, 
it does not reach us in a pure state: what is collected is mixed with 
other substances; for it mixes freely with such, and what is known in 
Hellas is generally mixed with something else. 1 The boughs are also 
very fragrant. In fact, it is on account of these boughs, they say, that 
the tree is pruned (as well as for a different reason), since the boughs 
cut off can be sold for a good price. In fact, the culture of the trees has 
the same motive as the irrigation (for they are constantly irrigated). 
And the cutting of the boughs seems likewise to be partly the reason 
why the trees do not grow tall; for, since they are often cut about, they 
send out branches instead of putting out all their energy in one direc- 
tion. Balsam is said not to grow wild anywhere. From the larger park 
are obtained twelve vessels containing each about three pints, from the 
other only two such vessels. The pure gum sells for twice its weight 
in silver, the mixed sort at a price proportionate to its purity. Balsam 
then appears to be of exceptional value.' 1 

As the tree did not occur wild in Palestine, but only in the state of 
cultivation, and as its home is in southern Arabia, the tradition of 
Josephus appears to be well founded, though it is not necessary to 
connect the introduction with the name of the Queen of Saba. 

Strabo,' describing the plain of Jericho, speaks of a palace and the 
garden of the balsanram. "The latter," he says, "is a shrub with an 
aromatic odor, resembling the cytisus (Medicago arbona) and the 
terminthus (terebinth-tree). Incisions are made in the bark, and vessels 

1 Hist plant, IX, 6 (cf. the edition and translation of A. Hoet, Vol II, p. 345). 

9 E. Wiedemann (5ttskr. pkys.-med. 5m. BrL, 1914, pp. 178, 191) has dealt 
with the adulteration of balsam from Arabic sources. 

• XVL n, 41. 

432 SinoIranica 

are placed beneath to receive the sap, which is like oily milk. When 
collected in vessels, it becomes solid. It is an excellent remedy for head- 
ache, incipient suffusion of the eyes, and dimness of sight. It bears 
therefore a high price, especially as it is produced in no other place." 

Dioscorides 1 asserts erroneously that balsam grows only in a certain 
valley of India and in Egypt; while Ibn al-Baitar,' in his Arabic trans- 
lation of Dioscorides, has him correctly say that it grows only,in Judaea, 
in the district called ROr (the valley of the Jordan). It is easily seen 
how Judaea in Greek writing could be misread for India. 

To Pliny, 9 balsamum was only known as a product of Judaea (uni 
terrarum Iudaeae concessum). He speaks of the two gardens after 
Theophrastus, and gives a lengthy description of three different kinds 
of balsamum. 

In describing Palestine, Tacitus 4 says that in all its productions it 
equals Italy, besides possessing the palm and the balsam; and the 
far-famed tree excited the cupidity of successive invaders. Pompey 
exhibited it in the streets of Rome in 65 B.C., and one of the wonderful 
trees accompanied the triumph of Vespasian in a.d. 79. During the 
invasion of Titus, two battles took place at the balsam-groves of Jericho, 
the last being intended to prevent the Jews from destroying the trees. 
They were then made public property, and were placed under the 
protection of an imperial guard; but it is not recorded how long the two 
plantations survived, fn this respect, the Chinese report of the Yu yah 
isa tsu is of some importance, for it is apt to teach that the balm of 
Gilead must still have been in existence in the latter part of the ninth 
century. It further presents clear-cut evidence of the fact that 
Judaea was included in the Chinese notion of the country Fu-lin. 

Abd al-Lattf (1161-1231)* relates how in his time balsam was col- 
lected in Egypt. The operation was preferably conducted in the summer. 
The tree was shorn of its leaves, and incisions were made in the trunk, 
precaution being taken against injuring the wood. The sap was col- 
lected in jars dug in the ground during the heat, then they were taken 
out to be exposed to the sun. The oil floated on the surface and was 
cleaned of foreign particles. This was the true and purest balsam, form- 
ing only the tenth part of the total quantity produced by a tree. At 
present, in Arabia leaves and branches of the tree are boiled. The first 

1 1, 18. 

1 Leclbrc, Traits des simples, Vol. I, 255. 

s xn,<25, § in. 

« Hist., v, 6. 

1 Silvbstrb de Sacy, Relation de l'Egypte, p. 20 (Paris, 1810). 

The Balm of Gilead 433 

floating oil is the best, and reserved for the harem; the second is for 

The tree has existed in Egypt from the eleventh to the beginning 
of the seventeenth century. It was presumably introduced there by the 
Arabs. d'Herbelot 1 cites an Arabic author as saying that the balm 
of Mathara near Cairo was much sought by the Christians, owing to 
the faith they put in it. It served them as the chrism in Confirmation. 

The Irish pilgrim Symon Semeonis, who started on his journey to 
the Holy Land in 1323, has the following interesting account of the 
balsam-tree of Egypt: 2 "To the north of the city is a place called 
Matarieh, where is that famous vine said to have been formerly in 
Engaddi (cf. Cant., 1, 13), which distils the balsam. It is diligently 
guarded by thirty men, for it is the source of the greater portion of the 
Sultan's wealth. It is not like other vines, but is a small, low, smooth 
tree, and odoriferous, resembling in smoothness and bark the hazel 
tree, and in leaves a certain plant called nasturtium aquaticum. The 
stalk is thin and short, usually not more than a foot in length; every 
year fresh branches grow out from it, having from two to three feet in 
length and producing no fruit. The keepers of the vineyard hire Chris- 
tians, who with knives or sharp stones break or cut the tops of these 
branches in several places and always in the sign of a cross. The balsam 
soon distils through these fractures into glass bottles. The keepers 
assert that the flow of balsam is more abundant when the incision 
is made by a Christian than by a Saracen. 91 * 

In 1550 Ptebee Belon 4 still noted the tree in Cairo. Two speci- 
mens were still alive in 1612. In 1615, however, the last tree died. 

The Semitic word introduced into China by the Yu yah tsa tsu 
seems to have fallen into oblivion. It is not even mentioned in the 
Pen is'ao kah tnu. The word "balsam," however, was brought back to 
China by the early Jesuits. In the famous work on the geography of 
the world, the Cifah wax kiMjfr ft- £,* first draughted by Pantoja, and 
after his death enlarged and edited in 1623 by Giulio Aleni (1582-1649), 
the Peru balsam is described under the name pa'r-sarmo JR ff Jft J& . 
The same word with reference to the same substance is employed by 

1 Bibliotheque orientate, Vol. I, p. 392. 

1 M. Esposrro, The Pilgrimage of Symon Semeonis: A Contribution to the 
History of Mediaeval Travel (Geographical Journal, Vol. LI, 1918, p. 85). 

* Cf . the similar account of K. v. Megbnberg (Buch der Natur, p. 358, writ- 
ten in 1349-50). 

4 Observations de plusieurs singularitez et choses memorables, trouvees en 
Grece, Asie, Iudee, Egypte, Arabie, p. 246. 

• Ch. 4, p. 3 (ed. of Sou Ian ko ts'un 5u). 

434 Sino-Iranica 

Ferdinand Verbiest (1623-88) in his K*un yii Vu hvo ^Hlfi, and 
was hence adopted in the pharmacopoeia of the Chinese, for it figures 
in the Pen ts % ao kan mu H i> The Chinese Gazetteer of Macao 1 mentions 
pa'r-su-tna aromatic B W 6? JftL # as a kind of benjoin. In this case 
we have a transcription of Portuguese b&lsamo. 

1 Ch. 6, p. 19. See, further, Waiters, Essays on the Chinese Language, p. 339. 
* Ao-mcn Zi Ho, Ch. b, p. 41 (cf. Wylib, Notes on Chinese Literature, p. 60). 


48. The preceding notes on Fu-lin plants have signally confirmed 
Hirth's opinion in regard to the language of Fu-lin, which was Aramaic. 
There now remains but one Fu-lin plant-name to be identified. This is 
likewise contained in the Yu yan isa tsu. 1 The text runs as follows: — 

"The p*an-nu-se JSSftt tree has its habitat in Pose (Persia), 
likewise in Fu-lin. In Fu-lin it is styled k % iin-han Wt &. The tree is 
thirty feet high, and measures from three to four feet in circumference. 
Its leaves resemble those of the si Sun tt 18 (the Banyan tree, Ficus 
retusa). It is an evergreen. The flowers resemble those of the citrus, 
kii ffi, and are white in color. The seeds are green and as large as a 
sour jujube, swan tsao Wt ft (Diospyros lotus). They are sweet of taste 
and glossy (fat, greasy). They are eatable. The people of the western 
regions press oil out of them, to oint their bodies with to ward off 

The transcription p x atwiu~se answers to ancient *bwan-du-sek; 
and k'Un-han y to ancient g / win-xan. Despite a long-continued and 
intensive search, I cannot discover any Iranian plant-name of the type 
bandusek or wandusek, nor any Aramaic word like ginxan. The botanical 
characteristics are too vague to allow of a safe identification. Never- 
theless I hope that this puzzle also will be solved in the future. 1 

In the Fu-lin name aAi-k % U-fa we recognized an Indian loan-word in 
Aramaic (p. 423). It would be tempting to regard as such also the 
Fu-lin word for "pepper" *a-li-xa-da PJ58WRB (a-li-ho-fo), which 
may be restored to *alixada, arixada, arxad; but no such word is known 
from Indian or in Aramaic. The common word for "pepper "in Aramaic 
is filfol (from Sanskrit frippala). In certain Kurd dialects J. de Morgan* 
has traced a word alat for "pepper," but I am not certain that this is 

1 Ch. 18, p. 10 b. 

* My colleague, Professor M. Sprengling at the University of Chicago, kindly 
sent me the following information: "Olive-oil was used to ward off ulcers (see 
Winer, Bibl. Realwortb., Vol. II, p. 170; and Krauss, Archaeologie des Talmud, 
Vol. I, pp. 229, 233, 683). Neither in Krauss nor elsewhere was I able to find the 
name of an oil-producing tree even remotely resembling ginxan. There is a root 
qnx ( 4 to wipe, to rub, to anoint')- It is theoretically possible that q is pronounced 
voiced and thus becomes a guttural g, and that from this root, by means of the 
suffix -an, may be derived a noun *qlnxan, *ginxan to which almost any significance 
derived from 'rubbing, anointing' might be attached. But for the existence of such 
a noun or adjective I have not the slightest evidence." 

1 Mission sdentifique en Perse, Vol. V, p. 132. 


436 Sino-Iranica 

connected with our Fu-lin word, which at any rate represents a loan- 

There is another Fu-lin word which has not yet been treated cor* 
rectly. The T'ang Annals, in the account of Fu-lin (Ch. 221), mention 
a mammal, styled ts'un V, of the size of a dog, fierce, vicious, and 
strong. 1 Bretschneider,* giving an incorrect form of the name, has 
correctly identified this beast with the hyena, which, not being found 
in eastern Asia, is unknown to the Chinese. Ma Twan-lin adds that 
some of these animals are reared, 9 and the hyena can indeed be tamed* 
The character for the designation of this animal is not listed in K'aA-hi's 
Dictionary; but K'an-hi gives it in the form V 4 with the pronunciation 
hien (fan-ts'ie f? ffc, sound equivalent JR), quoting a commentary to 
the dictionary Er ya t which is identical with the text of Ma Twan-lin 
relative to the animal ts*uh. This word hien (or possibly hiian) can be 
nothing but a transcription of Greek tiaiva, hyaena, or bairn. On the 
other hand, it should be noted that this Greek word has also passed as 
a loan into Syriac;* and it would therefore not be impossible that it 
was Syrians who transmitted the Greek name to the Chinese. This 
question is altogether irrelevant; for we know, and again thanks to 
Hirth's researches, that the Chinese distinguished two Fu-lin, — the 
Lesser Fu-lin, which is identical with Syria, and the Greater Fu-lin, the 
Byzantine Empire with Constantinople as capital. 6 Byzantine Greek, 
accordingly, must be included among the languages spoken in Fu-lin. 

As to the origin of the name Fu-lin, I had occasion to refer to Pel- 
liot's new theory, according to which it would be based on Rom, 
Ram. 7 I am of the same opinion, and perfectly in accord with the 
fundamental principles by which this theory is inspired. In fact, this 
is the method followed throughout this investigation: by falling 
back on the ancient phonology of Chinese, we may hope to restore 
correctly the prototypes of the Chinese transcriptions. Pelliot starts 
from the Old-Armenian form Hrom or HrOm, 8 in which h represents 

1 Hirth, China and the Roman Orient, pp. 60, 107, 220. 

* Knowledge possessed by the Ancient Chinese of the Arabs, p. 24. 

1 Hirth (op. cU. 9 p. 79) translates, "Some are domesticated like dogs." But 
the phrase {£( ffij following ^f ^| :ff forms a separate clause. In the text printed 
by Hirth (p. 115, Q 22) the character *jfi is to be eliminated. 

4 Thus reproduced by Palladius in his Chinese-Russian Dictionary (Vol. I, 
p. 569) with the reading suan. 

6 R. P. Smith, Thesaurus syriacus, Vol. I, col. 338. 

* Cf. HntTH, Journal Am. Or. Soc. t Vol. XXXIII, Z913, pp. 202-208. 

7 The Diamond (this volume, p. 8). Pblliot's notice is in Journal asiatfque, 
1914. 1. PP. 498-500. 

* Cf. HttBSCHMANN, Armen. Gram., p. 362. 

Note on the Language of Fu-lin 437 

the spiritus asper of the initial Greek r. In some Iranian dialects the 
spiritus asper is marked by an initial vowel: thus in Pahlavi Artlm, in 
Kurd Urum. The ancient Armenian words with initial hr f as explained 
by A. Meillet, were borrowed from Parthian dialects which transformed 
initial Iranian/ into h: for instance, Old Iranian framana (now ferman, 
"order") resulted in Armenian hrcman, hence from Parthian *hraman. 
Thus *FrOm, probably conveyed by the Sogdians, was the prototype 
from which Chinese Fu-lin, *Fu-lim, was fashioned. In my opinion, 
the Chinese form is not based on *FrOm, but on *Frim or *Frfm. Rim 
must have been an ancient variant of Rttm; Rim is still the Russian 
designation of Rome. 1 What is of still greater importance is that, as 
has been shown by J. J. Modi,* there is a Pahlavi name Sairima, which 
occurs in the Farvardin YaSt, and is identified with Rum in the Ban- 
dahiSn; again, in the Sahnameh the corresponding name is Rum. This 
country is said to have derived its name from Prince Selam, to whom 
it was given; but this traditional opinion is not convincing. A form 
Rima or Rim has accordingly existed in Middle Persian; and, on the 
baas of the Chinese transcription *Fu-lim or *Fu-rim, it is justifiable 
to presuppose the Iranian (perhaps Parthian) prototype *Frim, from 
which the Chinese transcription was made. 

'What Pelliot remarks on the Tibetan names Ge-sar and P'rom is purely 
hypothetical, and should rather be held in abeyance for the present. We know so 
little about the Ge-sar epic, that no historical conclusions can be derived from it. 
For the rest, the real Tibetan designation for Byzance or Turkey, in the same 
manner as in New Persian, is Rum (Voung Poo, 1916, p. 491). In regard to the 
occurrence of this name in Chinese transcriptions of more recent date, see But* 
SGBNKiDEft, Medieval Researches, Vol. II, p. 506; and Hirth, Chau Ju-kua, p. 141. 

a Asiatic Papers, p. 344 (Bombay, 1905). 


49. This •Cucurbitacea (Citrtdlus vulgaris or Cucurbita citrullus) 
is known to the Chinese under the name si kwa IS J& ("melon of the 
west")- The plant now covers a zone from anterior Asia, the Caucasus 
region, Persia to Turkistan and China, also southern Russia and the 
regions of the lower Danube. There is no evidence to lead one to sup- 
pose that the cultivation was very ancient in Iran, India, Central Asia, 
or China; and this harmonizes with the botanical observation that 
the species has not been found wild in Asia. 1 

A. Engler' traces the. home of the water-melon to South Africa, 
whence he holds it spread to Egypt and the Orient in most ancient times, 
and was diffused over southern Europe and Asia in the pre-Christian 
era. This theory is based on the observation that the water-melon 
grows spontaneously in South Africa, but it is not explained by what 
agencies it was disseminated from there to ancient Egypt. Neverthe- 
less the available historical evidence in Asia seems to me to speak 
in favor of the theory that the fruit is not an Asiatic cultivation; and, 
since there is no reason to credit it to Europe, it may well be traceable 
to an African origin. 

The water-melon is not mentioned by any work of the T'ang dy- 
nasty; notably it is absent from the T*ai pHn hwan yil ki. The earliest 
allusion to it is found in the diary of Hu Kiao 48 Aff , entitled Hien lu ki 
B M E, which is inserted in chapter 73 of the History of the Five Dy- 
nasties (Wu iai Si), written by Nou-yan Siu (ft 9 4£ (a.d. 1017-72) 
and translated by E. Chavannes.* Hu Kiao travelled in the country 
of the Kitan from a.d. 947 to 953, and narrates that there for the first 
time he ate water-melons (si kwa). A He goes on to say, "It is told that 
the Kitan, after the annihilation of the Uigur, obtained this cultivation. 
They cultivated the plant by covering the seeds with cattle-manure 
and placing mats over the beds. The fruit is as large as that of the 

1 A. de Candollb, Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 263. 

* In Hehn, Kulturpflanzen, p. 323. 

* Voyageurs chinois chez les Khitan (Journal asiatique, 1897, I, pp. 390-442). 

4 Chavannes* translation "melons" (p. 400) is inadequate; the water-melon 
is styled in French pasUque or melon d'eau. Hu Kiao, of course, was acquainted 
with melons in general, but what he did not previously know is this particular species. 
During Napoleon's expedition to Egypt, "on mangeait des lentilles, des pigeons, et 
un melon d'eau ezquis, connu dans les pays mendionaux sous le nom de pasUque. 
Les soldats l'appelaient sainie pasUque* ' (Thiers, Histoire de la revolution franchise). 


The Water-Melon 439 

tun kwa 4fr Jtt, (Bettincasa cerifera) 1 and of sweet taste." 2 The water- 
melon is here pointed out as a novelty discovered by a Chinese among 
the Kitan, who then occupied northern China, and who professed to 
have received it from the Turkish tribe of the Uigur. It is not stated 
in this text that Hu Kiao took seeds of the fruit along or introduced it 
into China proper. This should be emphasized, in view of the con- 
clusion of the Pen ts*ao kan mu (see below), and upheld by Bretschneider 
and A. de Candolle, that the water-melon was in China from the tenth 
century. At that time it was only in the portion of China held by the 
Kitan, but still unknown in the China of the Chinese.* 

1 "Cultivated in China, Japan, India and Africa, and often met with in a wild 
state: but it is uncertain whether it is indigenous" (Forbes and Hemsley, Journal 
Linnean Society, Vol. XXIII, p. 315). 

* Hu Kiao was a good observer of the flora of the northern regions, and his 
notes have a certain interest for botanical geography. Following his above refer- 
ence to the water-melon, he continues, "Going still farther east, we arrived at Niao- 
t*an, where for the first time willows [Jurci suxei\ are encountered, also water-grass, 
luxuriant and fine; the finest of this kind is the grass si-ki J§J> £$£ with large blades. 
Ten of these are sufficient to satisfy the appetite of a horse. From Niao-t'an we 
advanced into high mountains which it took us ten days' journey to cross. Then we 
passed a large forest, two or three li long, composed entirely of elms, wu-i |H H 
( Ultnus tnacrocarpa), the branches and leaves of which are set with thorns like arrow- 
feathers. The soil is devoid of grass." Si-ki apparently represents the transcription 
of a Kitan word. Three species of elm occur in the Amur region, — Ultnus montana, 
U. campestris, and U. suberosa (Grum-GrSimailo, Opisanie Amurskoi Oblasti, 
p. 3x6). In regard to the locality T'an-C'en-tien, Hu Kiao reports, "The climat 
there is very mild, so that the Satan, when they suffer from great cold, go there to 
warm up. The wells are pure and cool; the grass is soft like down, and makes a 
good sleeping-couch. There are many peculiar flowers to be found, of which two 
species may be mentioned,— one styled han-kin ^ 4k* the size of the palm of a 
hand, of gold color so brilliant that it dazzles man; the other, termed ts*in tan 
^f £, IHre the kin Ven 4t 81 (Orithia edulis) of China, resembling in color an 
Indigofera (Ian Jj£) and very pleasing." The term han-kin appears to be the tran- 
scription of a Satan word; so is perhaps also ts'in ian, although, according to Stuart 
(Chinese Materia Medica, p. 404), the leaves of Sesamum are so called; this plant, 
however, cannot come here into question. 

1 The Pien Ise lei pien cites the Wu tai H to the effect that Siao Han |£ tfa, 
after the subjugation of the Uigur, obtained the seeds of water-melons and brought 
them back, and that the fruit as a product of the Western Countries (Si yti, that is, 
Central Asia) was called "western melon" (si kwa). I regret not having been able to 
trace this text in the Wu tai H. The biography of Siao Han inserted in the Kiu 
Wu tai H (Ch. 98, pp. 6 b-7 a) contains nothing of the kind. The statement itself 
is suspicious for two reasons. Siao Han, married to A-pu-li, sister of the Emperor 
Wu-yu, in A.D. 948 was involved in a high-treason plot, and condemned to death in 
the ensuing year (cf. H. C. v. D. Gabelentz, Geschichte der grossen Liao, p. 65; 
and Chavannbs, op. cit., p. 392). Hu Kiao was secretary to Siao Han, and in this 
capacity accompanied him to the Satan. After his master's death, Hu Kiao was 
without support, and remained among the Satan for seven years (up to the year 953). 
It was in the course of these peregrinations that, as related above, he was first 
introduced to water-melons. Now, if Siao Han had really introduced this fruit into 

44^ Sino-Iranica 

fruit is inferior in taste to that of the north." He distinguishes sweet, 
insipid, and sour varieties. 

In the T % ao hun kin tu W 2S; ft Sfe 1 it is stated that in Yun-kia 
jk jjfc (in the prefecture of Wen-6ou, Ci-li) there were han kwa 35 Jft 
("cold melons") of very large size, which could be preserved till the 
coming spring, and which are regarded as identical with the water- 
melon. Li Si-5en justly objects to this interpretation, commenting that, 
if the water-melon was first introduced in the Wu-tai period, the name 
si kwa could not have been known at that time. This objection must 
be upheld, chiefly for the reason that we have no other records from the 
fourth century or even the Tang period which mention the water- 
melon: it is evidently a post-T'ang introduction. 2 

Ye Tse-k'i, in his Ts % ao mil tse 3£ ^C -J* written in 1378, remarked 
that water-melons were first introduced under the Yuan, when the 
Emperor Si-tsu 1ft jft (Kubilai) subjugated Central Asia. This view 
was already rejected under the Ming in the Gen iu Fwan & *% flft by 
C'en Ki-iu BRItt fll, who aptly referred to the discovery of the fruit by 
Hu Kiao, and added that it is not mentioned in the Er ya, the various 
older Pen ts % ao, the TsH min yao Su, and other books of a like character, 
it being well known that the fruit did not anciently exist in China. As 
to this point, all Chinese writers on the subject appear to be agreed; and 
its history is so well determined, that it has not given rise to attempts 
of antedating or "changkienizing" the introduction. 

The Chinese travellers during the Mongol period frequently allude 
to the large water-melons of Persia and Central Asia.* On the other 
hand, Ibn Batata mentions the excellent water-melons of China, which 
are like those of Khwarezm and Ispahan. 4 

According to the Manchu officers Fusambd and Surde, who pub- 
lished an account of Turkistan about 1772/ the water-melon of this 
region, though identical with that of China, does not equal the latter 
in taste ; on the contrary, it is much inferior to it. Other species of melon 
belong to the principal products of Turkistan; some are called by the 
Chinese "Mohammedan caps" and "Mohammedan eyes." The so- 
called "Hami melon," which is not a water-melon, and ten varieties 
of which are distinguished, enjoys a great reputation. Probably it is 

1 Apparently a commentary to the works of T'ao Hun-kin (a.d. 451-536). 

1 The alleged synonyme han kwa for the water-melon, adopted also by Bret- 
schneider (Chinese Recorder, 1871, p. 223) and others, must therefore be weeded out. 

1 Cf. Bretschnbider, Mediaeval Researches, Vol. I, pp. 20, 31, 67, 89. 

4 Yule, Cathay, new ed., Vol. IV, p. 109. 

1 Hui k % ian li, see above, p. 230; and below, p. 562. 

The Water-Melon 443 

a variety of sweet melon (Cucumis melo) 9 called in Uigur and Djagatai 
kogun, kavyn, or kaun, in Turk! qawa and qawaq. 

It is said to have been introduced into China as late as the K'an-hi 
era (1662-1721), and was still expensive at that time, but became 
ubiquitous after the subjugation of Turlristan. 1 Of other foreign 
countries that possess the water-melon! the Yin yai Sen Ian mentions 
Su-men-ta-la (Sumatra), where the fruit has a green shell and red 
seeds, and is two or three feet in length, 1 and Ku-li *£ M (Calicut) in 
India, where it may be had throughout the year. 8 In the country of the 
Mo-ho the fruits are so heavy that it takes two men to lift them. They 
are said to occur also in Camboja. 4 If it is correct that the first report 
of the water-melon reached the Chinese not earlier than the tenth 
century (and there is no reason to question the authenticity of this 
account), this late appearance of the fruit would rather go to indicate 
that its arrival in Central Asia was almost as late or certainly not much 
earlier; otherwise the Chinese, during their domineering position in 
Central Asia under the T'ang, would surely not have hesitated to 
appropriate it. This state of affairs is confirmed by conditions in Iran 
and India, where only a mediaeval origin of the fruit can be safely sup- 

The point that the water-melon may have been indigenous in 
Persia from ancient times is debatable. Such Persian terms as hindewdne 
("Indian fruit") [Afghan hindwdna] or battix indi ("Indian melon") 5 
raise the suspicion that it might have been introduced from India* 6 
Garcia da Orta states, "According to the Arabs and Persians, this 
fruit was brought to their countries from India, and for that reason they 

1 Hui k'ian ft, Ch. 2; and Ci wu mi* H Vu k'ao, Ch. 16, p. 85. 

* Malayan mande&kei, tamblkei, or semaHka (Javanese semo*ka, Cam samkai). 
Regarding other Malayan names of cucurbitaceous plants, see R. Brandstbttbr, 
Mata-Hari, p. 27; cf. also J. Crawfurd, History of the Indian Archipelago, Vol. I, 

P* 435- 

• Regarding other cucurbitaceous plants of Calicut, see Rockhill, Toting Poo, 
I 9 I 5» PP* 459> 460; hut tu* fcwa is not, as there stated, the cucumber, it is Benincasa 

* Kwa* k'iin fa* p % u, Ch. 14, p. 18. Cf. Pblliot, Bull, de VEcole frangaise, 
Vol. II, p. 169. Water-melons are cultivated in Siam (Pallegoix, Description 
du royaume Thai, Vol. I, p. 126). 

' From the Arabic; Egyptian bettu-ka, Coptic betuke; hence Portuguese and 
Spanish pasteca, French pasUque. The baUix Hindi has already been discussed by Ibn 
al-Bait&r (L. Leclerc, Traite* des simples, Vol. I, p. 240) and by Abu Mansur (Achun- 
dow, p. 23). Armenian Hum bears no relation to the dudaim of the Bible, as tenta- 
tively suggested by £. Seidel (Mechithar, p. 121). The latter refers to the man- 

• Thus also Spiegel, Eranische Altertumskunde, Vol. I, p. 259. 

444 Sino-Iranica 

call it Batiec Indi, which means 'melon of India/ and Avicenna so calls 
it in many places." 1 Nor does Persian herbuz* Middle Persian harboftnd 
or xarbuzak (literally, "donkey-cucumber") favor the assumption of 
an indigenous origin. VAmb£ry* argues that Turkish karpus or harfms 
is derived from the Persian, and that accordingly the fruit hails from 
Persist, though the opposite standpoint would seem to be equally 
justifiable, and the above interpretation may be no more than the 
outcome of a popular etymology. But V£mb6ry, after all, may be right; 
at least, by accepting his theory it would be comparatively easy to 
account for the migration of the water-melon. In this case, Persia 
would be the starting-point from which it spread to the Turks of Central 
Asia and finally to China. 4 A philological argument may support the 
opinion that the Turkish word was derived from Persia: besides the 
forms with initial guttural, we meet an alternation with initial dental, 
due to phonetic dissimilation. The Uigur, as we know from the Uigur- 
Chinese vocabulary, had the word as karpuz; but the Mongols term the 
water-melon tar bus. Likewise in Turkl we have tar buz, but also qarpus. 
This alternation is not Mongol-Turkish, but must have pre-existed in 
Persian, as we have tarambuja in Neo-Sanskrit, and in Hindustani 
there is xarbUza and tarbuza (also tarbuz and tarmus) , and correspondingly 
tarbuz in West-Tibetan. In Pu§tu, the language of the Afghans, we 
have tarbuja in the sense of "water-melon," and xarbuja designating 
various kinds of musk-melon. 1 Through Turkish mediation the same 
word reached the Slavs (Russian arbUz,' Bulgarian karpdz, Polish 
arbuz, gar buz, harbuz) and Byzantines (Greek xaprofana), and Turkish 
tribes appear to have been active in disseminating the fruit east and 

It would therefore be plausible also that, as stated by Joret, 7 the 
fruit may have been propagated from Iran to India, although the 
date of this importation is unknown. From Indian sources, on the other 
hand, nothing is to be found that would indicate any great antiquity of 
the cultivation of this species. Of the alleged Sanskrit word chayapula, 

1 C. Markham, Colloquies by Garcia da Orta, p. 304. 

1 Prom which Armenian xarptag is derived. 

* Primitive Cultur des turko-tatarischen Volkes, pp. 217-218. 

4 VamWry, of course, is wrong in designating Persia and India as the mother- 
country of this cultivation. The mother-country was ancient Egypt or Africa in 
a wider sense. 

1 H. W. Bellew, Report on the Yusufzais, p. 255 (Lahore, 1864). 

9 In the dialects of northern Persia we also find such forms as arkuz and arho% 
(J. db Morgan, Mission en Perse, Vol. V, p. 212). 

1 Plantes dans l'antiquitl, Vol. II, p. 252. 

The Water-Melon 445 

which A. de Candolle introduces as evidence for the early diffusion 
of the cultivation into Asia, I cannot find any trace. The Sanskrit 
designations of the water-melon, nafdtnra ("mango of the Nata"?), 
gofamba, tarambuja, sedu, are of recent origin and solely to be found in 
the lexicographers; while others, like kdlinga (Benincasa cerifera), orig- 
inally refer to other cucurbitaceous plants. Watt gives only modern 
vernacular names. 

Chinese si kwa has been equated with Greek cucba by Herth, 1 who 
arbitrarily assigns to the latter the meaning "water-melon." This 
philological achievement has been adopted by Giles in his Chinese 
Dictionary (No. 6281). The Greek word, however, refers only to the 
cucumber, and the water-melon remained unknown to the Greeks of 
ancient times. 2 A late Greek designation for the fruit possibly is vkvwv, 
which appears only in Hippocrates.* A. de Candolle 4 justly remarked 
that the absence of an ancient Greek name which may with certainty 
be attributed to this species seems to show that it was introduced into 
the Graeeo-Roman world about the beginning of the Christian era. 
The Middle and Modern Greek word \apirwS a or xapirofarta, derived 
from Persian or Turkish, plainly indicates the way in which the By- 
zantine world became acquainted with the water-melon. There is, 
further, no evidence that the Greek word cud)* ever penetrated into 
Asia and reached those peoples (Uigur, Kitan, Jur&) whom the Chinese 
make responsible for the transmission of the water-melon. The Chinese 
term is not a transcription, but has the literal meaning ' * western melon ' ' ; 
and the "west" implied by this term does not stretch as far as Greece, but, 
as is plainly stated in the Wu tai Si, merely alludes to the fact that the 
fruit was produced in Turkistan. Si kwa is simply an abbreviation 
for Si yil kwa 9 $ J&; that is, "melon of Turkistan. 1 ' 5 

According to the Yamato-honzd* of 1709, water-melons were first 
introduced into Japan in the period Kwan-ei (1624-44). 
—^^^^^^^— ' — — ^ ^ ~~ ^ ~— — ' — — — — ■ ^~— — ^— ^— 

1 Fremde Einflusse in der chinesischen Kunst, p. 17. 

* A. db Candolle, Geographie botanique, p. 909. 

1 Even this problematic interpretation is rejected by L. Lbclbrc (Traite* des 
simples, Vol. I, p. 239), who identifies the Greek word with the common gourd. 
Leclerc's controversy with A. de Candolle should be carefully perused by those 
who are interested in the history of the melon family. 

4 Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 264. 

1 Illustrations of Chinese water-melon fields may be seen in P. H. King, Farm- 
ers of Forty Centuries, pp. 282, 283. 

• Ch. 8, p. 3. 


50. In regard to the fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum, French 
fenugrec), Chinese huAu-pa (Japanese karoka) 48 ft B, Stuart 1 states 
without further comment that the seeds of this leguminous plant were 
introduced into the southern provinces of China from some foreign 
country. But Bretschneider* had correctly identified the Chinese 
name with Arabic hulba (xulba). The plant is first mentioned in the 
Pen ts'ao of the Kia-yu period (a.d. 1056-64) of the Sung dynasty, 
where the author, Can Yu-si 3jt B fcft, says that it grows in the prov- 
inces of K wan-tun and Kwei-£ou, and that, according to some, the 
species of Lin-nan represents the seeds of the foreign lo-po (Raphanus 
sativus), but that this point has not yet been investigated. Su Sufi, 
in his Tu kin pen ts % ao, states that "the habitat of the plant is at present 
in Kwan-tun, and that in the opinion of some the seeds came from 
Hai-nan and other barbarians; passengers arriving on ships planted 
the seeds in Kwan-tun (Lin-wai), where the plant actually grows, but 
its seeds do not equal the foreign article; the seeds imported into China 
are really good." Then their employment in the pharmacopoeia is 
discussed.* The drug is also mentioned in the Pen ts*ao yen i. A 

The transcription hu-lu-pa is of especial interest, because the 
element hu forms part of the transcription, but may simultaneously 
imply an allusion to the ethnic name Hu. The form of the transcription 
shows that it is post-T'ang; for under the T'ang the phonetic equiva- 
lent of the character 48 was still possessed of an initial guttural, and a 
foreign element xu would then have been reproduced by a quite different 

The medical properties of the plant are set forth by Abu Mansur in 
his Persian pharmacopoeia under the name httibat* The Persian name 

1 Chinese Materia Medica, p. 442. 

* Bot. Sin., pt. i, p. 65. 

1 Stuart (/. c.) says wrongly that the seeds have been in use as a medicine since 
the T'ang dynasty; this, however, has been the case only since the Sung. I do not 
know of any mention of the plant under the T'ang. This negative documentary 
evidence is signally confirmed by the transcription of the name, which cannot have 
been made under the T'ang. 

4 Ch. 12, p. 4 b (ed. of Lu Sin-yuan). 

6 Achundow, Abu Mansur, p. 47. Another Persian form is hulya. In Arme- 
nian it is hulbd or hulbe (B. Sbidel, Mechithar, p. 183). See also Leclerc, Traite* 


Fenugreek 447 

is Sanbalid, Sanbalile in Ispahan, and Samite in Shiraz, which appears 
in India as iamli. As is well known, the plant occurs wild in Kashmir, 
the Panjab, and in the upper Gangetic plain, and is cultivated in many 
parts of India, particularly in the higher inland provinces. The Sanskrit 
term is methi, tnethika, or tnethini. 1 In Greek it is ffovickpas ("ox-horn"), 1 
Middle Greek xoO\r€P (from the Arabic), Neo-Greek rrfkv; Latin 
foenutn groecutn* According to A. de Candolle, 4 the species is wild 
(besides the Panjab and Kashmir) in the deserts of Mesopotamia and 
of Persia, and in Asia Minor. John Fryer 6 enumerates it among the 
products of Persia. 6 

Another West-Asiatic plant introduced by the Arabs into China under the 
Sung is flP ^ 3t yo-p*4u t first mentioned by Cou Mi ^Q flj (1 230-1 320) as a 
poisonous plant growing several thousand li west from the countries of the Moham- 
medans {Kwci sin tsa H, sU tsi A, p. 38, ed. of Pat hat; and Ci ya Van tsa Vao t Ch. A, 
p. 40 b, ed. of Y&e ya Van ts'un 1st). This name is based on Arabic yabruh or abruk 
(Persian jabrHh), the mandragora or mandrake. This subject has been discussed by 
me in detail in a monograph "La Mandragore" (in French), Toung Poo, 1917, 
pp. 1-30. 

des simples, Vol. I, p. 443. Schumcer (Terminologie, p. 547) remarks, "L'infusion 
de la semence est un remede favori des m&iecins indigenes dans les blennorhagies 
urethriques chroniques." 

1 It occurs, for instance, as a condiment in an Indian tale of King Vikramfiditya 
(A. Wbbbr, Abh. BerL Akad., 1877, p. 67). 

1 Hippocrates; Theophrastus, Hist, plant, IV. rv, 10; or HJXit : ibid., III. xvi, 
2; Dioscorides, II, 124. 

1 Pliny, xxxv, 120. 

4 Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 112. 

* New Account of East India and Persia, Vol. II, p. 311. 

* For further information see FlOckigbr and Hanbury, Pharmacographia, 
p. 172. 


51. The mix- vomica or strychnine tree (Strychnos nux-vomica) 
is mentioned in the Pen ts'ao kah mu under the name # >fc tt fan 
mu~pie ("foreign mu-pie," Momordica cochinchinensis, a cucurbitaceotts 
plant), with the synonymes flj it ^ ma ts % ien~tse (" horse-coins," re- 
ferring to the coins on a horse's bridle, hence Japanese matin), 1$ JE 
JE 3 k f u H pa ton ("pctrtou [Croton tiglium] with bitter fruits"), 1 and 
iK ife IB JE 9 hwo-H-Wo pa-tu. The latter term, apparently of foreign 
origin, has not yet been identified; and such an attempt would also 
have been futile, as there is an error in the transcription. The correct 
mode of writing the word which is given in the Co ken lu, 1 written in 
a.d. 1366, is A ^ W hwo-H-la, and this is obviously a transcription of 
Persian kuila or kutula ("nux-vomica"), a name which is also current 
in India (thus in Hindustani; Bengali kulila). The second element 
pa-tu is neither Persian nor Arabic, and, in my opinion, must be ex- 
plained from Chinese pa-tou (Croton tiglium). 

The text of the Co ken lu is as follows: "As regards hwo-H-la pa-tu, 
it is a drug growing in the soil of Mohammedan countries. In appear* 
ance it is like mu-pie-tse (Momordica cochinchinensis), but smaller. It 
can cure a hundred and twenty cases; for each case there are special 
ingredients and guides." This is the earliest Chinese mention of this 
drug that I am able to trace; and as it is not yet listed in the Cen lei 
pen ts*ao of 1108, the standard work on materia medica of the Sung 
period, it is justifiable to conclude that it was introduced into China 
only in the age of the Mongols, during the fourteenth century. This is 
further evidenced by the very form of the transcription, which is in 
harmony with the rules then in vogue for writing foreign words. The 
Kwah k % Un fan p % u* cites no other source relative to the subject than 
the Pen ts % ao kah mu, which indeed appears to be the first and only 

1 This name does not mean, as asserted by Stuart (Chinese Materia Medica, 
p. 425), "bitter-seeded Persian bean." Stuart (ibid., p. 132) says that the Arabic 
name for CroUm tiglium is "batoo, which was probably derived from the Chinese 
name pa tou B 1L" True it is that the Arabs are acquainted with this plant as an 
importation from China (L. Lbclbrc, Traite" des simples, Vol. II, p. 95), but only 
under the name dend. I fail to trace a word batu in any Arabic dictionary or in Ibn 

* Ch. 7, p. 5 b. See above, p. 386. 

• Ol 6, p. 7. 



Nux- Vomica 449 

Pen ts'ao to notice it. The point is emphasized that the drug serves 
for the poisoning of dogs. The plant now grows in Se-S'wan. 

The Sanskrit term for nux-vomica is kupilu y from which is derived 
Tibetan g<hbyi-la or g<hbye-la. 1 The latter is pronounced go-ji-la 9 hence 
the Mongols adopted it as gojila. It is uncertain whether the Sanskrit 
name is related to Persian kuila or not. 

According to FlOckiger and Hanbtoy, 1 the tree is indigenous to 
most parts of India, especially the coast districts, and is found in Burma! 
Siam, Cochin-China, and northern Australia. The use of the drug in 
India, however, does not seem to be of ancient date, and possibly was 
taught there by the Mohammedans. It is mentioned in the Persian 
pharmacopoeia of Abu Mansur (No. 113) under the Arabic name jauz 
vX-qei? Schlhocer 4 gives also the terms azaragi and gatel el-kelbe, and 
observes, "Son emploi dans la paralysie est d'ancienne date, car l'auteur 
du Mexzen el-Edviyeh en parle d£j&, ajoutant en outre que la noix vo- 
mique est un remade qui change le temperament froid en temperament 
chaud; le m&ne auteur recommande les cataplasmes avec sa poudre 
dans la coxalgie et dans les maladies articulaires." 

The Arabs, who say that the tree occurs only in the interior of 
Yemen, were well acquainted with the medicinal properties of the fruit. 8 
Nux-vomica is likewise known in Indo-China (Cam salain and phun 
akam, Khmer slin, Annamese ku-Zi; the latter probably a transcription 
of kuiila)} 

The Kew Bulletin for 191 7 (p. 341) contains the following notice on 
Strychnos nux-vomica in Cochin-China: "In K. B. 1917 (pp. 184, 185), 
some evidence is given as to the occurrence of this species in Cochin- 
China in the wild state. Since the account was written a letter and a 
packet of undoubted nux-vomica seeds have been received from the 
Director, Agricultural and Commercial Services, Cochin-China, with 
the information that the seeds were obtained from trees growing wild 
in the country. H. B. M.'s Consul, Saigon, also sends the following 
information about 5. nux-vomica in Cochin-China which he has received 
from Monsieur Morange, Director of the Agricultural and Commercial 

1 Cf. Loan-Words in Tibetan, No. 50 {poung Poo, 1916, p. 457). 
1 Pharmacographia, p. 428. 

* Achundow, AbU Mansur, p. 43. 
4 Terminologie, p. 402. 

* L. Lbclesc, Traite* des simples, Vol. I, p. 580. 

'Cf. E. Pbkrot and P. Huskies, Matiere m£dicale et pharmacopee sino- 
annamites, p. 171; the Chinese and Annamese certainly did not avail themselves 
of this drag "from time immemorial," as stated by these authors. See, further, 
C Pou>, China Review, Vol. XV, 1887, p. 220. 

45<> Sino-Iranica 

Services of Cochin-China, and also a sample of the seeds obtained from 
a Chinese exporter. The tree exists in the Eastern provinces of Cochin- 
China, principally in the forests of Baria. The seeds are bought by 
Chinese from the savage tribes known as Mois, who collect them in the 
forest; the Chinese then export them to China or sell them again to 
firms exporting to Europe. The time of fruiting is in November and 
December. M. Morange considers that the tree is certainly indigenous 
in Cochin-China, and was not introduced by early traders." If the 
tree is indigenous there, it was certainly discovered there, as far as the 
Chinese are concerned, only after the Mongol period. H. Maitre 1 deals 
with the poisons used by the Moi for their arrows, and arrives at the 
conclusion that they are derived from the upas tree (Antiaris). He does 
not mention Strychnos. 

1 Les regions Moi du sud indo-chinois, pp. 1 19-12 1 (Paris, 1 909). 


52. The carrot 1 (Daucus carota), hu lo-po (Japanese ninjin) $ II 46 
("Iranian turnip"), a native of northern Europe, was first introduced 
into China at the time of the Yuan dynasty (a.d. 1260-1367). This is 
the opinion of Li Si-£en, who states that the vegetable first appeared 
at the time of the Yuan from the land of the Hu; and it is likewise main- 
tained in the Kwan k % iin Jan p'u 1 that the carrot first came from the 
countries beyond the frontier jft SE. I know of no text that would give 
a more detailed account of its introduction or allude to the country of 
its origin. Nevertheless it is very likely that this was some Iranian 
region. Li §i-£en states that in his time it was abundantly culti- 
vated in the northern part of the country and in San-tun, likewise 
in middle China. 1 

The history of the carrot given by Watt 4 after G. Birdwood suffers 
from many defects. A fundamental error underlies the statement, 
"In fact, the evidence of cultivation would lead to the inference that 
the carrot spread from Central Asia to Europe, and if so it might be 
possible to trace the European names from the Indian and Persian." 
On the contrary, the carrot is a very ancient, indigenous European 
cultivation, which is by no means due to the Orient. Carrots have been 
found in the pile-dwellings of Robenhausen. 1 It is not to the point, either, 
that, as stated by Watt and Birdwood, "indeed the carrot seems to 
have been grown and eaten in India, while in Europe it was scarcely 
known as more than a wild plant." The Anglo-Saxons cultivated the 
carrot in their original habitat of Schleswig-Holstein at a time when, 
in my opinion, the carrot was not yet cultivated in India; and they con- 

1 Prom French caroie, now carotte, Italian carota, Latin cardla; Greek copurfe 
(in Dtphilus). This word has supplanted Anglo-Saxon mora, from *morhu (Old 
High German moraka, morha; Russian marker, Slovenian mrkva). Regarding the 
origin of the word lo-po, cf. T*ouni Poo, 1916, pp. 83-86. 

* Ch. 4, p. 24. 

• A designation for the carrot not yet indicated is/« {fc lo-po t derived from the 
three fu H tfc. the three decades of the summer, extending from about the middle 
of July to the middle of August: during the first/* the seeds of the carrot are planted, 
in the second /« the carrots are pale red, in the third they are yellow (Son too kien 
ft # ft If &, Ch. 16, p. 14 b, ed 1877). 

« Commercial Products of India, p. 489, or Dictionary, Vol. Ill, p. 45. 

•J. Hoops, Waldbaume und Kulturpnanzen, p. 297; G. Buscban, Vorge- 
schichtliche Botanik, p. 148. 


452 Sino-Iranica 

tinued to cultivate it in England. 1 Moreover, the carrot grows wild in 
Britain and generally in the north temperate zone of Europe and Asia, 
and no doubt represents the stock of the cultivated carrot, which can 
be developed from it in a few generations. 1 It is impossible to connect 
Anglo-Saxon moru (not mora, as in Watt) with Sanskrit mula or tnulaka. 
No evidence is given for the bold assertion that "the carrot appears to 
have been regularly used in India from fairly ancient times." The only 
sources quoted are Baber's Memoirs* and the Ain-i Akbari, both works 
of the sixteenth century. I fail to see any proof for the alleged antiquity 
of carrot cultivation in India. There is no genuine Sanskrit word for 
this vegetable. It is incorrect that "the Sanskrit gar jam originated 
the Persian zardak and the Arabic jegar" (sic, for jezer). Boehtlingk 
gives for garjara only the meaning "kind of grass." As indicated below, 
it was the Arabs who carried the carrot to Persia in the tenth century, 
and I do not believe that it was known in India prior to that time. 
According to Watt, Daucus carota is a native of Kashmir and the western 
Himalaya at altitudes of from 5000 to 9000 feet; and throughout 
India it is cultivated by Europeans, mostly from annually imported 
seed, and by the natives from an acclimatised if not indigenous stock. 
Also N. G. Mukerji 4 observes, "The English root-crop which has a 
special value as a nourishing famine-food and fodder is the carrot. Up- 
country carrot or gajra is not such a nourishing and palatable food as 
European carrot, and of all the carrots experimented with in this 
country, the red Mediterranean variety grown at the Cawnpore Experi- 
mental Farm seems to be the best." 

W. Roxburgh* states that Daucus carota "is said to be a native 
of Persia; in India it is only found in a cultivated state." He gives 
two Sanskrit names, — grinjana and gargara, but his editor remarks 
that he finds no authority for these. In fact, these and Watt's alleged 
Sanskrit names are not at all Sanskrit, but merely Hindi (Hindi 
gajara) ; and this word is derived from Persian (not the Persian derived 
from Sanskrit, as alleged by Watt). The only Sanskrit terms for 
the carrot known to me are yavana ("Greek or foreign vegetable") 
and pitakanda (literally, "yellow root"), which appears only in the 
RajanighaQtu, a work from the beginning of the fifteenth century. This 

1 Hoops, op. cit., p. 600. 

* A. db Candolle, GeQgraphie botanique, p. 827. 

' Baber ate plenty of carrots on the night (December 21, 1536) when an attempt 
was made to poison him. Cf . H. Bbvbridgb, The Attempt to Poison Babur Padshah 
(Asiatic Review, Vol. XII, 1917, pp. 301-304). 

4 Handbook of Indian Agriculture, 2d ed., p. 304. 

1 Flora Indica, p. 270. 

The Cauot 453 

descriptive formation is sufficient to show that the cultivated carrot 
was foreign to the Hindu. Also W. Ainslie 1 justly concludes, " Carrots 
appear to have been first introduced into India from Persia." 

According to Schweiottoth,* Daucus caroia should display a very 
peculiar form in Egypt, — a sign of ancient cultivation. This requires 
confirmation. At all events, it does not prove that the carrot was 
cultivated by the ancient Egyptians. Neither Loret nor Woenig men- 
tions it for ancient Egypt. 

In Greek the carrot is orcu^vAw* (hence Syriac istaflin). It is men- 
tioned by Theophrastus* and Pliny; 4 Sclvkos or davicov was a kind of 
carrot or parsnip growing In Crete and used in medicine; hence Neo- 
Greek rd So^kL ("carrot"), Spanish dauco. A. de Candolle 6 is right 
in saying that the vegetable was little cultivated by the Greeks and 
Romans, but, as agriculture was perfected, took a more important place. 

The Arabs knew a wild and a cultivated carrot, the former under 
the name nehiel or nehself the knowledge of which was transmitted to 
them by Dioscorides, 7 the latter under the names jezer, sefanariya (in 
the dialect of Magreb zorudiya), and sabahla? The Arabic word dauku 
or duqu 7 derived from Greek Sclvkos, denotes particularly the seed of the 
wild carrot. 9 

Joret 10 presumes that the carrot was known to the ancient Iranians. 
The evidence presented, however, is hardly admissible : Daucus maximus 
which grows in Western Persia is only a wild species. This botanical 
fact does not prove that the Iranians were acquainted with the culti- 
vated Daucus caroia. An Iranian name for this species is not known. 
Only in the Mohammedan period does knowledge of it spring up in 
Persia; and the Persians then became acquainted with the carrot under 
the Arabic name jazar or jezer, which, however, may have been derived 
from Persian gazar (gezer). It is mentioned under the Arabic name in 
the Persian pharmacopoeia of Abu Mansur, 11 who apparently copied 
from Arabic sources. He further points out a wild species under the 

Materia Indica, Vol. I, p. 57. 

Z. /. Ethnologic, Vol. XXIII, 1891, p. 662. 

Hist, plant., IX. XV, 5. 

xx, 15. 

Geographic botanique, p. 827. 

L. Lbclerc, Traits des simples, VoL III, p. 380. 

Leglerc, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 353. 

Leclerc, ibid., and p. 367. 

Leclbrc, ibid., p. 138. 

Plantes dans l'antiquit£, Vol. II, p. 66. 

1 Achundow, Abu Mansur, p. 42. 


name SaSqdqul, which, according to Achundow, is Eryngium campestre. 
It is therefore very probable that it was the Arabs who introduced the 
carrot into Persia during the tenth century. Besides gazar (gezer), 
Persian names are zardak 1 and Sawandar; the latter means "beet-root" 
and "carrot." 

John Fryer, who travelled in India and Persia from 1672 to 1681, 
enumerates carrots among the roots of Persia. 2 The late arrival of the 
vegetable in Persia is signally confirmed by the Chinese tradition 
regarding its introduction under the Mongols. This is the logical 
sequence of events. 8 

Schummer 4 has the following note on the subject: "Ce tegume, 
f orm6 en comp6te, est consid£r£ par les Persans comme un excellent 
aphrodisiaque, augmentant la quantity et axnfliorant la quality du 
sperme. L'alimentation journalise avec des carottes est fortement 
pr6n6e dans les hydropisies; les carottes cuites, conserv&s au vin aigre, 
dissiperaient l'engorgement de la rate." Only the yellow variety of 
carrot, with short, spindle-shaped roots, occurs in Fergana.' 

1 Possibly derived from *ard (" yellow"). Persian mUr&imln is said to denote 
a kind of wild carrot. In Osmanli the carrot is called hawuj. 

1 New Account of East India and Persia, Vol. II, p. 310 (Hakluyt Soc., 1912). 
* Regarding the Tibetan names of the carrot, see my notes in T*oung Pao, 1916, 
pp. 503-505. 

4 Terminologie, p. 176. 

1 S. KoRiiNsn, Vegetation of Turkistan (in Russian), p. 51. 


53. The Sui Su l mentions two aromatics or perfumes peculiar to 
K'an (Sogdiana), — kan hian l\f*%t and asa-na hian RSX^. 
Fortunately we have a parallel text in the T*ai pHh hwan yU ki* where 
the two aromatics of K'afi are given as "tf & § H S f #. Hence 
it follows that the kan of the Sui Annals is no more than an abbreviation 
of kan suit, which is well known as an aromatic, and identical with the 
true spikenard furnished by Nardostachys jatamansi. It is Sanskrit 
nalada, Tibetan span spos, Persian nard or sunbul, Armenian sumbul, 
smbul, snbul, etc. 4 It is believed that the nard found by Alexander's 
soldiers in Gedrosia* represents the same species, while others hold 
that it was an AndropogonS 

The Sanskrit term nalada is found in the Fan yi mih yi tsi 1 in the 
form M X K na-lo-fo, *na-la-da. It is accompanied by the fanciful 
analysis nara-dhara ("held or carried by man"), because, it is said, 
people carry the fragrant flower with them in their girdles. The word 
nalada is of ancient date, for it appears in the Atharvaveda. 8 Hebrew 
nird, Greek nor do s* Persian nard and nard, are derived, therefrom. 10 
Being used in the Bible, the word was carried to all European languages. 

1 Ch. 83, p. 4 b. 

1 This character is not listed in K*an-hi, but the phonetic element "fl" leaves no 
doubt that its phonetic value is kan, *kam. 

• Ch. 183, p. 4. 

4 Abu Mansur (Achundow's translation, pp. 82, 241) mentions tunbtd4-hina% 
the nard of India. Schldocbr (Tenninologie, p. 36) identifies this name as Andro- 
pogcn nardcides or Nardus indica. On the other hand, he says (p. 555) that Nar- 
dosiackys or Valeriana jatamansi has not yet been found in Persia, but that it could 
be replaced in therapeutics by Valeriana sisymbrifolia, found abundantly in the 
mountains north of Teheran, 

1 Arrian, Anabasis, VI. xxn, 5. 

• Jorkt, Plantes dans l'antiqtiite\ Vol. II, p. 648. See, further, Periplus, 48; 
and Pliny, xn, 28; Watt, Commercial Products of India, p. 792. Marco Polo 
(ed. of Yulb, Vol. I, pp. 115, 272, 284) mentions spikenard as a product of Bengal, 
Java, and Sumatra. The Malayan word ndramastu, mentioned by Yulb (ibid., 
p. 287), must be connected with Sanskrit nalada. 

1 Ch. 8, p. 4 b. 

• MacDokrll and Keith, Vedic Index, VoL I, p. 437; H. Zoocsr, Altindisches 
Leben, p. 68. 

• First mentioned by Theophrastus, DC vm, 2, 3. 
» See above, p. 428. 


456 SinoIranica 

According to Stuart, 1 this plant is found in the pr 
nan and on the western borders of Se-Cwan, but whethe 
transplanted is uncertain. If it should not occur in 
China, it is more likely that it came from India, especia 
has of old been in contact with India and abounds i 
duced from there. 

54. RK*B 2 *a-sar(sat)-na (Sui $u),WBM a-* 
Ch. 102, p. 9), is not explained. There is no doubt 1 
represents the transcription of an Iranian, more specif 
name; but the Sogdian terms for aromatics are still u 
Hypothetical restorations of the name are *asarna, ax§s 

55. Storax, an aromatic substance (now obtained 
anibar orientalis; in ancient times, however, from Styt 
is first mentioned by Herodotus 8 as imported into Hella 
nicians. It is styled by the Chinese IE it su-ho, *su-gap 
Qapanese sugo), being mentioned both in the Wei lio a 
Annals as a product of the Hellenistic Orient (Ta Ts*i 
there, "They mix a number' of aromatic substances an 
them the sap by boiling, which is made into su-ho" 
^f ffr # % IE ^). 6 It is notable that this clause opens 

the same word ho y & > ; and it would thus not be impo .ue 

explanation is merely the result of punning on the ten ^, which 

is doubtless the transcription of a foreign word. Aside from this sema- 
siological interpretation, we have a geographical theory expressed in the 
Kwan &", written prior to a.d. 527, as follows: "Su-ho is produced in 
the country Ta Ts*in; according to others, in the country Su-ho. The 
natives of this country gather it and press the juice out of it to make 
it into an aromatic, fatty substance. What is sold are the sediments 

1 Chinese Materia Medica, p. 278. 

1 This character is not in K'an-hi. It appears again on the same page of the 
Sui in ( 4 b) in the name of the river •Na-mit JK JjJ (Zaraf San) in the kingdom 
Nan f£* , and on p. 4 a in jft fe ft H, the country Na-se-po (*Na-sek-pwa; accord- 
ing to Chavannes, Documents sur les Tou-kiue, p. 146, NakhSab or Nasaf). On 
pp. 6 b and 7 a the river Na-mit is written 3JS. Cf. also Chavannes and Pelliot, 
Traits manicheen, pp. 58, 191. 

1 in, 107. 

4 Hon Han 5u, Ch. 118, pp. 4 b— 5 a. B. H. Parker (China Review, Vol. XV, 
p. 372) indicates in an anecdote relative to Cwan-tse that he preferred the dung* 
beetle's dung-roll to a piece of storax, and infers that indirect intercourse with western 
Asia must have begun as early as the fourth century B.C., when Cwan-tse flourished* 
The source for this story is not stated, and it may very well be a product of later 

* The Su Han Su gives the same text with the variant, "call it su-ho" 

Asouatics — Stosax 



£ 9*. C* '.'> 


»V 3- -* *.* 

*■•: •* -* 

v^t: ^k 





=,- ... V 

ng is known, however, in Chinese records about 
-ho (*Su-gab); hence it is probable that this 
and merely inspired by the desire to account in 
iy for the mysterious foreign word. 
Liang Dynasty, 1 storax is enumerated among 
India which are imported from Ta TsHn and 
splained as "the blending of various aromatic 
oiling their saps; it is not a product of nature."* 
assage relating to the manufacture in Ta TsHn 
le Lion !u winds up by saying that the product 
Is of many middlemen before reaching China, 
igrancy during this process. 4 It is likewise on 
Is that in a.d. 519 King Jayavarman of Fu-nan 
ither gifts storax to the Chinese Court. 5 
M£ lerated among the products of Sasanian Persia. 6 
aercial relations of Iran with the Hellenistic 
attire of the product involved, we shall not 
err in a&>._ * ^ was traded to Persia in the same manner 
as to India. 

The Chinese-Sanskrit dictionaries contain two identifications of 
the name su-ho. In the third chapter of the YU k % ie Si ti lun 8fe ffa SP 
tt tfc (Yog&caryabhttmi$astra), 7 translated in a.d. 646-647 by Huan 
Tsan, we find the name of an aromatic in the form % *t % M su-lu- 
lu-kia, *sut-tu-lu-kyie; that is, Sanskrit *sturuka= storax. 8 It is 
identified by Yuan Yifi with what was formerly styled 9& 9 SI tou-lou- 
p*o, *du-lyu-bwa. 9 It is evident that the transcription su-tu-lu-kia is 
based on a form corresponding to Greek styrak-s, storak-s, styr&kion 
of the Papyri (Syriac stir oca, astorac). This equation presents the 



1 Fan yi min yi isi, Ch. 8, p. 9; T*ai pHn yU Ian, Ch. 982, p. 1 b. 
« Lian Su, Ch. 54, p. 7 b. 

9 The Fan yi min yi tsi, which reproduces this passage, has, "It is not a single 
(or homogeneous) substance." 

4 Cf. Hirth, China and the Roman Orient, p. 47. 

* Cf. Peluot, Bull, de VEcole frangaise, Vol. Ill, p. 270. 

* Sui 1st, Ch. 83, p. 7 b; or Cou 5u, Ch. 50, p. 6. It does not follow from these 
texts, that, as assumed by Hirth (Chao Ju-kua, pp. 16, 262), su-ho or any other 
product of Persia was imported thence to China. The texts are merely descriptive 
in saying that these are products to be found in Persia. 

7 BuNyiu Nanjio, Catalogue of the Chinese Tripitaka, No. 11 70. 

• Yi ts % ie kin yin i, Ch. 22, p. 3 b (cf. Peluot, Toung Pao t 1912, pp. 478-479). 
This text has been traced by me independently. I do not believe that this name is 
connected with turufka. 

• Probably Sanskrit dUrvd (cf. Journal asiatique, 1918, II, pp. 21-22). 

458 Sino-Iranica 

strongest evidence for the fact that the su-ho of the Chinese designates 
the storax of the ancients. 1 

The Fan yi mih yi tsi (l.c.) identifies Sanskrit *tt ® £ ft! tu-lu-se- 
kien, *tu-lu-s6t-kiam, answering to Sanskrit turufkam y with su-ho. 
In some works this identification is even ascribed to the Kwah li of the 
sixth century (or probably earlier). In the Pien ise lei pien* where the 
latter work is credited with this Sanskrit word, we find the character 
t& kie, *g'ia£, in lieu of the second character lu. The term turu$ka 
refers to real incense (olibanum).* It is very unlikely that this aromatic 
was ever understood by the word su-ho, and it rather seems that some 
ill-advised adjustment has taken place here. 

T'ao HuA-kifi (a.d. 451-536) relates a popular tradition that su-ho 
should be lion's ordure, adding that this is merely talk coming from 
abroad, and untrue. 4 C'en Ts'an-k'i of the eighth century states, 5 
"Lion-ordure is red or black in color; when burnt, it will dissipate the 
breath of devils; when administered, it will break stagnant blood 
and kill worms. The perfume su-ho f however, is yellow or white in 
color: thus, while the two substances are similar, they are not identical* 
People say that lion-ordure is the sap from the bark of a plant in the 
western countries brought over by the Hu. In order to make people 
prize this article, this name has been invented." This tradition as yet 
unexplained is capable of explanation. In Sanskrit, rasamala means 
"excrement," and this word has been adopted by the Javanese and 
Malayans for the designation of storax. 6 Thus this significance of the 
word may have given the incentive for the formation of that trade- 
trick, — examples of which are not lacking in our own times. 

Under the T'ang, su-ho was imported into China also from Malayan 
regions, especially from K*un-lun (in the Malayan area), described as 

1 The most important pharmacological and historical investigation of the sub- 
ject still remains the study of D. Hanbury (Science Papers, pp. 127-150), which 
no one interested in this matter should fail to read. 

1 Ch. 195, P* 8 b. 

1 Cf . Language of the Yue-chi, p. 7. 

4 He certainly does not say, as Bretschnbidrr (Bot. Sin., pt. Ill, p. 463) wrongly 
translates, "but the foreigners assert that this is not true." Only the foreigners 
could have brought this fiction to China, as is amply confirmed by C'en Ts'an-kH. 
Moreover, the T*an pen lu Jg ^ ££ ^y 8 straight, "This is a falsehood of the Hu." 

* Cen lei pen ts'ao, Ch. 12, p. 52 (ed. of 1587). 

9 Brbtschnbidbr (/. c.) erroneously attributes to Garcia da Orta the statement 
that Rocamalha should be the Chinese name for the storax, and Stuast (Chinese 
Materia Medica, p. 243) naturally searched in vain for a confirmation of this name 
in Chinese books. Garcia says in fact that liquid storax is here (that is, in India) 
called Rocamalha (Markham, Colloquies, p. 63), and does not even mention China 
in this connection. 

Asomatics — Storax 459 

purple-red of color, resembling the tse Van #? tt (Pterocarpus santalinus, 
likewise ascribed to KHin-lun), strong, solid, and very fragrant. 1 This 
is Liquidambar atiingiana or Altingia excelsa, a lofty deciduous tree 
growing in Java, Burma, and Assam, with a fragrant wood yielding a 
scented resin which hardens upon exposure to the air. The Arabs 
imported liquid storax during the thirteenth century to Palembang on 
Sumatra;* and the T % ai pHn hwan yU ki states that su-ho oil is produced 
in Annam, Palembang (San-fu-ts % i) 9 and in all barbarous countries, from 
a tree-resin that is employed in medicine. The Man ki pi Van discrimi- 
nates between the solid storax of red color like a hard wood, and the 
liquid storax of glue-like consistency which is in general use. 1 

The Chinese transcription su-ho, *su-gap, has not yet been explained. 
Ham's 4 suggestion that the Greek <jrbpa£ should have been "muti- 
lated " into su-ho is hardly satisfactory, for we have to start from the 
ancient form *su-gab, which bears no resemblance to the Greek word 
save the first element. In the Papyri no name of a resin has as yet been 
discovered that could be compared to *su-gab.' Nor is there any such 
Semitic name (cf . Arabic lubna). In view of this situation, the question 
may be raised whether *su-gab would not rather represent an ancient 
4 Iranian word. This supposition, however, cannot be proved, either, in 
the present state of science. Storax appears in the Persian materia 
medica of Abu Mansur under the Arabic name mf a. 6 The storax called 
rose-maloes is likewise known to the Persians, and is said to be derived 

1 Ceh lei pen ts'ao, L c. This tree is mentioned in the Ku kin lu (Ch. c, p. I b, 
as a product of Fu-nan, and by Cao 2u-kwa as a variety of sandal-wood (Hirth) 
Chao Ju-kua, p. 208). Li Si-cen {Pen ts'ao kan tnu, Ch. 34, p. 12) says that the 
people of Yun-nan call tse Van by a peculiar word, J$ Sen; this is pronounced sen 
in Yun-nan, and accordingly traceable to a dialectic variation of landan, sandan, 
sandal. The Japanese term is Ulan (Matsuicura, No. 2605). 

* Hirth, Chao Ju-kua, p. 61. 

* Cf. Pirn tse lei pien, Ch. 195, p. 8 b; Brbtschnbidbr, Bot. Sin., pt. Ill, 
p. 464. The Hian p % u quoted in the Pen ts % ao is the work of Ye T*in-kwei US?!, 
not the well-known work by Hun C'u, in which the passage in question does not 
occur (see p. 2, ed. of Pail Sun fe'ujt i«, where it is said that it is difficult to recognize 
the genuine article). For further information on liquid storax, see Hirth, Chao 
Ju-kua, p. 200. 

4 Chao Ju-kua, p. 200. 

•Muss-Arnolt (Transactions Am. Phil. Assoc., V6L XXIII, p. 117) derives 
the Greek word from Hebrew z'ri; the Greek should have assimilated the Semitic 
loan-word to aH>pa£ ("spike"). This is pure fantasy. The Hebrew word, moreover, 
does not relate to storax, but, according to Gesbnius, denotes a balsam or resin like 
mastic (above, p. 252). The Hebrew word for Styrax officinalis is said to be n&t&f 
(Exodu9, xxx, 34), Septuaginta arwh, Vulgata stacte (B. Lbvbsqub in Diction- 
naire de la Bible, Vol. V, col. 1869-70). 

* Achundow, Abu Mansur, p. 138. 

460 SinoIranica 

from a tree growing on the Island of Cabros in the Red Sea (near Kadez, 
three days' journey from Suez), the product being obtained by boiling 
the bark in salt water until it obtains the consistency of glue. 1 

56-57. The earliest notice of myrrh is contained in the Nan ton ki 
$1 #1 fC of Su Piao % 4ft (written before the fifth century a.d., but 
only preserved in extracts of later works), if we may depend on the 
Hai yao pen ts'ao, in which this extract is contained. 1 Su Piao is made 
to say there that "the myrrh grows in the country Po-se, and is the 
pine-tree resin of that locality. In appearance it is like W &> ien hian 
(' divine incense ') and red-black in color. As to its taste, it is bitter and 
warm." Li §i-5en annotates that he is ignorant of what the product 
Sen hian is. In the Pet it, myrrh is ascribed to the country Ts'ao 
(J&gucja) north of the Ts'un-lin (identical with the Ki-pin of the Han), 
while this product is omitted in the corresponding text of the Sui £u. 
Myrrh, further, is ascribed to Ki-pin.* The Ceh lei pen ts % ao gives a 
crude illustration of the tree under the title tnu yao of Kwan-2ou (K wan- 
tun), saying that the plant grows in Po-se and resembles benjoin {nan- 
si hian, p. 464), being traded in pieces of indefinite size and of black 

In regard to the subject, Li Si-5en 4 cites solely sources of the Sung 
period. He quotes K'ou Tsufi-§i, author of the Pen ts'ao yen i (a.d. 1 1 16), 
to the effect that myrrh grows in Po-se, and comes in pieces of in* 
definite size, black in color, resembling benjoin. In the text of this work, 
as edited by Lu Sin-yuan, 6 this passage is not contained, but merely 
the medicinal properties of the drug are set forth. 6 Su Sufi observes 
that "myrrh now occurs in the countries of the Southern Sea (Nan-hai) 
and in Kwan-£ou. Root and trunk of the tree are like those of Canarium 
(kan-lan). The leaves are green and dense. Only in the course of years 
does the tree yield a resin, which flows down into the soil, and hardens into 
larger or smaller pieces resembling benjoin. They may be gathered at 
any time." 

A strange confusion occurs in the Yu yah isa tsu* where the myrtle 
(Myrtus communis) is described under its Aramaic name asa (Arabic 

1 Schlimcer, Terminologie, p. 495. 

s Ceh lei pen ts'ao, Ch. 13, p. 39; Pen ts'ao kan mu, Ch. 34, p. 17. 

* Tai p'ih kwan yH ki, Ch. 182, p. 12 b. 
4 Pen ts'ao kan mu, I. c. 

1 Ch. 14, p. 4 b. 

• In all probability, there is an editorial error in the edition of the Pen ts'ao 
quoted; in other editions the same text is ascribed to Ma Ci, one of the collaborators 
in the K'ai poo pen ts'ao. 

1 Ch. 18, p. 12. 

Aromatics — Myrrh 461 

as), while this section opens with the remark, "The habitat of the 
myrrh tree & is in Po-se." 1 It may be, however, that, as argued by 
Hirth, tnu may be intended in this case to transcribe Middle and 
New Persian tnurd, which means "myrtle" (not only in the Bandahi§n, 
but generally). 8 Myrrh and myrtle have nothing to do with each 
other, belonging not only to different families, but even to different 
orders; nor does the myrtle yield a resin like myrrh. It therefore re- 
mains doubtful whether myrrh was known to the Chinese during the 
Tang period; in this case, the passage cited above from the Nan lau 
ki (like many another text from this work) must be regarded as an 
anachronism. Cao 2u-kwa gives the correct information that myrrh 
is produced on the Berbera toast of East Africa and on the Hadramaut 
littoral of Arabia; he has also left a fairly correct description of how the 
resin is obtained.' 

Li Si-Sen 4 thinks that the transcription &,otM represents a Sanskrit 
word. This, of course, is erroneous: myrrh is not an Indian product, 
and is only imported into India from the Somali coast of Africa and from 
Arabia. The former Chinese character answers to ancient *mut or 
*mur; the latter, to *mwat, mwar, or mar. The former no doubt repre- 
sents attempts at reproducing the Semito-Persian name, — Hebrew 
mdr, Aramaic tnurd, Arabic tnurr, Persian mot (Greek a/iOpa, apbpov, 
pOpov, Latin myrrha).* 

Whether the Chinese transcribed the Arabic or Persian form, re- 
mains uncertain: if the transcription should really appear as late as 
the age of the Sung, it is more probable that the Arabic yielded the 
prototype; but if it can be carried back to the Tang or earlier, the 
assumption is in favor of Iranian speech. 

1 Cf. Hirth, Journal Am. Or. Soc, Vol. XXX, p. 20. Owing to a curious mis- 
conception, the article of the Yu yan tsa tsu has been placed under mi hian 3f f? 
("gharu-wood ") in the Pen ts % ao kan mu (Ch. 34, p. 10 b), for mu $J hian is wrongly 
supposed to be a synonyme of mi hian. 

* Another New-Persian word for this plant is anlbd or anitd. In late Avestan 
it is muStcmeSa (Bartholomab, Altiran. Wdrt., col. 1 189). I do not believe that the 
Persian word and Armenian murt are derived from Greek pvpcrtni (Schradbr in 
Hehn, Kulturpflanzen, p. 238) or from Greek uifprot (NdLDBKB, Persische Studien, 

n» p. 43). 

* Hirth, Chau Ju-kua, p. 197. 

4 Pen ts'ao kan mu, Ch. 34, p. 17. 

•Pliny, xn, 34-35; Leclerc, Traite* des simples, Vol. Ill, p. 300; V. Loret, 
Flore pharaonique, p. 95. The transcription *mwat appears to transcribe Javanese 
and Bali madu ("myrrh"; Malayan manisan lebah). In an Uigur text translated 
from Sogdian or Syriac appears the word tmurna or tmuran ("myrrh"), connected 
with the Greek word (P. W. K. MfftXER, Uigurica, pp. 5-7). 

462 Sino-Iranica 

Theophrastus 1 mentions in the country Aria a "thorn" on which 
is found a gum resembling myrrh in appearance and odor, and this 
drops when the sun shines on it. Strabo* affirms that Gedrosia produced 
aromatics, particularly nard and myrrh, in such quantity that Alex- 
ander's army used them, on the march, for tent-coverings and beds, 
and thus breathed an air full of odors and more salubrious. Modern 
botanists, however, have failed to find these plants in Gedrosia or any 
other region of Iran;* and the Iranian myrrh of the ancients, in all 
probability, represents a different species of Balsamodendron (perhaps 
B. pubescens or B. mukul). According to W. Geiger, 4 Balsamodendran 
mukul is called in BaluCi bod> bod, or bos, a word which simply means 
"odor, aroma." It is a descendant of Avestan baoM, which we find in 
Pahlavi as bod, bot, Sogdian frafid&an, PoSa, New Persian boi, bo (Ossetic 
bud, "incense").* 

It is noteworthy also that the ancient Chinese accounts of Sasanian 
Persia do not make mention of myrrh. The botanical evidence being 
taken into due consideration, it appears more than doubtful that 
the statement of the Nan ton ki, Yu yah isa tsu, K*ai poo pen ts % ao, and 
Ceh lei pen ts*ao, that the myrrh-tree grows in Po-se, can be referred to 
the Iranian Po-se. True it is, the tree does not occur, either, in the 
Malayan area; but, since the product was evidently traded to China by 
way of Malaysia, the opinion might gain ground among the Chinese 
that the home of the article was the Malayan Po-se. 

The Japanese style the myrrh mirura, which is merely a modern 
transcription of "myrrha." 6 

58. TsHh mu hiah If fc& ("dark-wood aromatic") is attributed 
to Sasanian Persia. 7 What this substance was, is not explained; and 
merely from the fact that the name in question, as well as mu hiah 
;£& ("tree aromatic") and mi hiah Cf f usually refer to costus 
root or putchuck (also pachak), we may infer that the Persian aromatic 
was of a similar character. Thus it is assumed by Hirth; 8 but the 
matter remains somewhat hypothetical. The Chinese term, indeed, has 

1 Hist, plant., IV. iv, 13. 
« XV. n, 3. 

* C. Joxbt, Plantes dans l'antiquitt, Vol. I, p. 48. 
4 Etymologie des Baluci, p. 46. 

* In regard to the use of incense on the part of the Manichaans, see Chavannbs 
and Pblliot, Traite* manicheen, pp. 302-303, 311. 

* J. Matsumura, Shokubutsu mei-i, No. 458. 

7 Wei Jfst, Ch. io2 f p. 5 b; Sui Jfst, Ch. 83, p. 7 b. 

1 Chau Ju-kua, p. 221. Putchuck is not the root of Aucklandia costus, but of 
Saussurea lappa (see Watt, Commercial Products of India, p. 980). 


no botanical value, being merely a commercial label covering different 
roots from most diverse regions. If Cao 2u-kwa compares the putchuck- 
yidding plant with Luffa cylindrica, a Cucurbitaceaf of southern China, 
with which he compares also the cardamom, it is perfectly clear that he 
does not visualize the genuine costus-root of Saussurea lappa, a tall, 
stout herb, indigenous to the moist, open slopes surrounding the valley 
of Kashmir, at an elevation of eight or nine thousand feet. If he further 
states that the product is found in Hadramaut and on the Somali coast, 
it is, in my opinion, not logical to reject this as "wrong," for a product 
of the name mu Man was certainly known in the China of his time 
from that region. And why not? Also Dioscorides mentions an Arabian 
oostus, which is white and odoriferous and of the best quality; besides, 
he has an Indian costus, black and smooth, and a Syrian variety of wax 
color, dusky, and of strong odor. It is obvious that these three articles 
correspond to the roots of three distinct species, which have certain 
properties in common; and it has justly been doubted that the modern 
costus is the same thing as that of the ancients. The Arabs have 
adopted the nomenclature of Dioscorides. 1 The Sheikh DaQd dis- 
tinguishes an Indian species, white; a black one from China; and a red, 
heavy one, adding that it is said to be a tree of the kind of Agallochum. 
Nearly everywhere in Asia have been found aromatic roots which in 
one way or another correspond to the properties of the Indian kutfha. 
Thus in Tibet and Mongolia the latter is adjusted with the genus Inula; 
and the Tibetan word ru^rta, originally referring to an Inula, was 
adopted by the Buddhist translators as a rendering of Sanskrit kutfha.* 
In the same manner, the Chinese term mu kiah formerly denoted an 
indigenous plant of Yun-nan, which, according to the ancient work 
Pie lu, grew in the mountain-valleys of Yufi-£'a£i.* The correctness of 
this tradition is confirmed by the Man iu, which tiientions a mountain- 
range, three days' journey south of YuA-5'afi, by name Ts'ift-mu-hiafi 
("Dark-Wood Aromatic"), and owing its name to the great abundance 
of this root. 4 The Man iu, further, extends its occurrence to the country 

1 Lbclekc, Traits des simples, Vol. Ill, pp. 85-86. 

* H. Lautek, Beitrage zttr TCenntnis der tibetischen Median, p. 61. 

* Also Wtt KH-tsan (Ci wu min It fu k'ao, Ch. 25, p. 11) observes correctly that 
this species is not the putchuck coming from the foreign barbarians. His three 
illustrations, putchuck from Hai-cou in Kian-su, from Kwan-tun, and from C'u-cou 
in tfan-hwi, are reproduced from the Tu lu isi Ven (XX, Ch. 117), and represent 
three distinct plants. 

« The Tie* kaiyHMcmli (Ch. 3, p. 1; see above, p. 22%) states that mu hia* is 
produced in the native district C'6-li % ML i 3. formerly called C'an-li j£ JIL 
of Yun-nan. 

464 Sino-Iranica 

K\tn-lun of the Southern Sea; 1 and Su Kufi.of the T'ang says that, of 
the two kinds of mu-hian (known to him), that of KHin-lun is the best, 
while that from the West Lake near Haft-£ou is not good. 1 In the time 
of Tao Hun-kifi (a.d. 451-536) the root was no longer brought from 
Yun-6'an; but the bulk of it was imported on foreign ships, with the 
report that it came from Ta Ts'in (the Hellenistic Orient), 8 — hence 
presumably the same article as the Arabian or Syrian costus of Dios- 
corides. The Nan fan is % ao mu Zwan is cited by Cen Kwan of the seventh 
century as saying that the root is produced in India, being the product 
of an herbaceous plant and of the appearance of licorice. The same 
text is ascribed to the Nan iou i wu ti of the third century in the T*ai 
p'ih yil lanf while the Kwan Si attributes the product to Kiao-Sou 
(Tonking) and India. A different description of the plant is again given 
by Su Sufi. Thus it is no wonder that the specimens from China 
submitted for identification have proved to be from different plants, 
as Aplotaxis auriculata, Aristolochia kaempferi, Rosa banksia, etc. 6 If, 
accordingly, costus (to use this general term) was found not only in 
India and Kashmir, but also in Arabia, Syria, Tibet, Mongolia, China, 
and Malacca, it is equally possible also that Persia had a costus of her 
own or imported it from Syria as well as from India. 6 This is a question 
which cannot be decided with certainty. The linguistic evidence is 
inconclusive, for the New-Persian kust is an Arabic loan-word, the 
latter, of course, being traceable to Sanskrit kutfha, which has obtained 
a world-wide propagation. 7 Like so many other examples in the his- 
tory of commerce, this case illustrates the unwillingness of the world 
to tolerate monopolies for any length of time. The real costus was 
peculiar (and still is) to Kashmir, but everywhere attempts were con- 
stantly made to trace equivalents or substitutes. The trade-mark 
remained the same, while the article was subjected to changes. 

59. Under the term nan (or an)-si hian $ B # the Chinese have 

1 Pblliot, Bull, de VEcoU frangaise t Vol. IV, p. 226. 

1 The attribution of the root to KHin-lun is not fiction, for this tradition is 
confirmed by Garcia da Orta, who localizes pucho on Malacca, whence it is exported 
to China. 

• This text is doubtless authentic; it is already recorded in the Tai p*in yU Ian 
(Ch. 991, p. 11). 

4 Ch. 982, p. 3. 

• Hanbury, Science Papers, p. 257; Stuart, Chinese Materia Medica, p. 43. 

• In the sixteenth century, as we learn from Garcia (Markham, Colloquies, 
p. 150), costus was shipped from India to Ormuz, and thence carried to Persia and 
Khorasan; it was also brought into Persia and Arabia by way of Aden. 

7 In Tokharian it is found in the form ka$su (S. L£vi, Journal asiaHgue, 191 X, 
II, p. 138). 

AiOMATics — Styrax benjoin 465 

combined two different aromatics, — an ancient product of Iranian 
regions, as yet unidentified; and the benjoin yielded, by the Styrax 
benjoin, a small tree of the Malay Archipelago. 1 It is necessary to dis- 
criminate sharply between the two, and to understand that the ancient 
term originally relating to an Iranian aromatic, when the Iranian im- 
portation had ceased, was subsequently transferred to the Malayan 
article, possibly on account of some outward resemblance of the two, 
but that the two substances have no botanical and historical inter- 
relation. The attempt of Cao 2u-kwa to establish a connection between 
the two, and to conjecture that the name is derived from An-si (Parthia) , 
but that the article was imported by way of San-f o-tsH (Palembang on 
Sumatra), 2 must be regarded as unfounded; for the question is not of 
an importation from Parthia or Persia to Sumatra, but it is the native 
product of fa plant actually growing in Sumatra, in Borneo, and other 
Malayan islands.* The product is called in Malayan kamiaan (Garcia: 
cominham), Javanese nie&an, Sunda mi flan. The duplicity of the article 
and the sameness of the term have naturally caused a great deal of 
confusion among Chinese authors, and perhaps no less among European 
writers. At least, the subject has not yet been presented clearly, apd 
least of all by Bretschneider/ 4 

According to Su Kun, nan-si hian is produced among the Western 
Zufi Iff 3ft (Si-2u6), — a vague term, which may allude to Iranians 
(p. 203). Li Sun, in his Hai yao pen ts'ao, written in the second half of 
the eighth century, states that the plant grows in Nan-hai ("Southern 


Sea"; that is, the Archipelago) and in the country Po-se. The co- 
ordination with Nan-hai renders it probable that he hints at the 
Malayan Po-se rather than at Persia, the more so, as Li 3i-2en himself 
states that the plant now occurs in Annam, Sumatra, and all foreign 
countries. 5 The reason why the term nan-si was applied to the Malayan 

1 The word "benjoin" is a corruption of Arabic lub&nj&wi ("incense of Java"; 
that is, Sumatra of the Arabs). The Portuguese made of this benzawi, and further 
bcijoim, benjoim (in Vasco da Gama and Duarte Barbosa); Spanish benjui, menjui; 
Italian bcltuino, belguino; French benjoin. Cf. R. Dozy and W. H. Engblmann, 
Glossaire des mots espagnols et portugais derives de l'arabe, p. 239; S. R. Dalgado, 
Influencia do vocabulario portugute, p. 27. 

* Hirth, Chao Ju-kua, p. 201. 

1 According to Garcia (C. Markham, Colloquies, p. 49), benjoin is only known 
in Sumatra and Siam. According to P. Pyrard (Vol. II, p. 360, ed. of Hakluyt 
Society), who travelled from 1601 to 1610, it is chiefly produced in Malacca and 

4 Bot. Sin., pt. Ill, No. 313. 

•As the Malayan product does not fall within the scope of the present in- 
vestigation, this subject is not pursued further here (see Hirth, Chau Ju-kua, 
pp. 201-202). In Bretschneider's translation of this matter, based on the unreliable 

466 Sino-Iranica 

product may be explained from the fact that to the south-west of 
China, west of the Irawaddy, there was a city Nan-si ^S, mentioned 
in the Itinerary of Kia Tan and in the Man iu of the Tang period. 1 
The exact location of this place is not ascertained. Perhaps this or 
another locality of an identical name lent its name to the product; but 
this remains for the present a mere hypothesis. The Tien hoi yU hen ft* 
states that nan-si is produced in the native district Pa-po ta-tien 
A ~B 3t <9 ± SJ, formerly called A ~B J& Jffi Jfi, of Yun-nan. 

The Yu yah isa tsu* contains the following account: "The tree 
furnishing the nan-si aromatic is produced in the country Po-se. 4 In 
Po-se it is termed p'i-sie B£ ffi tree ('tree warding off evil influences').* 
The tree grows to a height of thirty feet , and has a bark of a yellow-black 
color. The leaves are oblong, 6 and remain green throughout the winter. 
It flowers in the second month. The blossoms are yellow. The heart 
of the flower is somewhat greenish (or bluish). It does not form fruit. 
On scraping the tree-bark, the gum appears like syrup, which is called 
nan-si aromatic. In the sixth or seventh month, when this substance 
hardens, it is fit for use as incense, which penetrates into the abode of 
the spirits and dispels all evil/' Although I am not a botanist, I hardly 
believe that this description could be referred to Styrax benjoin. This 
genus consists only of small trees, which never reach a height of thirty 
feet; and its flowers are white, not yellow. Moreover, I am not con- 
vinced that we face here any Persian plant, but I think that the Po-se 
of the Yu yah isa tsu, as in some other cases, hints at the Malayan 
Po-se. 7 

text of the Pen ts'ao, occurs a carious misunderstanding. The sentence f$ ^ 48 
Hk Si %£ JS 91 is rendered by him, "By burning the true an-si hiang incense 
rats can be allured (?)." The interrogation-mark is his. In my opinion, this means, 
14 In burning it, that kind which attracts rodents is genuine." 

1 Cf . Pklliot, Bull, de VEcole fran^aise, Vol. IV, pp. 178, 371. 

* Ch. 3, p. 1 (see above, p. 228). 

* Ch. 18, p. 8 b. 

* Both Brbtschneidbr (Bot. Sin., pt. Ill, p. 466) and Hirth (Chao Ju-kua, 
p. 202) identify this Po-se with Persia, without endeavoring, however, to ascertain 
what tree is meant; and Styrax benzoin does not occur in Persia. Garcia already 
stated that benjuy (as he writes) is not found in Armenia, Syria, Africa, or Cyrene, 
but only in Sumatra and Siam. 

* P'i-sie is not the transcription of a foreign word; the ancient form *bik-dea 
would lead to neither a Persian nor a Malayan word. 

* Bretschneidbr, who was a botanist, translates this clause (%[ |fB A), 
"The leaves spread out into four corners (!)." Literally it means "the leaves have 
four corners"; that is, they are rectangular or simply oblong. The phrase selenJB 

f( with reference to leaves signifies "four-pointed," the points being understood as 

7 See the following chapter on this subject. 


An identification of nan-si to which Pelliot 1 first called attention 
is given in the Chinese-Sanskrit dictionary Fan yi min yi tsi* where it is 
equated with Sanskrit gnggula. This term refers to the gum-resin ob- 
tained from BosweUia serrata and the produce of Balsamodendron mukul, 
or Commiphora roxburghii, the bdeUion of the Greeks.' Perhaps also 
other Balsamodendrons are involved; and it should be borne in mind 
that Balsamodendron and BosweUia are two genera belonging to 'the 
same family, Burseraceae or Amyrideae. Pelliot is quite right in assum- 
ing that in this manner it is easier to comprehend the name nan-si hian, 
which seems to be attached to the ancient Chinese name of the Persia 
of the Arsacides. In fact, we meet on the rocks of Baluchistan two 
incense-furnishing species, Balsamodendron pubescens and B. mukul* 
observed by the army of Alexander in the deserts of Gedrosia, and col* 
lected in great quantity by the Phoenician merchants who accompanied 
him. 6 

While it is thus possible that the term nan-si hian was originally 
intended to convey the significance "Parthian aromatic," we must not 
lose sight of the fact that it is not mentioned in the ancient historical 
documents relative to Parthia (An-si) and Persia (Pose), — a singular 
situation, which must furnish food for reflection. The article is pointed 
out only as a product of Ku2a in Turkistan and the Kingdom of Ts'ao 
ft Qaguda) north of the Ts«uA-lifi. e 

Aside from the geographical explanation, the Chinese have 
attempted also a literal etymology of the term. According to Li Si-den, 
this aromatic "wards off evil and sets at rest $ A all demoniacal 
influences It ffi; hence its name. Others, however, say that nan-si is 
the name of a country.' 9 This word-for-word interpretation is decidedly 
forced and fantastic. 

1 Tount Poo, 1912, p. 48a 

* Ch. 8, p. 10 b. 

* Cf. To**t Pao t 1914, p. 6. 

4 Jout, PUntes dans l'antiqtiitl, VoL II, p. 48. The former species is called in 
hoy% or mm. 

• Ibid., p. 649. 

• Sk» J*, Ch. 83, pp. 5 b, 7 b. 


On the preceding pages reference has repeatedly been made to the 
fact that besides the Iranian Po-se tt 9r, transcribing the ancient name 
Parsa, the Chinese were also acquainted with another country and 
people of the same name, and always written in like manner, the loca- 
tion of which is referred to the Southern Ocean, and which, as will be 
seen, must have belonged to the Malayan group. We have noted several 
cases in which the two Po-se are confounded by Chinese writers; and 
so it is no wonder that the confusion has been on a still larger scale 
among European sinologues, most of whom, if the Malayan Po-se is 
involved in Chinese records, have invariably mistaken it for Persia. 
It is therefore a timely task to scrutinize more closely what is really 
known about this mysterious Po-se of the Southern Sea. Unfortunately 
the Chinese have never co-ordinated the scattered notices of the south- 
ern Po-se; and none of their cyclopaedias, as far as I know, contains 
a coherent account of the subject. Even the mere fact of the duplicity 
of the name Po-se never seems to have dawned upon the minds of 
Chinese writers; at least, I have as yet failed to trace any text insisting 
on the existence of or contrasting the two Po-se. Groping my way 
along through this matter, I can hardly hope that my study of source- 
material is complete, and I feel sure that there are many other texts 
relative to the subject which have either escaped me or are not acces- 

The Malayan Po-se is mentioned in the Man iu tt flf (p. 43 b), 1 
written about a.d. 860 by Pan Co £§ J#, who says, "As regards the 
country P'iao (Burma), it is situated seventy-five days' journey 
(or two thousand It) south of the city of YuA-S'afi.* ... It borders on 
Po-se tt 9r and P'o-lo-men SI jB FJ (Brahmarja) f in the west, however, 
on the city Se-li 4t ft" It is clearly expressed in this document that 
Po-se, as known under the T'ang, was a locality somewhere contermi- 
nous with Burma, and on the mainland of Asia. 

1 Regarding this work, see Wylib, Notes on Chinese Literature, p. 40; and 
Pelliot, Bull, de VEcole francaise, Vol. II, p. 156; Vol. IV, p. 133. 

* In Yun-nan. The Tai p*i* hwan yd hi gives the distance of P'iao from that 
locality as 3000 li (cf. Pelliot, Bull, de I'Ecole francaise, Vol. IV, p. 172). The text 
of the Man iu is reproduced in the same manner in the Su kien of Kwo Yun-t'ao 
(Ch. 10, p. 10 b), written in 1236. 

* I do not believe that this term relates to India in general, but take it as denot- 
ing a specific country near the boundary of Burma. 


The Malayan Po-Se — Historical Notes 469 

In another passage of the Man 5u (p. 29), the question is of a place 
Ta-yin-k'un :fc fi JL (evidently a silver-mine), not well determined, 
probably situated on the Gulf of Siam, to the south of which the people 
of the country P'o-lo-men (Brahmarja), Po-se, Se-p'o (Java), P'o-ni 
(Borneo), and K*un-lun, flock together for barter. There are many 
precious stones there, and gold and musk form their valuable goods. 1 
There is no doubt that the Malayan Po-se is understood here, and not 
Persia, as has been proposed by Pelliot.* A similar text is found in the 
Nan i liffiMM ("Records of Southern Barbarians"), as quoted in the 
T'ai pHh yii Ian? "In Nan-Cao there are people from P'o-lo-men, Po-se, 
§e-p*o (Java), P'o-ni (Borneo), KHin-lun, and of many other heretic 
tribes, meeting at one trading-mart, where pearls and precious stones in 
great number are exchanged for gold 4 and musk." This text is identical 
with that of the Man Su t save that the trading centre of this group of 
five tribes is located in the kingdom of Nan-£ao (in the present province 
of Yun-nan). E. H. Parker 5 has called attention to a mention of Po-se 
in the T*ang Annals, without expressing, however, an opinion as to 
what Po-se means in this connection. In the chapter on P'iao (Bur- 
ma) it is there stated that near the capital of that country there are 
hills of sand and a barren waste which borders on Po-se and P'o-lo-men, 
— identical with the above passage of the Man !u* 

In a.d. 742, a Buddhist priest from Yafi-Sou on the Yangtse, Kien- 
Sen ft A by name, undertook a voyage to Japan, in the course of which 
he also touched Canton in 748. In the brief abstract of his diary given 
by the Japanese scholar J. Takakusu, 7 we read, " Dans la rivtere de 
Canton, il y avait d'innombrables vaissaux appartenant aux brahmanes, 
aux Persans, aux gens de Koun-loun (tribu malaise)." The text of the 
work in question is not at my disposal, but there can be no doubt that 
it contains the triad P'o-lo-men, Po-se, K*un-lun, as mentioned in the 
Man 5u, and that the question is not of Brahmans, but of the country 

1 In another passage (p. 34 b) Pan Co states that musk is obtained in all moan* 
tains of Yun-£*an and Nan-cao, and that the natives use it as a means of exchange. 

1 Bull, de I'Ecolefrongaise, Vol, IV, p. 287, note a. 

• Ch. 981, p. 5 b. 

4 The text has j£ &. I do not know what tu ("to boil") could mean in this 
connection. It is probably a wrong reading for Jf , as we have it in the text of the 
Man In. 

• Burma with Special Reference to Her Relations with China, p. 14 (Rangoon, 

• This passage is not contained in' the notice of P*ia6 in the Kiu rvwt lu 
(Ch. 197, p. 7 b). 

7 Premier Congres International des Etudes d'Extr&me-Orient, p. 58 (Hanoi, 
1903) ; cf . G. Pbksand, Textes relatifs a l'Extr&ne-Orient, Vol. II, p. 638. 

470 Sino-Iranica 

and people P'o-lo-men on the border of Burma, the Po-se likewise on the 
border of Burma, and the Malayan K'un-lun. In the first half of the 
eighth century, accordingly, we find the Malayan Po-se as a seafaring 
people trading with the Chinese at Canton. Consequently also the 
alleged "Persian" settlement on the south coast of Hainan, struck by 
the traveller, was a Malayan-Po-se colony. In view of this situation, the 
further question may be raised whether the pilgrim Yi Tsi6 in a.d. 671 
sought passage at Canton on a Persian ship. 1 This vessel was bound 
for Palembang on Sumatra, and sailed the Malayan waters; again, in 
my opinion, the Malayan Po-se, not the Persians, are here in question. 

The Malayan Po-se were probably known far earlier than the T'ang 
period, for they appear to have been mentioned in the Kwah U written 
before a.d. 527. In the Hiah p*u # H of Huri C'u 9i 28 of the Sung, 1 
this work is quoted as saying that iu hiah 3L # (a kind of incense)* is 
the sap of a pine-tree in the country Po-se in the Southern Sea. This 
Po-se is well enough defined to exclude the Iranian Po-se, where, more- 
over, no incense is produced. 4 

The same text is also preserved in the Hai yao pen ts*ao of Li Sun of 
the eighth century, 6 in a slightly different but substantially identical 
wording: "2u hiah grows in Nan-hai [the countries of the Southern 
Sea]: it is the sap of a pine-tree in Po-se. That kind which is red like 
cherries and transparent ranks first.' 9 K'ou TsuA-S, who wrote the 
Pen ts'ao yen i in a.d. 1116, says that the incense of the Southern Bar- 
barians (Nan Fan) is still better than that of southern India. The 
Malayan Po-se belonged to the Southern Barbarians. The fact that 
these, and not the Persians, are to be understood in the accounts relating 
to incense, is brought out with perfect lucidity by C'en C'en Ht ik, 
who wrote the Pen is*ao pie Swo ^ ^ JHI ft in a.d. 1090, and who says, 
"As regards the west, incense is produced in India (Tien-5u); as re- 

1 Chavannbs, Religieux eminents, p. 116; J. Takakusu, I-Tsing, p. xxvm. 

• Ed. of 2Ta* Sun ts'un 1st, p. 5. 

• Not necessarily from Boswettia, nor identical with frankincense. The above 
text says that lit hian is a kind of hUn-lu. The latter is simply a generic term for 
incense, without referring to any particular species. I strictly concur with Pelliot 
(JToung PaOy 191 2, p. 477) in regarding ktin-lu as a Chinese word, not as the tran- 
scription of a foreign word, as has been proposed. 

4 If hUn lu is enumerated in the Sui Jftt among the products of Persia, this means 
that incense was used there as an import-article, but it does not follow from this 
that "it was brought to China on Persian ships" (Hirth, Chau Ju-kua, p. 196). 
The "Persian ships," it seems, must be relegated to the realm of imagination. 
Only from the Mohammedan period did really Persian ships appear in the far east. 
The best instance to this effect is contained in the notes of Hwi Cao of the eighth 
century (Hirth, Journal Am. Or. Soc., 1913, p. 205). 

• Pen ts'ao kofi mu, Ch. 34, p. 16. 

The Malayan Po-Se— Historical Notes 471 

gards the south, it is produced in Po-se and other countries. That of 
the west is yellow and white in color, that of the south is purple or 
red." It follows from this text that the southern Po-se produced a kind 
of incense of their own; and it may very well be, that, as stated in the 
Kwah li f a species of pine was the source of this product. 

The Kwah U contains another interesting reference to Po-se. It 
states that the tree W ko, *ka (Quercus cuspidate), grows in the moun- 
tains and valleys of Kwan-tufi and Kwan-si, and that Po-se people use 
its timber for building boats. 1 These again are Malayan Po-se. The 
Kwah ti was possibly written under the Tsin dynasty (a.d. 265-420),* 
and the Iranian Po-se was then unknown to China. Its name first 
reached the Chinese in a.d. 461, when an embassy from Persia arrived 
at the Court of the Wei. 1 It should be borne in mind also that Persia's 
communications with China always took place overland by way of 
Central Asia; while the Malayan Po-se had a double route for reaching 
China, either by land to Yun-nan or by sea to Canton. It would not 
be impossible that the word *ka for this species of oak, and also its 
synonyme >fC £t mu-nu, *muk-nu, are of Malayan-Pose origin. 

The Kiu yaliili$> &, published by Wa£i Ts\tn 3: # in a.d. 1080, 
mentions that the inhabitants of Po-se wear a sort of cotton kerchief, 
and make their sarong (tit-man 9 H) of yellow silk. 4 

In a.d. 1 103, three countries, Burma, Po-se, and K'un-lun, presented 
white elephants and perfumes to the King of Ta-li in Yun-nan. Again, 
this is not Persia, as translated by C. Sainson.* Persia never had any 
relations with Yun-nan, and how the transportation of elephants from 
Persia to Yun-nan could have been accomplished is difficult to realize. 
We note that the commercial relations of these Po-se with Yun-nan, 
firmly established toward the end of the ninth century under the T'ang, 
were continued in the twelfth century under the Sung. 
# In the History of the Sung Dynasty occurs an incidental mention of 
Po-se. 6 In a.d. 992 an embassy arrived in China from Java, and it is 
said that the envoys were dressed in a way similar to those of Po-se, who 

1 This passage is transmitted by Li Sun of the eighth century in his Hat yao 
pen ts'ao {Pen ts % ao kan mu, Ch. 35 B, p. 14), who, as will be seen, mentions several 
plants and products of the Malayan Po-se. 

* Pelliot, Bull, de VEcolefrancaise, Vol. IV f p. 412. 

' Cf. Dbv£ria in Centenaire de l'Ecole des Langues Orientales, p. 306. 

* £. H. Parker, who made this text known {China Review, Vol. XIX, 1890, 
p. 191), remarked, "It seems probable that not Persia, but one of the Borneo or 
Malacca states, such as P'o-li or P'o-lo, is meant." 

* Histoire du Nan-tchao, p. xoi (translation of the Nan loo ye ft, written by 
Yan Sen in 1550). 

* Sun Si, Ch. 489. 

472 Sino-Iranica 

had brought tribute before. The Javanese could hardly be expected 
to have been dressed like Persians, as rashly assumed by Groeneveldt; 1 
but they were certainly dressed like their congeners, the Malayan Po-se. 

Cou K'u-fei, in his Lin wax tax ta? written in 1178, gives the following 
description of the country Po-se: "In the South-Western Ocean there 
is the country Po-se. The inhabitants have black skin and curly hair. 
Both their arms are adorned with metal bracelets, and they wrap 
around their bodies a piece of cotton-cloth with blue patterns. There 
are no walled towns. Early in the morning, the king holds his court, 
being seated cross-legged on a bench covered with a tiger-skin, while his 
subjects standing beneath pay him homage. In going out he is carried 
in a litter (tfc 9B Swan ton), or is astride an elephant. His retinue con* 
sists of over a hundred men, who, carrying swords and shouting (to clear 
the way), form his body-guard. They subsist on flour products, meat, 
and rice, served in porcelain dishes, and eat with their fingers." The 
same text has been reproduced by Cao 2ii-kwa with a few slight changes. 
His reading that Po-se is situated "above the countries of the south- 
west" is hardly correct.' At all events, the geographical definition of 
the Sung authors is too vague to allow of a safe conclusion. The expres- 
sion of the Lin wai iai ia does not necessarily mean that Po-se was lo- 
cated on an island, and Hirth infers that we might expect to find it in 
or near the Malay Peninsula. However vague the above description 
may be, it leaves no doubt of the fact that the tribe in question is one of 
Malayan or Negrito stock. 

As far as I know, no mention is made of the Malayan Po-se in the 
historical and geographical texts of the Ming, but the tradition regard- 
ing that country was kept alive. In discussing the aAo-p % o (Cassia 
fistula) of C'en Ts'afi-kl, as noted above (p. 420), Li Si-Sen annotates 
that Po-se is the name of a country of the barbarians of the south-west 

There is some evidence extant that the language of Po-se belongs to 
the Malayan family. Tsuboi Kukazo* has called attention to the 
numerals of this language, as handed down in the Kddanio (Memoirs 
of Oye), a Japanese work from the beginning of the twelfth century. 
These are given in Japanese transcription as follows: — 

1 sasaa, sasaka 6 namu 20 toaro 

2 toa 7 toku, Umu 30 akaro, akafuro 

3 naka, mdka 8 jembira, or gemmira 40 hiha-furo 

4 namuha (nampd) 9 sa-4-bira, or sa-i-mi-ra 100 sasarato, sasaratu 

5 rima (lima) 10 sararo, or lararo 1000 sasaho, sasahu 

1 Notes on the Malay Archipelago, p. 144. 

1 Ch. 3, p. 6 b. 

1 Ch. A, p. 33 b; Hirth's translation, p. 153. 

4 Actes du Douziexne Congres des Orientalistes, Rome 1899, Vol. IT, p. iai. 

The Malayan Po-Se— Language 473 

Florenz has correctly recognized in this series the numerals of a Malayan 
language, though they cannot throughout be identified (and this could 
hardly be expected) with the numerals of any known dialect. Various 
Malayan languages must hi recruited for identification, and some forms 
even then remain obscure. The numeral 1 corresponds to Malayan sa, 
saiu; 2 to dua; 4 to ampat; 5 to lima; 6 to namu; 7 to tujoh; 9 to sembilan; 
xo to sorpuloh. The numeral 20 is composed of toa 2 and to 10 (Malayan 
pubh); 30 aka (=naka, 3) and ro or furo 10. The numeral 100 is formed 
of sasa 1 and rata = Malayan -ratus. 

Two Po-se words are cited in the Yu yah tsa tsu, 1 which, as formerly 
pointed out by me, cannot be Persian, but betray a Malayan origin. 8 
There it is said that the Po-se designate ivory as 6 Pf pai-nan, and 
rhinoceros-horn as H 1® hei-han. The former corresponds to ancient 
*bak-am; the latter, to *hak-am or *het-am. The latter answers 
exactly to Jarai hotam, Bisaya itom, Tagalog Uim, Javanese item, 
Makasar etah, Cam hutam Qiatam or hutum), Malayan httam, all mean- 
ing "black."* The former word is not related to the series putih, pitteh, 
as I was previously inclined to assume, but to the group: Cam bauh, 
boh, or bhuh; Senoi biug, other forms in the Sakei and Semang lan- 
guages of Malakka biok, bitik, bieg, begiSk, bekuh, befog* Alfur, Boloven, 
Kon tu, Kaseng, Lave, and Niah bok, Sedeng r&bah, Stieng bok 
("white"); Bahnar bak (Mon bu)} It almost seems, therefore, as if the 
speech of Po-se bears some relationship to the languages of the tribes 
of Malacca. The Po-se distinguished rhinoceros-horn and ivory as 
"black " and "white." However meagre the linguistic material may be, 
it reveals, at any rate, Malayan affinities, and explodes Bretschneider's 
theory 4 that the Po-se of the Archipelago, alleged to have been on 
Sumatra, owes its origin to the fact that "the Persians carried on a 
great trade with Sumatra, and probably had colonies there." This is an 
unfounded speculation, justly rejected also by G. E. Geriki: 7 these 
Po-se were not Persians, but Malayans. 

The Po-se question has been studied to some extent by G. E. 
Gerini, 8 who suggests its probable identity with the Vasu state located 
by the Bhflgavata Puiaga in Kugadvlpa, and who thinks it may be 

1 Ch. 16, p. 14. 

* Chinese Clay Figures, p. 145. 

1 CL Cabaton and Atmonies, Dictionnaire gam-frangais, p. 503. 

4 P. Schmidt. Bijdragen tat de Tool-, Land- en Vdkenkunde, VoL VIII, 1901 , 

* Ibid., p. 344. 

• Knowledge possessed by the Chinese of the Arabs, p. 16. 

1 Researches on Ptolemy's Geography of Eastern Asia, p. 471. 

• Ibid., p. 682. 

474 Sino-Iranica 

Lambesi; i.e.! Besi or Basi (lam meaning "village"), a petty state on 
the west coast of Sumatra immediately below Acheh, upon which it 
borders. Thisidentificationisimpossible,firstofall,forphoneticreasons: 
Chinese po & was never possessed of an ancient labial sonant, but 
solely of a labial surd (*pwa). x 

Tsuboi Kumazo 1 regards Po-se as a transcription of Pasi, Pasei, 
Pasay, Pazze, or Pacem, a port situated on northern Sumatra near the 
Diamond Cape, which subsequently vied in wealth with Majapahit 
and Malacca, and called Basma by Marco Polo. 1 

C. O. Blagden 4 remarks with reference to this Po-se, "One is very 
much tempted to suppose that this stands for Pose (or Pasai) in north- 
eastern Sumatra, but I have no evidence that the place existed as early 
as 1 1 78." If this be the case, the proposed identification is rendered 
still more difficult; for, as we have seen, Po-se appears on the horizon 
of the Chinese as early as from the seventh to the ninth century under the 
Tang, and probably even at an earlier date. The only text that gives 
us an approximate clew to the geographical location of Po-se is the 
Man 5u; and I should think that all we can do under the circumstances, 
or until new sources come to light, is to adhere to this definition; 
that is, as far as the T'ang period is concerned. Judging from the 
movements of Malayan tribes, it would not be impossible that, in the 
age of the Sung, the Po-se had extended their seats from the mainland 
to the islands of the Archipelago, but I am not prepared for the present 
either to accept or to reject the theory of their settlement on Sumatra 
under the Sung. 

Aside from the references in historical texts, we have another class 
of documents in which the Malayan Po-se is prominent, the Pen-is'ao 
literature and other works dealing with plants and products. I propose 
to review these notices in detail. 

60. In regard to alum, P. P. Smith 5 stated that apart from native 
localities it is also mentioned as reaching China from Persia, K'un-lun, 

1 On p. 471 Gerini identifies Po-se with the Baslsi tribe in the more southern 
parts of the Malay Peninsula. On the other hand, it is difficult to see why Gerini 
searched for Po-se on Sumatra, as he quotes after Parker a Chinese source 
under the date a.d. 802, to the effect that near the capital of Burma there were 
hills of sand, and a barren waste which borders on Po-se and P*o-lo-men (see 
above, p. 469). 

* Actes du Douzieme Congres des Orientalistes, Rome 1899, Vol. II, p. 92. 

* Cf. Yulb, Marco Polo, Vol. II, pp. 284-288. Regarding the kings of Pase, 
see G. Perrakd, Textes relatifs a l'Extreme-Orient, VoL II, pp. 666-669. 

4 Journal Royal As. Soc. t 1913, p. 168. 

* Contributions towards the Materia Medica of China, p. 10. 

The Malayan Po-Se— Alum 475 

and Ta 'I'sHn. j, l. Soubeiran 1 says, "L'alun, qui 6tait Or6 primitive- 
ment de la Perse, est aujourdTiui imports de 1'Occident." P. de MSly 1 
translates the term Po-se ts*e fan by "fan violet de Perse." All this is 
wrong. Htrth 8 noted the difficulty in the case, as alum is not produced 
in Persia, but principally in Asia Minor. Pliny 4 mentions Spain, 
Egypt, Armenia, Macedonia, Pontus, and Africa as alum-producing 
countries. Hirth found in the P'ei wen yiin fu a passage from the Hat 
yao pen ts % ao, according to which Pose fan tt Df §E ("Persian alum," 
as he translates) comes from Ta Ts*in. In his opinion, "Persian alum" 
is a misnomer, Persia denoting in this case merely the emporium from 
which the product was shipped to China. The text in question is not 
peculiar to the Hat yao pen ts % ao of the eighth century, but occurs at a 
much earlier date in the Kwan ton ki K #1 E, an account of Kwafi- 
tun, written under the Tsih dynasty (a.d. 265-419), when the name of 
Persia was hardly known in China. This work, as quoted in the Ceh 
lei pen ts'ao* states that kin sien & Mkfan ("alum with gold threads") 
is produced *fe in the country Po-se, and in another paragraph that the 
white alum of Po-se (Po-se pat fan) comes from Ta Ts'in. 9 The former 
statement clearly alludes to the alum discolored by impurities, as still 
found in several localities of India and Upper Burma. 7 Accordingly 
the Malayan Po-se (for this one only can come into question here) 
produced an impure kind of alum, and simultaneously was the transit 
mart for the pure white alum brought from western Asia by way of 
India to China. It is clear that, because the native alum of Po-se was 
previously known, also the West-Asiatic variety was named for Po-se. 
A parallel to the Po-se fan is the K*un~lun fan, which looks like black 
mud. 8 

61. The Wu lu £k 0$, written by Can Po 3ft $ft in the beginning of 
the fourth century, contains the following text on the subject of "ant- 
lac" (yi isi $ &): 9 "In the district of Ku-fufi Jg JR. (in Kiu-&n, Ton- 

1 Etudes sur la matiere mldicale chinoise (Minlraux), p. 2 (reprint from 
Journal de pharmacie et de chitnie, 1866). 

* Lapidaire chinois, p. 260. 

' Chinesische Studien, p. 257. 

* xxxv, 52. 

8 Ch. 3, p. 40 b. 

* Also in the text of the Hat yao pen ts'ao, as reproduced in the Pen ts'ao kan* mu 
(Ch. ii, p. 15 b), two Po-se alums are distinguished. 

T Watt, Commercial Products of India, p. 61. 
8 Pen ts*ao kan mu, I. c. 

* Vai p % in kwan yH ki, Ch. 171, p. 5. 

476 Sino-Ibanica 

king) 1 there are ants living on coarse creepers. The people, on examin- 
ing the interior of the earth, can tell the presence of ants from the soil 
being freshly broken up; and they drive tree-branches into these spots, 
on which the ants will crawl up, and produce a lac that hardens into a 
solid mass. 19 Aside from the absurd and fantastic notes of Aelian,* this is 
the earliest allusion to the lac-insect which is called in Annamese con 
mdi, in Khmer kandter, in Cam mu, ntur, or muor. 1 The Chinese half- 
legendary account 4 agrees strikingly with what Garcia reports as the 
Oriental lore of this wonder of nature: "I was deceived for a long 
time. For they said that in Pegu the channels of the rivers deposit mud 
into which small sticks are driven. On them are engendered very large 
ants with wings, and it is said that they deposit much lacre 6 on the 
sticks. I asked my informants whether they had seen this with their 
own eyes. As they gained money by buying rubies and selling the cloths 
of Paleam and Bengal, they replied that they had not been so idle as 
that, but that they had heard it, and it was the common fame. After- 
wards I conversed with a respectable man with an enquiring mind, who 
told me that it was a large tree with leaves like those of a plum tree, and 
that the large ants deposit the lacre on the small brandies. The ants 
are engendered in mud or elsewhere. They deposit the gum on the 
tree, as a material thing, washing the branch as the bee makes honey; 
and that is the truth. The branches are pulled off the tree and put in 
the shade to dry. The gum is then taken off and put into bamboo joints, 
sometimes with the branch." 6 

In the Yu yah isa tsu 1 we read as follows: "The tse-kuh tree X M 11 
flff has its habitat in Camboja (Cen-la), where it is called f& £fe lo-k % ia 9 
*lak-ka (that is, lakka, lac). 9 Further, it is produced in the country 

• __^_ _ 

1 Regarding this locality, cf . H. Maspero, Etudes d'histoire d'Annam, V, p. 19 
{Bull, de I'EcoU frangaise, 1918, No. 3). 

1 Nat. Anim., xy f 46. There is no other Greek or Latin notice of the matter. 

• Cf. Aymonibr and Cabaton (Dictionnaire cam-francais, p. 393), who trans- 
late the term "termite, pou de bois, fourmi blanche." 

4 Much more sensible, however, than that of Ad tan. 

• The Portuguese word for "lac, lacquer," the latter being traceable to lacn. 
The ending -re is unexplained. 

• C. Markhaic, Colloquies, p. 241. 
f Ch. 18, p. 9. 

• The Pai-hai edition has erroneously the character £$:. 

• Prom Pali l&khd (Sanskrit MM. laktaka); Cam lak, Khmer ink; Siamese rah 
(cf. Pallegoix, Description du royaume Thai, Vol. I, p. 144). We are thus en- 
titled to trace the presence of this Indian word in the languages of Indo-China 
to the age of the T'ang. The earliest and only classical occurrence of the word is in 
the Periplus (Ch. 6: Atom). Cf. also Prakrit lakkd; Kawi and Javanese UUtd; 
Tagalog lakka. 

The Malayan Po-Se— Lac 477 

Pose 2& Df . The tree grows to a height of ten feet, with branches dense 
and luxuriant. Its leaves resemble those of the Citrus and wither 
during the winter. In the third month it flowers, the blossoms being 
white in color. It does not form fruit. When heavy fogs, dew, and 
rain moisten the branches of this tree, they produce tse-kun. The en- 
voys of the country Po-se, Wu-hai & M and Sa-li-5en J^ ffl 8ft by name, 
agreed in their statement with the envoys from Camboja, who were 
a U Fun tu wet #f #f $5g} 1 and the sramaga JB^/B St HE Si-§a-ni- 
pa-t'o (£iganibhadra?). These said, 'Ants transport earth into the 
ends of this tree, digging nests in it; the ant-hills moistened by rain 
and dew will harden and form tse-kun. 1 That of the country K'un-lun 
is the most excellent, while that of the country Po-se ranks next.' " 3 

1 Title of a military officer. 

1 "The gum-lac which comes from Pegu is the cheapest, though it is as good as 
that of other countries; what causes it to be sold cheaper is that the ants, making 
it there on the ground in heaps, which are sometimes of the size of a cask, mix with 
it a quantity of dirt" (Tavernier, Travels in India, Vol. II, p. 22). 

* The story of laoca and the ants producing it was made known in England at 
the end of the sixteenth century. John Gerasdb (The Herball or Generall Historic 
of Plantes, p. 1349, London, 1597, 1st ed; or, enlarged and amended by Thomas 
Johnson, p. 1533, London, 1633) tells it as follows: "The tree that bringeth forth 
that excrementall substance, called Lacca, both in the shops of Europe and elsewhere, 
is called of the Arabians, Persians and Turkes hoc Sumutri, as who should say Lacca 
of Sumutra: some which have so termed it, have thought that the first plentie thereof 
came from Sumutra, but herein they have erred; for the abundant store thereof 
came from Pegu, where the inhabitants thereof do call it Lac, and others of the 
same province Tree. The history of which tree, according to that famous Herbarist 
Clusius is as followeth. There is in the countrey of Pegu and Malabar, a great tree, 
whose leaves are like them of the Plum tree, having many small twiggie branches; 
when the trunke or body of the tree waxeth olde, it rotteth in sundrie places, wherein 
do breed certaine great ants or Pismires, which continually worke and labour in the 
time of harvest and sommer, against the penurie of winter: such is the diligence 
of these Ants, or such is the nature of the tree wherein they harbour, or both, that 
they provide for their winter foode, a lumpe or masse of substance, which is of a 
crimson colour, so beautifull and so faire, as in the whole world the like cannot be 
seene, which serveth not onely to phisicall uses, but is a perfect and costly colour for 
Painters, called by us, Indian Lack. The Pismires (as I said) worke out this colour, by 
sucking the substance or matter of Lacca from the tree, as Bees do make honie and 
waxe, by sucking the matter thereof from all herbes, trees, and flowers, and the in- 
habitants of that countrie, do as diligently search for this Lacca, as we in England 
and other countries, seeke in the woods for honie; which Lacca after they have found, 
they take from the tree, and drie it into a lumpe; among which sometimes there 
come over some sticks and peeces of the tree with the wings of the Ants, which have 
fallen amongst it, as we daily see. The tree which beareth Lacca groweth in Zeilan 
and Malavar, and in other partes of the East Indies." The second edition of 1633 
has the following addition, "The Indian Lacke or Lake which is the rich colour used 
by Painters, is none of that which is used in shops, nor here figured or described by 
Clusius, wherefore our Author was much mistaken in that he here confounds together 
things so different; for this is of a resinous substance, and a faint red colour, and 
wholly unfit for Painters, but used alone and in composition to make the best hard 

478 Sino-Iranica 

The question here is of gum-lac or stick-lac (Gummi lacca; French 
laque en bdtons), also known as kino, produced by an insect, Coccus 
or Tachardia lacca, which lives on a large number of widely different trees, 1 
called $? $JP or 81 tse-kuh or tse-keh. Under the latter name it is men- 
tioned in the "Customs of Camboja" by Cou Ta-kwan;* under the 
former, in the Pen Woo yen *. 8 At an earlier date it occurs as 9t HI in 
the T'ah hut yaof where it is said in the notice of P'iao (Burma), that 
there the temple-halls are coated with it. In all probability, this word 
represents a transcription: Li Si-2en assigns it to the Southern Bar- 

The Po-se in the text of the Yu yah tsa tsu cannot be Persia, as is 
sufficiently evidenced by the joint arrival of the Po-se and Camboja 
envoys, and the opposition of Po-se to the Malayan K*un-lun. Without 
any doubt we have reference here to the Malayan Po-se. The product 
itself is not one of Persia, where the lac-insect is unknown. 6 It should be 
added that the Yu yon tsa tsu treats of this Po-se product along with the 
plants of the Iranian Po-se discussed on the preceding pages; and there 
is nothing to indicate that Twan £'efi-&, its author, made a distinction 
between the two homophonous names. 6 

62. The Malayan Po-se, further, produced camphor (Dryobalanops 
arornatica), as we likewise see from the Yu yah tsa tsu, 7 where the tree 

sealing wax. The other seemes to be an artificiaU thing, and is of an exquisite crim- 
son colour, but of what it is, or how made, I have not as yet found any thing that 
carries any probabilitie of truth." Gerarde's information goes back to Garcia, 
whose fundamental work then was the only source for the plants and drugs 
of India. 

1 Watt, Commercial Products of India, p. 1053; not necessarily Erythrina, as 
stated by Stuart (Chinese Materia Medica, p. 489). Sir C. Ma&kham (Colloquies, 
p. 241) says picturesquely that the resinous exudation is produced by the puncture 
of the females of the lac-insect as their common nuptial and accouchement bed, the 
seraglio of their multi-polygamous bacchabunding lord, the male Coccus lacca; 
both the males and their colonies of females live only for the time they are cease- 
lessly reproducing themselves, and as if only to dower the world with one of its 
most useful resins, and most glorious dyes, the color "lake." 

1 Pklliot, Bull, de VEcole francaise, Vol. II, p. 166. 

* Ch. 14, p. 4 b (ed. of Lu Sin-yuan). 

4 Ch. 100, p. 18 b. Also Su Kun and Li Sun of the T'ang describe the product. 

* The word lak (Arabic) or r&ngl&k (Persian) is derived from Indian, and 
denotes either the Indian product or the gum of Zizyphus lotus and other plants 
(Achundow, Abu Mansur, p. 265). In the seventeenth century the Dutch bought 
gum-lac in India for exportation to Persia (Tavernibr, /. c). Cf. also Leclerc, 
Traits des simples, Vol. Ill, p. 241; and G. Feuland, Textes relatifs a rExtrfime- 
Orient, p. 340. 

8 In regard to stick-lac in Tibet, see H. Laufsr, Beitrage zur Kenntnis der 
tibetischen Medicin, pp. 63-64. 

7 Ch. z8, p. 8 b. 

The Malayan Po-Se — Lac, Camphor 479 

is ascribed to Bali SI ffl (P'o-li, *Bwa-li) 1 an3 to Po-se. Camphor is 
not produced in Persia; 2 and Hirth 3 is not justified in here rendering 
Po-se by Persia and commenting that camphor was brought to China 
by Persian ships. 

63 . The confusion as to the two Po-se has led Twan C'en-& 4 to ascribe 
the jack-fruit tree (Artocarpus integrifolio) to Persia, as would follow 
from the immediate mention of Fu-lin; but this tree grows neither in 
Persia nor in western Asia. It is a native of India, Burma, and the 
Archipelago. The mystery, however, remains as to how the author 
obtained the alleged Fu-lin name. 6 

Pepper (Piper longum), according to Su Kun of the T'ang, is a prod- 
uct of Po-se. This cannot be Persia, which does not produce pepper. 6 

In the chapter on the walnut we have noticed that the Pet hu lu } 
written about a.d. 875 by Twan Kun-lu, mentions a wild walnut as 
growing in the country Can-pei (*Cambi, Jambi), and gathered and 
eaten by the Po-se. The Lin piao lu i, written somewhat later (between 
889 and 904), describes the same fruit as growing in Can-pi (*Cambir, 
Jambir), and gathered by the Hu. This text is obviously based on the 
older one of the Pet hu lu; and Liu Sun, author of the Lin piao lu i, 
being under the impression that the Iranian Po-se is involved, appears 
to have substituted the term Hu for Po-se. The Iranian Po-se, however, 
is out of the question: the Persians did not consume wild walnuts; 
and, for all we know about Can-pi, it must have been some Malayan 
region. 7 I have tentatively identified the plant in question with Juglans 
cathayensis or, which is more probable, Canariutn commune; possibly 
another genus is intended. As regards the situation of Can-pi (or -pei) 
and Po-se of the T'ang, much would depend on the botanical evidence. 
I doubt that any wild walnut occurs on Sumatra. 

The Hai yao pen ts % ao, written by Li Sun in the second half of the 
eighth century, and as implied by the title, describing the drugs from 

1 Its Bali name is given as gj ^C §| |£ ku-pu-p'o4U % *ku-put-bwa-lwut, which 
appears to be based on a form related to the Malayan type k&por-b&rus. Cf. also 
the comments of Pelliot (Toung Pao, 1912, pp. 474-475). 

1 Schlimmer (Terminologie, p. 98) observes, "Les auteurs indigenes persans 
recommendent le camphre de Borneo comme le meilleur. Camphre de menthe, 
provenant de la Chine, se trouve depuis peu dans le commerce en Perse." Camphor 
was imported into Slraf (W. Ouseley, Oriental Geography of Ebn Haukal, p. 133; 
G. Lb Strange, Description of the Province of Fars, p. 43). 

1 Chau Ju-kua, p. 194. 

4 Yu yah tsa tsu, Ch. 18, p. 10. 

1 Cf. Hirth, Chau Ju-kua, p. 213. 

• See above, pp. 374, 375. 

7 See the references given above on p. 268. 

480 Sino-Iranica 

the countries beyond the sea and south of China, has recorded several 
products of Pose, which, as we have seen, must be interpreted as the 
Malayan region of this name. Such is the case with benjoin (p. 464) 
and cummin (p. 383). 

We noticed (p. 460) that the Nan lou Hand three subsequent works 
attribute myrrh to Po-se, but that this can hardly be intended for 
the Iranian Po-se, since myrrh does not occur in Persia. Here the 
Malayan Po-se is visualized, inasmuch as the trade in myrrh took its 
route from East Africa and the Hadramaut coast of Arabia by way of 
the Malay Archipelago into China, and thus led the Chinese (errone- 
ously) to the belief that the tree itself grew in Malaysia. 

64. The case of aloes {Aloe vulgaris and other species) presents a 
striking analogy to that of myrrh, inasmuch as this African plant 
is also ascribed to Po-se, and a substitute for it was subsequently found 
in the Archipelago. Again it is Li Sun of the T'ang period who for the 
first time mentions its product under the name lu-wei X 9, stating 
that it grows in the country Po-se, has the appearance of black con* 
fectionAy, and is the sap of a tree. 1 Su Sufi of the Sung dynasty 
observes, "At present it is only shipped to Canton. This tree grows in 
the mountain-wilderness, its sap running down like tears and coagulat- 
ing. This substance is gathered regardless of the season or month." 
Li Si-5en feels doubtful as to whether the product is that of a tree or of 
an herb ^: he points out that, according to the Ta Min i fun U 9 
aloes, which belongs to the class of herbs, is a product of Java, Sumatra 
(San-fu-tsH), and other countries, and that this is contradictory to 
the data of the T'ang and Sung Pen-ts'ao. It was unknown to him, 
however, that the first author thus describing the product is Cao 
2u-kwa y * who indeed classifies Aloe among herbs, and derives it from 
the country Nu-fa fe 9t 9 a dependency of the Arabs, and in another 
passage from an island off the Somali coast, evidently hinting at Socotra. 
This island is the home of the Aloe perryi, still imported into Bombay. 1 

The name lu-wei is traced by Hirth to Persian alwa. This theory is 
difficult to accept for many reasons. Nowhere is it stated that lu-wei 
is a Persian word. Li Si-Sen, who had good sense in diagnosing foreign 
words, remarks that lu-wei remains unexplained. The Chinese his- 
torical texts relative to the Iranian Po-se do not attribute to it this 
product, which, moreover, did not reach China by land, but exclusively 

1 Pen ts'ao kan tnu, Ch. 34, p. 21 b. The juice of Aloe abyssinica is sold in the 
form of flat circular cakes, almost black in color. 

1 Cufan ft, Ch. b, p. 11 (cf. Hirth's translation, p. 225). 

* Regarding the history of aloes, see especially FlAckiger and Hanbury, 
Pharmacographia, p. 680. 

The Malayan Po-Se— Aloes 481 

over the maritime route to Canton. Aloes was only imported to Persia/ 

but it is not mentioned by Abu Mansur. The two names sebr zerd 
and sebr sugutri (=Sokotra), given by Schximmer, 2 are of Arabic and 
comparatively modern origin; thus is likewise the alleged Persian word 
alwa. The Persians adopted it from the Arabs; and the Arabs, on their 
part, admit that their alua is a transcription of the Greek word dXoi;. 8 
We must not imagine, of course, that the Chinese, when they first re- 
ceived this product during the T'ang period, imported it themselves 
directly from the African coast or Arabia. It was traded to India, and 
from there to the Malayan Archipelago; and, as intimated by Li Sun, 
it was shipped by the Malayan Po-se to Canton. Another point over- 
looked by Hirth is that Aloe vera has been completely naturalized in 
India for a long time, although not originally a native of the country. 4 
Garcia da Orta even mentions the preparation of aloes in Cambay 
and Bengal. 5 Thus we find in India, as colloquial names for the drug, 
such forms as alia, ilva, eilya, elio, yalva, and aliva in Malayan, which 
are all traceable to the Arabic-Greek alua, alwa. This name was picked 
up by the Malayan Po-se and transmitted by them with the product to 
the Chinese, who simply eliminated the initial a of the form aluwa 
or aluwe and retained luwe* Besides lu-wei, occur also the transcriptions 
fZ or R # nu or no hwi, the former in the K % ai-pao pen ts*ao of the Sung, 
perhaps suggested by the Nu-f a country or to be explained by the 
phonetic interchange of / and w. It is not intelligible to me why 
Hirth says that in the Ming dynasty lu-wei "was, as it is now, 
catechu, a product of the Acacia catechu (Sanskrit khadira)" No 
authority for this theory is cited; but this is quite impossible, as 
catechu or cutch was well known to the Chinese under the names 
er-Pa or hai'r-?a. 7 

65. A plant, IS ^ ^ so-Scwni, *suk-§a-m'it(m'ir), Japanese 
iukuSamitsu (Amomum villosum or xanthioides), is first mentioned by Li 
Sun as "growing in the countries of the Western Sea (Si-hai) as well as 
in Si-2ufi H 3ft and Po-se, much of it coming from the Kan-tun circuit 

1 W. Ousbley, Oriental Geography of Ebn Haukal, p. 133. 
' " Tenninologie, p. 22. 

• Lbclbrc, Traits des simples, Vol. II, p. 367. 

4 G. Watt, Commercial Products of India, p. 59. 
1 C Markhah, Colloquies, p. 6. 

• Waiters (Essays on the Chinese Language, p. 332), erroneously transcrib- 
ing lu~hui, was inclined to trace the Chinese transcription directly to the Greek 
aloe; this of course, for historical reasons, is out of the question. 

7 See Stuart, Chinese Materia Medica, p. 2; and my Loan- Words in Tibetan, 
No. 107, where the history of these words is traced. 

482 Sino-Iranica 

$ M JH." 1 According to Ma Ci,it grows in southern China, and, accord- 
ing to Su Stan, in the marshes of Lin -nan; thus it must have been intro- 
duced between the Tang and Sung dynasties. In regard to the name, 
which is no doubt of foreign origin, Li Si-2en observes that its significance 
is as yet unexplained. Certainly it is not Iranian, nor is it known to me 
that Atnomum occurs in Persia. On the contrary, the plant has been 
discovered in Burma, Siam, Camboja, and Laos. 8 Therefore Li Sun's 
Po-se obviously relates again to the Malayan Po-se; yet his addition of 
Si-hai and Si-2ufi is apt to raise a strong suspicion that he himself 
confounded the two Po-se and in this case thought of Persia. I have 
not yet succeeded in tracing the foreign word on which the Chinese 
transcription is based, but feel sure that it is not Iranian. The present 
colloquial name is ts % ao ia ten 3£ fifr C 8 

66. There is a plant styled SI ift ft p*o-lo-te f *bwa-ra-tik, or 9 8 
ft p*o-lo-lo y *bwa-ra-lak(lok, lek), not yet identified. Again our 
earliest source of information is due to Li Sun, who states, "P'o-lo-te 
grows in the countries of the Western Sea (Si-hai) and in Po-se. The 
tree resembles the Chinese willow; and its seeds, those of the castor-oil 
plant (pei-tna tse, Ricinus communis, above, p. 403) ; they are much used 
by druggists." 4 Li Si-Sen regards the word as Sanskrit, and the elements 
of the transcription hint indeed at a Sanskrit name. It is evidently 
Sanskrit bhallataka, from which are derived New&ii pdldla, Hindustani 
belatak or bheld, Persian balddur, and Arabic beladur (Garcia: balador). 
Other Sanskrit synonymes of this plant are aru$ka,bijapadapa,viraDrkfa, 
vifasya, and dahana. It is mentioned in several passages of the Bower 

This is the marking-nut tree (Semecarpus anacardium, family Ana- 
cardiaceae), a genus of Indian trees found throughout the hotter parts 
of India as far east as Assam, also distributed over the Archipelago as 
far as the Philippines 5 and North Australia. It does not occur in Burma 
or Ceylon, nor in Persia or western Asia. The fleshy receptacle bear- 
ing the fruijb contains a bitter and astringent substance, which is uni- 
versally used in India as a substitute for marking-ink. The Chinese 

1 Pen is % ao kan tnu, Ch. 14, p. 13 b. 

1 Stuart, Chinese Materia Medica, p. 38. Loureiro (so-xa-mi) mentions it 
for Cochin-China (Pbrrot and Hurribr, Mat. mdd. et pharmacopee sino-annamites, 

P. 97). 

* Ci wu min H Vu k'ao, Ch. 25, p. 72. 

4 Pen ts % ao kan mu, Ch. 35, p. 7; Gen lei pen ts'ao, Ch. 5, p. 14 b. In the latter 
work Li Sun attributes the definition "Western Sea and Po-se" to Su Piao, author 
of the Nan lou ki. 

1 M. Blanco, Flora de Filipinas, p. 216. 

The Malayan Po-Se — Semecarpus, Psoralea 483 

say expressly that it dyes hair and mustache black. 1 It gives to cotton 
fabrics a black color, which is said to be insoluble in water, but soluble 
in alcohol. The juice of the pericarp is mixed with lime water as a 
mordant before it is used to mark cloth. In some parts of Bengal the 
fruits ate regularly used as a dye for cotton cloths. 8 The fleshy cups on 
which the fruit rests, roasted in ashes, and the kernels of the nuts, are 
eaten as food. They are supposed to stimulate the mental powers, 
especially the memory. The acrid juice of the pericarp is a powerful 
vesicant, and the fruit is employed medicinally. 

In regard to the Persian-Arabic balddur, Ibn al-Bait&r states express- 
ly that this is an Indian word, 8 and there is no doubt that it is derived 
from Sanskrit bhalldtaka. The term is also given by Abu Mansur, who 
discusses the application of the remedy. 4 The main point in this con- 
nection is that p % o-lo-te is a typical Indian plant, and that the Po-se of 
the above Chinese text cannot refer to Persia. Since the tree occurs in 
the Malayan area, however, it is reasonable to conclude that again the 
Malayan Po-se is intended. The case is analogous to the preceding 
one, and the Malayan Po-se were the mediators. At any rate, the 
transmission to China of an Indian product with a Sanskrit name by 
way of the Malayan Po-se is far more probable than by way of Persia. 
I am also led to the general conclusion that almost all Po-se products 
mentioned in the Hai yao pen ts % ao of Li Sun have reference to the 
Malayan Po-se exclusively. 

67. A drug, by the n^me H # BS pu-ku*ti (*bu-kut-t§i), identified 
with Psoralea corylifolia, is first distinctly mentioned by Ma Ci 15 j£, 
collaborator in the K*ai poo pen ts % ao (a.d. 968-976) of the Sung period, 
as growing in all districts of Lin-nan (Kwan-tun) and Kwan-si, and 
in the country Po-se. According to Ta Min ^C W, author of the Zi hwa 
hi kia pen ts % ao %£ H Sc 4* ^£, published about a.d. 970, the drug 
would have been mentioned in the work Nan Sou hi by Su Piao 
(prior to the fifth century), 5 who determined it as SB Hi ■? hu kiu-tse, 
the "Allium adorum of the Hu." This, however, is plainly an anachro- 
nism, as neither the plant, nor the drug yielded by it, is mentioned by 
any T'ang writers, and for the first time looms up in the pharmacopoeia 
of the Sung. Su Sun, in his T % u kin pen ts'ao, observes that the plant 
now occurs abundantly on the mountain-slopes of southern China, 

1 Cen lei pen ts'oo, Ch. 5, p. 14 b. 

1 Cf. Watt, Dictionary, Vol. VI, pt. 2, p. 498. 

1 Leclbrc, Traits des simples, Vol. I, pp. 162, 265. 

4 Achundow, Abu Mansur, p. 30. 

1 See above, p. 247. 

484 Sino-Iranica 

also in Ho-2ou fe ffl in Se-£'wan, but that the native product does not 
come up to the article imported on foreign ships. 1 Ta Min defines the 
difference between the two by saying that the drug of the Southern 
Barbarians is red in color, while that of Kwan-tufi is green. Li $i-2en 
annotates that the Hu name for the plant is ^ SI BS p n o-ku-H (*bwa- 
ku-£i, bakuK), popularly but erroneously written &&Jtt p'o-kn-Zi 
(*pa-ku-&), that it is the "Allium odorutn of the Hu," because the 
seeds of the two plants are similar in appearance, but that in fact it is 
not identical with the Allium growing in the land of the Hu. These 
are all the historical documents available. Stuart 2 concludes that the 
drug comes from Persia; but there is neither a Persian word bakuli, 
nor is it known that the plant (Psoralea carylifolia) exists in Persia. 
The evidence presented by the Chinese sources is not favorable, either, 
to this conclusion, for those data point to the countries south of China, 
associated in commerce with Kwan-tun. The isolated occurrence of 
the plant in a single locality of Se-SVan is easily explained from the 
fact that a large number of immigrants from Kwan-tun have settled 
there. In fact, the word *baku& yielded by the Chinese transcription 
is of Indian origin: it answers to Sanskrit vakuci, which indeed designates 
the same plant, Psoralea corylifolia} In Bengali and Hindustani it is 
hakufr and bovaci, Uriya bakucl, Panjab babci, Bombay bawaci, MarathI 
bavacya or bavaci, etc. According to Watt, it is a common herbaceous 
weed found in the plains from the Himalaya through India to Ceylon. 
According to Ainslie, this is a dark brown-colored seed, about the 
size of a large pin-head, and somewhat oval-shaped; it has an aromatic, 
yet unctuous taste, and a certain degree of bitterness. The species in 
question is an annual plant, seldom rising higher than three feet; and is 
common in southern India. It has at each joint one leaf about two indies 
long, and one and a half broad; the flowers are of a pale flesh color, 
being produced on long, slender, axillary peduncles. In Annam it is 
known as hot-bo-kot-ft and p'oko-ii} It is therefore perfectly obvious 

1 According to the Gazetteer of Sen-si Province ($en~si Vuh ft, Ch. 43, p. 31), 
the plant occurs in the district £i-ts*uan ^J J§t in the prefecture Hin-nan. 

1 Chinese Materia Medica, p. 359; likewise P. P. Smith (Contributions, p. 179) 
and Perrot and Huskier (Matiere mddicale et pharmacopee ano-anaamites, 
P- 150). 

* W. Ainslie, Materia Indica, VoL II, p. 141. 

4 This name is also given by W. Roxburgh (Flora Indica, p. 588). See, further. 
Watt, Dictionary of the Economic Products of India, Vol. VI, p. 354. 

• Perrot and Hurribr, Mat. m&L et pharmacopee sino-annamites, p. 150. 
According to these authors, the plant is found in the south and west of China as 
well as in Siam. Wu K'i-tsun says that physicians now utilize it to a large extent in 
lieu of cinnamon (Ci wu mh% H Vu k'ao, Ch. 25, p. 65). 

The Malayan Po-Se— Ebony 485 

that the designation "Allium of the Hu" is a misnomer, and that the 
plant in question has nothing to do with the Hu in the sense of Iranians, 
nor with Persia. The Po-se of Ma Ci, referred to above, in fact repre- 
sents the Malayan Po-se. 

68. In the Pen ts'ao kah mu y a quotation is given from the Ku kin 
lu y which is not to be found in the accessible modern editions of this 
work. The assertion is made there with reference to that work that 
ebony M 3fc fc is brought over on Po-se ships. It is out of the question 
that Po-se in this case could denote Persia, as erroneously assumed by 
Stuart, 1 as Persia was hardly known under that name in the fourth 
century, when the Ku kin Su was written, or is supposed to have been 
written, by Ts'ui Pao; s and, further, ebony is not at all a product of 
Persia.* Since the same work refers ebony to Kiao-dou (Tonking), it 
may be assumed that this Po-se is intended for the Malayan Po-se; but, 
even in this case, the passage may be regarded as one of the many 
interpolations from which the Ku kin Su has suffered. 

Chinese wu-men &tft (*u-mon), "ebony" (timber of Diospyros 
ebenum and D. melanoxylon) is not a transcription of Persian abnus, 
as proposed by HntTH. 4 There is no phonetic coincidence whatever. 
Nowhere is it stated that the Chinese word is Persian or a foreign word 
at all. There is, further, no evidence to the effect that ebony was ever 
traded from Persia to China; on the contrary, according to Chinese 
testimony, it came from Indo-China, the Archipelago, and India; 
according to Li Si-£en, from Hai-n^n, Yun-nan, and the Southern Bar- 
barians. 6 The speculation that the word had travelled east and west 
with the article from "one of the Indo-Chinese districts," is untenable; 
for the ebony of western Asia and Greece did not come from Indo- 
China, but from Africa and India. The above Chinese term is not a 
transcription at all: the second character men is simply a late substitu- 
tion of the Sung period for the older 2fc, as used in the Ku kin Zu f wu wen 
meaning "black-streaked wood." In v the Pen ts'ao kah mu* it is said 

1 Chinese Materia Medica, p. 253. 

1 Persia under the name Po-se is first mentioned in a.d. 461, on the occasion of 
an embassy sent from there to the Court of the Wei (compare above, p. 471). 

1 It was solely imported into Persia (W. Ouselby, Oriental Geography of Ebn 
Haukal, p. 133). 

4 Chau Ju-kua, p. 216. 

6 The Ko ku yao lun (Ch. 8, p. 5 b; ed. of Si yin hUan ts*uh 5u) gives Hai-nan, 
Nan-fan ("Southern Barbarians"), and Yun-nan as places of provenience, and 
adds that then* is much counterfeit material, dyed artificially. The poles of the tent 
of the king of Camboja were made of ebony (Sui I«, Ch. 82, p. 3). 

1 Ch. 35 B, p. 13. 

486 Sino-Iranica 

that the character men should be pronounced in this case ft man, 
that the name of the tree is jfi£ >fC (thus written in the Nan fan ts*ao mu 
Zwan), and that the southerners, because they articulate 3C like U, 
have substituted the latter. This is a perfectly satisfactory explanation. 
The Ku kin lu 9 l however, has preserved a transcription in the form 
SI /fc SI *i-muk-i or £ *bu (wu), which must have belonged to the 
language of Kiao-Sou &t ffl (Tonking), as the product hailed from there. 
Compare Khmer mak pen and Cam tndkid ("ebony," Diospyros eben~ 
aster). 2 

Ebony was known in ancient Babylonia, combs being wrought from 
this material. 3 It is mentioned in early Egyptian inscriptions as being 
brought from the land of the Negroes on the upper Nile. Indeed, Africa 
was the chief centre that supplied the ancients with this precious wood. 4 
From Ethiopia a hundred billets of ebony were sent every third year 
as tribute to Darius, king of Persia. Ezekiel 6 alludes to the ebony of 
Tyre. The Periplus (36) mentions the shipping of ebony from Barygaza 
in India to Ommana in the Persian Gulf. Theophrastus, 6 who is the 
first to mention the ebony-tree of India, makes a distinction between two 
kinds of Indian ebony, a rare and nobler one, and a common variety of 
inferior wood. According to Pliny, 7 it was Pompey who displayed 
ebony in Rome at his triumph over Mithridates; and Solinus, who copies 
this passage, adds that it came from India, and was then shown for the 
first time. According to the same writer, ebony was solely sent from 
India, and the images of Indian gods were sometimes carved from this 
wood entirely, likewise drinking-cups. 8 Thus the ancients were ac- 
quainted with ebony as a product of Africa and India at a time when 
Indo-China was still veiled to them, nor is any reference made to the 
far east in any ancient western account of the subject. The word itself 
is of Egyptian origin: under the name heben, ebony formed an important 
article with the country Punt. Hebrew hobmm is related to this word or 
directly borrowed from it, and Greek Vfi&os is derived from Semitic. 
Arabic-Persian 'abnus is taken as a loan from the Greek, and Hindi 
abanusa is the descendant of abnus. 

1 Ch. c, p. 1 b. The product is described as coming from Kiao-cou, being of 
black color and veined, and also called "wood with black veins" (wu wen mu). 

1 Aymonekr and Cabaton, Dictionnaire gam-f rancais, p. 366. 

* Handcock, Mesopotamian Archaeology, p. 349. 

4 Herodotus, 111, 97. 

•xxvn, 15. 

9 Hist, plant., IV. rv, 6. 

' xn, 4, { 20. 

9 Solinus, ed. Mommsbn, pp. 193, 221. 

The Malayan Po-Se and its Products 487 

It is thus obvious that the term Pose in Chinese records demands 
great caution, and must not be blindly translated "Persia." Whenever 
it is used with reference to the Archipelago, the chances are that Persia 
is not in question. The Malayan Po-se has become a fact of historical 
significance. He who is intent on identifying this locality and people 
must not lose sight of the plants and products attributed to it. I dis- 
agree entirely with the conclusion of Herth and Rockhill 1 that from 
the end of the fourth to the beginning of the seventh centuries all the 
products of Indo-China, Ceylon, India, and the east coast of Africa 
were classed by the Chinese as "products of Persia (Po-se),'' the coun- 
try of the majority of the traders who brought these goods to China. 
This is a rather grotesque generalization, inspired by a misconception 
of the term Po-se and the Po-se texts of the Wei 5u and Sui 5u. The 
latter, as already emphasized, do not speak at all of any importation of 
Persian goods to China, but merely give a descriptive list of the arti- 
cles to be found in Persia. Whenever the term Po-se is prefixed to the 
name of a plant or a product, it means only one of two things, — Persia 
or the Malayan Po-se, — but this attribute is never fictitious. Not a 
single case is known to me where a specific product of Ceylon or India 
is ever characterized by the addition Po-se. 

1 Chau Ju-kua, p. 7. 


69. Brocades, that is, textiles interwoven with gold or silver threads, 
were manufactured in Iran at an early date* Gold rugs are mentioned 
in the A vesta (zaranaene upasierene, YaSt xv, 2). Xerxes is said to 
have presented to citizens of Abdera a td,ara interwoven with gold. 1 
The historians of Alexander give frequent examples of such cloth in 
Persia. 3 Pliny /speaking of gold textiles of the Romans, traces this art 
to the Attalic textures, and stamps it as an invention of the kings of 
Asia (Attalicis vero iam pridem intexitur, invento regum Asiae). 4 
The accounts of the ancients are signally confirmed by the Chinese. 

Persian brocades flfc Pi H are mentioned in the Annals of the Liang as 
having been sent as tribute in a.d. 520 to the Emperor Wu from the 
country Hwa».« The king of Persia wore a cloak of brocade, and bro 
cades were manufactured in the country. 9 Textiles woven with gold 
threads 4fc iBIIR J& are expressly mentioned; 7 this term almost reads 
like a translation of Persian sar-bdf (literally, "gold weaving")- 8 Per- 
sian brocades, together with cotton stuffs from An-si (Parthia) 5fc M 
6 ftl, are further mentioned at the time of the Emperor Si Tsun ft vc 
(a.d. 954-958) of the Hou Cou dynasty, among tribute-gifts sent from 
Kwa Sou Jt JN in Kan-su. 9 The Kirgiz received precious materials for 
the dress of their women from An-si (Parthia), Pei-t'in 4fe S (BiSbalik, 
in Turkistan) , and the Ta-§i ^C it (Tadjik, the Arabs) . The Arabs made 
pieces of brocade of such size that the weight of each equalled that of 
twenty camel-loads. Accordingly these large pieces were cut up into 

1 Herodotus, vra, 120. 

• Yates, Textrinum Antiquorum, pp. 366-368. 

• xxxm, 19, { 63. 

4 At the Court of the Persian kings there was a special atelier for the weaving 
of silken, gold, and silver fabrics, — styled si&r b&fx&ne (E. Kabmffbe, Amoenitatum 
exoticarum fasciculi V, p. 128, Lemgoviae, 1712). 

1 Liah Jf«, Ch. 54, p. 13 b. Hwa is the name under which the Bphthalites first 
appear in Chinese history (Chavannes, Documents sur les Tou-lriue occidentaux, 
p. 222). 

1 Kiu T*oh i«, Ch. Z98, p. 10 b (see also Lian i«, Ch. 54, p. 14 b; and Sui l« 
Ch. 83, p. 7 b). Huan Tsan refers to brocade in his account of Persia (Ta T*aA si 
ya ki, Ch. 11, p. 17 b, ed. of Sou tan ko ts'uri iu). 

iSuiSuJ. c.;& m*i tfi W * « # in Zia* !«,/.*. 

• Cf . Loan-Words in Tibetan, No. 1 18. 

• Wu tot H, Ch. 74, p. 3 b; Kiu Wu Tai U, Ch. 138, p. I b. 


Persian Textiles — Brocades 489 

twenty smaller ones, so that they could be accommodated on twenty 
camels, and were presented once in three years by the Arabs to the 
Kirgiz. The two nations had a treaty of mutual alliance, shared also 
by the Tibetans, and guaranteeing protection of their trade against the 
brigandage 6i the Uigur. 1 The term hu Inn $ 18 ("brocades of the Hu," 
that is, Iranians) is used in the Kwan yilkiM9kfa* with reference to 
Khotan. 8 The Iranian word for these textiles, though not recognized 
heretofore, is also recorded by the Chinese. This is ft tie, anciently 
•diiep, dziep, diep, dib, 4 being the equivalent of a Middle-Persian form 
*dib or *dep, 6 corresponding to the New-Persian word diba ("silk bro- 
cade," a colored stuff in which warp and woof are both made of silk), 
dibah (" gold tissue "), Arabicised dibadl ( " vest of brocade, cloth of gold ") . 
The fabric as well as the name come from Sasanian Persia, and were 
known to the Arabs at Mohammed's time. 6 The Chinese term occurs 
as a textile product of Persia in the Sui 5u (Ch. 83, p. 7 b ). At a much 
earlier date it is cited in the Han Annals (Hou Han $u, Ch. 116, p. 8) 
as a product of the country of the Ai-lao in Yun-nan. This is not 
surprising in view of the fact that at that period Yun-nan, by way of 
India, was in communication with Ta Ts'in: in a.d. 120 Yufi Yu Tiao 
IK A M, King of the country T*an t?, presented to the Chinese em- 
peror musicians and jugglers, who stated that "they had come from 
the Mediterranean & H, which is the same as Ta Ts'in, and that 
south-west from the Kingdom of T'an there is communication with 
Ta TsHn." The commentator of the Han Annals refers to the Wai kwo 
hvan 9\* B flp as saying that the women of Cu-po It W (Java) make 
white tie and ornamented cloth ffi >ft>. The character A po ("silk"), 
preceding the term tie in the Han Annals, represents a separate item, and 

1 Tan to, Ch. 217 b, p. 18; Tai pHn kwan yU ki, Ch. 199, p. 14. Cf. Dbveria, 
in Centenaire de l'Ecole des Langues Orientates, p. 308. 

' Ch. 24, p. 7 b. Regarding the various editions of this work, see p. 251. 

* Likewise in the Sung Annals with reference to a tribute sent from Khotan 
in 961 (Chavannes and Pelliot, Traite" manicheen, p. 274). Regarding Persian 
brocades mentioned by mediaeval writers, see Francisque-Michel, Recherches sur 
le commerce, la fabrication et 1'usage des Itoffes de soie d'or et d' argent, Vol. I, 
PP* 315-317. Vol. II, pp. 57-58 (Paris, 1852, 1854). 

4 According to the Yi ts'ie kin yin i (Ch. 19, p. 9 b), the pronunciation of the 
character tie was anciently identical with that of $| (see No. 70), and has the fan 
ts'ie t£ ffi; that is, riap, *diab, d'ab. The Tan 5u U yin (Ch. 23, p. 1 b) indicates 
the same fan ts'ie by means of t£ IS- The phonetic element ft serves for the 
transcription of Sanskrit dxfipa (Pelliot, Bull, de l'Ecole frangaise, Vol. IV, p. 357). 

* A Pahlavi form dipdk is indicated by West (Pahlavi Texts, Vol. I, p. 286); 
hence Armenian dipak. 

* C. H. Becker, Encyclopedia of Islam, Vol. I, p. 967. 
7 Cf. Journal asiatigue, 1918, II, p. 24. 

490 Sino-Iranica 

is not part of the transcription, any more than the word H kin, which 
precedes it in the Sui Annals; but the combination of both po and kin 
with tie indicates and confirms very well that the latter was a brocaded 
silk. Hikth 1 joins po with tie into a compound in order to save the 
term for his pets the Turks. "The name po-tie is certainly borrowed 
from one of the Turki languages. The nearest equivalent seems to be 
the Jagatai Turki word for cotton, pakhta" There are two fundamental 
errors involved here. First, the Cantonese dialect, on which Htrth 
habitually falls back in attempting to restore the ancient phonetic 
condition of Chinese, does not in fact represent the ancient Chinese 
language, but is merely a modern dialect in a far-advanced stage of 
phonetic decadence. The sounds of ancient Chinese can be restored 
solely on the indications of the Chinese phonetic dictionaries and on the 
data of comparative Indo-Chinese philology. Even in Cantonese, 
po-tie is pronounced pak-tip, and it is a prerequisite that the foreign 
prototype of this word terminates in a final labial. The ancient pho- 
netics of ft ft is not pak-ta, but *bak-dzip or *dip, and this bears no 
relation to pakhta. Further, it is impossible to correlate a foreign 
word that appears in China in the Han period with that of a com- 
paratively recent Turkish dialect, especially as the Chinese data rela- 
tive to the term do not lead anywhere to the Turks; and, for the rest, 
the word pakhta is not Turkish, but Persian, in origin* Whether the 
term tie has anything to do with cotton, as already stated by Cha- 
vannes, 8 is uncertain; but, in view of the description of the plant as 
given in the Nan ii A or Lian Su* it may be granted that the term po-tie 
was subsequently transferred to cotton. 

The ancient pronunciation of po-tie being *bak-dib, it would not be 
impossible that the element bak represents a reminiscence of Middle 
Persian pambak ("cotton"), New Persian panpa (Ossetic bambag, 
Armenian bambak). This assumption being granted, the Chinese term 
£<?-*i*(= Middle Persian *bak-dib = pambak dip) would mean "cotton 
brocade" or "cotton stuff." Again, po-tie was a product of Iranian 
regions: kin siu po tie £ H 6 ft is named as a product of K'an (Sog- 
diana) in the Sasanian era; 6 and, as has been shown, po-tie from Parthia 

1 Chao Ju-kua, p. 21 8. 

1 Stkingass, Persian-English Dictionary, p. 237. 

• Documents sur les Tou-lriue occicLentaux, p. 352* 

4 Ch. 79, p. 6 b. 

1 Ch* 54, p. 13 b. Cf. Chavannbs, ibid., p. 102; see also P. W. K. MftLUts, 
Uigurica, II, pp. 70, 105. 

1 Sui 5u, Ch. 83, p. 4. Hence *bak-dlb may also have been a Sogdian word. 

Persian textiles— Brocades 491 

is specially named. Po4ie f further, appears in India; 1 and as early as 
a.d. 430 Indian po-tie was sent to China from Ho-lotan ■} jR ¥ on Java. 1 
According to a passage of the Kiu T % an $u* the difference between ku- 
pei (Sanskrit karpasa) 1 and po-tie was this, that the former was a coarse, 


1 Nan Si, Ch. 78, p. 7 a. 

1 Sun lit, Ch. 97, p. 2 b. 

* Ch. 197, p. 1 b, indicated by Peluot {Bull, de VEceie franchise, Vol. Ill, 
p. 369). 

4 It is evident that the transcription ku-pei is not based directly on Sanskrit 
karp&sa; but I do not believe with Wattbrs (Essays on the Chinese Language, 
p. 440) and Hirth (Chau Ju-kua, p. 218) that Malayan k&pas is at the root of the 
Chinese form, which, aside from the lack of the final $, shows a peculiar vocalism that 
cannot be explained from Malayan. Of living languages, it is Bahnar kdpaih ("cot- 
ton") which presents the nearest approach to Chinese ku-pei or ku-pai. It is there- 
fore my opinion that the Chinese received the word from a language of Indo-China. 
The history of cotton in China is much in need of a revision. The following case 
is apt to show what misunderstandings have occurred in treating this subject. 
Ku-iun (*ku-diun, *ku-dun) "rj $£ is the designation of a cotton-like plant grown 
in the province of Kwei-cou $£ /H ; the yarn is dyed and made into pan puf&tfft. 
This is contained in the Nan Yue li ffj |8 jit? by Sen Hwai-yuan t£ fit j% of the 
fifth century (Pen is % ao kan mu, Ch. 36, p. 24). Schott (Altaische Studien, III, 
Abh. Berl. Akad., 1867, pp. 137, 138; he merely refers to the source as "a descrip- 
tion of southern China," without citing its title and date), although recognizing that 
the question is of a local term, proposed, if it were permitted to read kututi instead 
of kulun, to regard the word as an indubitable reproduction of Arabic qufun, which 
resulted in the coton, cotton, kattun, etc, of Europe. Mayers then gave a similar 
opinion; and Histh (Chau Ju-kua, p. 219), clinging to a Fu-cou pronunciation 
ku4Un (also Watters, Essays, p. 440, transcribes ku-tun), accepted the alleged 
derivation from the Arabic. This, of course, is erroneous, as in the fifth century 
there was no Arabic influence on China, nor did the Arabs themselves then know 
cotton. It would also be difficult to realize how a plant of Kwei-cou could have 
been baptized with an Arabic name at that or any later time. Moreover, ku-tun 
is not a general term for " cotton" in Chinese; the above work remains the only 
one in which it has thus far been indicated. Ku-tun, as Li Si-cen points out, is a 
tree-cotton >fc jffi (Bombax malabaricum), which originated among the Southern 
Barbarians (Nan Fan f$| $), and which at the end of the Sung period was trans- 
planted into Kian-nan. It is very likely that, as stated by Stuart (Chinese Materia 
Medica, p. 197), the cotton-tree was known in China from very ancient times, and 
that its product was used in the manufacture of cloth before the introduction of the 
cotton-plant (Gossypium kerbaceum). In fact, the same work Nan ytie li reports, 
"None of the Man tribes in the kingdom Nan-cao rear silkworms, but they merely 
obtain the seeds of the so-lo (*sa-la) J£ jR tree, the interior of which is white and 
contains a floss that can be wrought like silk and spun into cloth; it bears the name 
so4o lun twan £ ft ft #." The Fan yd li # H M of Cu Mu jR 9 °* the Sung 
period alludes to the same tree, which is said to be from thirty to fifty feet in height. 
The Ko ku yao lun (Ch. 8, p. 4 b; ed. of Si yin Man ts'un $u) speaks of cotton stuffs 
$2 ft 1$ ( = J8 ; touAo* Sanskrit Hila) which come from the Southern Barbarians, 
Tibet (Si-fan), and Yun-nan, being woven from the cotton in the seeds of the so4o 
tree, resembling velvet, five to six feet wide, good for making bedding and also clothes. 
The Tien hi writes the word $fr ft (G. Souli£, Bull, de VEcdlefrancaise, Vol. VIII, 
P» 343)* Sa4a is the indigenous name of the tree; sa4a is still the Lo-lo designation 

- * 

492 Sino-Iranica 

and the latter a fine textile. In the Glossary of the Tang Annals the 
word tie is explained as "fine hair" tt 3§ and "hair cloth" ^ ^; these 
terms indeed refer to cotton stuffs, but simultaneously hint at the fact 
that the real nature of cotton was not yet generally known to the Chinese 
of the T'ang period. In the Kwan yil ki f po-tie is named as a product of 
Turfan; the threads, it is said, are derived from wild silkworms, and 
resemble fine hemp. 

Russian altabds ("gold or silver brocade," "Persian brocade": 
Dai/), Polish altembas, and French altobas, in my opinion, are nothing 
but reproductions of Arabic-Persian al-dibad$, discussed above. The 
explanation from Italian alto-basso is a jocular popular etymology; and 
the derivation from Turkish altun ("gold") and b'az ("textile") 1 is 
likewise a failure. The fact that textiles of this description were subse- 
quently manufactured in Europe has nothing to do, nor does it conflict, 
with the derivation of the name which Inostrantsev wrongly seeks in 
Europe. 2 In the seventeenth century the Russians received altabds 
from the Greeks; and Ibn Rosteh, who wrote about a.d. 903, speaks 
then of Greek dibadX.* According to Makkari, dibadX were manufac- 
tured by the Arabs in Almeria, Spain, 4 the centre of the Arabic silk 
industry. 5 

70. 81 3£ fa-ten, *dap (=tB) 8 -daA ( = 5), tap-taA, woollen rugs* 
The name of this textile occurs in the Wei lio of the third century a.d. 
as a product of the anterior Orient (TaTsHn), 7 and in the Han Annals 

for cotton (Vial, Dictionnaire francais lo-lo, p. 97). Likewise it is so-la in P*u-p*a, 
sd-ld in £o-ko (Bull, de VEcole franchise, Vol. IX, p. 554). In the same manner I 
believe that *ku-d2un was the name of the same or a similar tree in the language of 
the aborigines of Kwei-£ou. Compare Lepcha ka-luk ki kun ("cotton-tree"), Sin-p'o 
go-dun ("cotton-tree"), given by J. F. Nkedham (Outline Grammar of the Singpbo 
Language, p. 90, Shillong, 1889), and Meo coa ("cotton"), indicated by M. L. 
Pibrlot (Vocabulaire meo, Actes du XIV* Congres int. des Orientalistes Alger 
1905, pt. I, p. 150). 

1 Proposed by Savel'ev in Brman's Archiv, Vol. VII, 1848, p. 228. 

* K. Inostrantsev, Iz istorii starinnyx tkanei (Zapiski Oriental Section Russian 
Archaeol. Soc., Vol. XIII, 1901, pp. 081-084). 

1 G. Jacob, Handelsartikel, p. 7; Waren beim arabisch-nordischen Verkehr, 
p. 16. 

4 G. Migbon, Manuel d'art musulman, Vol. II, p. 420. 

* Dbfremery, Journal osiatique, 1854, p. 168; Francisque-Micbbl, Recherches 
sur le commerce, la fabrication et l'usage des dtoffes de soie, d'or et d'argent, Vol. I, 
pp. 232, 284-290 (Paris, 1852). 

•The fan ts'ie is &. |Jf;thatis,Mu-kiap-d'iap (Ft fc'te to* 3*111,01.19, p. 9 b), 
or *& H *du-hap«dap (Hou Han Su, Ch. 118, p. 5 b). 

7 F. Hirth, China and the Roman Orient, pp. 71, 112, 113, 255. Tauten of five 
and nine colors are specified. 

Persian Textiles— Rugs 493 

as a product of India. 1 In the Stii Annals it appears as a product of 
Persia. 2 Chavannes has justly rejected the fantastic explanation given 
in the dictionary Si rnin, which merely rests on an attempt at punning. 
The term, in fact, represents a transcription that cor responds to a 
Middle-Persian word connected with the root Vtab ("to spin") 2 
cf. Persian taftan ("to twist, to spin"), tabad ("he spins"), iafta or tafte 
("garment woven of linen, kind of silken cloth, taffeta"). Greek t&tijs 
and tcliHitIov (frequent in the Papyri; rairlSv^oi, "rug-weavers") are 
derived from Iranian. 1 There is a later Attic form Sinrts. The Middle- 
Persian form on which the Chinese transcription is based was perhaps 
*taptan, tapetati, -an being the termination of the plural. The Persian 
word resulted in our taffeta (med. Latin tqffata 9 Italian tajjfetd, Spanish 

71. To the same type as the preceding one belongs another Chinese 
transcription, Va IS fo(t % o)-pi, IB fl£ tso-p% 9 or IB $& tso-pi, dance- 
rugs sent to China in a.d. 718 and 719 from Msimargh and Bukhara 
respectively. 4 These forms correspond to an ancient *ta-bik (!2 or flf ) 
or *ta-bift (i$), and apparently go back to two Middle-Persian forms 
*tabix and *tabe$ or *tabi5 (or possibly with medial p) . 5 

72. More particularly we hear in the relations of China with 
Persia about a class of textiles styled yiie no pu i&ffli >ftf . 8 As far as I 
know, this term occurs for the first time in the Annals of the Sui Dy- 
nasty (a.d. 590-6x7), in the notice on Po-se (Persia). 7 This indicates 
that the object in question, and the term denoting it, hailed from Sasa- 
nian Persia. 

1 E. Chavannes, Les Pays d'occident d'apres le Heou Han Chou {Toung Poo, 
1907, p. 193)- Likewise (in the Nan H (Ch. 78, p. 5 b) and in Cao 2u-kwa (trans- 
lation of Hirth and Rockhill, p. 111). 

1 Sui 5u t Ch. 83, p. 7 b. 

* P. Horn, Grundriss iran. Phil., Vol. I, pt. 2, p. 137. N&ldeke's notion 
(Persische Studien, II, p. 40) that Persian tanbasa ("rug, carpet") should be derived 
from the Greek word, in my opinion, is erroneous. 

4 Chavannes, Toung Poo, 1904, p. 34. 

* These two parallels possibly are apt to shed light on the Old High-German 
duplicates Uppih and Uppid. The latter has been traced directly to Italian tappeio 
(Latin tap&e, tapitum), but the origin of the spirant % in Uppih has not yet been 
explained, and can hardly be derived from the final t. Would derivation from an 
Iranian source, direct or indirect, be possible? 

* According to Hieth (Chau Ju-kua, p. 220), "a light cotton gauze or muslin, 
of two kinds, pure white, and spangled with gold"; but this is a doubtful explana- 

7 Sui i« , Ch. 83, p. 7 b. This first citation of the term has escaped all previous 
writers on the subject, — Hirth, Chavannes, and Pelliot. From the Sui Su the text 
passed into the Tai pHn hwan yU ki (Ch. 185, p. 18 b). 

494 Sino-Iranica 

In the Tang Annals we read that in the beginning of the period 
K'ai-yuan (a.d. 713-741) the country of K'an (Sogdiana), an Iranian 
region, sent as tribute to the Chinese Court coats-of-mail, cups of rock- 
crystal, bottles of agate, ostrich-eggs, textiles styled yiie no, dwarfs, 
and dancing-girls of Hu-suan SB fit (Xwarism). 1 In the Ts % efu yiian kwei 
the date of this event is more accurately fixed in the year 718.* The 
Man Su } written by Fan Co of the T'ang period, about a.d. 860,* men* 
tions yiie no as a product of the Small P'o-lo-men ^$8R (Br&h- 
maga) country, which was conterminous with P*iao CI (Burma) and 
Mi-£'en (*Mid2en) SIR IS. 4 This case offers a parallel to the presence 
of tie in the Ai-lao country in Yun-nan. 

The Annals of the Sung mention yiie no as exported by the Arabs 
into China. 5 The Lin wai tai to, 8 written by Cou K'u-fei in 11 78, men- 
tions white yile-no stuffs in the countries of the Arabs, in Bagdad, and 
yiie-no stuffs in the country Mi IS. 

Htrth 7 was the first to reveal the term yiie no in Cao 2u-kwa, who 
attributes white stuffs of this name to Bagdad. His transcription yiit- 
nok, made on the basis of Cantonese, has no value for the phonetic 
restoration of the name, and his hypothetical identification with ati~ 
tanee must be rejected; but as to his collocation of the second element 
with Marco Polo's nac, he was on the right trail. He was embarrassed, 
however, by the first element yiie, "which can in no way be explained 
from Chinese and yet forms part of the foreign term.' 1 Hence in his 
complete translation of the work 8 he admits that the term cannot as 
yet be identified. His further statement, that in the passage of the 
T*an Su t quoted above, the question is possibly of a country yiie-no 
(Bukhara), rests on a misunderstanding of the text, which speaks only 
of a textile or textiles. The previous failures in explaining the term 
simply result from the fact that no serious attempt was made to restore 

1 Cf. Chavannbs, Documents sur les Tou-kiue occidentaux, pp. 136, 378. 
with the rectification of Pelliot (Bull, de VEcole frangaise, Vol. IV, 1904, p. 483). 
Regarding the dances of Hu-suan, see Kin It hwiyuan kiao k'an ki J£ ~$t ^ff X Vt 

ft B (p« 3)» Critical Annotations on the Kin li hwi yuan by Li San-kiao ^ Ji 5ft! 
of the Sung (in Kifu ts'un 5u, Vao 10). 

* Chavannbs, Toung Poo, 1904, p. 35. 

1 See above, p. 468. 

4 Man Su 9 p. 44 b (ed. of Y&n-nan pei ten ft). Regarding Mi-£'en, see Pbluot, 
Bull, de I'Ecole franfaise, Vol. IV, p. 171. 

* Sun It, Ch. 490; and Brbtschneidbr, Knowledge possessed by the Chinese 
of the Arabs,' p. 12. Bretschneider admitted that this product was unknown to him, 

* Ch. 3, pp. 2-3. 

7 Lander des Islam, p. 42 (Leiden, 1894). 
■ Chau Ju-kua, p. 220. 

Persian Textiles— Yoe No 495 

it to its ancient phonetic condition. 1 Moreover, it was not recognized 
that yiie no represents a combination of two Iranian words, and that 
each of these elements denotes a particular Iranian textile. 

(1) The ancient articulation of what is now sounded yiie jS was 
*vat, va5, wiaa, or, with liquid final, *var or *val.* Thus it may well 
be inferred that the Chinese transcription answers to a Middle-Persian 
form of ^type *vflr or *val. There is a Persian word bantu or barnun 
("brocade"), vala, which means "a kind of silken stuff,"* and balds , 
"a kind of fine, soft, thin armosin silk, an old piece of cloth, a kind of 
coarse woollen stuff." 4 

(2) fEr no corresponds to an ancient *nak, 6 and is easily identified 
with Persian nax (nakh), "a carpet beautiful on both sides, having a 
long pile; a small carpet with a short pile; a raw thread of yarn of any 
sort,' 16 but also "brocade." The early mention of the Chinese term, 
especially in the Sui Annals, renders it quite certain that the word nak 
or nax was even an element of the Middle-Persian language. Hither- 
to it had been revealed only in mediaeval authors, the Yiian l % ao pi Si, 

1 Db Goejb's identification oiyQe-no pu with djannObi (in Hirth, Lfinder des Islam, 
p. 61) is a complete failure: pu ("cloth") does not form part of the transcription, 
which can only be read wti-nak, var-nak, or val-nak. Tsuboi Kum azo (Actes XII* 
Congres international des Orientalistes Rome 1899, Vol. II, p. 112) has already 
opposed this unfortunate suggestion. 

■For examples, see Chavannbs, Mexnoires historiques de Se-ma Tslen, 
Vol. IV, p. 559; and particularly cf. Pblliot, Journal asialiquc, 1914, II, p. 392. 

'Stbingass, Persian-English Dictionary, p. 1453. Horn (Grundriss iran. 
Phil., Vol. I, pt. 2, p. 29) translates the word "a fine stuff, " and regards it as a loan- 
word from Greek ffijXow ("veil"), first proposed, I believe, by Noldeke (Persische 
Studien, II, p. 39). This etymology is not convincing to me. On the contrary, 
vdla is a genuine Persian word, meaning "eminent, exalted, high, respectable, sub- 
lime, noble"; and it is quite plausible that this attribute was transferred to a fine 
textile. It was, further, the Persians who taught the Greeks lessons in textile art, 
but not the reverse. F. Justi (Iranisches Namenbuch, p. 516) attributes to vdld 
also the meaning "banner of silk." 

4 Stbingass, op. cil. t p. 150. The Iranian character of this word is indicated 
by WaxI palds, Sariqoll palUs ("coarse woollen cloth") of the Pamir languages. 
Perhaps also Persian bat ("stuff of fine wool"), Wax! bdt, Sariqoll bSl (cf. W. Toma- 
9CHBK, Pamirdialekte, Sittber. Wiener Akad., 1880, p. 807) may be enlisted as possible 
prototypes of Chinese *vat, val; but I do not believe with Tomaschek that this 
series bears any relation to Sanskrit paffa and l&ja or Armenian Idtik ("mantle"). 
The latter, in my opinion, is a loan-word from Greek X6fti£ ("cover, rug"), that 
appears in the Periplus (§ 24) and in the Greek Papyri of the first century a.d. 
(T. Rbil, Beitrage zur Kenntnis des Gewerbes im hellenistischen .Agypten, p. x 18). 

* See, for instance, Toung Poo, 1914, p. 77, and 191 5, p. 8, where the character 
in question serves for transcribing Tibetan nag. It further corresponds to nak 
in Annamese, Korean, and Japanese, as well as in the transcriptions of Sanskrit 

1 Stbingass, Persian-English Dictionary, p. 1391. 

40 Sino-Iranica 

Yuan H, Ibn Bat&t&> Rubruk, Marco Polo, Pegoletti, etc. 1 W. Bang 
has shown in a very interesting essay 2 that also the Codex Cumanicus 
contains the term nac (Cttmanian), parallel with Persian nagh and Latin 
nachus, in the sense of "gold brocades/ 1 and that the introitus natorum 
et nascitorum of the books of tax-rates of Genoa about 1420 refers to 
these textiles, and has nothing to do with the endowment of the new- 
born, as had been translated. Bang points out also "ndchi, a kinde 
of slight silke wouen stuffe" in Florio, "Queen Anna's New World of 
Words" (London, 1611). In mediaeval literature the term nac, nak, 
ttaque, or nachit occurs as early as the eleventh century, and figures in 
an inventory of the Cathedral of Canterbury of the year 1315. 

73. H ffl hu^na, *yu-na, a textile product of Persia 8 (or IS #§P). 4 An 
ancient Iranian equivalent is not known to me, but must be supposed 
to have been *7una or *guna. This word may be related to Sighnan 
(Pamir language) ghdun ("coarse sack 1 '), Kashmir gun, Sanskrit goni* 
Anglo-Indian gunny, gunny-bag, trading-name of the coarse sacking 
and sacks made from the fibre of the jute. 6 

74. tft fan, Man, *tan, a textile product of Persia, likewise men- 
tioned in the Sui Annals. This is doubtless the Middle-Persian des- 
ignation of a textile connected with the root Vtan ("to spin"), of 
which several Middle-Persian forms are preserved. 7 Compare Avestan 
tanva, Middle Persian tanand, Persian tani&an, tanandd ("spider"), 
and, further, Persian tan-basa, tan-bisa ("small carpet, rug"); iamd 
("a web"); tanldan ("to twist, weave, spin"). 

75. $k fp M sa-ha-la or SI *n *R 8 so-ha^la, of green color, is men- 

1 See K. Bretschnbidbr, Notices of the Mediaeval Geography, p. 288, or Me- 
diaeval Researches, Vol. II, p. 124; Yule, Cathay, new ed. by Cordier, VoL III, 
pp. 155-156, 169; Yule, Marco Polo, Vol. I, pp. 63, 65, 285; W. Heyd. Histoire 
du commerce du levant au moyen age, p. 698; and, above all, F.-Michel, Recherches 
sur le commerce etc., des gtoffes de soie, Vol. I, pp. 261-264. A. Houtum-Schindlbr 
(Journal As. Soc. Bengal, VoL VI, 1910, p. 265) states that nax occurs in a letter of 

1 Ueber den angeblichen "Introitus natorum et nascitorum" in den Genueser 
Steuerbuchern, in Bull, de la Classe des LeUres de VAcadhnie royale de Belgique, 
No. 1, 1912, pp. 27-32. 

• Sui !«, Ch. 83, p. 7 b. 

4 T*ai p'in hwan yU ki, Ch. 185, p. 18 b. 

1 W. Tomaschbk, Pamirdialekte {Sibber . Wiener Akad., 1880, p. 808) . 

• Yule, Hobson-Jobson, p. 403. 

t Salbmann, Grundxiss iran. Phil., Vol. I, pt. 1, p. 303. 

8 This transcription is given in the C'an wu I i S 4JJ je? by Wen ten-hen 3fc 
% ^ of the Ming (Ch. 8, p. 1 b; ed. of Yiie ya Van ts'un 5u). He describes the 
material as resembling sheep-wool, as thick as felt, coming from the Western 
Regions, and very expensive. 

Persian Textiles— Woollen Stuffs 497 

tioned in the Ming history as having been sent as a present in 1392 from 
Samarkand. The Ming Geography, as stated by B&etschneider, 1 
mentions this stuff as a manufacture of Bengal and Soli, saying that 
it is woven from wool and is downy. There is a red and a green kind. 
Bretschneider's view, that by sa-ha-la the Persian Sal is intended, must 
be rejected. 2 In the Yin yai Sen Ian of 1416, sa-ha-la is enumerated 
among the goods shipped from Malacca, being identified by Groene- 
veldt with Malayan saklat or sahalat. 3 Sa-ha-la is further mentioned 
for Ormuz and Aden. 4 

In the Ko ku yao lun II T& 3B ft, written by Ts'ao Cao W 03 in 
1387, revised and enlarged in 1459 by Waft Tso :£ tfe, 8 we meet this 
word in the transcription M (-SS) M M sa-hoi-la* which is said to 
come from Tibet IS # in pieces three feet in width, woven from wool, 
strong and thick like felt, and highly esteemed by Tibetans. Under the 
heading p'u-lo W S (= Tibetan p'rug) 1 it is said in the same work that 
this Tibetan woollen stuff resembles sa-hai-la. 

Persian sakirlat, sagirldt, has been placed on a par with Chinese 
sa-ha-la by T. Watters 8 and A. Hootum-Schindler; 9 it is not this 
Persian word, however, that is at the root of Chinese sa-ha-la, but 
saqalai or saqallat, also saqaldt, saqallaf (" scarlet cloth"). Dr. E. D. 
Ross 10 has been so fortunate as to discover in a Chinese-Persian vocabu- 
lary of 1 549 the equation : Chinese sa-ha-la => Persian saqalai. This settles 
the problem definitely. There is, further, Persian saqlatun or saqldfin> 
said to mean "a city in Rom where scarlet cloth is made, scarlet cloth 
or dress made from it." The latter name is mentioned as early as 
a.d. 1040 dnd 1 1 50 by Baihaki and Edrlsl respectively. 11 According to 
Edrts!, it was a silk product of Almeria in Spain, which is doubtless 
meant by the city of ROm. YaqQt tells of its manufacture in Tabriz, 

1 Mediaeval Researches, Vol. II, p. 258. 

1 Regarding the Chinese transcription of this Persian word, see Rockhill, Toting 
Poo, 1915, p. 459. 

I Notes on the Malay Archipelago, p. 253. 

4 Rockhill, Toung Poo, 19 15, pp. 444, 606, 608. It does not follow from the 
text, however, that sa-ha-la was a kind of thin veiling or gauze, as the following 
term (or terms) f|| £$ is apparently a matter in itself. 

■ Ch. 8, p. 4 b (ed. of Si yin hOan ts'un $u). 

• This mode of writing is also given in the C*an wu ft, cited above. 

7 Toung Poo, 1914, p. 91. 

8 Essays on the Chinese Language, p. 342. 

• Journal As. Soc. Bengal, Vol. VI, 1910, p. 265. 
u Journal As. Soc. Bengal, Vol. IV, 1908, p. 403. 

II Yule, Hobson-Jobson, p. 86z. 

498 Sino-Iranica 

so that the Chinese reference to Samarkand becomes intelligible. The 
Chinese reports of sa-ha-la in India, Ormuz, and Aden, however, evi- 
dently refer to European broadcloth, as does also Tibetan sag-lad. 1 

The Ain-i Akbari speaks of suklat (saqaldt) of Rum (Turkey), 
FarangI (Europe), and Purtagall (Portugal); and the Persian word is 
now applied to certain woollen stuffs, and particularly to European 

The Persian words sakirlat and saqaldt are not interrelated, as is 
shown by two sets of European terms which are traced to the two 
Persian types: sakirlat is regarded as the ancestor of "scarlet" (med. 
Latin scar latum, scarlata; Old French e scar late, New French tear late, 
Middle English scarlat, etc.); saqldfun or siqlatun is made responsible 
for Old French siglaton, Provencal sisclaton (twelfth century), English 
obs. ciclatoun (as early as 1225), Middle High German cicldt or sigldt. 
Whether the alleged derivations from the Persian are correct is a de- 
batable point, which cannot be discussed here; the derivation of siglaton 
from Greek kukKSls (cyclas), due to Du Cange, is still less plausible. 1 
Dr. Ross (I.e.) holds that "the origin of the word scarlet seems to be 
wrapped in mystery, and there seems to be little in favor of the argu- 
ment that the word can be traced to Arabic or Persian sources." 

76. Toward the close of the reign of Kao Tsun $ tk, better known 
as Wen C'en jSC Jft (a.d. 452-465) of the Hou Wei dynasty (386-532), 
the king of Su-le (Kashgar) sent an emissary to present a garment 
(ka$aya) of £akyamuni Buddha, over twenty feet in length. On ex- 
amination, Kao Tsufi satisfied himself that it was a Buddha robe. It 
proved a miracle, for, in order to get at the real facts, the Emperor 
had the cloth put to a test and exposed to a violent fire for a full day, but 
it was not consumed by the flames. All spectators were startled and 
spell-bound.* This test has repeatedly been made everywhere with 
asbestine cloth, of which many examples are given in my article 
"Asbestos and Salamander." 4 The Chinese themselves have recog- 
nized without difficulty that this Buddha relic of Kashgar was made 
of an asbestine material. In the Lu Fan kuh H k%* a modern work, 

1 See Loan-Words in Tibetan, No. 119. 

2 Cf. also F.*Michel, Recherches sur le commerce etc., des 6toffes de soie, 
Vol. I, pp. 233-235. The Greek word in question does not refer to a stuff, but to a 
robe (kvkX&i, "round, circular," scil., crf^r, "a woman's garment with a border all 
round it "). Cycladatus in Suetonius (Caligula, Ln) denotes a tunic with a rich border. 

* Wei Su, Ch. 102, p. 4 b. 

4 Toung Poo, 1915, pp. 299-373. 

1 Ed. of Ts'M too Vah U*uh 5u, p. 40 (see above, p. 346). On p. 41 b there is a 
notice of fire-proof cloth, consisting of quotations from earlier works, which are 
all contained in my article. 

Persian Textiles— Asbestos 499 

which contains a great number of valuable annotations on subject- 
matters mentioned in the Annals, the ka$aya of Kashgar is identified 
with the fire-proof cloth of the Western Regions and Fu-nan (Camboja) ; 
that is, asbestos. 

During the K'ai-yuan and T'ien-pao periods (a.d. 713-755)* Persia 
sent ten embassies to China, offering among other things "embroideries 
of fire-hair' 1 (hwo moo siu A ^ It). 1 Chavannes 8 translates this term 
"des broderies en laine couleur de feu." In my opinion, asbestos is 
here in question. Thus the term was already conceived by Abel- 
R&mtjsat.* I have shown that asbestos was well known to the Persians 
and Arabs, and that the mineral came from Badax&n. 4 An additional 

1 T*a& lit, Ch. 221 B, p. 7. In the T*ah hui yao (Ch. 100, p. 4) this event is 
fixed in the year 750. 

1 Documents sur les Tou-kiue, p. 173. 

* Nouveaux melanges asiatiques, Vol. I, p. 253. The term hwo pu fcrffj ("fire- 
cloth") for asbestos appears in the SuA Su (Ch. 97, p. 10). The Chinese notions of 
textiles made from an "ice silkworm/' possibly connected with Persia (cf. H. Mas- 
fero, Bull, de VEcoU frangaise, Vol. XV, No. 4, 1915, p. 46), in my opinion, must 
be dissociated from asbestos; the Chinese sources (chiefly Wei lio, Ch. 10, p. 2 b) 
say nothing to the effect that this textile was of the nature of asbestos. Maspero's 
argumentation (ibid., pp. 43-45) in regard to the alleged asbestos from tree-bark, 
which according to him should be a real asbestine stuff, appears to me erroneous. 
He thinks that I have been misled by an inexact translation of S. W. Williams. 
First, this translation is not by Williams, but, as expressly stated by me (/. c. f 
p. 372), the question is of a French article of d'Hervey-St.-Denys, translated into 
English by Williams. If an error there is (the case is trivial enough), it is not due to 
Williams or myself, but solely to the French translator, who merits Maspero's criticism. 
Second, Maspero is entirely mistaken in arguing that this translation should have 
influenced my interpretation of the text on p. 338. This is out of the question, as all 
this was written without knowledge of the article of St.-Denys and Williams, which 
became accessible to me only after the completion and printing of the manuscript, 
and was therefore relegated to the Addenda inserted in the proofs. Maspero's in- 
terpretation leads to no tangible result, in fact, to nothing, as is plainly manifest 
from his conclusion that one sort of asbestos should have been a textile, the other a 
kind of felt. There is indeed no asbestos felt. How Maspero can deny that Malayan 
bark-cloth underlies the Chinese traditions under notice, which refer to Malayan 
regions, is not intelligible to me. Nothing can be plainer than the text of the 
Liang Annals: "On Volcano Island there are trees which grow in the fire. The 
people in the vicinity of the island peel off the bark, and spin and weave it into cloth 
hardly a few feet in length. This they work into kerchiefs, which do not differ in 
appearance from textiles made of palm and hemp fibres," etc. (pp. 346, 347). What 
else is this but bark-cloth? And how could we assume a Malayan asbestine cloth 
if asbestos has never been found and wrought anywhere in the Archipelago? I 
trust that M. Maspero, for whose scholarship I have profound respect, will pardon 
me for not accepting his opinion in this case, and for adhering to my own inter- 
pretation. I may add here a curious notice from J. A. de Mandelslo's Voyages 
into the East Indies (p. 133, London, 1669): "In the Moluccaes there is a certain 
wood, which, laid in the fire, burns, sparkles, and flames, yet consumes not, and 
yet a man may rub it to powder betwixt his fingers." 

4 Toung Pao t 1915, pp. 327^-328. 

500 Sino-Iranica 

text to this effect may be noted here. Ibn al-Faqlh, who wrote in 
a.d. 902, has this account: "In Kirman there is wood that is not burnt 
by fire, but comes out undamaged. 1 A Christian* wanted to commit 
frauds with such wood by asserting that it was derived from the cross of 
the Messiah. Christian folks were thus almost led into temptation. A 
theologian, noting this man, brought them a piece of wood from Kir- 
man, which was still more impervious to fire than his cross-wood.'* 
According to P. Schwarz,' to whom we owe the translation of this 
passage, the question here is of fossilized forests. Most assuredly, how- 
ever, asbestos is understood. The above text of the Wei $u is thus by 
far the earliest allusion to asbestos from an Iranian region. 

The following notes may serve as additional information to my 
former contribution. Cou Mi JS 9t (1230-1320), in his Ci ya fan tsa 
l % ao ic? Si S It f£, mentions asbestine stuffs twice. 4 In one passage 
he relates that in his house there was a piece of fire-proof cloth (ftwo 
kwan pu) over a foot long, which his maternal grandfather had once 
obtained in Ts'uan 2ou & JN (Fu-kien Province). 5 Visitors to his house 
were entertained by the experiment of placing it on the fire of a brazier. 
Subsequently Cao Mon-i &£tft borrowed it from him, but never 
returned it. In the other text he quotes a certain Ho TsHfi-fu * » * 
to the effect that fire-proof cloth is said to represent the fibres of the 
mineral coal of northern China, burnt and woven, but not the hair of 
the fire-rodent (salamander). This is accompanied by the comment 
that coal cannot be wrought into fibres, but that now pu-kwei-mu 
^K^C(a kind of asbestos) is found in Pao-tifi (Ci-li). 6 A brief notice 
of asbestos is inserted in the Ko ku yao lun, 7 where merely the old fables 
are reiterated. Information on the asbestos of Ci-li Province will be 

1 Qazwtal adds to this passage, "even if left in fire for several days." 

* Qazwtal speaks in general of charlatans. 

s Iran im Mittelalter, p. 214. 

« Ch. a, p. 20 b; and Ch. b, p. 25 b (ed. of YUe ya Van ts'v* Su). 

1 This locality renders it almost certain that this specimen belonged to those 
imported by the Arabs into China during the middle ages (p. 331 of my article). 
The asbestos of Mosul is already mentioned in the Lin wai tax ta (Ch. 3, p. 4). 

6 The term pu-kwei-mu ("wood burning without ashes, incombustible wood' 1 ) 
appears as early as the Sung period in the Cen lei pen ts'ao (Ch. 5, p. 35): it comet 
from San-tan (south-east portion of San-si and part of Ho-nan), and is now found 
in the Tse-lu mountains %f jg& |X| . It is a kind of stone, of green and white color, 
looking like rotten wood, and cannot be consumed by fire. Some call it the root of 

7 Ch. 8, p. 4 (ed. of Si yin huan ts'un 5u). In Ch. 7, p. 17, there is a notice on 
pu-kwei-mu stone, stated to be a product of Tse-cou and Lu-nan in San-si, and em- 
ployed for lamps. 

Persian Textiles— Asbestos 501 

found in the Kifu fun Zi, 1 on asbestos of Se-Cwan in the Se Pwan fun Zi* 
In the eighteenth century the Chinese noticed asbestos among the 
Portuguese of Macao, but the article was rarely to be found in the 
market. 8 Hanzo Murakami discusses asbestos (35 ffi, "stone cotton") 
as occurring in- the proximity of Kin-Sou & 0H in Sen-kin, Manchuria. 4 

In regard to the salamander, Francisque-Michel 6 refers to "Tradi- 
tions t£ratologiques de Berger de Xivrey" (Paris, Imprimerie royale, 
1836, pp. 457, 458, 460, 463) and to an article of Duchalais entitled 
"L'Apdlon sauroctone" {Revue archtologique, Vol. VI, 1850, pp. 87-90) ; 
further to Mahudel in Mtmoires de literature tiris des registres de 
VAcadtmie royale des inscriptions et belles-lettres, Vol. IV, pp. 634-647. 
Quoting several examples of salamander stuff from mediaeval romances, 
Francisque-Michel remarks, "Ces £toffes en poil de salamandre, qui 
vraisemblablement £taient passdes des fables des marchands dans celles 
des pontes, venaient de loin, comme ceux qui avaient par Ik beau jeu 
pour mentir. On en faisait aussi des manteaux; du moins celui de 
dame Jafite, du Roman de Gui le GaUois, en 6tait." 

No one interested in this subject should fail to read chapter LII of 
book III of Rabelais' Le Gargantua et Le Pantagruel, entitled "Comment 
doibt estre prepaid et mis en oeuvre le celebre Pantagruelion." 

77. The word "drugget," spelled also droggitt, drogatt, druggit (Old French 
droguet, Spanish droguete, Italian droghetto) is thus defined in the new Oxford English 
Dictionary: "Ulterior origin unknown. Littre* suggests derivation from drogue 
drug as 'a stuff of little value'; some English writers have assumed a derivation 
from Drogheda in Ireland, but this is mere wanton conjecture, without any histor- 
ical basis. Formerly kind of stuff, all of wool, or mixed of wool and silk or wool and 
linen, used for wearing apparel. Now, a coarse woollen stuff for floor-coverings, 
table-cloths, etc." The Century Dictionary says, "There is nothing to show a con- 
nection with drug." 

Our lexicographers have overlooked the fact that the same word occurs also 
in Slavic. F. Miklosich 6 has indicated a Serbian doroc ("pallii genus") and Magyar 
dardcs ("a kind of coarse cloth"), but neglected to refer to the well-known Russian 
word dordgi or ddrogi, which apparently represents the source of the West-European 
term. The latter has been dealt with by K. Inostrantsev 7 in a very interesting 

1 Ch. 74, pp. io b, 13. 

* Ch. 74. P- 25. 

' Ao-men U lio, Ch. B, p. 41. 

* Journal Geol. Soc. Tokyo, Vol. XXIII, No. 276, 1916, pp. 333-336. The 
same journal, Vol. XXV, No. 294, March, 1918, contains an article on asbestos in 
Japan and Korea by K. Okada. 

1 Recherches sur le commerce, la fabrication et l'usage des 6toffes de soie, d'or 
et d'argent, VoL II, pp. 90, 462 (Paris, 1854). 

•Fremdworter in den slavischen Sprachen, Denk. Wiener Akad., Vol. XV, 
1867, p. 84. 

7 Is istorii starinnix tkanei, Zapiski of the Russian Arch. Soc. t VoL XIII, 1902, 
p. 084. 

502 Sino-Iranica 

study on the history of some ancient textiles. According to this author, the dortgi 
of the Russians were striped silken fabrics, which came from Gilan, KaSan, KizylbaS, 
Tur, and Yas in Persia. Dal' says in his Russian Dictionary that this silk was some- 
times interwoven with gold and silver. In 1844 Vbltman proposed the identity of 
Russian dordgi with the Anglo-French term. Bbrbzin derived it from Persian 
dar&dia ("kaftan"), which is rejected, and justly so, by Inostrantsev. On his part, 
he connects the word with Persian d&r&i ("a red silken stuff"), 1 and invokes a 
passage in Veselovski's " Monuments of Diplomatic and Commercial Relations of 
Moscovite Rus with Persia/' in which the Persian word d&r&i is translated by 
Russian dordgi. This work is unfortunately not accessible to me, so I cannot judge 
the merits of the translation; but the mere fact of rendering dordgi by d&r&i would 
not yet prove the actual derivation of the former from the latter. For philological 
reasons this theory seems to me improbable: it is difficult to realize that the Russians 
should have made dordgi out of a Persian d&r&i. All European languages have con- 
sistently preserved the medial g, and this cannot be explained from d&r&L 
Another prototype therefore, it seems to me, comes into question; and this probably 
is Uigur torgu, Jagatai torka, Koibal torga, Mongol torga(n), all with the meaning 
"silk."' It remains to search for the Turkish dialect which actually transmitted 
the word to Slavic 

1 Mentioned, for instance, in the list of silks in the Ain-i Akbari (Bloghmann 's 
translation, Vol. I, p. 94). 

s Cf. Toung Pao 9 1916, p. 489. 



78. *f $r hu-lo f *xu-kk> perhaps also *fu-lak, *fu-rak, a product of 
Persia, 1 which is unexplained. In my opinion, this word may cor- 
respond to a Middle Persian *furak=New Persian burak, bur a, Arme- 
nian porag ("borax"). Although I am not positive about this identifica- 
tion, I hope that the following notes on borax will be welcome. It is 
well known that Persia and Tibet are the two great centres supplying 
the world-market with borax. The ancient Chinese were familiar with 
this fact, for in the article on Po-se (Persia) the T x ai p % ih hwan yii JW* 
states that "the soil has salty lakes, which serve the people as a substi- 
tute for salt" (ft # Ml * A ft & Bfc). Our own word "borax" (thesis 
due to Spanish, now written borraj) comes from Persian, having been 
introduced into the Romanic languages about the ninth century by 
the Arabs. Russian burd was directly transmitted from Persia. Like- 
wise our "tincal, tincar" (a crude borax found in lake-deposits of 
Persia and Tibet) is derived from Persian tinkar, tankal* or tangar, 
Sanskritized tankaqa, fahka, \ahga, tagara? Malayan tingkal; Kirgiz 
d&n&k&r, Osmanli t&ngar* Another Persian word that belongs to this 
category, Sora ("nitre, saltpetre"), has been adopted by the Tibetans 
in the same form So-ra, although they possess also designations of their 
own, ze-ts'wa, ba-ts'wa ("cow's salt"), and ts*o-la. The Persian word is 
Sanskritized into soraka, used in India for nitre, saltpetre, or potassium 
nitrate. 8 

79. The relation of Chinese nao-Sa ("sal ammoniac, chloride of 
sodium") 7 to Persian nuiadir or nauSadir is rather perspicuous; never- 
theless it has been asserted also that the Persian word is derived from 

1 Sui 5u, Ch. 83, p. 7 b. 

* Ch. 185, p. 19. 

* It is not a Tibetan name, as supposed by Robdiger and Pott (Z.f. K. Morg., 
Vol. IV, p. 268). 

4 These various attempts at spelling show plainly that the term has the status 
of a loan-word, and that the Sanskrit term has nothing to do with the name of the 
people who may have supplied the product, the T&yyoroi in the Himalaya of 
Ptolemy (Yulb, Hobson-Jobson, p. 923). How should borax be found in the 

1 Kla*roth, Memoires relatifs a l'Asie, Vol. Ill, p. 347. 

* See, further, Voting Pao, 19x4, pp. 88-89. 

Y D. Hanbury, Science Papers, pp. 217, 276. 


504 Sino-Iranica 

the Chinese. P. de MfiLY 1 argues that nao-Sa is written ideographically, 
and that the text of the Pen ts x ao kan tnu adds, " II vient de la province 
de Chen-si; on le tire d'une montagne d'oil il sort continuellement des 
vapeurs rouges et dangereuses et trfes difficile & aborder par rapport & 
oes mfimes vapeurs. II en vient aussi de la Tartarie, on le tire des 
plaines oil il y a beaucoup de troupeaux, de la m&ne fagon que le 
salpfitre de houssage; les Tartares et gens d'au del& de la Chine salent 
les viandes avec ce sel." Hence F. de M£ly infers that the Persians, on 
their part, borrowed from the Chinese their nao-Sa, to which they added 
the ending dzer, as in the case of the bezoar styled in Persian badzeher. 1 
The case, however, is entirely different. The term nao-$a is written 
phonetically, not ideographically, as shown by the ancient transcription 
ft & in the Sui Annals (see below) and the variant f ft fifr (properly 
nun-$a, but indicated with the pronunciation nao-Sa) ;* also the syno- 
nymes ti yen 3fc 91 ("salt of the barbarians") and Pei-tHh Sa 4fe jEE ft 
("ore of Pei-t'ifi," in Turkistan), which appear as early as the Sung 
period in the Tu kin pen ts'ao of Su Sun, allude to the foreign origin of 
the product. The term is thus plainly characterized as a foreign loan 
in the Pen ts'ao kan tnu. This, further, is brought out by the history of 
the subject. The word is not found in any ancient Chinese records. 
The Chinese learned about nao-Sa in Sogdiana and Ku5a for the first 
time during the sixth century a.d. The Pen ts'ao of the Tang period is 
the earliest pharmacopoeia that mentions it. Su Kun S£ 3£, the reviser 
of this work, and the author of the Cen lei pen ts*ao 9 know of but one 
place of provenience, the country of the Western Zufi Hifc (P. de 
Mfly's "Tartary ")• It is only Su Sufi M ft of the Sung period, who 
in his Tu kin pen ts'ao remarks, "At present it occurs also in Si-liaft 
and in the country Hia [Kan-su] as well as in Hotun [San -si], Sen-si, 
and in the districts of the adjoining regions" ^BSCJCHAWJlt 
KJS2E3ftJH8P]fc#;S: [note the additions of ^ "at present" and 
30* "also"]. And he hastens to add, "However ($), the pieces coming 
from the Western 2un are clear and bright, the largest having the size 
of a fist and being from three to five ounces in weight, the smallest 

1 L'Alchimie chez les Chinois (Journal asiatigve, 1895, II, p. 338) and Lapidaire 
chinois, p. u. 

1 All this is rather lack of criticism or poor philology. The Persian word in 
question is pdzahr, literally meaning "antidote" (see below, p. 525). Neither this 
word nor nuSadir has an ending like dur t and there is no analogy between the two. 

1 According to the Pie pen lu J8J if> j£, cited in the Cen lei pen ts'ao (Ch. 5, 
p. io, ed. of 1587), the transcription nun-Sa should represent the pronunciation of 
the Hu people; that is, Iranians. Apparently it was an Iranian dialectic variation 
with a nasalized vowel u. It is indicated as a synonyme of nao-la in the Si yao er 
ya of the Tang period (see Beginnings of Porcelain, p. 115). 

Iranian Minerals — Sal Ammoniac 505 

reaching the size of a finger and being used for medical purposes/' 1 
It is accordingly the old experience that the Chinese, as soon as they 
became acquainted with a foreign product, searched for it on their own 
soil, and either discovered it there, or found a convenient substitute. 
In this case, Su Sufi plainly indicates that the domestic substitute was 
of inferior quality; and there can be no doubt that this. was not sal 
ammoniac, which is in fact not found in China, but, as has been demon- 
strated by D. Hanbury,' chloride of sodium. As early as the eighteenth 
century it was stated by M. Collas* that no product labelled nao-!a 
in Peking had any resemblance to our sal ammoniac. 

H. E. Stapleton, 4 author of a very interesting study on the employ- 
ment of sal ammoniac in ancient chemistry, has hazarded an etymo- 
logical speculation as to the term nao-la. Persian nuSadur appears to 
him to be the Chinese word nau-$a 9 suffixed by the Persian word ddrU 
("medicine"), 5 and the Sanskrit navasdra would also seem to be simply 
the Chinese name in a slightly altered form. H. B. Stapleton is a 
chemist, not a philologist; it therefore suffices to say that these specu- 
lations, as well as his opinion "that the syllables nau-$a appear to be 
capable of complete analysis into Chinese roots," 6 . are impossible. 

The Hindustani name can by no means come into question as the 
prototype of the Chinese term, as proposed by F. P. Smith 7 and T. 
Watters; 8 for the Chinese transcription was framed as early as the 
sixth century a.d., when Hindustani was not yet in existence. The 
Hindustani is simply a Persian loan-word of recent date, as is 
likewise Neo-Sanskrit naiqadala; while Sanskrit navasdra, navasddara, 
or narasdra, the vacillating spelling of which betrays the character 
of a loan-word, is traceable to a more ancient Iranian form (see 

In the Sui Su 9 we meet the term in the form 1$ ^ nao-Sa, stated to 

1 See also Pen ts'ao yen t, Ch. 6, p. 4 b (ed. of Lu Sin-yuan). 

• Science Papers, pp. 217, 276. 

• Memoires concernant les Chinois, Vol. XI, 1786, p. 330. 

4 Sal Ammoniac: a Study in Primitive Chemistry (Memoirs As. Soc. Bengal, 
Vol. I, 1905, pp. 40-4 1 )- 

'He starts from the popular etymology nils' ddrU ("life-giving medicine"), 
which, of course, is not to be taken seriously. 

6 Even if this were the case, it would not tend to prove that the word is of 
Chinese origin. As is now known to every one, there is nothing easier to the Chinese 
than to transcribe a foreign word and to choose such characters as will convey a 
certain meaning. 

7 Contributions toward the Materia Medica of China, p. 190. 
■ Essays on the Chinese Language, p. 350. 

• Ch. 83, pp. 4 b and 5 b. 

506 Sino-Iranica 

be a product of K'an (Sogdiana) and KuSa. 1 The fact that this tran- 
scription is identical with fifi we recognize from the parallel passage in 
the Pet $i* where it is thus written. The text of the Sui Annals with 
reference to Iranian regions offers several such unusual modes of 
writing, where the Pet Si has the simple types subsequently adopted as 
the standard. The variation of the Sui Annals, at all events, demon- 
strates that the question is of reproducing a foreign word; and, since 
it hails from Sogdiana, there can be no doubt that it was a word of the 
Sogdian language of the type *nav5a or *naf §a (cf . Sanskrit navasara, 
Armenian navt*, Greek va/fla); Persian naSadir, nuiadir, nauSadir, 
nauiadur, noiadur, being a later development. It resulted also 
in Russian nuSatyr. In my opinion, the Sogdian word is related 
to Persia neft ("naphta")* which may belong to Avestan napta 
("moist"). 8 

Tribute-gifts of nao-$a are not infrequently mentioned in the Chinese 
Annals. In a.d. 932, Wan 2en-mei ItH, Khan of the Uigur, pre- 
sented to the Court among other objects to-p*en ia ("borax") 4 and sal 
ammoniac (kan ia). 5 In a.d. 938 Li Sen-wen 3* fi 3fc, king of Khotan, 
offered nao-fa and ta-p'en 5a ("borax") to the Court; and in a.d. 959 
jade and nao-Sa were sent by the Uigur. 6 The latter event is recorded 
also in the Kin Wu Tai Si, 1 where the word is written i% fifr, pho- 
netically kait-Sa, but apparently intended only as a graphic variant 
for nao-Sa? The same work ascribes sal ammoniac (written in the same 
manner) to the T'u-fan (Tibetans) and the Tan-hian (a Tibetan tribe 
in the KukunOr region). 9 In the T'ang period the substance was well 

1 According to MasOdi (Barbibr db Meynard, Les Prairies d'or, Vol. I, p. 347), 
sal-ammoniac mines were situated in Soghd, and were passed by the Moham- 
medan merchants travelling from Khorasan into China. Kuca still yields sal am- 
moniac (A. N. Kurofatkin, Kashgaria, pp. 27, 35, 76).' This fact is also noted in 
the Hui Via* li (Ch. 2), written about 1772 by two Manchu officials, Fusambd 
and Surde, who locate the mine 45 li west of Ku£a in the Sartatsi Mountains, and 
mention a red and white variety of sal ammoniac. Cf. also M. Rbinaud, Relation 
des voyages faits par les Arabes et les Persans dans l'lnde et a la Chine, Vol. I v 


1 Ch. 97, p. 12. 

■ Cf. P. Horn, Neupersische Etymologie, No. 1035; H. HAbschmann, Persische 
Studien, p. 101, and Armen. Gram., p. 100. 

4 As I have shown on a former occasion (T*oung Pao, 1914, p. 88), 
P'efi (*bun) is a transcription of Tibetan bid. 

* Ts % efu yuan kwei, Ch. 972, p. 19. 

• Wu Tai hui yao, Chs, 28, p. 10 b; and Ch. 29, p. 13 b (ed. of Wu yin tien). 
1 Ch. 138, p. 3. 

* The character kah is not listed in K'an-hi's Dictionary. 

• Ch. 138, pp. 1 b, 3 a. 

Iranian Minerals — Sal Ammoniac 507 

known. The Si yao er ya l gives a number of synonymes of Chinese 
origin, as kin tsei 4t Aft, Fi SaffiUP ("red gravel "),-4> a * &<** ^in 6 #$ 
It ("essence of the white sea"). 

Sal ammoniac is found in Dimindan in the province of Kirman. 
Yaqat (11 79-1 2 29) gives after Ibn al-Faqih (tenth century) a descrip- 
tion of how nuiddir is obtained there, which in the translation of C. 
Barbier de Meyna&d* runs as follows: — 

"Cette substance se trouve principalement dans une montagne 
nnmmfe Donbawend, dont la hauteur est 6valu£e & 3 farsakhs. Cette 
montagne est & 7 farsakhs de la ville de GuwaSr. On y voit une caverne 
profonde d'oii s'£chappent des mugissements semblabies & ceux des 
vagues et une fum6e 6paisse. Lorsque cette vapeur, qui est le principe 
du sel ammoniac, s'est attachde aux parois de Porifice, et qu'une certaine 
quantity s'est soUdifi^e, les habitants de la ville et des environs viennent 
la recueillir, une f ois par mois ou tous les deux mois. Le sulthan y envoie 
des agents qui, la r6colte faite, en pr&dvent le dnquifcme pour le tr&or; 
les habitants se partagent le reste par la voie du sort. Ce sel est celui 
qu'on exp£die dans tous les pays." 

Ibn Haukal describes the mines of SetruSteh thus: 8 "The mines 
of sal ammoniac are in the mountains, where there is a certain cavern, 
from which a vapor issues, appearing by day like smoke, and by night 
like fire. Over the spot whence the vapor issues, they have erected a 
house, the doors and windows of which are kept so closely shut and 
plastered over with clay that none of the vapor can escape. On the 
upper part of this house the copperas rests. When the doors are to be 
opened, a swiftly-running man is chosen, who, having his body covered 
over with clay, opens the door; takes as much as he can of the copperas, 
and runs off; if he should delay, he would be burnt. This vapor comes 
forth in different places, from time to time; when it ceases to issue from 
one place, they dig in another until it appears, and then they erect that 
kind of house over it; if they did not erect this house, the vapor would 
burn, or evaporate away." 

Taxes are still paid in this district with sal ammoniac. Abu Mansur 
sets forth its medicinal properties. 4 

1 See Beginnings of Porcelain (this volume, p. 115). 

1 Dictionnaire geographique de la Perse, p. 235 (Paris, 1861). Ibn al-Faqlh's 
text is translated by P. Schwarz (Iran im Mittelalter, p. 252). According to Ibn 
Haukal (W. Ouseley, Oriental Geography of Ebn Haukal, p. 233), sal-ammoniac 
mines were located in Maweralnahr (Transoxania). 

* W. Ouseley, op. cit., p. 264. 

'Achundow, Abu Mansur, p. 144. — Abbl-Remusat (Melanges asiatiques, 
Vol. I, p. 209, 1825), translating from the Japanese edition of the cyclopaedia San 
ts'ai Vu hui, gave the following interesting account: "Le sel nomm£ (en chinois) 

508 Sino-Iranica 

The Tibetans appear to have received sal ammoniac from India, as 
shown at least by their term rgya ts % wa ("Indian salt"), literally trans- 
lated into Mongol AnlUk&k dabusu. Mongol An&tktik is a reproduction 
of Chinese *In-duk-kwok ("country of India"). The informants of 
M. Collas 1 stated that the nao-Sa of the Peking shops came from Tibet 
or adjacent places. Lockhart received in Peking the information that 
it is brought from certain volcanic springs in Se-£*wan and in Tibet. 1 

80. #f Rfc 9 tni-Vo-sen, *m'it(m'ir)-da-sa£i f and ft £ 9 mu-to- 
sen, *mut(mur)-ta-safi, litharge, dross of lead, is an exact reproduction 
of Persian mirdasang or murdasang of the same meaning.* Both tran- 
scriptions are found in the Pen ts % ao of the T'ang dynasty, written 
about the middle of the seventh century. 4 Therefore we are entitled to 
extend the Persian word into the period of Middle Persian. Su KuA, 
the reviser of the T*ah pen ts*ao, states expressly that both mi-Vo and 
mu-to are words from the language of the Hu or Iranians (<IB 9 <&), 
and that the substance comes from or is produced in Persia, being in 
shape like the teeth of the yellow dragon, but stronger and heavier; 
there is also some of white color with veins as in Yun-nan marble. Su 
Sufi of the Sung period says that then ("at present 1 ') it was also found 

nao-cha (en persan nouchader) et aussi sel de Tartarie, sel volatil, se tire de deux 
montagnes volcaniques de la Tartarie cent rale; Tune est le volcan de Tourfan, qui 
a donne* a cette ville (ou pour mieux dire a line ville qui est situee £ trois lieues de 
Tourfan, du cAte* de Test) le nom de Ho-tcheou, ville de feu; l'autre est la montagne 
Blanche, dans le pays de Bisch-balikh; ces deux montagnes jettent oontinuellement 
des flammes et de la f umee. II y a des cavites dans lesquelles se ramasse un liquide 
verdatre. Expose a l'air, ce liquide se change en un sel, qui est le nao-cha. Les 
gens du pays le recueillent pour s'en servir dans la preparation des cuirs. Quant a 
la montagne de Tourfan, on en voit oontinuellement sortir une colonne de fumee; 
cette fumee est remplacee le soir par une flamme semblable a celle d'un flambeau. 
Les oiseaux et les autres animaux, qui en sont eclaires, paraissent de couleur rouge. 
On appelle cette montagne le Mont-de-Feu. Pour aller chercher le nao-cha, on met 
des sabots, car des semelles de cuir seraient trop vite brulees. Les gens du pays 
recueillent aussi les eaux-meres qu'ils font bouulir dans des chaudieres, et ils en 
retirent le sel ammoniac, sous la forme de pains semblables a ceux du sel commun. 
Le nao-cha le plus blanc est repute* le meilleur; la nature de ce sel est tres-pen£trante. 
On le tient suspendu dans une poele au-dessus du feu pour le rendre bien sec; on y 
ajoute du gingembre pour le conserver. Expose au froid ou a rhumiditt, il tombe en 
deliquescence, et se perd." Wan Yen-te, who in a.d. 981 was sent by the Chinese 
emperor to the ruler of Kao-5 v an, was the first to give an account of the sal-ammoniac 
mountain of Turkistan (Bsbtschnbider, Mediaeval Researches, Vol. II, p. 190). 
See also P. de Mely, Lapidaire chinois, p. 140; W. Schott, Zur Uigurenfrage, II, 
p. 45 (Abh. Berl. Akad. t 1875) and Ueber ein chinesisches Mengwerk (ibid., 1880, 
p. 6); Geerts, Produits, p. 322. 

1 Memoires concernant les Chinois, Vol. XI, p. 331. 

* D. Hanbury, Science Papers, p. 277. 

* Cf. HObschmann, Armen. Gram., p. 270. 

4 Cen lei pen Woo, Ch. 4, p. 31; and Pen Woo kan mu, Ch. 8, p. 8 b. 

Iranian Minerals — Litharge, Gold 509 

in the diver and copper foundries of Kwafi-tufi and Fu-kien. It is 
further mentioned briefly in the Pen ts'ao yen i of 1 1 1 6, l which maintains 
that the kind with a color like gold is the best. 

According to Yaqat, mines of antimony, known under the name 
rasrt, litharge, lead, and vitriol, were in the environs of Donbawend or 
Demawend in the province of Kirman. 1 In the Persian pharmacopoeia 
of Abu Mansur, the medicinal properties of litharge are described under 
the Arabicized name murdasanj, to which he adds the synonymous term 
muriak} Pegoletti, in the fourteenth century, gives the word with a 
popular etymology as morda sangue. 4 The Dictionary of Four Lan- 
guages 5 correlates Chinese mi-Vo-sen with Tibetan gser-zil (literally, 
"gold brightness 19 ) 1 6 Manchu tirtan, and Mongol jildunur. 1 

81. Palladius 8 offers a term flf tS 4k tse-mo kin with the meaning 
"gold from Persia," no source for it being cited. In the Pen ts'ao kan 
mu* the tse-mo kin of Pose (Persia) is given as the first in a series of 
five kinds of gold of foreign countries, 10 without further explanation. 
The term occurs also in Buddhist literature: Chavannes 11 has found it 
in the text of a Jataka, where he proposes as hypothetical translation, 
"un amas d'or raffing rouge." It therefore seems to be unknown what 
the term signifies, although a special kind of gold or an alloy of gold is 
apparently intended. The Swi kin Su & £ flk 11 says that the first 
quality of gold, according to Chinese custom, is styled tse-mo kin 
(written as above); according to the custom of the barbarians, how- 
ever, yanrtnai A 3. From this it would appear that tse-mo is a Chinese 
term, not a foreign one. 

1 Ch. 5, p. 6 b (ed. of Lu Sin-yuan). 
1 Barbibr db Mbynard, op. cit. r p. 237. 

* Achundow, Abu Mansur, p. 139. This form goes back to Middle Persian 
muriak or martak. 

4 Yulb, Cathay, new ed, Vol. Ill, p. 167. 

1 Ch. 22, p. 71. 

1 Jabschkb, in his Tibetan Dictionary, was unable to explain this term. 

'Kovalbvski, in his Mongol Dictionary, explains this word wrongly by 

I Chinese-Russian Dictionary, VoL IE, p. 203. 

• Ch. 8, p. 1 b. 

10 The four others are, the dark gold of the eastern regions, the red gold of 
Ltn-yi, the gold of the Si-2un, and the gold of £an-£'en (Camboja). The five kinds 
of foreign gold are mentioned as early as the tenth century in the Poo ts'afi lun 


II Fables et contes de l'lnde, in Actes du XIV* Congres des Orientalistes, 
Vol. 1, 1905, p. 103. 

tt Ch. 36, p. 18 b (ed. Wu-£'an f 1877). See p. 622. 

510 Sino-Iranica 

The Ko ku yao lun 1 has a notice of tse kin S? & ("purple gold") 
as follows: "The ancients say that the pan-Uan ^ W money 8 is tse 
kin. The people of the present time make it by mixing copper with 
gold, but our contemporaries have not yet seen genuine tse kin* 9 
The same alloy is mentioned as a product of Ma-k'o-se-li in the 
Too i U lio, written in 1349 by Wafi Ta-yuan.* I am not sure, of 
course, that this tse kin is identical with tse-mo kin. 

In the same manner as the Chinese speak of foreign gold, they also 
offer a series of foreign silver. There are four kinds; namely, silver of 
Sin-ra (in Korea), silver of Po-se (Persia), silver of Lin-yi, and silver 
of Yun-nan. Both gold and silver are enumerated among the products 
of Sasanian Persia. The Hai yao pen ts'ao cites the Nan yUe ti of the 
fifth century to the effect that the country Po-se possesses a natural 
silver-dust 41 ffl, employed as a remedy, and that remedies are tested 
by means of finger-rings. 4 Whether Persia is to be understood here 
seems doubtful to me. Gold-dust is especially credited to the country 
of the Arabs. 6 

82. 9LMk yen-lil ("the green of salt," various compositions with 
copper-oxide) is mentioned as a product of Sasanian Persia 6 and of 
KuSa. 7 Su Kun of the T'ang (seventh century) points it out as a product 
of KaraSar (Yen-S 35 £), found in the water on the lower surface of 
stones. Li Sun, who wrote in the second half of the eighth century, 
states that "it is produced in the country Po-se (Persia) adhering to 
stones, and that the kind imported on ships is called U-lU 7i Ht('the 
green of the stone'); its color is resistant for along time without chang- 
ing; the imitation made in China from copper and vinegar must not 
be employed in the pharmacopoeia, nor does it retain its color long." 
Li Si-den employs the term "green salt of Pose." 8 The substance was 
employed as a remedy in eye-diseases. 

This is Persian zingdr (Arabic zinjar), described in the stone-book 
of Pseudo- Aristotle as a stone extracted from copper or brass by means 

1 Ch. 6, p. 12 b. 

• See Beginnings of Porcelain, p. 83. 

1 Rockhill, Toung Pao, 1915, p. 622. 
4 Cen lei pen ts'ao, Ch. 4, p. 23. 

• Ibid., Ch. 4, p. 21 b. 

• Sui 5u, Ch. 83, p. 7 b. 

1 Cou !u, Ch. 50, p. 5; Sui It*, Ch. 83, p. 5 b. 

1 Cf. also Geerts, Pioduits, p. 634; P. de MAly, Lapidaire chinois, pp. 134, 
243. According to Geerts, the term is applied in Japan to acetate of copper, formerly 
imported, but now prepared in the country. 

Iranian Minerals— Copper-Oxides, Salt, Zinc 511 

of vinegar, and employed as an ingredient in many remedies for eye- 
diseases. 1 

83. The Emperor Yan (a.d. 605-616) of the Sui dynasty, after 
his succession to the throne, despatched Tu Han-man tt ff iS to the 
Western Countries. He reached the kingdom of Nan 55? (Bukhara), 
obtained manicolored salt (wu se yen), and returned. 1 Istaxri relates 
that in the district of Darabejird there are mountains of white, yellow, 
green, black, and red salts; the salt in other regions originates from the 
interior of the earth or from water which forms crystals; this, however, 
is salt from mountains which are above the ground. Ibn Haukal adds 
that this salt occurs in all possible colors. 1 

The Pet hu lu A distinguishes red, purple, black, blue, and yellow 
salts. &i yen # 91 (" red salt ") like vermilion, and white salt like jade, 
are attributed to Kao-£*aft (Turf an) .* Black salt Qtei yen) was a product 
of the country Ts'ao (J&guda) north of the Ts'un-liri. 8 It is likewise 
attributed to southern India. 7 These colored salts may have been im- 
pure salt or minerals of a different origin. 

84. 4fc 5 Vou-ti is mentioned as a metallic product of Sasanian 
Persia (enumerated with gold, silver, copper, pin, iron, and tin) in the 
Sui Su* It is further cited as a product of Nu kwo, the Women's Realm 
south of the Ts'iin-lin; 1 of A-lo-yi-lo R ft #* ft in the north of Uddi- 
yftna, 10 and of the Arabs (Ta-&). u Huan TsaA's Memoirs contain the 
term three times, once as a product found in the soil of northern India 
(together with gold, silver, copper, and iron), and twice as a material 
from which Buddhist statues were made. 11 According to the Kin i x u 

l J. Ruska, Stetnbttch des Aristoteles, p. 182; and Stetnbuch des Qazwtnl, 
p. as \ 

• Sui fit, Ch. 83, p. 4 b. 

• P. Scbwarz, Iran, p. 95. 

4 Ch. 2, p. 11 (ed. of La Sin-yuan). 

• Sui fit, Ch. 83, p. 3 b. In the T*ai pHn kwan yH hi (Ch. 180, p. 11 b) the same 
products are assigned to Ku-fi $ RP (Turfan). 

• Sui J*. Ch. 83, p. 8. 

v Tan lu, Ch. 2*1 a, p. 10 b* 
9 Ch. 83, p. 7 b. 

• Tai pi* kwan yQ hi, Ch. 186, p. 9. 
■» Ibid., p. 12 b. 

11 Ibid., p. 15 b. 

Cf. S. Juusn, Memoires sur les contrees occidentales, Vol. I, pp. 37, 189, 
354. Julien is quite right in translating the term by laiUm ("brass"). Palladius 
(Chinese-Russian Dictionary, Vol. II, p. 16) explains it as "brass with admixture of 
lead, possessing attractive power." The definition of Giles ("rich ore brought 
from Persia supposed to be an ore of gold and copper, or bronze") is inexact. Ton- 


512 Sino-Iranica 

swi Si ki M £5 fifc & IB, written in the sixth century, the needles used 
by women on the festival of the seventh day of the seventh month 1 
were made of gold, silver, or Vou~$i. s Under the T'ang, Vou-H was an 
officially adopted alloy, being employed, for instance, for the girdles of 
the officials of the eighth and ninth grades. 1 It was sent as tribute 
from Iranian regions; for instance, in a.d. 718, from Maimargh (north- 
west of Samarkand). 4 

The K o ku yao lun states, " Tour-H is the essence of natural copper. 
At present zinc-bloom is smelted to make counterfeit Vou. According to 
Ts'ui Fan % HJ, one catty of copper and one catty of zinc-bloom will 
yield Vou-Si. The genuine fou is produced in Persia. It looks like gold, 
and, when fired, assumes a red color which will never turn black.' 9 
This is clearly a description of brass which is mainly composed of copper 
and zinc. Li Si-£en 6 identifies Vou-$i with the modern term kwan fun 
("yellow copper"); that is, brass. According to T'an Ts'ui, 8 tYw-Jt is 
found in the C'6-li M Jfi t'u-se of Yun-nan. 

The Chinese accounts of Vou or Vou-Si agree with what the Persians 
and Arabs report about tutiya. It was in Persia that zinc was first mined, 
and utilized for a new copper alloy, brass. Ibn al-Faqlh, who wrote 
about a.d. 902, has left a description of the zinc-mines situated in a 
mountain Dunbawand in the province of KinnSn. The ore was (and 
still is) a government monopoly. 7 Jawbart, who wrote about 1225, has 
described the process of smelting. 8 The earliest mention of the term 
occurs in the Arabic stone-book of Pseudo-Aristotle (ninth century) ,• 
where the stone tutiya is explained as belonging to the stones found in 
mines, with numerous varieties which are white, yellow, and green; 

H is only said to resemble gold, and the notion that brass resembles gold turns up in 
all Oriental writers. See also Beal, Records of the Western World, Vol. I, p. 51; 
and Chavannbs (T*oung Pao, 1904, p. 34), who likewise accepts the only admissible 
interpretation, "brass." 

1 Cf. W. Grubs, Zur Pekinger Volk&kunde, p. 76; J. Przyluski, Toung Pao, 
1914, p. 215. 

* P % ei wen yUnfu, Ch. 100 a, p. 25. 

* Jade, p. 286; cf. also Ta Tah leu %ien % Ch. 8, p. 22. 
4 Chavannbs, T*oung Pao, 1904, p. 34. 

1 Pen ts'ao kan mu, Ch. 8, pp. 3 and 4. Cf . also Gebrts, Produits, p. 575. 

1 Tien hai yQ hen ft, Ch. 2, p. 3 b. 

7 P. Schwarz, Iran im Mittelalter, p. 252. 

1 G. Ferrand, Textes relatifs a rExtreme-Orient, p. 610 (cf. also pp. 225, 228; 
and Lbclbrc, Traite* des simples, Vol. I, p. 322). 

* J. Ruska, Steinbuch des Aristoteles, p. 175. J. Bbckmann (Beytrage sur 
Geschichte der Erfindungen, Vol. Ill, p. 388) states that the word first occurs in 
Avicenna of the eleventh century. 

Iranian Minerals— Zinc 513 

the quarries are located on the shores of Hind and Sind. This is prob- 
ably intended for vitriol or sulphate of copper. 1 

In Chinese Vou-$i, the second element H ("stone") does not form 
part of the transcription; the term means simply "t % ou stone," and Vou 
(*tu) reproduces the first syllable of Persian tiitiya, which, on the basis 
of the Sui Annals, we are obliged to assign also to the Middle-Persian 
language. To derive the Chinese word from Turkish tuj, as proposed 
by Watters,* and accepted without criticism by Hirth, 8 is utterly im- 
possible. The alleged Turkish word occurs only in Osmanli and other 
modern dialects, where it is plainly a Persian loan-word, but not in 
Uigur, as wrongly asserted by Hirth. This theory seems to imply that 
the element Si should form part of the transcription; this certainly is 
out of the question, as 3? represents ancient *§ek or *sak, *zak, and 
could not reproduce a palatal. For the rest, the Chinese records point 
to Iran, not to the Turks, who had no concern whatever with the 
whole business. 4 Two variations of the Persian word have penetrated 
into the languages of Europe. The Arabs carried their tiUiyd into 
Spain, where it appears as atutia with the Arabic article; in Portuguese 
we have tuiia, in French tutie, in Italian tuzia, in English tutty. A final 
palatal occurs in the series Osmanli iuj or tuni, Neo-Greek Toforft, 
Albanian te£, Serbian and Bulgarian tut, Rumanian tuciu. Whether 
Sanskrit tuttha, as has been assumed, is to be connected with the Per- 
sian word, remains doubtful to me: the Sanskrit word refers only to 
green or blue vitriol. 5 It is noteworthy that Persian birinj ("brass"), a 
more recent variant of pirih (Kurd pirinjok, Armenian plinj)* has not 
migrated into any foreign language, for I am far from being convinced 
that our word "bronze" should be traceable to this type. 7 

The Japanese pronunciation of ft 35 is tuseki. The Japanese used 

1 A carious error occurs in Feldhaus' Technik (col. 1367), where it is asserted, 
"Qazwlnl says about 600 that zinc is known in China, and could also be made 
flexible there." Qazwlnl wrote his cyclopaedia in 1134, and says nothing about 
sine in China (cf. Ruska, Steinbuch des Qazwlnl, p. 11); but he mentions a tiUiyd 
mine in Spain (G. Jacob, Studien in arabischen Geographen, p. 13). 

* Essays on the Chinese Language, p. 359. 

* Chau Ju-kua, p. 8r. T*ou-H does not mean "white copper" in the passage 
under notice, but means "brass." "White copper" is a Chinese and quite different 
alloy (see below, p. 555). 

4 It is likewise odd to connect Italian tausia (properly taunia) and German 
tauschieren with this word. This is just as well as to derive German tusche from 
an alleged Chinese Vu-se (Hirth, Chines. Studien, p. 226). 

* P. C. Ray, History of Hindu Chemistry, 2d ed., Vol. II, p. 25. 

* HttBSCHMANN, Persische Studien, p. 27. 

7 O. Schradbb, Sprachvergleichung und Urgeschichte, Vol. II, p. 73. 

514 Sino-Iranica 

to import the alloy from China, and their HonzO (Pen is'ao) give for- 
mulas for its preparation. 1 The Koreans read the same word not or 
not-si. The French missionaries explain it as "composition de diff brents 
mltaux qui sert & faire les cuilldres, etc. Airain, cuivre jaune (premiere 
quality). Cuivre rouge et plomb.' ,f 

The history of zinc in the East is still somewhat obscure; at least, 
it so appears from what the historians of the metal have written about 
the subject. I quote from W. R. Ingalls: 3 "It is unknown to whom is 
due the honor of the isolation of zinc as a metal, but it is probable that 
the discovery was first made in the East. In the sixteenth century zinc 
was brought to Europe from China and the East Indies under the name 
of tutanego (whence the English term tutenegue), and it is likely that 

knowledge of it was obtained from that source at an earlier date 

The production of zinc on an industrial scale was first begun in England; 
it is said that the method applied was Chinese, having been introduced 
by Dr. Isaac Lawson, who went to China expressly to study it. In 1740 
' John Champion erected works at Bristol and actually began the manu- 
facture of spelter, but the production was small, and the greater part 
used continued to come from India and China." The fact that in the 
eighteenth century the bulk of zinc which came to Europe was shipped 
from India is also emphasized by J. Beckicann, 4 who, writing in 1792, 
regretted that it was then unknown where, how, and when this metal 
was obtained in India, and in what year it had first been brought over 
to Europe. According to the few notices of the subject, he continues, it 
originates from China, from Bengal, from Malakka, and from Malabar, 
whence also copper and brass are obtained. On the other hand, W. 
Ainslie 6 states that by far the greater part of zinc which is met with 
in India is brought from Cochin-China or China, where both the cala- 
mine and blende are common. Again, S. Julien 6 informs us that zinc 
is not mentioned in ancient books, and appears to have been known in 
China only from the beginning of the seventeenth century. 

W. Hommel 7 pleaded for the origin of zinc-production in India, 
whence it was obtained by the Chinese. He does not know, of course, 
that there is no evidence for such a theory in Chinese sources. The 

1 Gekrts, Produits, p. 641; F. dk M£ly, Lapidaire chinois, p. 42. 

1 Dictionnaire coreen-francais, p. 291. 

1 Production and Properties of Zinc, pp. 2-3 (New York and London, 1902). 

4 Op. cU. t Vol. Ill, p. 408. 

* Materia Indica, Vol. I, p. 573. 

• Industries de l'empire chinois, p. 46. 
7 Ckcmiker-Zcitung, 1912, p. 905. 

516 Sino-Iranica 

character pin has been formed ad hoc, and, as already remarked by 
Mayers, is written also without the classifier; that is, in a purely pho- 
netic way. 

86. S S se-se, *sit-sit (Japanese Sitsu-Sitsu), hypothetical restora- 
tion *sirsir, a precious stone of Sasanian Persia, which I have discussed 
at some length in my "Notes on Turquois in the East" (pp. 25-35* 
45-55, 67-68). For this reason only a brief summary is here given, with 
some additional information and corrections. I no longer believe that 
se-se might be connected with Shignan (p. 47) or Arabic jaza (p. 52), but 
am now convinced that se-se represents the transcription of an Iranian 
(most probably Sogdian) word, the original of which, however, has not 
yet been traced. Chinese records leave us in the dark as to the character 
of the Iranian se-se. It is simply enumerated in a list of precious stones 
of Persia and Sogdiana (K'aii) . l The T'ang Annals locate the se-se mines 
to the south-east of the Yaxartes in Sogdiana; 1 and the stones were 
traded to China by way of Khotan. 1 Possibly the Nestorians were 
active in bringing to China these stones which were utilized for the 
decoration of their churches. The same history ascribes columns of 
se-se to the palaces of Fu-lin (Syria) ; 4 in this case the question is of a 
building-stone. In ancient Tibet, se-se formed part of the official costume, 
being worn by officials of the highest rank in strings suspended from 
the shoulder. The materials ranking next to this stone were gold, 
plated silver, silver, and copper, 6 — a clear index of the fact that se-se 
was regarded in Tibet as a precious stone of great value, and surpassing 
gold. The Tibetan women used to wear beads of this stone in their 
tresses, and a single bead is said to have represented the equivalent of 
a noble horse. 6 Hence arose the term ma kia Su J5 fll *fc ("pearl or bead 
equalling a horse in price"). These beads are treated in the Ko ku yao 
lun 1 as a separate item, and distinct from turquois.* 

In the T'ang period, se-se stones were also used as ornaments by the 

Pei H, Ch. 97, pp. 7 b, 12; Cou $u, Ch. 50, p. 6; Sui lit, Ch. 83, p. 7 b; Wei !u, 
Ch. 102, pp. 5 a, 9 b. 

Tan In, Ch. 221 B, p. 2 b. 

Tan i«, Ch. 221 A, p. 10 b. 

Kiu Tan i«, Ch. 198, p. 1 1 b; Tan Iff, Ch. 221 B, p. 7 b. 

Tan Su t Ch. 216 a, p. 1 b (not in Kiu Tan iu). 

Sin Wu Tai it, Ch. 74, p. 4 b. 

Ch. 6, p. 5 b. 

As justly said by Gkbrts (Produits de la nature japonaise et chinoise, p. 481), 
it is possible that ma kia lu (Japanese bakalu) is merely a synonyme of the emerald. 
Also in the Pen ts % ao hah mu (Ch. 8, p. 17 b) a distinction is made between the two 
articles, tien-tse JR "? being characterized as pi j§, ma kia lu as ts*ui $. 

Iranian Precious Stones — Se-se 517 

women of the Nan Man (the aboriginal tribes of southern China), being 
fastened in their hair; 1 and were known in the kingdom of Nan-£ao.* 
Likewise the women of Wei-2ou 16 ^N in Se-£*wan wore strung se-se 
in their hair. 9 Further, we hear at the same time of se-se utilized by the 
Chinese and even mined in Chinese soil. In some cases it seems that 
a building-stone is involved; in others it appears as a transparent 
precious stone, strung and used for curtains and screens, highly valued, 
and on a par with genuine pearls and precious metals. 4 Under the year 
786, the Tang Annals state, "The Kwan-S'a-S tt£t ft* of San-&u 
R #1 (in Ho-nan), Li Pi & Ub by name, reported to the throne that the 
foundries of Mount Lu-& Mt j£ produce se-se, and requested that it 
should be prohibited to accept these stones in the place of taxes; where- 
upon the Emperor (Te Tsun) replied, that, if there are se-se not pro- 
duced by the soil, they should be turned over to the people, who are 
permitted to> gather them for themselves." The question seems to be 
in this text of a by-product of metallic origin; and this agrees with what 
Kao Se-sun remarks in hisWei lio, that the se-se of his time (Sung period) 
were made of molten stone. 

I have given two examples of the employment of se-se in objects of 
art from the K % ao ku Vu and Ku yil Vu p'u (p. 31). Meanwhile I have 
found two instances of the use of the word se-se in the Po ku Vu lu, 
published by Waft Fu in 1x07-11. In one passage of this work, 6 the 
patina of a tin JR, attributed to the Cou period, is compared with the 
color of se-se: since patinas occur in green, blue, and many other hues, 
this does not afford conclusive evidence as to the color of se-se. In 
another case 7 a small tin dated in the Han period is described as being 
decorated with inlaid gold and silver, and decorated with the seven 
jewels (sapiaratna) and se-se of very brilliant appearance. This is 
striking, as se-se are not known to be on record under the Han, but first 
appear in the accounts of Sasanian Persia: either the bronze vessel in 
question was not of the Han, but of the T'ang; or, if it was of the Han, 
the stone thus diagnosed by the Sung author cannot have been identical 
with what was known by this name under the T'ang. I already had 
occasion to state (p. 33) that the Sung writers knew no longer what the 

1 Van to, Ch. 222 A, p. 2. 

* Man 1m, p. 48. 

1 Tai f 'tit hwan yfl K Ch. 78, p. 9 b. 

* Min hwan tsa lu, Ch. B, p. 4; Wei Uo % Ch. 5, p. 3; Tu yon tsa pien, Ch. A, pp. 3, 
8; Ch. c, pp. 5, 9 b, 14 b. 

1 Official designation of a Tao-t'ai. 

* Ch. 3, p. 15 b. 
7 Ch. 5, p. 46 b. 


518 Sino-Iranica 

se-se of the T'ang really were, that the T'ang se-se were apparently 
lost in the age of the Sung, and that substitutes merely designated by 
that name were then in vogue. 

Under the Yuan or Mongol dynasty the word se-se was revived. 
C'an Te, the envoy who visited Bagdad in 1259, reported se-se among 
the precious stones of the Caliph, together with pearls, lapis lazuli, and 
diamonds. A stone of small or no value, found in Kin-2ou (in Sefi-kifi, 
Manchuria), was styled se-se; 1 and under the reign of the Emperor 
C'en-tsun (1 295-1307) we hear that two thousand five hundred catties 
of se-se were palmed off on officials in lieu of cash payments, a practice 
which was soon stopped by imperial command. 2 Under the Ming, se-se 
was merely a word vaguely conveying the notion of a precious stone of 
the past, and transferred to artifacts like beads of colored glass or 
clay. 1 

The Chinese notices of se-se form a striking analogy to the accounts 
of the ancients regarding the emerald (smaragdos), which on the one 
hand is described as a precious stone, chiefly used for rings, on the 
other hand as a building-stone. Theophrastus 4 states, "The emerald 
Is good for the eyes, and is worn as a ring-stone to be looked at. It is 
rare, however, and not* large. Yet it is said in the histories of the 
Egyptian kings that a Babylonian king once sent as a gift an emerald 
of four cubits in length and three cubits in width; there is in the temple 
of Jupiter an obelisk composed of four emeralds, forty cubits high, four 
cubits wide, and two cubits thick. The false emerald occurs in well- 
known places, particularly in the copper-mines of Cyprus, where it 
fills lodes crossing one another in many ways, but only seldom is it 
large enough for rings." H. O. Lenz 5 is inclined to understand by the 
latter kind malachite. Perhaps the se-se of Iran and Tibet was the 
emerald; the se-se used for pillars in Pu-lin, malachite. No Chinese 
definition of what se-se was has as yet come to light, and we have to 
await further information before venturing exact and positive identifi- 

In Buddhist literature the emerald appears in the transcription 
mo-lo-k % ie-t % o llftl Rj, 6 corresponding to Sanskrit tnarakata. In the 
transcription fb Js M £u-tnu-la, in the seventeenth century written 
jfi flfc & tsu-mu-lu, the emerald appears to be first mentioned in the 

1 YUan H, Ch. 24, p. 2 b. 
■ Ibid., Ch. 21, p. 7 b. 

• Cf . Notes on Tuxquois, p. 34. 
4 De lapidibus, 42. 

• Mineralogie der Griechen und Romer, p. 20. 

• Fan yi mi» yi tsi, Ch. 8, p. 14 b. 

Iranian Precious Stones— Emerald, Ttjrquois 51$ 

Co ken lu, written in 1366. 1 The Dictionary in Four Languages 1 writes 
this word tsie-mu-lu IB. I • ft. This is a transcription of Persian 

The word itself is of Semitic origin. In Assyrian it has been traced 
in the form barraktu in a Babylonian text dated in the thirty-fifth year 
of Artaxerxes I (464-424 B.C.)- 3 In Hebrew it is bareket or barkat, in 
Syriac borko, in Arabic gummurud, in Armenian zemruxt; in Russian 
izutnrud. The Greek maragdos or smaragdos is borrowed from Semitic; 
and Sanskrit tnarakata is derived from Greek, Tibetan mar-gad from 
Sanskrit. 4 The Arabic-Persian zummurud appears to be based directly 
on the Greek form with initial sibilant. 

87. In regard to turquois I shall be brief. The Persian turquois, 
both that of NlSapOr and Kirman, is first mentioned under the name 
tien-tse fQ ^ in the Co ken lu of 1366. This does not mean that the 
Chinese were not acquainted with the Persian turquois at a somewhat 
earlier date. It is even possible that the Kitan were already acquainted 
with turquois. 6 I do not believe that pi-lu ft ft represents a transcrip- 
tion of Persian firuza (" turquois "), as proposed by Watters 6 without 
Indicating any source for the alleged Chinese word, which, if it exists, 
may be restricted to the modern colloquial language. I have not yet 
traced it in literature. 7 As early as 1290 turquoises were mined in Hui- 
6'wan, Yun-nan. 8 The Geography of the Ming dynasty indicates a 
turquois-mine in Ptan-nin &m 55? *£ JH in the prefecture of Yun-nan, 

1 Ch. 7, p. 5 b; Wu li siao H, Ch. 7, p. 14. The author of this work cites the 
writing of the Yuan work as the correct one, adding tsu-mu-lU, which he says is at 
present in vogue, as an erroneous form. It is due to an adjustment suggested by 
popular etymology, the character lU ("green") referring to the green color of the 
stone, whose common designation is 1& poo H MkM 5 ("green precious stone"); 
see Greets, Produits, p. 481. 

* Ch. 22, p. 66. 

1 C. Fosset, Etudes assyriennes (Journal osiaHque, 1917, 1, p. 473). 

4 Cf. Notes on Turquois, p. 55; Toung Poo, 1916, p. 465. Muss-Arnolt 
(Transactions Am. Phil. Assoc., Vol. XXIII, 1892, p. 139) states erroneously that 
both the Greek and the Semitic words are independently derived from Sanskrit. 
In the attempt to trace the history of loan-words it is first of all necessary to ascer- 
tain the history of the objects. 

1 As intimated by me in American Anthropologist, 1916, p. 589. Tien-tse as the 
product of Pan-ta-li are mentioned in the Too i Hlio t written in 1349 by Wan Tar 
yuan (Rockhill, Toung Poo, 1915, p. 464). 

• Essays on the Chinese Language, p. 352. 

7 In the Pen ts % ao kan mu (Ch. 8, p. 17 b) is mentioned a 6tone p'iao pi Id ££ 
3§| |ft, explained as a precious stone {poo U) of pi S| color. This is possibly the 
foundation of Watters' statement. 

1 Yuan H, Ch. 16, p. 10 b. See, further, Notes on Turquois, pp. 58-59. 

520 Sino-Iranica 

Yfin-nan Province. 1 In this text, the term pi Vien-tse S SR -3F is em^ 
ployed. T'an Ts'ui* says that turquoises (pi Men) are produced in the 
Mon-yafi t'u-se 3l §1 :£ U of Yun-nan. In the Hin-nan fuU %*!£ 
Ml&* the gazetteer of the prefecture of Hm-han in southern Sen-si, 
it is said that pi Vien (written J&) were formerly a product of this lo- 
cality, and mined under the Tang and Sung, the mines being closed in 
the beginning of the Ming. This notice is suspicious, as we hear of 
pi-tien or tien-tse neither under the Tang nor the Sung; the term comes 
into existence under the Yuan. 4 

88. & Iff kin tsih ("essence of gold ") appears to have been the term 
for lapis lazuli during the Tang period. The stone came from the 
famous mines of Badax&n. 6 

At the time of the Yuan or Mongol dynasty a new word for lapis 
lazuli springs up in the form latirtH flB #. The Chinese traveller C'an 
Te, who was despatched in 1259 as envoy by the Mongol Emperor 
Mangu to his brother Hulagu, King of Persia, and whose diary, the 
Si Si kit was edited by Liu Yu in 1263, reports that a stone of that name 
is found on the rocks of the mountains in the south-western countries 
of Persia. The word lan-£*i is written with two characters meaning 
"orchid" and "red," which yields no sense; and Bretschneider 8 is 
therefore right in concluding that the two elements represent the tran- 
scription of a foreign name. He is inclined to think that "it is the same 
as landshiwer, the Arabic name for lapis lazuli." In New Persian it is 
laSvard or l&jvard (Arabic lazvard). Another Arabic word is linej, by 
which the cyanos of Dioscorides is translated. 7 An Arabic form lanjiver 
is not known to me. 

"There is also in the same country [Badashan] another mountain, 
in which azure is found; 'tis the finest in the world, and is got in a vein 
like silver. There are also other mountains which contain a great 
amount of silver ore, so that the country is a very rich one." Thus runs 

1 Ta Min i run *«, Ch. 86, p. 8. 

• Tien hai yH hen «, 1799, Ch. 1, p. 6 b (ed. of Wen yin lou y& H ts'un **). See 
above, p. 228. T*u-se are districts under a native chieftain, who himself is subject to 
Chinese authority. 

1 Ch. ii, p. 11 b (ed. of 1788). 

4 The turquois has not been recognized in a text of the Wei si wen kien ki of 
1769 by G. Souui (Bull, de I'Ecole franchise, Vol. VIII, p. 372), where the question 
is of coral and turquois used by the Ku-tsun (a Tibetan tribe) women as ornaments; 
instead of y&an-song, as there transcribed, read l& sun It |& £&> Jj. 

*Chavannes, Documents sur les Tou-kiue, p. 159; and T*oung Poo, 1904, 
p. 66. 

* Chinese Recorder, Vol. VI, p. 16; or Mediaeval Researches, Vol. I, p. 151. 
1 Lbclbbc, Trait* des simples, VoL III, p. 254. 

Iranian Precious Stones -—Lapis Lazuli 521 

Marco Polo's account. 1 Yule comments as follows: "The mines of 
L&jwurd (whence 1'Azur and Lazuli) have been, like the ruby mines, 
celebrated for ages. They lie in the upper valley of the Kokcha, called 
Kor&n, within the tract called Yamg&n, of which the popular etymology 
is Hamah-Kfin, or 'All-Mines/ and were visited by Wood in 1838.* 
The produce now is said to be of very inferior quality, and in quantity 
from thirty to sixty pud (thirty-six lbs. each) annually. The best 
quality sells at Bokhara at thirty to sixty tillas, or 12 l. to 24 Z. the pud 
(Manphtil)." 5 In the Dictionary of Four Languages/ lapis lazuli is 
styled isHh kin & Iff & ?J; in Tibetan mu-men, Mongol and Manchu 

The diamond is likewise attributed by the Chinese to Sasanian 
Persia, and I have formerly shown that several Iranian tribes were 
acquainted with this precious stone in the beginning of our era. 6 Dia- 
mond-points were imported from Persia into China under the T'ang 
dynasty. 6 

89. The first mention of amber in Chinese records is the reference 
to amber in Ki-pin (Kashmir) . 7 Then we receive notice of the occurrence 
of amber in Ta Ts'in (the Hellenistic Orient) 6 and in Sasanian Persia. 9 
The correctness of the latter account is confirmed by the BondahiSn, in 
which the Pahlavi term for amber, kahrupai, is transmitted. 10 This word 
corresponds to New Persian kahruba, a compound formed with kah 
("straw") and ruba ("to lift, to attract"). 11 The Arabs derived their 
kahruba (first in Ibn el-Abbas) from the Persians; and between the 

1 Yule's edition, Vol. I, p. 157. 

1 This refers to Wood, Journey to the Oxus, p. 263. 


* See, further, M. Baubb, Precious Stones, p. 442. 
4 Ch. 22, p. 65. 

1 The Diamond, p. 53. 

I Ta Tan leu Hen, Ch. 22, p. 8. 
7 Ts'ien Han to, Ch. 96 A, p. 5. 

• In the Wei lio and Hon Han lu (cf . Chavannbs, Toung Poo, 1907, p. 182). 

9 Nan H, Ch. 79, p. 8; Wei £«, Ch. 102, p. 5 a; Sui hi, Ch. 83, p. 7 b. The Sui 
ht has altered the name hu-p*o into Sau-p % o Wt & in order to observe the tabu 
of the name Hu in Ii Hu $? j£, the father of the founder of the T'ang dynasty. 
Amber (also coral and silver) is attributed to Mount Ni J§ li| in the country Fu-lu-ni 
ffcMt JB to the north of Persia, also to the country Hu-se-mi P$ fg J|JJ (Wei l«, 
Ch. 102, p. 6 b). 

M Wbst, Pahlavi Texts, Vol. I, p. 273. 

II Analogies occur in all languages: Chinese H-kiai & 5P ("attracting mustard- 
seeds"); Sanskrit txinagr&hin ("attracting straw"); Tibetan shut len or shut Ion, 
of the same meaning: French (obsolete) Ure-paiUe. Another Persian word for amber 

522 Sino-Iranica 

ninth and the tenth century, the word penetrated from the Arabic into 
Syriac. 1 In Armenian it is kahriba and kahribar. The same word 
migrated westward: Spanish carabe, Portuguese carabe or charabe, 
Italian carabe, French carabi; Byzantine xepo/M; Cumanian charabar. 
Under the Ming, amber is listed as a product of Herat, Khotan, and 
Samarkand. 1 A peculiar variety styled "gold amber' 9 (kin p*o 4fc 3fi) 
is assigned to Arabia (Tien-fan). 8 

The question arises, Prom what sources did the Persians derive their 
amber? G. Jacob, 4 from a study of Arabic sources, has reached the 
conclusion that the Arabs obtained amber from the Baltic. The great 
importance of Baltic amber in the history of trade is well known, but, 
in my estimation, has been somewhat exaggerated by the specialists, 
whereas the fact is easily overlooked that amber is found in many parts 
of the world. I do not deny that a great deal of amber secured by the 
Arabs may be credited to the Baltic sources of supply, but I fail to see 
that this theory (for it is no more) follows directly from the data of 
Arabic writers. These refer merely to the countries of the Rfls and Bui- 
gar as the places of provenience, but who will guarantee that the amber 
of the Russians hailed exclusively from the Baltic? We know surely 
enough that amber occurs in southern Russia and in Rumania. Again, 
Ibn al-Bait&r knows nothing about Rfls and BulgSr in this connection, 
but, with reference to al-Jafiki, speaks of two kinds of amber, one 
coming from Greece and the Orient, the other being found on the littoral 
and underground in the western portion of Spain.* Pliny informs us 
that, according to Philemon, amber is a fossil substance, and that 
it is found in Scythia in two localities, one white and of waxen color, 
styled electrum; while in the other place it is red, and is called sualu 
ternicum* This Scythian or South-Russian amber may have been traded 
by the Iranian Scythians to Iran. In order to settle definitely the 
question of the provenience of ancient Persian and Arabic amber, it 
would be necessary, first of all, to obtain a certain number of authentic, 
ancient Persian and Arabic ambers, and to subject them to a chemical 
analysis. We know also that several ancient amber supplies were 

1 Cf. E. Seidel, Mechithar, p. 146; and G. Jacob, ZDMG, Vol. XLIII, 1889, 

p. 359. 

1 Ta MiH i Vvh U 9 Ch. 89, pp. 23, 24 b, 25 (ed. of 146 1). 

* Ibid., Ch. 91, p. 20. 

4 L. c. t and Arabische Handelsartikel, p. 63. 

* Leclbrc, Traits des simples, Vol. Ill, p. 209. 

* Philemon fossile esse et in Scythia end duobus locis, candidum atque ceret 
colons quod vocaretur electrum, in alio fulvum quod appellaretur sualiternicum 
(xxxvn, 11, 833). 

Iranian Minerals— Amber 523 

exhausted long ago. Thus Pliny and the ancient Chinese agree on the 
fact that amber was a product of India, while no amber-mines are 
known there at present. 1 Amber was formerly found in the 
district of Yufi-2'an in Yun-nan. and even on the sacred Hwa-§an in 
Sen-si. 1 

G. Jacob* has called attention to the fact that the supposition of a 
derivation of the Chinese word from Pahlavi kahrupai is confronted 
with unsurmountable difficulties of a chronological character. The 
phonetic difficulties are still more aggravating; for Chinese hu-p'o Tjjt Jfl 
was anciently *gu-bak, and any alleged resemblance between the two 
words vanishes. Still less can Greek harpotf come into question as the 
foundation of the Chinese word, which, in my opinion, comes from an 
ancient San or T'ai language of Yun-nan, whence the Chinese received 
a kind of amber as early at least as the first century a.d. Of the same 
origin, I am inclined to think, is the word tutwnou fR # for amber, 
first and exclusively used by the philosopher Wan C'un. 6 

Uigur kubik is not the original of the Chinese word, as assumed by 
Klaproth; but the Uigur, on the contrary (like Korean xobag), is a 
transcription of the Chinese word. Mongol xuba and Manchu xSba 
are likewise so, except that these forms were borrowed at a later period, 
when the final consonant of Chinese bak or bek was silent. 6 

90. Coral is a substance of animal origin; but, as it has always been 
conceived in the Orient as a precious stone, 7 a brief notice of it, as far 
as Sino-Persian relations are concerned, may be added here. The 

1 Cf. Ts % ien Han $u, Ch. 96 A, p. 5 (amber of Kashmir); Nan H, Ch. 78, p. 7. 

1 Cf. Hwa yotitJUk j£, Ch. 3, p. 1 (ed. of 1831). 

1 L. c. t p. 355. 

4 Proposed by Hirth, China and the Roman Orient, p. 245. This was merely 
a local Syriac name, derived from Greek Ap*-d?» (In Syria quoque feminas verticillos 
inde facere et vocare harpaga, quia folia paleasque et vestium fimbrias rapiat. — 
Pliny, xxxvii, 11, j 37). 

• Cf. A. Forke, Lun-heng, pt. II, p. 350. This is not the place for a discussion 
of this problem, which I have taken up in a study entitled "Ancient Remains from 
the Languages of the Nan Man." 

• For f farther information on amber, the reader may be referred to my Historical 
Jottings on Amber in Asia {Memoirs Am. Anthr. Assoc, V6L I, pt. 3). I hope to come 
back to this subject in greater detail in the course of my Sino-Hellenistic studies, 
where it will be shown that the Chinese tradition regarding the origin and properties 
of amber is largely influenced by the theories of the ancients. 

7 The proof of the animal character of coral is a recent achievement of our 
science. Peyssonel was the first to demonstrate in 1727 that the alleged coral- 
flowers are real animals; Pallas then described the coral as Isis nobilis; and Lamarck 
formed a special genus under the name CoraUium rubrum (cf. Lacazb-Dutribrs, 
Histoire naturelle du corail, Paris, 1864; Guibourt, Histoire naturelle des drogues, 
Vol. IV, p. 378). The common notion in Asia was that coral is a marine tree. 

524 SinoIranica 

Chinese learned of the genuine coral through their intercourse with 
the Hellenistic Orient: as we are informed by the Wei lio and the Han 
Annals, 1 Ta Ts*in produced coral; and the substance was so common, 
that the inhabitants used it for making the king-posts of their habita- 
tions. The T'ang Annals 2 then describe how the marine product is fished 
in the coral islands by men seated in large craft and using nets of iron 
wire. When the corals begin to grow on the rocks, they are white like 
mushrooms; after a year they turn yellow, and when three years have 
elapsed, they change into red. Their branches then begin to intertwine, 
and grow to a height of three or four feet. 8 Hirth may be right in 
supposing that this fishing took place in the Red Sea, and that the 
"Coral Sea" of the Nestorian inscription and the "sea producing 
corals and genuine pearls" of the Wei lio are apparently identical with 
the latter. 4 But it may have been the Persian Gulf as well, or even the 
Mediterranean. Pliny* is not very enthusiastic about the Red-Sea 
coral; and the Periplus speaks of the importation of coral into India, 
which W. H. Schoff 6 seems to me to identify correctly with the Medi- 
terranean coral. Moreover, the Chinese themselves correlate the above 
account of coral-fishing with Persia, for the Yi vuu U H tt j& is cited 
in the Cen lei pen ts % ao 7 as saying that coral is produced in Persia, being 
considered by the people there as their most precious jewel; and the 
Pen ts'ao yen i speaks of a coral-island in the sea of Persia, 8 going on to 
tell the same story regarding coral-fishing as the T'ang Annals with 
reference to Fu-lin (Syria). Su KuA of the T'ang states that coral grows 
in the Southern Sea, but likewise comes from Persia and Ceylon, the 
latter statement being repeated by the T*u kin pen ts % ao of the Sung. 
It is interesting that the Pen is'ao of the T'ang insists on the holes in 
coral, a characteristic which in the Orient is still regarded (and justly 
so) as a mark of authenticity. Under the T'ang, coral was first intro- 
duced into the materia medica. In the Annals, coral is ascribed to 

1 Hietb, China and the Roman Orient, pp. 41, 73. 
1 Ibid., p. 44. 
1 Ibid., p. 59. 
4 Ibid., p. 246. 
'xxxn, 11. 

* The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, p. 128. 
f Ch. 4, p. 37. 

• Ch. 5, p. 7 (ed. of Lu Sin-yuan). The coral island where the coral-tree grows 
is also mentioned by an Arabic author, who wrote about a.d. iooo (G. Fsftiuuro, 
Textes relatafs a rExtreme-Orient, Vol. I, p. 147). See, further, E. Wiedemann, 
Zur Mineralogie im Islam, p. 244. 

Iranian Minerals— Coral, Bezoar 525 

Sasanian Persia; 1 and it is stated in the T'ang Annals that Persia pro- 
duces coral not higher than three feet. 2 There is no doubt that Persian 
corals have found their way all over Asia; and many of them may still 
be preserved by Tibetans, who prize above all coral, amber, and tur- 
quois. The coral encountered by the Chinese in Ki-pin (Kashmir) 8 
may also have been of Persian origin. Unfortunately we have no 
information on the subject from ancient Iranian sources, nor do we 
know an ancient Iranian name for coral. Solinus informs us that 
Zoroaster attributed to coral a certain power and salubrious effects; 4 
and what Pliny says about coral endowed with sacred properties and 
being a preservative against all dangers, sounds very much like an 
idea emanating from Persia. Persian infants still wear a piece of coral 
on the abdomen as a talisman to ward off harm; 5 and, according to 
Pliny, this was the practice at his time, only that the branches of coral 
were hung at the infant's neck. 

The Chinese word for coral, 9138 San-hu, *san-gu (Japanese 
san-go), possibly is of foreign origin, but possibly it is not. 6 For the 
present there is no word in any West-Asiatic or Iranian language with 
which it could be correlated. In Hebrew it is ra 'mof, which the Seventy, 
transcribes £ajio0 or translates imrktapa. The common word in New 
Persian is marjan (hence Russian marian); other designations are 
birbdl, xuruhak or xurohak, bussad or bissad (Arabic bessed or bussad)* 
In Armenian it is bust. 7 

91. The identification of Chinese 9k Sc p x o-so (*bwa-sa) with Persian 
paeahr or pddzahr 8 ("bezoar," literally, "antidote"), first proposed by 
Hirth, 9 in my opinion, is not tenable, although it has been indorsed 

1 Con 5u, Ch. 50, p. 6; Sui 5u, Ch. 83, p. 7 b; regarding coral in Fu-lu-ni, see 
above, p. 521 , note 9. 

1 Tan 1st, Ch. 221 b, p. 6 b. The Lion lu (Ch. 54, p. 14 b) attributes to Persia 
coral-trees one or two feet high. 

• Ts'ien Han In, Ch. 96 A, p. 5. This passage (not Hon Han In, Ch. 1 18, as stated 
by Hirth, Chau Ju-kua, p. 226, after Bretschneider) contains the earliest mention 
of the word lan-hu. 

4 Habet enim, ut Zoroastres ait, materia haec quandam potestatem, ac propterea 
quidquid inde sit, ducitur inter salutaria (11, 39, § 42). 

* Schlimmer, Terminologie, p. 166. 

• According to Bretschneider (Chinese Recorder, Vol. VI, p. 16), "it seems not 
to be a Chinese name." 

7 Cf . Patkanov, The Precious Stones according to the Notions of the Armenians 
(in Russian), p. 52. 

* Pazand padatahar (see HAbschmann, Persische Studien, p. 193). Stbingass 
gives also p&nxahr. The derivation from bid "wind" (H. F&hner, Janus, Vol. VI, 
1901, p. 317) is not correct. 

9 Lander des Islam, p. 45. 

526 SinoIranica 

by Pelliot. 1 Pelliot, however, noticed well that what the Chinese 
describe as p % o-so or tno-so HE S£ is not bezoar, and that the tran- 
scription is anomalous. 1 This being the case, it is preferable to reject 
the identification, and there are other weighty reasons prompting us 
to do so. There is no Chinese account that tells us that Persia had 
bezoars or traded bezoars to China. The Chinese were (and are) well 
acquainted with the bezoar 9 (I gathered several in China myself), and 
bezoars are easy to determine. Now, if p'o-so or tno-so were to repre- 
sent Persian pdzakr and a Persian bezoar, the Chinese would not for 
a moment fail to inform us that p*o-so is the Po-se niu-hwan or Persian 
bezoar; but they say nothing to this effect. On the contrary, the texts 
cited under this heading in the Pen ts'ao kan mu A do not make any 
mention of Persia, but agree in pointing to the Malay Archipelago as 
the provenience of the p % o~so stone. Ma Ci of the Sung assigns it to 
the Southern Sea (Nan Hai). Li Si-6en points to the Ken sin ytt ts*e 
M^ 3£ flfr, written about 1430, as saying that the stone comes from 
San-fu-ts'i (Palembang on Sumatra). 6 P. de M6ly designates it only 
as a "pierre d'lpreuve," and refers to an identification with aventurine, 
proposed by R&nusat. 6 Bezoar is a calculus concretion found in the 
stomachs of a number of mammals, and Oriental literatures abound in 
stories regarding such stones extracted from animals. Not only do the 
Chinese not say that the p'o-so stone is of animal origin, but, on the con- 
trary, they state explicitly that it is of mineral origin. The Ken sin yii ts'e 
relates how mariners passing by a certain mountain on Sumatra break 
this stone with axes out of the rock, and that the stone when burnt 
emits a sulphurous odor. Ma Ci describes this stone as being green 
in color and without speckles; those with gold stars, and when rubbed 
yielding a milky juice, are the best. All this does not fit the bezoar. 
Also the description in the Pen is % ao yen i 7 refers only to a stone of 
mineral origin. 

1 Tounz Poo, 1912, p. 438. 

1 The initial of the Persian word would require a labial surd in Chinese. Whether 
the p'o-sa 31 8£ °f the Pei hit lu belongs here is doubtful to me; it is not explained 
what this stone is. As admitted in the Pen ts'ao yen i (Ch. 4, p. 4 b), the form mo-$o 
is secondary. 

• It is first mentioned in the ancient work Pie lu 9 then in the Wu H pen ts'ao 
of the third century, and by T'ao Hun-kin. 

4 Ch. io, p. 10 b. 

• This text is cited in the same manner in the Tun si yoih Woo of 1618 (Ch. 3, 
p. 10). Cf. P. db M£ly, Lapidaire chinois, p. 120. 

• Ibid., pp. LXIV, 260. 

7 Ch. 4, p. 4 b (ed. of Lu Sin-yuan). 

Iranian Minerals— Bezoas 527 

Even as early as the Tang period, the term p'o-so merely denotes 
a stone. It is mentioned in a colophon to the P*}h ts'Uan San kU ts'ao tnu 
ki *PAtfl®¥*Eby Li Te-yu ^ftJBr (a.d. 787-849) as a curious 
stone preserved in the P'o-so Pavilion south of the C'an-tien ft JS in 

Yada or jada, as justly said by Pelliot, is a bezoar; but what at- 
tracted the Chinese to this Turkish-Mongol word was not its char* 
acter as a bezoar, but its rdle in magic as a rain-producing stone. Li 
Si-Sen 1 has devoted a separate article to it under the name tfc Hr fa-to, 
and has recognized it as a kind of bezoar; in fact, it follows immediately 
his article on the Chinese bezoar (niu-hwan)} 

The Persian word was brought to China as late as the seventeenth 
century by the Jesuits. Pantoja and Aleni, in their geography of the 
world, entitled Cifah wai ki* and published in 1623, mention an animal 
of Borneo resembling a sheep and a deer, called partsaW JE H HI, 4 in 
the abdomen of which grows a stone capable of curing all diseases, and 
highly prized by the Westerners. The Chinese recognized that this was 
a bezoar. 6 Bezoars are obtained on Borneo, but chiefly from a monkey 
(Simia longumanis, Dayak buhi) and hedgehog. The Malayan name 
for bezoar is guliga; and, as far as I know, the Persian word is not used 
by the Malayans. 6 The Chinese Gazetteer of Macao mentions "an 
animal like a sheep or goat, in whose belly is produced a stone capable 

1 Pen ts'ao kan mu t Ch, 50 B, p. 15 b. 

1 There is an extensive literature on the subject of the rain-stone. The earliest 
Chinese source known to me, and not mentioned by Pelliot, is the K'ai ytian Men 
^wiliH%^I**byWa6 Zen-yu £ £ *£ of the T'ang (p. 20 b). 
Cf. also the SU K % ien iu & ft #» written by Can Cu jR ftf in 1805 (Ch.6, p.8, 
ed. of YUe ya Van ts'un 5u). The Yakut know this stone as sata (Boehtlingk, Jakut. 
W6rterbuch, p. 153); Pallas gives a Kalmuk form sOdan. See, further, W. W. Rock- 
bill, Rubruck, p. I950F. v. Ekdmann, Temudschin, p. 94; G. Oppert, Presbyter 
Johannes, p. 10a; J. Ruska, Steinbuch des Qazwlnl, p. 19, and Der Islam, Vol. IV, 
I913« PP* 26-30 (it is of especial interest that, according to the Persian mineralogical 
treatise of Mohammed Ben Mansur, the rain-stone comes from mines on the frontier 
of China, or is taken from the nest of a large water-bird, called surxab, on the frontier 
of China; thus, after all, the Turks may have obtained their bezoars from China); 
VAuniMY, Primitive Cultur, p. 249; Potanin, Tangutsko-Tibetskaya Okraina 
Kitaya, Vol. II, p. 353, where further literature is cited. 

9 Ch. 1, p. ix (see above, p. 433). 

4 This form comes very near to the pajar of Barbosa in 1516. 

* Cf. the Lu Ian kun H k'i (above, p. 346), p. 48. 


• Regarding the Malayan beliefs in bezoars, see, for instance, L. Bouchal in 
lift*. Anthr. Gts. Wien, 1900, pp. 179-180; Bbccari, Wanderings in the Great 
Forests of Borneo, p. 337; Kebsmbr in Bijdr. tool* land- en wdkenkunde, 1914, 
p. 38; etc. 

528 Sino-Iranica 

of curing any disease, and called pa-tsa f r" (written as above); 1 cf. 
Portuguese bazar, bazodr, bezoar. 

On the other hand, bezoars became universal in the early middle 
ages, and the Arabs also list bezoars from China and India. 2 Prom the 
Persian word fadaj, explained as "a stone from China, bezoar," it 
appears also that Chinese bezoars were traded to Persia. In Persia, as 
is well known, bezoars are highly prized as remedies and talismans.' 

1 Ao-men ti lio, Ch. b, p. 37. 

1 J. Ruska, Steinbuch des Aristoteles, p. 148. 

* C. Acosta (Tractado de las drogas, pp. 153-160, Burgos, 1578), E. Kaempfer 
(Amoenitates exoticae, pp. 402-403), Guibourt (Histoire naturelle des drogues 
simples, Vol. IV, pp. 106 et seq.) t and G. P. Kunz (Magic of Jewels and Charms, 
pp. 203-220) give a great deal of interesting information on the subject. See also 
Yule, Hobson-Jobson, p. 90; £. Wiedemann, Zur Mineralpgie im Islam, p. 228; 
D. Hooper, Journal As. Soc. Bengal, Vol. VI, 1910, p. 519. 


92. S X sa-pao, *sa£(sar)-pav. Title of the official in charge of 
the affairs of the Persian religion in Si-nan, an office dating back to the 
time when temples of the celestial god of fire were erected there, about 
a.d. 621. In an excellent article Pelliot has assembled all texts relative 
to this function. 1 I do not believe, however, that we are justified in 
accepting Dev&ia's theory that the Chinese transcription should render 
Syriac saba ("old man"). This plainly conflicts with the laws of tran- 
scription so rigorously expounded and upheld by Pelliot himself: it is 
necessary to account for the final dental or liquid in the character sa, 
which regularly appears in the T*ang transcriptions. It would be 
strange also if the Persians should have applied a Syriac word to a 
sacred institution of their own. It is evident that the Chinese tran- 
scription corresponds to a Middle-Persian form traceable to Old Persian 
xiaBra-pavan (x$$pava, %$a&pava), which resulted in Assyrian axiadar- 
apan or axSadrapdn, Hebrew axaSdarfnim,* Greek orarpfonp (Armenian 
iahapand, Sanskrit k$atrapa). The Middle-Persian form from which the 
Chinese transcription was very exactly made must have been *Sa0-pav 
or *x§a#-p&v. The character sa renders also Middle and New Persian 
sar ("head, chief"). 8 

93. f$.f&%0 K'u-sa-ho, *Ku-sa5(r)-7wa 9 was the title 3 s of the 
kings of Parsa (Persia). 4 This transcription appears to be based on an 
Iranian xiadva or xSarva, corresponding to Old Iranian *x§&yavan-, 
♦xSaivan, Sogdian xSevan (" king ") . 6 It is notable that the initial spirant 
x is plainly and aptly expressed in Chinese by the element Jfc'ii, 6 while 
in the preceding transcription it is suppressed. The differentiation in 
time may possibly account for this phenomenon: the transcription 
sa-pao comes down from about a.d. 621; while K'u-sa-ho, being con- 

1 Le Sa-pao, Bull, de VEcole franfaise, Vol. Ill, pp. 665-671* 

1 H. Pognon, Journal asiatique, 1917, 1, p. 395. 

9 R. Gauthiot, Journal asiatique, 1911, II, p. 60. 

4 Sui 5u, Ch. 83, p. 7 b. 

1 R. Gauthiot, Essai sur le vocalisme du sogdien, p. 97. See also the note of 
Andreas in A. Christensen, L'Empire des Sassanides, p. 113. I am unable to see 
how the Chinese transcription could correspond to the name Khosrou, as proposed 
by several scholars (Chavannbs, Documents sur les Tou-kiue occidentaux, p. 171; 
and Hirth, Journal Am. Or. Soc. t Vol. XXXIII, 1913, p. 197). 

• In the Manichaean transcriptions it is expressed by P$ *xu (hu); see Cha- 
vannbs and Pelliot, Traite* manicheen, p. 25. 


530 Sino-Iranica 

tained in the Sui Annals, belongs to the latter part of the sixth century. 
According to Salemann, 1 Iranian initial x$- develops into Middle* 
Persian £-; solely the most ancient Armenian loan-words show a!z~ for 
%$-, otherwise $ appears regularly save that Sx takes the place of inter- 
vocalic xi? In view of our Sino-Iranian form, this rule should perhaps 
be reconsidered, but this must remain for the discussion of Iranian 

94. 12 IF la-ye, *§at(§a5)-ya. Title of the sons of the king of 
Persia (Wei Su, Ch. 102, p. 6; Vai pHn hwan ytt ki, Ch. 185, p. 17). 
It corresponds to Avestan xSadrya ("lord, ruler"). 8 The princes of 
the Sasanian empire were styled saflraflaran. 4 According to Sasanian 
custom, the sons of kings ruled provinces as "kings."* Regarding U 
in transcriptions of Iranian names, cf . the name of the river Yaxartes 
£12 (Sui Su, Ch. 83, p. 4 b ) Yao-Sa, that is *Yak-§a3(§ar)- As the 
Middle-Persian name is XSart or A&lrt (P&zend A Sard), 6 we are bound 
to assume that the prototype of the Chinese transcription was *AxSart 
or *YaxSart. 

95. • V i-tsan, but, as the fan-ts % ie of the last character is indicated 
by ^ SS, the proper reading is i-ts % at, *i-d2a5, i-dzaft, designation of the 
king of Parsa (■ A * or IB 3E 9 •: Wei Su, Ch. 102, p. 6; Tot 
p'in hwan yil ki, Ch. 185, p. 17). The Chinese name apparently repre- 
sents a transcription of IxSeS, the Ix&dh of al-BerQnl, title of the 
kings of Sogd and Fergana, a dialectic form of Old Persian xSayaBiya? 
Ix§66 is the Avestan xSaeta ("brilliant"), a later form being Sedak. 
It must be borne in mind that Sogdian was the lingua franca and 
international language of Central Asia, and even the vehicle of dviliza- 

1 Grundriss der iran. Phil., Vol. I, pt. 1, p. 262. 

1 Cf. also Gauthiot, op. cit., p. 54, § 61. 

1 K. Hori's identification with New Persian f&h (Spiegel Memorial Volume, 
p. 248) must be rejected. The time of the Wei 5u plainly refers to Sasanian Persia; 
that is, to the Middle-Persian language. 

4 A. Christensen, op. cit., p. 20. Cf. Old Persian xScm, xSacam ("royalty, 
kingdom")* Avestan xSaBrem, Sanskrit kfatram (A. Mbillrt, Grammaire du vieux 
perse, p. 143); xSaBrya corresponds to Sanskrit k$atriya. 

• N6LDEKE, Tabari, p. 49; Grundriss, Vol. II, p. 171. I think that H. Pognon 
{Journal asiatique, 1917, 1, p. 397) is right in assuming that "satrap" was a purely 
honorific title granted by the king not only to the governors of the provinces, but 
also to many high functionaries. 

• West, Pahlavi Texts, Vol. I, p. 80. 

7 See Sachau, Chronology of Ancient Nations, p. 109; P. Jusn, Iramsches 
Namenbuch, p. 141; A. Meillet, Grammaire du vieux perse, pp. 77, 167 (xS&yatiya 
p&rsaiy, "king in Persia"); P. W. K. MttiABR, Ein Doppelblatt aus einem mani- 
chaischen Hymnenbuch, p. 31. 

Titles of the Sasanian Government 531 

tion. 1 The suggestion offered by K. Ho&i,' that the Chinese transcrip- 
tion should represent the Persian word izad ("god"), is not acceptable: 
first, New Persian cannot come into question, but only Middle Persian; 
second, it is not proved that izad was ever a title of the kings of Persia. 
On the contrary, as stated by NOldeke, 8 the Sasanians applied to them- 
selves the word bag ("god"), but not yazdan, which was the proper word 
for "god" even at that time. 

96. Kf^£ fan-pn-$wai f *pwaA-bu-zwi5, designation of the queen 
of P&rsa (Wei 5u, Ch. 102, p. 6; T*ai pHn kwan yil ki, Ch. 185, p. 17). 
The foundation of this transcription is presented by Middle Persian 
b&nbu&t, banbiSn (Armenian bambiin), "consort of the king of Persia." 4 
The Iranian prototype of the Chinese transcription seems to have been 
*bfinbuzwi$. The latter element may bear some relation to Sogdian 
wdiu or wytySth ("consort"). 5 

97. 81 4H 81 mo-kurfan, *mak-ku(mag-gu)-dan. Officials of 
Persia in charge of the judicial department 5jfc ■ fi $ fb> (Wei iu 9 
Ch. 102, p. 6). K. Hori 6 has overlooked the fact that the element 
fan forms part of the transcription, and has simply equalized mo-hu with 
Avestan tnoyu. The transcription *mak-ku (mag-gu) is obviously found- 
ed on Middle Persian magu, and therefore is perfectly exact. The later 
transcription 13 Ml *muk-gu (mu-hu) is based on New Persian muy, 
mdy. 7 The ending dan reminds one of such formations as herbehan 
("judge") and mobeian mobeh ("chief of the Magi"), the latter being 
Old Persian magupati, Armenian tnogpet, Pahlavi maupat, New Persian 
mubid (which, according to the Persian Dictionary of Steingass, means 
also "one who administers justice, judge"). Above all, compare the 
Armenian loan-word movpetan (also movpet, tnogpet, tnog)* Hence it 

1 R. Gauthiot, Essai sur le vocalisme du sogdien, p. x; P. Pblliot, Les in- 
fluences iranicnnes en Asie centrale et en Extreme-Orient, p. 11. 

1 Spiegel Memorial Volume, p. 248. 

9 Tabari, p. 452. 

4 HttBSCHMANN, Armen. Gram., p. 116. In his opinion, the form bdnbuSn, 
judging from the Armenian, is wrong; but its authenticity' is fully confirmed by the 
Chinese transcription. 

1 R. Gauthiot, Essai sur le vocalisme du sogdien, pp. 59, 1 12. The three afore- 
mentioned titles had already been indicated by Abbl-R£musat (Nouvelles melanges 
asiatiques, Vol. I, p. 249) after Ma Twan-lin, but partially in wrong transcription: 
41 Le roi a le titre de Yi-thso; la reine, celui de Tchi-sou, et les fils du roi, celui de 

• Spiegel Memorial Volume, p. 248. 

T Chavannks and Pblliot, Traits manicheen, p. 170. Accordingly this example 
cannot be invoked as proving that muk might transcribe also mak, as formerly 
assumed by Pblliot (Bull, de VEcole fran$aise, Vol. IV, p. 312). 

• Horn, Neupersische Etymologie, No. 984; and HAbschmann, Persische 
Studien, p. 123. 

532 SinoIeanica 

may justly be inferred that there was a Middle-Persian form *ma- 
gutan or *magudan y from which the Chinese transcription was exactly 

98. 92 & ff ni-hu~han y *ni-hwut-7an. Officials of Persia who have 
charge of the Treasury (Wei Su, Ch. 102, p. 6). The word, in fact, is a 
family-name or title written by the Greek authors Naxopay&v, Naxotpy&p, 
Xapvaxopyiivtis (prefixed by the word sar f "head, upper"). Firdausl 
mentions repeatedly under the reign of Khosrau II a Naxwara, and 
the treasurer of this king is styled "son of Naxwara." 1 The treasury 
is named for him al-NaxIrajan. The Chinese transcription is made 
after the Pahlavi model *Nixur7an or Nexuryan; and, indeed, the 
form Nixorakan is also found. 2 

99. £6 J£ $& ti-pei-p*o f *di-pi-bwifl(bir, wir). Officials of Persia 
who have charge of official documents and all affairs (Cou 5u, Ch. 50, 
p. 5b). In the parallel passage of the Wei 5u (Ch. 102, p. 6), the second 
character is misprinted -?> tsao* *tsaw; *di-tsaw would not correspond 
to any Iranian word. From the definition of the term it becomes 
obvious that the above transcription *di-pi answers to dipt ("writing, 
inscription 11 ), 4 Middle Persian difnr or dapir, New Persian dibir or dablr 
(Armenian dpir) ; and that *di-pi-bwi£ corresponds to Middle Persian 
dipivar, from *dipi-bara, the suffix -var (anciently bard) meaning "carry- 
ing, bearing. 1 ' 5 The forms dipir and dibir are contractions from dipivar. 
This word, as follows from the definition, appears to have comprised 
also what was understood by dev&n, the administrative chanceries of 
the Sasanian empire. 

100. xl&S9tt no4o4uhii t *at(ar)-la-ha-di. Officials of Persia 
who superintended the inner affairs of the king (or the affairs of the 
royal household — Wei Su, Ch. 102, p. 6). Theophylactus Simocatta 8 
gives the following information on the hereditary functions among 
the seven high families in the Sasanian empire: "The family called 
Artabides possesses the royal dignity, and has also the office of placing 

1 NGldbkb, Tabari, pp. 150-153, 439. 

1 Jusn, Iran. Namenbuch, p. 219. In Naxuraq&n or Naxirajan q and j r e pr e se nt 
Pahlavi g . The reconstructions attempted by Modi (Spiegel Memorial Volume, 
p. lix) of this and other Sino-Iranian words on the basis of the modern Chimae 
pronunciation do not call for any discussion. 

* This misprint is not peculiar to the modern editions, but occurs in an edition 
of this work printed in 1596, so that in all probability it was extant in the original 
issue. It is easy to see how the two characters were confounded. 

4 In the Old-Persian inscriptions, where it occurs in the accusative form Hpirn 
and in the locative dipiyd (A. Mbuxbt, Grammaire du vieux perse, pp. 147, 183). 

* C Salbman, Grundriss Iran. Phil., Vol. I, pt. 1, pp. 272, 282. 
•m, 8. 

Titles of the Sasanian Government 533 

the crown on the king's head. Another family presides over military 
affairs, another superintends civil affairs, another settles the litigations 
of those who have a dispute and desire an arbiter. The fifth family com- 
mands the cavalry, the sixth collects the taxes and supervises the 
royal treasures, and the seventh takes care of armament and military 
equipment." Artabides ('AprajSI&p), as observed by NOldeke, 1 should 
be read Argabides ('ApyafMbys), the equivalent of Argabe£. There 
is also a form ipyarknis in correspondence with Pahlavi arkpat. This 
title originally designated the commandant of a castle (org, "citadel"), 
and subsequently a very high military rank. 1 In later Hebrew we find 
this title in the forms alkqfta, arkqfta, or arkabta* The above tran- 
scription is apparently based on the form *Argade ('Apyadrj) = Argabeft. 
xoz. H tt fft sie-po-p % o, *»t~pwa-bwi6. Officials of Persia in 
charge of the army (infantry and cavalry, p&yan and aswflrta), of the 
four quarters, the four pdtkos (pat, "province' 1 ; kds, "guarding") 
* \B # $k *5 : Wei Su, Ch. 102, p. 6. The Cou Su (Ch. 50, p. s b ) 
has S*sat,sar, in the place of the first character. The word corresponds 
to Middle Persian spahbeS ("general 1 '); Pahlavi pat, New Persian -bad, 
-bud ("master"). Eranspahbe^ was the title of the generalissimo of 
the army of the Sasanian empire up to the time of Khusrau I. The 
Pahlavi form is given as spahpat;* the Chinese transcription, however, 
corresponds better to New Persian sipahbat, so that also a Middle- 
Persian form *sp&hba5 (-be£ or -bu$) may be inferred. 

102. 3£ JB & Au-se-ta t *u-se-da8, used in the Chinese inscription dated 1489 
of the Jews of K'ai-fon fu in Ho-nan, in connection with the preceding name 99 fit 
Lie-wei (Levi). 1 As justly recognized by G. Dbv£kia, this transcription represents 
Persian urt&J,' which means "teacher, master." The Persian Jews availed them- 
selves of this term for the rendering of the Hebrew title Rab (Rabbi), although 
in Persian the name* follows the title. The Chinese Jews simply adopted the Chinese 
mode of e xp re s sion, in which the family-name precedes the title, Ustad Lie-wei 
meaning as much as "Rabbi Levi." The transcription itself appears to be of much 
older date than the Ming, and was doubtless recorded at a time when the final 
consonant of ta was still articulated. In a former article I have shown from the 
data of the Jewish inscriptions that the Chinese Jews emigrated from Persia and 
appeared in China not earlier than in the era of the Sung. This historical proof is 
signally confirmed by a piece of linguistic evidence. In the Annals of the Yuan 
Dynasty {Yuan ft, Ch. 33, p. 7 b; 43, p. 11 b) the Jews are styled Su-hu (Ju-hud) 

1 Tabari, p. 5. 

1 CHWSTBNSBN, Op. tit., p. 27; N6LDBKB, Op. tii. t p. 437; H&BSCHMANN, PeT- 

sische Studien, pp. 239, 240. 

' M. Jastrow, Dictionary of the Targumim, p. 73. 

4 HObschmann, Armen. Gram., p. 240. 

1 J. Tobas, Inscriptions juives de K'ai-fong-fou, p. 44. 

• Regarding this word, see chiefly H. HObschmann, Persische Studien, p. 14. 

534 Sino-Iranica 

j|t jR or Cu-wu ;£ 7C* This form can have been transcribed only on the basis o! 
New Persian Juhu6 or Jaho* with initial palatal sonant. As is well known, the 
change of initial y into j is peculiar to New Persian. 1 In Pahlavi we have Yahttt, 
as in Hebrew Yehadl and in Arabic Yahad. A Middle-Persian Yahat would have 
been very easy for the Chinese to transcribe. The very form of their transcription 
shows, however, that it was modelled on the New-Persian type, and that it cannot 
be much older than the tenth century or the age of the Sung. 

1 Cf. Horn, Grundr. iran. Phil., Vol. I, pt. 2, p. 73. 


After dealing with the cultural elements derived by the Chinese 
from the Iranians, it will be only just to look also at the reverse of the 
medal and consider what the Iranians owe to the Chinese. 

i. Some products of China had reached Iranian peoples long before 
any Chinese set their foot on Iranian soil. When Can K*ien in 128 B.C. 
reached Ta-hia (Bactria), he was amazed to see there staves or walking- 
sticks made from bamboo of Kiun JJS 1t tfc 1 and cloth of Su (Se-Cwan) 
S'ftf. What this textile exactly was is not known. 1 Both these articles 
hailed from what is now Se-£*wan, Kiun being situated in 2un Sou 9k 4H 
in the prefecture of Kia-tin, in the southern part of the province. When 
the Cipnese envoy inquired from the people of Ta-hia how they had 
obtained these objects of his own country, they replied that they pur- 
chased them in India. Hence Can K'ien concluded that India could 
not be so far distant from Se-£*wan. It is well known how this new 
geographical notion subsequently led the Chinese to the discovery of 
Yun-nan. There was accordingly an ancient trade-route running from 
Se-SVan through Yun-nan into north-eastern India; and, as India on 
her north-west frontier was in connection with Iranian territory, Chinese 
merchandise could thus reach Iran. The bamboo of Kiun, also called 
3$, has been identified by the Chinese with the so-called square bamboo 
(Bambusa or Phyllostachys quadrangularis).* The cylindrical form is so 
universal a feature in bamboo, that the report of the existence in China 
and Japan of a bamboo with four-angled stems was first considered in 
Europe a myth, or a pathological abnormity. It is now well assured 
that it represents a regular and normal species, which grows wild in 
the north-eastern portion of Yun-nan, and is cultivated chiefly as an 
ornament in gardens and in temple-courts, the longer stems being used 

1 He certainly did not see " a stick of bamboo," as understood by Hirth (Journal 
Am. Or. Soc, Vol. XXXVII, 191 7, p. 98), but it was a finished product imported 
in a larger quantity. 

' Assuredly it was not silk, as arbitrarily inferred by P. v. Richthofen (China, 
Vol. I, p. 465). The word pu never refers to silk materials. 

1 For an interesting article on this subject, see D. J. Macgowan, Chinese Record- 
er, Vol. XVI, 1885, pp. 141-142; further, the same journal, 1886, pp. 140-14 1. £. 
Satow, Cultivation of Bamboos in Japan, p. 92 (Tokyo, 1899). The square bamboo 
(Japanese Ukaku-dake) is said to have been introduced into Japan from Liukiu. 
Forbes and Hemsley, Journal Linnean Soc., VoL XXXVI, p. 443. 


536 SinoIeanica 

for staves, the smaller ones for tobacco-pipes. The shoots of this species 
are prized above all other bamboo-shoots as an esculent. 

The Pei hu lu 1 has the following notice on staves of the square 
bamboo: "C'en Sou S fft (in Kwan-si) produces the square bamboo* 
Its trunk is as sharp as a knife, and is very strong. It can be made into 
staves which will never break. These are the staves from the bamboo 
of K'iufi $5S, mentioned by Can K'ien. Such are produced also in Yufi 
Sou fit fli, 2 the largest of these reaching several tens of feet in height. 
According to the Cen Sen tsi IE 9 Hk, there are in the southern ter- 
ritory square bamboo staves on which the white cicadas chirp, and 
which C'en Cefi-tsie BC jt( ffi has extolled. Moreover, Hai-yen M £&* 
produces rushes (lu 9L, Phragmites communis) capable of being made 
into staves for support. P'an Sou fll fW* produces thousand-years ferns 
=f a«and walking-sticks which are small and resemble the palmyra 
palm H £ (Borassus tflabelliformis). There is, further, the su-tsie 
bamboo ft US ti\ from which staves are abundantly made for the 
Buddhist and Taoist clergy, — all singular objects. According to the 
Hui tsui ft Jft, the fun jfi bamboo from the Cen River & JH is straight, 
without knots in its upper parts, and hollow." 

The Ko ku yao lun* states that the square bamboo is produced in 
western Se-Cwan, and also grows on the mountain Fei-lai-fun 5R 2& 4£ 
on the West Lake in Ce-kiafi; the knots of this bamboo are prickly, 
hence it is styled in Se-2*wan tseiufflft ("prickly bamboo"). 

According to the Min siao ki W /h ffi, 6 written by Cou Lian-kuA 
M ft X in the latter part of the seventeenth century, square bamboo 
and staves made from it are produced in the district of Yun-tifi jjc Jfe 
in the prefecture of T'iA-Sou and in the district of T'ai-nin ^ ^ in the 
prefecture of Sao-wu, both in Pu-kien Province. 7 

1 Ch. 3, p. io b (ed. of Lu Sin-yuan); see above, p. 268. 
1 In the prefecture of Liu-con, Kwan-si. 

* Explained in the commentary as the name of a locality, but its situation is 
not indicated and is unknown to me. 

4 The present Mou-min hien, forming the pref ectural city of Kao-cou fu, Kwan-tun* 

* Ch. 8, p. 9 (ed. of Si yin kOan Ls'uA i«). 

* Ed. of Swo Hn 9 p. 17. 

7 The San hat kin mentions the "narrow bamboo (hia lu jfc 41*) growing in 
abundance on the Tortoise Mountain"; and Kwo P'o (a.d. 276-324), in his com* 
mentary to this work, identifies with it the bamboo of Kiun. According to the 
Kwan U, the Kiun bamboo occurred in the districts of Nan-kwan f$| flf (at present 
Nan-k*i {$) 95) and Kiun-tu in Se-£*wan. The Memoirs of Mount Lo-fou (Lo-fou 
Ian ki) in Kwan-tun state that the Kiun bamboo was originally produced on Mount 
Kiun, being identical with that noticed by Can KHen in Ta-hia, and that village* 
elders use it as a staff. A treatise on bamboo therefore calls it the "bamboo support- 
ing the old M jfc % 4t • These texts are cited in the T'ai p'in yU Ian (Ch. 963, p. 3). 

Irano-Sinica— The Square Bamboo, Silk 537 

It is said to occur also in the prefecture of Tefi-2ou & JH, San-tufi 
Province, where it is likewise made into walking-sticks. 1 The latter 
being much in demand by Buddhist monks, the bamboo has received 
the epithet "Lo-han bamboo 19 (bamboo of the Arhat).' 

It is perfectly manifest that what was exported from Se-SVan by 
way of Yun-nan into India, and thence forwarded to Bactria, was the 
square bamboo in the form of walking-canes. India is immensely rich 
in bamboos; and only a peculiar variety, which did not exist in India, 
could have compensated for the trouble and cost which this long and 
wearisome trade-route must have caused in those days. For years, I 
must confess, it has been a source of wonder to me why Se-2*wan bamboo 
should have been carried as far as Bactria, until I encountered the text 
of the Pet hu lu, which gives a satisfactory solution of the problem. 8 

2. The most important article by which the Chinese became 
famously known in ancient times, of course, was silk. This subject is so 
extensive, and has so frequently been treated in special monographs, 
that it does not require recapitulation in this place. I shall only recall 
the fact that the Chinese silk materials, after traversing Central Asia, 
reached the Iranian Parthians, who acted as mediators in this trade 
with the anterior Orient. 4 It is assumed that the introduction of seri- 
culture into Persia, especially into Gilan, where it still flourishes, falls 
in the latter part of the Sasanian epoch. It is very probable that the 
acquaintance of the Khotanese with the rearing of silkworms, introduced 
by a Chinese princess in a.d. 419, gave the impetus to a further growth 
of this new industry in a western direction, gradually spreading to 
Yarkand, Fergana, and Persia.' Chinese brocade (diba4 tin) is fre- 
quently mentioned by FirdausI as playing a prominent part in Persian 
decorations. 6 He also speaks of a very fine and decorated Chinese silk 
under the name parniyan, corresponding to Middle Persian parnikdn. 1 
Iranian has a peculiar word for "silk," not yet satisfactorily explained: 
Pahlavi *apre§um, *apare§um; New Persian abreium, abreSam (Arme- 

1 San tun run ft, Ch. 9, p. 6. 

> See K'ien lu Jfr £, Ch. 4, p. 7 b (in YiU ya Van ts'un J«, Vao 24) and SU K'ien 
l«, CK 7, p. 2 b (ibid.). Cf. also Cu p*u sian lu fjr ft ft 4ft. written by Li K'an 
ifs flf in 1299 (Ch. 4, p. I b; ed. of Ci puisulai ts'un lu). 

* The speculations of J. Marquart (Eransahr, pp. 319-320) in regard to this 
bamboo necessarily fall to the ground. There is no misunderstanding on the part 
of Can K*ien, and the account of the Si ki is perfectly correct and clear. 

4 Hirth, Chinesische Studien, p. 10. 

1 Spiegel, Eranische Altertumskunde, Vol. I, p. 256. 

* J. J. Modi, Asiatic Papers, p. 254 (Bombay, 1905). 
7 H0BSCHMANN, Persische Studien, p. 242. 

538 Sino-Iranica 

nian, loan-word from Persian, aprisutn) ; hence Arabic ibarisam or 
ibrisam; Pamir dialects war Sum, warfiltn, Sugni wreidm, etc.; Afghan 
wreiam. 1 Certain it is that we have here a type not related to any 
Chinese word for "silk." In this connection I wish to register my utter 
disbelief in the traditional opinion, inaugurated by Klaproth, that 
Greek ser ("silk-worm"; hence Seres, Serica) should be connected with 
Mongol Sirgek and Manchu sirge ("silk"), the latter with Chinese se 
M. 2 My reasons for rejecting this theory may be stated as briefly as 
possible. I do not see how a Greek word can be explained from Mongol 
or Manchu, — languages which we merely know in their most recent 
forms, Mongol from the thirteenth and Manchu from the sixteenth 
century. Neither the Greek nor the Mongol-Manchu word can be 
correlated with Chinese se. The latter was never provided with a final 
consonant. Klaproth resorted to the hypothesis that in ancient dialects 
of China along the borders of the empire a final r might {peut-Ure) have 
existed. This, however, was assuredly not the case. We know that the 
termination V JS., so frequently associated with nouns in Pekingese, is 
of comparatively recent origin, and not older than the Yuan period 
(thirteenth century); the beginnings of this usage may go back to the 
end of the twelfth or even to the ninth century.* At any rate, it did not 
exist in ancient times when the Greek ser came into being. Moreover, 
this suffix V is not used arbitrarily: it joins certain words, while others 
take the suffix tse ■?, and others again do not allow any suffix. The 
word se, however, has never been amalgamated with V. In all probabil- 
ity, its ancient phonetic value was *si, sa. It is thus phonetically im- 
possible to derive from it the Mongol-Manchu word or Korean sir, 
added by Abel-Rimusat. I do not deny that this series may have its 
root in a Chinese word, but its parentage cannot be traced to se. I do 

1 HUbschmann, Ann. Gram., p. 107; Horn, Neupers. Etymologie, No. 65, 
The derivation from Sanskrit k$auma is surely wrong. Bulgar ibriSim, Rumanian 
ibrifin, are likewise connected with the Iranian series. 

1 Cf. Klaproth, Conjecture sur l'origine du nom de la soie chez les anciens 
(Journal asiatique. Vol. I, 1822, pp. 243-245, with additions by Abbl-Remusat, 
245-247); Asia polyglotta, p. 341; and Memoires relatifs a l'Asie, Vol. Ill, p. 264. 
Klaproth's opinion has been generally, but thoughtlessly, accepted (Hirth, op. 
cit. t p. 217; P. v. Richthofen, China, Vol. I, p. 443; Schradbr, Reallejrikon, p. 757). 
Pelliot {Voting Pao, 1912, p. 741), I believe, was the first to point out that Chinese 
se was never possessed of a final consonant. 

* See my note in T*oung Poo, 19 16, p. 77; and H. Maspero, Sur quelques testes 
anciens de chinois parte, p. 12. Maspero encountered the word mao'r (" cat ") in a text 
of the ninth century. It hardly makes any great difference whether we conceive V 
as a diminutive or as a suffix. Originally it may have had the force of a diminutive, 
and have gradually developed into a pure suffix. Cf. also P. Schmidt, K istorii 
kitaiskago razgovornago yazyka, in Sbornik stat'ei professorov, p. 19 (Vladivostok, 

I rano-Sinica — Silk, Peach and Apricot 539 

not believe, either, that Russian Solk ("silk"), as is usually stated (even 
by Dal'), is derived from Mongol Hrgek: first of all, the alleged phonetic 
coincidence is conspicuous by its absence; and, secondly, an ancient 
Russian word cannot be directly associated with Mongol; it would be 
necessary to trace the same or a similar word in Turkish, but there it 
does not exist; "silk" in Turkish is ipdk, torgu, torka, etc. It is more 
probable that the Russian word (Old Slavic Mk, Lithuanian szilkai), 
in the same maimer as our silk, is traceable to sericum. There is no 
reason to assume that the Greek words ser> Sera, Seres, etc., have 
their origin in Chinese. This series was first propagated by 
Iranians, and, in my opinion, is of Iranian origin (cf. New Persian 
sarah, "silk"; hence Arabic sarak). 

Persian kirnxaw or kamxab, kamxd, kimxa (Arabic kimxaw, Hin- 
dustani kantxab), designating a "gold brocade,' 1 as I formerly ex- 
plained, 1 may be derived from Chinese it 3E kin-hwa, *kim-xwa. 

3-4. Of fruits, the West is chiefly indebted to China for the peach 
(Atnygdaltts persica) and the apricot (Prunus armeniaca). It is not 
impossible that these two gifts were transmitted by the silk-dealers, 
first to Iran (in the second or first century B.C.), and thence to Armenia, 
Greece, and Rome (in the first century a.d.). In Rome the two trees appear 
as late as the first century of the Imperium, being mentioned as Persica 
and Armeniaca arbor by Pliny 1 and Columella. Neither tree is men- 
tioned by Theophrastus, which is to say that they were not noted 
in Asia by the staff of Alexander's expedition.* De Candolle has ably 
pleaded for China as the home of the peach and apricot, and Engler 4 
holds the same opinion. The zone of the wild apricot may well extend 
from Russian Turkistan to Sungaria, south-eastern Mongolia, and the 
Himalaya; but the historical fact remains that the Chinese have been 
the first to cultivate this fruit from ancient times. Previous authors 
have justly connected the westward migration of peach and apricot 
with the lively intercourse of China and western Asia following Can 
K*ien's mission. 6 Persian has only descriptive names for these fruits, 
the peach being termed Sqft-alu ("large plum"), the apricot eard-alu 

1 Toung Poo, 1916, p. 477; Yule, Hobson-Jobson, p. 484. 
1 xv, ix, 13. 

* De Candolle (Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 222) is mistaken in crediting 
Theophrastus with the knowledge of the peach. Joret (Plantes dans l'antiquitt, 
p. 79) has already pointed out this error, and it is here restated for the benefit of 
those botanists who still depend on de Candolle's book. 

4 In Hehn, Kulturpflanzen, p. 433. 

• Joret, op. cit., p. 81; Schrader in Hehn, p. 434. 

540 Sino-Iranica 

("yellow plum"). 1 Both fruits are referred to in Pahlavi literature 
(above, pp. 192, 193). 

As to the transplantation of the Chinese peach into India, we have 
an interesting bit of information in the memoirs of the Chinese pilgrim 
Huan Tsan.' At the time of the great Indo-Scythiqn king TTttni^^ 
whose fame spread all over the neighboring countries, the tribes west of 
the Yellow River (Ho-si in Kan-su) dreaded his power, and sent hostages 
to him. Kani§ka treated them with marked attention, and assigned to 
them special mansions and guards of honor. The country where the 
hostages resided in the winter received the name Clnabhukti ("China 
allotment," in the eastern Panjab). In this kingdom and throughout 
India there existed neither pear nor peach. These were planted by the 
hostages. The peach therefore was called ctnani ("Chinese fruit 99 ); 
and the pear, cinarajaftUra ("crown-prince of China"). These names 
are still prevalent.* Although Huan Tsaft recorded in a.d. 630 an oral 
tradition overheard by him in India, and relative to a time lying back 
over half a millennium, his well-tested trustworthiness cannot be 
doubted in this case: the story thus existed in India, and may indeed 
be traceable to an event that took place under the reign of Kanigka, 
the exact date of which is still controversial. 4 There are mainly two rea- 
sons which prompt me to accept Huan Tsafi's account. Prom a botani- 
cal point of view, the peach is not a native of India. It occurs there only 

1 In the Pamir languages we meet a common name for the apricot, Minjan 
Uri, WaxI liwan or loan (but Sariqoll *0f , Signi not). The same type occurs in the 
Dardu languages (jut or ji for the tree, jarote or jorote for the fruit, and juru for 
the ripe fruit) and in K&cmlrl (tser, tser-kut); further, in West-Tibetan lu-li or to4i f 
Balti sv~ri, Kanaurf hd (other Tibetan words for "apricot" are k*am-bu, o~$u, and 
So-rag, the last-named being dried apricots with little pulp and almost as hard as 
a stone). Klaproth (Journal asiatique, Vol. II, 1823, p. 159) has recorded in Bu- 
khara a word for the apricot in the form tserduli. It is not easy to determine how this 
type has migrated. Tomaschbk (Pamir-Dialekte, p. 791) is inclined to think that 
originally it might have been Tibetan, as Baltistan furnishes the best apricots. 
For my part, I have derived the Tibetan from the Pamir languages (Voung Poo, 
19x6, p. 82). The word is decidedly not Tibetan; and as to its origin, I should 
hesitate only between the Pamir and Dardu languages. 

1 Ta ran Si yH ki, Ch. 4, p. 5. 

1 There are a few other Indian names of products formed with "China": 
Anapifla ("minium"), cinaka ("Panicum miliaceum, fennel, a kind of camphor"), 
dnakarpOra ("a kind of camphor"), rtnavanga ("lead"). 

4 Cf. V. A. Smith, Early History of India, 3d ed., p. 263 (I do not believe with 
Smith that "the territory of the ruler to whose family the hostages belonged seems 
to have been not very distant from Kashgar"; the Chinese term Ho-si, at the time 
of the Han, comprised the present province of Kan-su from Lan-cou to An-si); 
T. Waiters, On Yuan Chwang's Travels, Vol. I, pp. 292-293 (his comments on 
file story of the peach miss the mark, and his notes on the name Clna are erroneous; 
see also Pelliot, Bull, de VEcole frangaise, VoL V, p. 457). 

Irano-Sinica — Peach, Cinnamon 541 

in a cultivated state, and does not even succeed well, the fruit being 
mediocre and acid. 1 There is no ancient Sanskrit name for the tree; nor 
does it play any r61e in the folk-lore of India, as it does in China. Fur- 
ther, as regards the time of the introduction, whether the reign of 
Kan i $ka be placed in the first century before or after our era, it is 
singularly synchronous with the transplantation of the tree into western 

5. As indicated by the Persian name ddr-Zini or dar-iin ("Chinese 
wood" or "bark"; Arabic dar ffni), cinnamon was obtained by the 
Persians and Arabs from China.* Ibn Khordadzbeh, who wrote between 
aj>. 844 and 848, is the first Arabic author who enumerates cinnamon 
among the products exported from China. 8 The Chinese export cannot 
have assumed large dimensions: it is not alluded to in Chinese records, 
Cao 2u-kwa is reticent about it. 4 Ceylon was always the main seat of 
cinnamon production, and the tree {Cinnamomum zeylanicum) is a native 
of the Ceylon forests. 5 The bark of this tree is also called dar-cini. It 
is well known that cassia and cinnamon are mentioned by classical 
authors, and have given rise to many sensational speculations as to the 
origin of the cinnamon of the ancients. Herodotus 6 places cinnamon in 
Arabia, and tells a wondrous story as to how it is gathered. Theo- 
phrastus 7 seeks the home of cassia and cinnamomum, together with 
frankincense and myrrh, in the Arabian peninsula about Saba, Had- 
ramyt, Kitibaina, and Mamali. Strabo 8 locates it in the land of the 
Sabaeans, in Arabia, also in Ethiopia and southern India; finally he has 
a "cinnamon-bearing country' 9 at the end of the habitable countries 
of the south, on the shore of the Indian ocean. 9 Pliny 10 has cinnamomum 
or cinnamum grow in the country of the Ethiopians, and it is carried 
over sea on rafts by the Troglodytae. 

1 C. Joret, Plantes dans l'antiquitl, Vol. II, p. 281. 

* Lbclbrc, Traite" des simples, Vol. II, pp. 68, 272. The loan-word darUenih 
in Armenian proves that the word was known in Middle Persian (*dar-i Senile); cf. 
HttBSCHMANN, Armen. Gram., p. 137. 

• G. Fbrkand, Testes relatifs a rExtreme-Orient, p. 31. 

4 Schopf (Periplus, p. 83) asserts that between the third and sixth centuries 
there was an active sea-trade in this article in Chinese ships from China to Persia. 
No reference is given. I wonder from what source this is derived. 

* De Candollb, Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 146; Watt, Commercial Prod* 
ucts of India, p. 313. 

•m, 107, in. 

1 Hist, plant., DC. rv, a. 

■ XV. rv, 19; XVI. rv, 25; XV. 1, 22. 

• I. iv, 2. 

542 Sino-Iranica 

The descriptions given of cinnamon and cassia by Theophrastus 1 
show that the ancients did not exactly agree on the identity of these 
plants, and Theophrastus himself speaks from hearsay ("In regard to 
cinnamon and cassia they say the following: both are shrubs, it is said, 
and not of large size. . . . Such is the account given by some. Others 
say that cinnamon is shrubby or rather like an under-brush, and that 
there are two kinds, one black, the other white")- The difference be- 
tween cinnamon and cassia seems to have been that the latter possessed 
stouter branches, was very fibrous, and difficult to strip off the bark. 
This bark was used; it was bitter, and had a pungent odor. 2 

Certain it is that the two words are of Semitic origin. 8 The fact that 
there is no cinnamon in Arabia and Ethiopia was already known to 
Garcia da Orta. 4 An unfortunate attempt has been made to trace 
the cinnamon of the ancients to the Chinese.' This theory has thus 
been formulated by Muss-Arnolt: 6 "This spice was imported by 
Phoenician merchants from Egypt, where it is called khisi-t. The 
Egyptians, again, brought it from the land of Punt, to which it was 
imported from Japan, where we have it under the form kei-chi ('branch 
of the cinnamon-tree '), or better kei-shin ('heart of the cinnamon ') 
[read sin, *sim]. The Japanese itself is again borrowed from the Chinese 
kei-H [?]. The -t in the Egyptian represents the feminine suffix." As 
may be seen from O. Schrader, 7 this strange hypothesis was first put 
forward in 1883 by C. Schumann. Schrader himself feels somewhat 
sceptic about it, and regards the appearance of Chinese merchandise on 
the markets of Egypt at such an early date as hardly probable. From a 
sinological viewpoint, this speculation must be wholly rejected, both 
in its linguistic and its historical bearings. Japan was not in existence 
in 1500 B.C., when cinnamon-wood of the country Punt is spoken of in 
the Egyptian inscriptions; and China was then a small agrarian inland 
community restricted to the northern part of the present empire, and 

1 Hist, plant., IX. v, 1-3. 
1 Theophrastus, IX. v, 3. 

• Greek Koala is derived from Hebrew qest'd, perhaps related to Assyrian kasu, 
kasiya (Pognon, Journal asiatique, 19 17, I, p. 400). Greek kinnamomon is traced 
to Hebrew qinnamdn (Exodus, xxx, 23). 

4 Ma&kham, Colloquies, pp. 1 19-120. 

• Thus also FlOckigbr and Hanburt (Pharmacographia, p. 520), whose 
argumentation is not sound, as it lacks all sense of chronology. The Persian term 
dar-ctnt, for instance, is strictly of mediaeval origin, and cannot be invoked as evidence 
for the supposition that cinnamon was exported from China many centuries before 

• Transactions Am. Phil. Assoc., Vol. XXIII, 1892, p. 115. 
7 Reallexikon, p. 989. 

IranoSinica— Cinnamon 543 

not acquainted with any Cassia trees of the south. Certainly there was 
no Chinese navigation and sea-trade at that time. The Chinese word 
kwei it (*kwai, kwi) occurs at an early date, but it is a generic term for 
Lauraceae; and there are about thirteen species of Cassia, and about 
sixteen species of Cinnamomum y m China. The essential point is that the 
ancient texts maintain silence as to cinnamon; that is, the product from 
the bark of the tree. Cinnamomum cassia is a native of Kwan-si, Kwan- 
tun, and Indo-China ; and the Chinese made its first acquaintance under 
the Han, when they began to colonize and to absorb southern China. 
The first description of this species is contained in the Nan fan is % ao 
mu Zwan of the third century. 1 This work speaks of large forests of this 
tree covering the mountains of Kwan-tun, and of its cultivation in 
gardens of Kiao-& (Tonking). It was not the Chinese, but non-Chinese 
peoples of Indo-China, who first brought the tree into cultivation, which, 
like all other southern cultivations, was simply adopted by the con- 
quering Chinese. The medicinal employment of the bark {kwei p % i 
t£ iJt) is first mentioned by T'ao Hun-kin (a.d. 451-536), and probably 
was not known much earlier. It must be positively denied, however, 
that the Chinese or any nation of Indo-China had any share in the 
trade which brought cinnamon to the Semites, Egyptians, or Greeks 
at the time of Herodotus or earlier. The earliest date we may assume 
for any navigation from the coasts of Indo-China into the Indian Ocean 
is the second century B.C. 2 The solution of the cinnamon problem of 
the ancients seems simpler to me than to my predecessors. First, there 
is no valid reason to assume that what our modern botany understands 
by Cassia and Cinnamomum must be strictly identical with the products 
so named by the ancients. Several different species are evidently in- 
volved. It is perfectly conceivable that in ancient times there was a 
fragrant bark supplied by a certain tree of Ethiopia or Arabia or both, 
which is either extinct or unknown to us, or, as Fee inclines to think, 
a species of Amyris. It is further legitimate to conclude, without forc- 
ing the evidence, that the greater part of thecinnamon supply came from 
Ceylon and India, 8 India being expressly included by Strabo. This, at 
least, is infinitely more reasonable than acquiescing in the wild fantasies 
of a Schumann or Muss-Arnolt, who lack the most elementary knowl- 
edge of East-Asiatic history. 

6. The word " China " in the names of Persian and Arabic products, 

1 The more important texts relative to the subject are accessible in Brbt- 
SCHNBIDBR, Bot. Sin., pt. Ill, No. 303. 

1 Cf. Pkllxot, Toung Pao, 1912, pp. 457-461. 

* The Malabar cinnamon is mentioned by Marco Polo (Yule's ed., Vol. II, 
p. 389) and others. 

544 Sino-Iranica 

or the attribution of certain products to China, is not always to be 
understood literally. Sometimes it merely refers to a far-eastern 
product, sometimes even to an Indian product, 1 and sometimes to 
products handled and traded by the Chinese, regardless of their pro- 
venience. Such cases, however, are exceptions. As a rule, these Persian- 
Arabic terms apply to actual products of China. 

Schlimmeu* mentions under the name Killingea tnonocephola the 
zedoary of China: according to Piddington's Index Plantarum, it should 
be the plant furnishing the famous root known in Persia as jadware 
xitai ("Chinese jadv&r"); genuine specimens are regarded as a divine 
panacea, and often paid at the fourfold price of fine gold. The identifica- 
tion, however, is hardly correct, for K. tnonocephola is kin niu ts'ao 
4fc 4 1 3? in Chinese, 8 which hardly holds an important place in the 
Chinese pharmacopoeia. The plant which Schlimmer had in mind 
doubtless is Curcuma zedoaria, a native of Bengal and perhaps of China 
and various other parts of Asia. 4 It is called in Sanskrit nirvi$a (" poison* 
less") or $ida, in Kufia or Tokharian B viralom or wiralom* Persian jad~ 
var, Arabic zadvar (hence our zedoary, French zedoaire). Abu Mansur 
describes it as zarvar, calling it an Indian remedy similar to Costus and 
a good antidote. 6 In the middle ages it was a much-desired article of 
trade bought by European merchants in the Levant, where it was sold 
as a product of the farthest east. 7 Persian zarumbad, Arabic zeronbad, 
designating an aromatic root similar to zedoary, resulted in our ser- 
utnbet.* While it is not certain that Curcuma zedoaria occurs in China 
(a Chinese name is not known to me), it is noteworthy that the Persians, 
as indicated above, ascribe to the root a Chinese origin: thus also 
kaiur (from Sanskrit karcura) is explained in the Persian Dictionary of 

1 Such an example I have given in Foung Pao, 1915, p. 319: 6U, an edible 
aconite, does not occur in China, as stated by Damlrl, but in India. In regard to 
cubebs, however, Garcia da Orta (C. Markham, Colloquies, p. 169) was mis- 
taken in denying that they were grown in China, and in asserting that they are 
called kab&b-llni only because they are brought by the Chinese. As I have 
shown (ibid., pp. 282-288), cubebs were cultivated in China from the Sung period 

1 Terminologie, p. 335. 

'Also this identification is doubtful (Stuart, Chinese Materia Medica, 
p. 228). 

4 W. Roxburgh, ' Flora Indica, p. 8; Watt, Commercial Products of India* 
p. 444, and Dictionary, Vol. II, p. 669. 

1 S. Levi, Journal asiatique, 1911, II, pp. 123, 138. 

* Achundow, Abu Mansur, p. 79. See also Lrclerc, Traite* des simples, VoL I, 
p. 347- 

7 W. Hbtd, Histoire du commerce du levant, VoL II, p. 676. 
1 Yule, Hobson-Jobson, p. 979. 

Irano-Sinica— Zedoary, Ginger 545 

Steingass as "zedoary, a Chinese root/' Further, we read under mah- 
parwdr or parwtn, "zedoary* a Chinese root like ginger, but perfumed." 

7. Abu Mansur distinguishes under the Arabic name zanjabil three 
kinds of ginger (product of Amomum zingiber, or Zingiber officinale), — 
Chinese, Zanzibar, and Melinawi or Zurunb&j, the best being the 
Chinese. 1 According to Steingass, 1 Persian anqala denotes "a kind 
of China ginger." 8 The Persian word (likewise in Arabic) demonstrates 
that the product was received from India: compare Prakrit singabera, 
Sanskrit tfngavera (of recent origin), 4 Old Arabic zangabil, Pahlavi 
Sangamr, New Persian iankaRl, Arabic-Persian zanjabil, Armenian 
snrvel or snkrvil (from *singivel), Greek fiyylffepis, Latin zingiberi; 
Madagasy iakaviru (Indian loan-word). 6 

The word galangal, denoting the aromatic rhizome of Alpinia 
galanga, is not of Chinese origin, as first supposed by D. Hanbury, 6 
and after him by Hirth 7 and Giles. 8 The error was mainly provoked 
by the fact that the Arabic word from which the European name is 
derived was wrongly written by Hanbury khalanjan, while in fact it is 
khulanjan (xulandSan), Persian xawalinjan. The fact that Ibn Khor- 
dadzbeh, who wrote about a.d. 844-848, mentions khulanjan as one of 
the products of China, 9 does not prove that the Arabs received this 
word from China; for this rhizome is not a product peculiar to China, 
but is intensively grown in India, and there the Arabs made the first 
acquaintance of it. Ibn al-Bait&r 10 states expressly that khulanjan 
comes from India; and, as was recognized long ago, the Arabic word 
is derived from Sanskrit kulaflja, 11 which denotes Alpinia galanga. 
The European forms with ng (galangan, galgan, etc.) were suggested by 
the older Arabic pronunciation khMangan. 1 * In Middle Greek we have 

1 Achundow, Abu Mansur, p. 76. 

* Persian Dictionary, p. 113. 

* Concerning ginger among the Arabs, cf. Lecxerc, Traits des simples, Vol. II, 
p. 217; and regarding its preparation, see G. Femland, Testes relatifs a l'Extrenie- 
Orient, p. 609. 

4 Cf. the discussion of E. Hultzsch and F. W. Thomas in Journal Roy. As. Soc. t 
19x2, pp. 475, 1093. See also Yulb, Hobson-Jobson, p. 374. 

'The carious word for "ginger" in Kuca or Tokharian B, to&nkaro (S. Levi, 
Journal asiaiique, 191 1, II, pp. 124, 137), is not yet explained. 

* Science Papers, p. 373. 

T Chinesische Studien, p. 219. 
1 Glossary of Reference, p. 102. 

* G. Femland, Testes relatifs a llSxtreme-Orient, p. 31. 
10 Ibid., p. 259. Cf. also Achundow, Abu Mansur, p. 60. 

u RoEDiGER and Pott, Z. K. d. Morgcnl., Vol. VII, 1850, p. 128. 
n E. Wiedemann (Sitsber. Phys.-Med. Sot. Erl., Vol. XLV, 1913, p. 44) gives 
as Arabic forms also xaulangaa* and xolang&n. 

546 Sino-Iranica 

Kakobrtia, xav\i{ij% and ydkayyi; in Russian, kalgdn. The whole group 
has nothing to do with Chinese kao-lian-kiah} Moreover, the latter 
refers to a different species, Alpinia officinarum; while Alpinia galanga 
does not occur in China, but is a native of Bengal, Assam, Burma, 
Ceylon, and the Konkan. Garcia da Orta was already well posted on 
the differences between the two. 2 

8. Abu Mansur mentions the medical properties of mamlran* 
According to Achundow, 4 a rhizome originating from China, and 
called in Turkistan momiran, is described by Dragendorff, and is re- 
garded by him as identical with the so-called mishmee (from Coptis 
teeta Wall.), which is said to be styled mamiractn in the Caucasus. He 
further correlates the same drug with Ranunculus ficaria (xcXiMptop 
t6 futcp6v) } subsequently described by the Arabs under the name 
mamirun. Al-Jafiki is quoted by Ibn al-Bait&r as saying that the 
tnomiran comes from China, and that its properties come near to 
those of Curcuma? these roots, however, are also a product of Spain, 
the Berber country, and Greece. 6 The Sheikh Daad says that the best 
which comes from India is blackish, while that of China is yellowish. 
Ibn Batata 7 mentions the importation of tnomiran from China, saying 
that it has the same properties as kurkum. Hajji Mahomed, in his 
account of Cathay (ca. 1550), speaks of a little root growing in the 
mountains of Succuir (Su-Sou in Kan-su), where the rhubarb grows, 
and which they call Mambroni Cirri (mdmiran4 Cini, "mamiran of 
China")- "This is extremely dear, and is used in most of their ail- 
ments, but especially where the eyes are affected. They grind it on 
a stone with rose-water, and anoint the eyes with it. The result is 
wonderfully beneficial." 8 In 1583 Leonhart Rauwolf 9 mentions 

1 Needless to say that the vivisections of Hirth, who did not know the Sanskrit 
term, lack philological method. 

* Markham, Colloquies, p. 208. Garcia gives laoandou as the name used in 
China; this is apparently a corrupted Malayan form (cf . Javanese loos). In Java, he 
says, there is another larger kind, called lancuat; in India both are styled lancua*. This 
is Malayan lefik&was, Makasar lafikuwasa, Cam lakuah or lakuak, Tagalog loAkuas. 
The Arabic names are written by Garcia calvegiam, chamligiam, and galungem; the 
author's Portuguese spelling, of course, must be taken into consideration. 

* Achundow, Abu Mansur, p. 138. 

* Ibid., p. 268. 

• Lbclbrc, Traite* des simples, Vol. II, p. 441. Dioscorides remarks that the 
sap of this plant has the color of saffron. 

• In Byzantine Greek it is /Mvufpl or /Kwptr, derived from the Persian-Arabic 

7 Ed. of Dbfrembrt and Sanguinetti, Vol. II, p. 186. 

8 Yule, Cathay, new ed., Vol. I, p. 292. 

• Beschreibung der Raiss inn die Morgenlander, p. 126. 

Irano-Sinica — Mamiran, Rhubarb 547 

the drug mamirani ichini for eye-diseases, being yellowish like Curcuma. 

Bernier mentions mamiran as one of the products brought by the 
caravans from Tibet. Also according to a modern Mohammedan source, 
mamiran and rhubarb are exported from Tibet. 1 

Mamlra is a reputed drug for eye-diseases, applied to bitter roots 
of kindred properties but of different origin. By some it is regarded as 
the rhizome of Coptis teeta (tita being the name of the drug in the Mishmi 
country) ; by others, from ThaHctrum foliosum, a tall plant common 
throughout the temperate Himalaya and in the Kasia Hills. 1 In another 
passage, however, Yule 8 suggests that this root might be the ginseng 
of the Chinese, which is highly improbable. 

It is most likely that by mamira is understood in general the root of 
Coptis teeta. This is a ranunculaceous plant, and the root has some- 
times the appearance of a bird's claw. It is shipped in large quantities 
from China (Chinese hwah-lien Jf 5ft) via Singapore to India. The 
Chinese regard it as a panacea for a great many ills; among others, for 
clearing inflamed eyes. 

9. Abu Mansur discriminates between two kinds of rhubarb, — the 
Chinese (riwand-i sini) and that of Khorasan, adding that the former 
is most employed. 4 Accordingly a species of rhubarb (probably Rheum 
ribes) must have been indigenous to Persia. YftqQt says that the finest 
kind grew in the soil of NlSapflr. 6 According to E. Boissier,' Rheum 
ribes occurs near Van and in Agerowdagh in Armenia, on Mount Pir 
Omar Gudrun in Kurdistan, in the Daena Mountain of eastern Persia, 
near Persepolis, in the province Aderbeijan in northern Persia, and in 
the mountains of Baluchistan. There is a general Iranian name for 
"rhubarb": Middle Persian rewds, New Persian rewds, rewand, riwand 
(hence Armenian erevant), Kurd riwds, ribas; BaluSi rava!; Afghan 
rawdS. 7 The Persian name has penetrated in the same form into Arabic 

1 Ch. Schefer, Histoire de l'Asie centrale par Mir Abdoul Kerim Boukhary, 
p. 239. Cf. also R. Dozy, Supplement aux dictionnaires arabes, Vol. II, p. 565. 

1 Yule, Hobson-Jobson, p. 548. 

* Cathay, Vol. I, p. 292. 

4 Achumdow, Abu Mansur, p. 74. Chinese rhubarb is also called simply foil 
("Chinese") in Persian, firii in Arabic. 

1 Barbikr de Meynard, Diet, geogr. de la Perse, p. 579. 

• Flora Orientalis, VoL IV, p. 1004. Rheum ribes does not occur in China or 
Central Asia. 

7 The Afghan word in particular refers to Rheum spiciforme, which grows wild 
and abundantly in many parts of Afghanistan. When green, the leaf-stalks are 
called rawdS; and when blanched by heaping up stones and gravel around them, 
tukri; when fresh, they are eaten either raw or cooked (Watt, Dictionary, Vol. VI, 
p. 487). The species under notice occurs also in Kan-su, China: Forbes and 

548 Sino-Iranica 

and Turkish, likewise into Russian as reven 9 and into Serbian as reved. 
It is assumed also that Greek /Hjof (from *rewon) and fra are derived from 
Iranian, and it is more than likely that Iran furnished the rhubarb 
known to the ancients. The two Greek names first appear in Dios- 
corides, 1 who states that the plant grows in the regions beyond the 
Bosporus, for which reason it was subsequently styled rha ponticum 
or rha barbarian (hence our rhubarb, Spanish ruibarbo, Italian rabarbaro, 
French rhubarbs), — an interesting case analogous to that of the Hu 
plants of the Chinese. In the fourth century, Ammianus Marcellinus 1 
states that the plant receives its name from the River Rha (*Pd, Finnish 
Rau, Rawa), on the banks of which it grows. This is the Volga, but the 
plant does not occur there. It is clear that Ammianus' opinion is 
erroneous, being merely elicited by the homophony of the names of 
the plant and the river. Pliny 9 describes a root termed rhacoma, which 
when pounded yields a color like that of wine but inclining to saffron, 
and which was brought from beyond the Pontus. Certain it is that 
this drug represents some species of Rheum, in my opinion identical 
with that of Iran. 4 There is no reason to speculate, as has been done by 
some authors, that the rhubarb of the ancients came from China; for 
the Chinese did not know rhubarb, as formerly assumed, from time 
immemorial. This is shown at the outset by the composite name ta 
hwan ^C H ("the great yellow one") or hwah liah H &("the yellow 
good one"), merely descriptive attributes, while for all genuinely ancient 
plants there is a root-word of a single syllable. The alleged mention of 
rhubarb in the Pen kin or Pen is % ao, attributed to the mythical Emperor 
Sen-nufi, proves nothing; that work is entirely spurious, and the text 
in which we have it at present is a reconstruction based on quotations 
in the preserved Petirts % ao literature, and teems with interpolations and 
anachronisms.* All that is certain is that rhubarb was known to the 

Hemsley, Journal Linnean Soc. t Vol. XXVI, p. 355. There is accordingly no rea- 
son to seek for an outside origin of the Iranian word (cf. Schradbr, Realtarikoo, 
p. 685). The Iranian word originally designated an indigenous Iranian species, 
and was applied to Rheum officinale and palmaium from the tenth century onward, 
when the roots of these species were imported from China. 

1 in, 2. Theophrastus is not acquainted with this genus. 

1 XXII. vm, 28. 

• xxvn, 105. 

4 FlOckigbr and Hanbury (Pharmacographia, p. 493) state, "Whether pro- 
duced in the regions of the Etutine (Pontus), or merely received thence from remoter 
countries, is a question that cannot be solved/' The authors are not acquainted 
with the Iranian species, and their scepticism is not justified. 

• It is suspicious that, according to Wu P*u of the third century, Sen Nun and 
Lei Kun ascribed poisonous properties to ta hwan, while this in fact is not true. 
The Pen kin (according to others, the Pie lu) states that it is non-poisonous. 

Irano-Sinica— Rhubarb 549 

Chinese in the age of the Han, for the name ta hwan occurs on one of 
the wooden tablets of that period discovered in Turkistan by Sir A. 
Stein and deciphered by Chavannes. 1 

Abu Mansur, as cited above, is the first Persian author who speaks 
of Chinese rhubarb. He is followed by a number of Arabic writers. 
It is therefore reasonable to infer that only in the course of the tenth 
century did rhubarb develop into an article of trade from China to 
western Asia. In 1154 Edrlsi mentions rhubarb as a product of China 
growing in the mountains of Buthink (perhaps north-eastern Tibet). 2 
Ibn Sa*Id, who wrote in the thirteenth century, speaks of the abundance 
of rhubarb in China. 8 Ibn al-Bait&r treats at great length of rawend, 
by which he understands Persian and Chinese rhubarb, 4 and of ribas, 
"very common in Syria and the northern countries," identified by 
Leclerc with Rheum ribes.* 

Marco Polo relates that rhubarb is found in great abundance over 
all mountains of the province of Sukchur (Su-Sou in Kan-su), and that 
merchants go there to buy it, and carry it thence all over the 
world. 6 In another passage he attributes rhubarb also to the mountains 
around the city of Su-2ou in Kian-su, 7 which, Yule says, is believed by 
the most competent authorities to be quite erroneous. True it is that 
rhubarb has never been found in that province or anywhere in middle 
China; neither is there an allusion to this in Chinese accounts, which 
restrict the area of the plant to Sen-si, Kan-su, Se-S*wan, and Tibet. 
Nevertheless it would not be impossible that at Polo's time a sporadic 
attempt was made to cultivate rhubarb in the environs of Su-2ou. Friar 
Odoric mentions rhubarb for the province Kansan (Kan-su), growing 
in such abundance that you may load an ass with it for less than six 

Chinese records tell us very little about the export-trade in this 
article. £ao 2u-kwa alone mentions rhubarb among the imports of 

1 Documents chinois decouverts dans les sables du Turkestan oriental, p. 115, 
No. 527. 

1 W. Hbyd, Histoxre du commerce du levant, Vol. II, p. 665. See also PlOckigbr 
and Hanbury, Pharmacographia, pp. 493-494. 

1 G. Fbrrand, Testes relatif s a l'Extreme-Orient, p. 350. 

4 Leclerc, Traite* des simples, Vol. II, pp. 155-164. 

1 Ibid., p. 190. This passage was unknown to me when I identified above the 
Persian term rhoand with this species, arriving at this conclusion simply by consult- 
ing Boissier's Flora. 

• Yulb, Marco Polo, Vol I, p. 217. 

T Ibid., Vol. II, p. 181. 

1 Yulb, Cathay, VoL II, p. 247. 

550 Sino-Iranica 

San-fu-ts'i (Palembang) and Malabar. 1 In vain also should we look in 
Chinese books for anything on the subject that would correspond to the 
importance attached to it in the West. 

Garcia da Orta (1562) held it for certain that "all the rhubarb 
that comes from Ormuz to India first comes from China to Ormuz by 
the province of Uzbeg which is part of Tartary. The fame is that it 
comes from China by land, but some say that it grows in the same 
province, at a city called £amarcander (Samarkand) .* But this is very 
bad and of little weight. Horses are purged with it in Persia, and I 
have also seen it so used in Balagate. It seems to me that this is the 
rhubarb which in Europe we called ravatn turquino, not because it is 
of Turkey but from there." He emphasizes the point that there is so 
other rhubarb than that from China, and that the rhubarb coming to 
Persia or Uzbeg goes thence to Venice and to Spain; some goes to 
Venice by way of Alexandria, a good deal by Aleppo and Syrian Tripoli, 
all these routes being partly by sea, but chiefly by land; 3 the rhubarb 
is not so much powdered, for it is more rubbed in a month at sea than in 
a year going by land. 4 As early as the thirteenth century at least, as we 
see from Ibn al-Bait&r, what was known to the Arabs as "rhubarb of 
the Turks or the Persians," in fact hailed from China. In the same 
manner, it was at a later time that in Europe "Russian, Turkey, and 
China rhubarb" were distinguished, these names being merely in- 
dicative of the various routes by which the drug was conveyed to 
Europe from China. 6 Also Christoval Acosta notes the corruption 
of rhubarb at sea and its overland transportation to Persia, Arabia, 
and Alexandria. 4 

1 Hirth, Chau Ju-kua, pp. 61, 88. 

1 Probably Rheum ribcs, mentioned above, 

* Leonhart Rauwolf (Beschreibung der Raiss inn die Morgenlander, 1583, 
p. 461) reports that large quantities of rhubarb are shipped from India to Aleppo 
both by sea and by land. 

4 Cf. Markham, Colloquies, pp. 390-392. 

* In regard to the Russian trade in rhubarb see G. Cahbn, Le livre de oomptes 
de la caravane russe a P6kin, p. 108 (Paris, 191 1). 

* Reobarbaro (medicina singular, y digna de ser de todo el linage humano ve- 
nerada) se halla solamente dentro de la China, de donde lo traen a vender a Cataon 
(que es el puerto de mas comerdo de la China, donde estan los Portugueses) y de 
alii viene por mar a la India: y deste que viene por mar no se haze mucho caso, por 
venir, por la mayor parte oorropido (por quanto el Reobarbaro se corrope co mucha 
facilidad enla mar) y dela misma tierra d^ro de la China, lo Ueuan a la Tartaria, 
y por la prouincia de Vzbeque lo Ueua a Ormuz, y a toda la Persia, Arabia, y Alex* 
adria: de dode se distribuye por toda la Europa (Tractado de las drogas, y medicinas 
de las Indias Orientales, p. 287, Burgos, 1576). Cf. also Linschotkn (VoL II, 
p. 101, ed. of Hakluyt Society), who, as in most of his notices of Indian products, 
exploits Garcia. 

Irano-Sinica— Rhubarb, Various Plants 551 

John Gerarde 1 illustrates the rhubarb-plant and annotates, "It 
is brought out of the countrie of Sina (commonly called China) which 
is towarde the east in the upper part of India, and that India which is 
without the river Ganges: and not at all Ex Scenitarum provincia, 
(as many do unadvisedly thinke) which is in Arabia the happie, and far 
from China/' etc. "The best rubarbe is that which is brought from 
China fresh and newe," etc. 

Watt* gives a Persian term revande-hindi ("Indian rhubarb") for 
Rheum emodi. Curiously, in Hindustani this is called Hindi-revand 
lint ("Chinese rhubarb of India"), and in Bengali Bangla-revan tint 
("Chinese rhubarb of Bengal"), indicating that the Chinese product 
was preeminently in the minds of the people, and that the Himalayan 
rhubarbs were only secondary substitutes. 

10. Abu Mansur * mentions under the Arabic name ratta sl fruit 
called "Indian hazel-nut" (bunduq-i hindi), also Chinese Salsola kali. 
It is the size of a small plum, contains a small blackish stone, and 
is brought from China. It is useful in chronic diseases and in cases of 
poisoning, and is hot and dry in the second degree. This is Sapindus 
tnukorossi, in Chinese wu (or mu)-hwan-tse & (or TfC) A ■? (with a 
number of synonymes), the seeds being roasted and eaten. 

11. Arabic suk, sl drug composed of several ingredients, according 
to Ibn Sina, was originally a secret Chinese remedy formed with atnlaj 
(Sanskrit dmalaka, Phyllanthus emblica, the emblic myrobalan). 4 It 
is the ^mW)an-mv-b, *an-mwa-lak, of the Chinese.' In Persian it 
is amala or amula. 

12. Persian guli xaira (xairu) is explained as Chinese and Persian 
hollyhock (Althaa rosea).* This is the $u k % wei 59 3£ ("mallow of Se- 
£*wan") of the Chinese, also called hin kivei ("mallow of the 2un"). 
It is the common hollyhock, which Stuart 7 thinks may have been 
originally introduced into China from some western country. 

13. Ibn al-Bait&r* speaks of a "rose of China" (ward sini), usually 
called nisrin. According to Leclerc, this is a malvaceous plant. In 
Persian we find gul-ftni ("rose of China"), the identification of which, 

1 The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes, p. 317 (London, 1597). 
» Dictionary, Vol. VI, p. 486. 

• Achundow, Abu Mansur, p. 74. 
4 E. Sbidel, Mechithar, p. 215. 

• Pen ts'ao kan mu t Ch. 30, p. 5 b; Fan yi min yi tsi, Ch. 8, p. 1. Stuart (Chinese 
Materia Medica, p. 421) wrongly identifies the name with Spondias amara. 

6 Stbingass, Persian Dictionary, p. 1092. 

7 Chinese Materia Medica, p. 33. 

1 Lbclbrc, Traits des simples, Vol. Ill, pp. 369, 409. 

552 Sino-Iranica 

judging from what Steingass says, is not exactly known. The Arabic 
author, further, has a iafc-ffni ("Chinese king"), described as a drag 
in the shape of small, thin, and black tabloids prepared from the sap 
of a plant. It is useful as a refrigerant for feverish headache and in- 
flamed tumors. It is reduced to a powder and applied to the diseased 
spot. 1 Leclerc annotates that, according to the Persian treatises, this 
plant originating from China, as indicated by its name, is serviceable 
for headache in general. DimaSkJ, who wrote about 1325, ascribes 
Sahrtini to the island of Cankhay in the Malayan Archipelago, saying 
that its leaves are known under the name "betel." 2 Steingass, in 
his Persian Dictionary, explains the term as "the expressed juice of 
a plant brought from China, good for headaches." I do not know what 
plant is understood here. 

14. According to Ibn al-Baitar, the mango (Arabic anba) is 
found only in India and China. 9 This is Mangifera indica (family 
Anacardiaceae), a native of India, and the queen of the Indian fruits, 
counting several hundreds of varieties. Its Sanskrit name is amra 9 
known to the Chinese in the transcription % S an-b, *am-la(ra). 
Persian amba and Arabic anba are derived from the same word. During 
the Tang period the fruit was grown in Fergana. 4 Malayan manga 
(like our mango) is based on Tamil mangos , and is the foundation of the 
Chinese transcription mun Wt . The an-lo tree is first mentioned for 
Cen-la (Camboja) in the Sui Annals, 5 where its leaves are compared 
with those of the jujube (Zizyphus vulgaris), and its fruits with those 
of a plum (Prunu& tri flora). 

15. I§ak Ibn Amrfin says, "Sandal is a wood that comes to us from 
China.' 16 Sanialum album is grown in Kwafi-tuft to some extent, but it 
is more probable that the sandal-wood used in western Asia came from 
India (cf. Persian Zandan, fandal, Armenian Zandan, Arabic fandal, 
from Sanskrit candana). 

16. Ant&kl notes the xalen tree ("birch") in India and China; and 
Ibn al-Keblr remarks that it is particularly large in China, in the 
country of the Rfls (Russians) and Bulg&r, where are made from it 
vessels and plates which are exported to distant places; the arrows 
made of this wood are unsurpassed. According to Qazwlnl and Ibn 

1 Ibid,, p. 314. 

1 G. Fbrband, Testes relatifs a rExtrftme-Orient, p. 381. 

* Lbclbrc, Traits des simples, VoL II, p. 471. Cf. Ibn Batata, ed. of Db- 
fr£mery and Sanguinetti, Vol. Ill, p. 127; Yulb, Hobson-Jobson, p. 553. 

* Tai p % i* hwan yU ki, Ch. 181, p. 13 b. 
1 Sui Jfit, Ch. 82, p. 3 b. 

* Lbclbrc, op. cit. t p. 383. 

Irano-Sinica— Mango, Bikgh, Tea 553 

Facjlta, the tree occurred in Tabarist&n, whence its wood reached the 
comb-makers of Rei. 1 The Arabic xalen, Persian xadan or xadanj, 
is of Altaic origin: Uigur qadan, Koibal, Soyot and Karagas kaden, 
CuwaS xoran, Yakut zatyn, Mordwinian kilen, all referring to the birch 
(Betula alba). It is a common tree in the mountains of northern China 
(hwa Jfl ), first described by Cen Ts'aA-k'i of the eighth century. 1 The 
bark was used by the Chinese for making torches and candles filled with 
wax, as a padding or lining of underclothes and boots, for knife-hilts 
and the decoration of bows, the latter being styled " birch-bark bows."' 
The universal use of birch-bark among all tribes of Siberia for pails, 
baskets, and dishes, and as a roof-covering, is well known. 

17. It would be very desirable to have more exact data as to 
when and how the consumption of Chinese tea {Camellia iheifera) 
spread among Mohammedan peoples. The Arabic merchant Soleiman, 
who wrote about a.d. 851, appears to be the first outsider who gives an 
accurate notice of the use of tea-leaves as a beverage on the part of the 
Chinese, availing himself of the curious name sax. 4 It is strange that 
the following Arabic authors who wrote on Chinese affairs have nothing 
to say on the subject. In the splendid collection of Arabic texts relative 
to the East, so ably gathered and interpreted by G. Ferrand, tea 
is not even mentioned. It is likewise absent in the Persian pharmacology 
of Abu Mansur and in the vast compilation of Ibn al-Bait&r. On the 
other hand, Chinese mediaeval authors like Cou K'u-fei and Cao 2u- 
kwa do not note tea as an article of export from China. As far as 
we can judge at present, it seems that the habit of tea-drinking spread 
to western Asia not earlier than the thirteenth century, and that it 
was perhaps the Mongols who assumed the r61e of propagators. In 
Mongol, Turkish, Persian, Indian, Portuguese, Neo-Greek, and Rus- 
sian, we equally find the word Zai, based on North-Chinese £'a.' Ramu- 

1 G. Jacob, Handelsartikel der Araber, p. 60. 
' Pen Woo kan mu, Ch. 35 b, p. 13. 

• Ko ku yao luu t Ch. 8, p. 8 b. Cf . also O. Franks, Beschreibung des Jehol- 
Gebietes, p. 77. 

4 Rbimaud, Relation des voyages, Vol. I, p. 40 (cf. Yule, Cathay, new ed., 
Vol. I, p. 131). Modern Chinese Va was articulated *ja (dia) in the T'ang period; 
but, judging from the Korean and Japanese form sa, a variant 5a may be supposed 
also for some Chinese dialects. As the word, however, was never possessed of a 
final consonant in Chinese, the final spirant in Soleiman's s&x is a peculiar Arabic 
affair (provided the reading of the manuscript be correct). 

• The Tibetans claim a peculiar position in the history of tea. They still have 
the Chinese word in the ancient form ja (did), and, as shown by me in roung Poo 
(1916, p. 505), have imported and consumed tea from the days of the T'ang. In 
fact, tea was the dominant economic factor and the key-note in the political rela- 
tions of China and Tibet 


sio, in the posthumous introduction to his edition of Marco Polo pub- 
lished in 1545, mentions having learned of the tea beverage from a 
Persian merchant, Hajji Muhammed. 1 A. de Mandelslo,* in 1662, 
still reports that the Persians, instead of Thi, drink their Kakwa (coffee). 
In the fifteenth century, A-lo-tin, an envoy from THen-fafu (Arabia), 
in presenting his tribute to an emperor of the Ming, solicited tea- 
leaves. 8 

The Kew -Bulletin for 1896 (p. 157) contains the following inter- 
esting information on "White Tea of Persia:" — 

"In the Consular Report on the trade of Ispahan and Yezd (Foreign Office, 
Annual Series, 1896, No. 1662) the following particulars are given of the tea trade 
in Persia: 'Black or Calcutta tea for Persian consumption continues to arrive in 
steady quantities, 2,000,000 pounds representing last year's supply. White tea from 
China, or more particularly from Tongking, is consumed only in Yezd, and, there- 
fore, the supply is limited.' Through the courtesy of Mr. John R. Preece, Her 
Majesty's Consul at Ispahan, Kew received a small quantity of the 'White tea' 
above mentioned for the Museum of Economic Botany. The tea proved to be very 
similar to that described in the Kew Bulletin under the name of P'u-erh tea (Kew 
Bulletin, 1889, pp. 118 and 139). The finest of this tea is said to be reserved for the 
Court of Peking. The sample from Yezd was composed of the undeveloped leaf 
buds so thickly coated with fine hairs as to give them a silvery appearance. Owing 
to the shaking in transit some of the hairs had been rubbed off and had formed small 
yellow pellets about J^ inch diameter. Although the hairs are much more 
abundant than usual there is little doubt that the leaves have been derived from 
the Assam tea plant (Camellia theifera, Griff.) found wild in some parts of Assam 
and Burma but now largely cultivated in Burma, Tongking, etc. The same species 
has been shown to yield Lao tea (Kew Bulletin, 1892, p. 219), and Leppett tea (Kew 
Bulletin, 1896, p. 10). The liquor from the Persian white tea was of a pale straw 
colour with the delicate flavour of good China tea. It is not unknown but now little 
appreciated in the English market." 

18. The Arabic stone-book sailing under the false flag of Aristotle 
distinguishes several kinds of onyx ijiza'), which come from two places, 
China and the country of the west, the latter being the finest. Qazwlnl 
gives Yemen and China as localities, telling an anecdote that the 
Chinese disdain to quarry the stone and leave this to specially privileged 
slaves, who have no other means of livelihood and sell the stone only 
outside of China. 4 As formerly stated, 5 this may be the pi yii M 3t of 
the Chinese. 

19. Qazwlnl also mentions a stone under the name husyat ib&s 
(" devil's testicles ' which should occur in China. Whoever carries it is 

1 Yule, Cathay, new ed., Vol. I, p. 292; or Hobson-Jobson, p. 906. 

1 Travels, p. 15. 

1 Brbtschnbidbr, Mediaeval Researches, Vol. II, p. 300. 

4 J. Ruska, Steinbuch des Aristoteles, p. 145; and Steinbuch des Qaswml, 
p. 12; Leclerc, Traits des simples, Vol. I, p. 354. 

• Notes on Turquois, p. 52. 

Irano-Sinica — Minerals, Metals 555 

not held up by bandits; also his baggage in which the stone is hidden is 
safe from attack, and its wearer rises in the esteem of his fellow-mates. 1 
I do not know what Chinese stone is understood here. 

20. It is well known that the Chinese have a peculiar alloy of copper 
consisting of copper 40.4, zinc 25.4, nickel 31.6, iron 2.6, and occa- 
sionally some silver and arsenic. It looks white or silver-like in the 
finish, and is hence called pai-Vuh ("white copper"). In Anglo-Indian 
it is toofnague (Tamil tutunagum, Portuguese tutanaga).* It is also 
known to foreigners in the East under the Cantonese name paktung. 
It is mentioned as early as a.d. 265 in the dictionary Kwan ya K 91,' 
where the definition occurs that pai-fun is called wu %. • 

This alloy was adopted by the Persians under the name zarSm 
(Arabic %ar-$ini). A The Persians say that the Chinese make this alloy 
into mirrors and arrowheads, a wound from which is mortal. 5 Vullers 
cites a passage from the poet Abu al Ma'finI, "One who rejects and 
spurns his friend pierces his heart with xar-$im." Qazwlnl speaks of 
very efficient lance-heads and harpoons of this metal. The Persians 
have further the term isfidruj, which means "white copper," and which 
accordingly represents a literal rendering of Chinese pai-Vuh. More- 
over, there is Persian sepidrui (Arabic isbiaddri, isbadarih); that is, 
"whitish in appearance. 1 ' English spelter (German spiauter, speauter, 
spialter, Russian Spiauter), a designation of zinc, is derived from this 
word. 6 DimaSql, who wrote about 1325, explains xar-$ini as a metal 
from China, the yellow color of copper being mixed with black and 
white; the mirrors imported from China, called "mirrors of distortion, " 
are made from this alloy. It is an artificial product, hard, and fragile; 
it is injured by fire, after being wrought. Qazwlnl adds that no other 
metal yields a ring equalling that of this alloy, and that none is so suit- 
able for the manufacture of large and small bells. 7 

21. In the thirteenth century the Arabs became acquainted with 
saltpetre, which they received from China; for they designate it as 

1 Rus