صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

a condiment in all parts of India. It is indigenous in Sylhet, Assam, Rungpore, and in the valleys along the base of the mountain range, as far as Mussouri. The dry branches and leaves are brought annually in large quantities from the former place, and sold at a fair which is held in Vicramapura, close to the supposed site of the Gangetic mart of the Sequel. Tuj, however, is a name that is also given in the eastern part of Bengal, to the bark of a variety of Cinnamomum Zeylanicum, or Cassia lignea, which abounds in the valleys of Cachar, Jyntea, and Assam. Mr. Landers describes Cassia lignea, as indigenous and growing hauriantly, along the second range of the Naga hills in Assam, as plentiful at Tublong, Chackting, and Nokangies, and as an article that is brought to the plains by the Abor tribes of Yung-yack, Tangsee, and Tamlow. It is prepared and sold by the Khassias in the Cherra Poonjee bazar, whence it is exported to Sylhet, Dacca, and other marts in the eastern part of Bengal. Moghul merchants repair to the former place for the express purpose of purchasing cinnamon. As Tuj, therefore, is an appellation that is applied to Cinnamomum albiflorum, and Cassia lignea, so Patruj, which is the name of the bark of the former, may, in like manner, have been used in ancient times, to designate the quills of the bark of the latter tree. It is probable, therefore, that the words, ἐξεπιάσαντες καλάμους τοὺς λεγομένους πέτρους, refer to the bark of C. Zeylanicum or Cassia lignea; and therefore, instead of signifying "they pick out the haulm which is called Petros" as they are translated by Dr. Vincent, they should be rendered they peel the pipes or quills [or the bark] called Petros;-kaλduous having reference to the tubular or hollow cylindrical form, which the bark of cinnamon assumes in drying, and erous being a corruption of Patraj or Putruj, the name of the bark of Cinnamomum albiflorum, and no doubt, formerly also that of Cassia lignea. The account, which is given in the Sequel regarding the mode of preparing Petros and Malabathrum, seems to imply that the Sesatæ brought the green branches of the Cinnamomum albiflorum, and Cassia lignea trees, from the forests in the interior of their country, to the marts on the frontier, and sold them there to the Thinæ or Assamese, who peeled the bark called Petros. This, probably, was done after the ripening of the fruit, which is considered the best season for peeling the bark of the Cinnamon or Cassia tree and it is, apparently, to this

* Journal of the Agricultural and Horticultural Society of India, Vol. II. No. X.

circumstance, viz., to the branches having the fruit on them, whe brought for sale, that Arrian alludes when he describes them by th term wμаμπexívov, or in other words, as being in external appearance. like the early fruit of the vine. The Thinæ or Assamese having peele the branches of the Cassia tree [literally the quills or pipes called Pe tros] proceeded next to prepare Malabathrum. For this purpose the picked the leaves, and folding them double, they rolled them into smal balls and passed a cord or string, made of the fibres of the bark throug] them επίλεπτον ἐπιδιπλώσαντες τὰ φύλλα καὶ σφαιροειδῆ ποιοῦντες, διείρουσι ἀπ Tŵv kaλáμwv tvaιs. These balls, which appear to have consisted each of 1 single leaf, were made of three sorts, which were designated according to their size, the large, the middle-sized, and the small viverai dè yévn Tpíc ἐκ μέν τοῦ μέιζονος φύλλου, τὸ αδρόσφαιρον μαλάβαθρον λεγόμενον. ἐκ δὲ τοῦ υπο δεεςερου, τὸ μεσόσφαιρον, εκ δε μικρότερου το μικροσσφαιρον -a distinction which seems to indicate that three varieties or species of the genus Cinnamomum, differing from each other, in the size of the leaf, or in the strength of its aromatic flavor, were used for the preparation of Malabathrum. Dr. Buchanan has described three species of Tejpata, and it is probable that = the three kinds of Malabathrum, here referred to, consisted of the Cinnamomum Albiflorum, the Cinnamomum Tamala, and the Cinnamomum Zeylanicum.* The term Malabathrum is generally supposed to be a compound of Tamala (one of the Sanscrit names of C. albiflorum) and putra e (a leaf) :-the original word Tamalapatra having been corrupted by t Greek and Latin writers into μaλáßalpov, and this again into Malabathrum. Garcias first suggested this as its probable derivation: "Appellant autem Indi, Folium Tamalapatra quam vocem Græci ad Latini imitantes corrupte Malabathrum nuncuparunt." It has been conjectured by others, that Malabathrum is derived from "Malabar," and the word " bathrum," which is supposed to have been the name given to betel in that province. "Ferunt apud Indos nasci in ea regione quæ Malabar dicitur: vernacula ipsorum lingua bathrum sive bethrum appelari inde Græcos composita voce nominasse." (H. Stephani Thesaurus Linguæ Græcæ, Vol. IV. 1412.) It is very evident, however, that this cannot be regarded as the origin of the term, for it is stated in the Periplus, that the name was given to the article on the confines of Thina where it was obtained, and

* Dr. Buchanan bas described several species of Malabathrum leaf or Tejapatra. (See Trans. Linnean Soc. Vol. XIII. p. 556.)

that under this designation, it was brought into India by those who prepared it. It is more probable, that Malabathrum is derived from the Sanscrit words mala (a garland) and putra (a leaf); the compound malapatra, which is thus formed, and which signifies a garland or string of leaves, having been subsequently corrupted into mañáßalpov or Malabathrum. This etymology of the term, indeed, is indicated by the details given in the text regarding the mode of preparing Malabathrum; for it is there mentioned, that the leaves were made into balls, and that the fibres of the plant were passed through them; "that in this form" the article took the name of Malabathrum: and that " under this denomination," it was brought [from the confines of Thina or borders of Assam] into India, by those who prepared it. The name, it will be observed, was not given to the leaves in their original state, or the state in which they were brought by the Sesatæ from the forests in the interior; but was applied to them after they had undergone a certain manipulation, viz., when made into small balls, and strung together on the fibres of the plant, in the form of a garland or a thread of beads. This mode of preparing the leaves of the Cinnamon or Cassia tree appears to have been adopted in order to preserve the aromatic-stimulant properties of Malabathrum during its transportation to distant countries. The small balls, of which Malabathrum consisted, were each composed of a single leaf (the Pilula Malabathri of the older commentators), and were used as a masticatory. That Malabathrum was applied to this purpose, is stated in the text; and, that it was so used by the Greeks and Romans, is tolerably certain from the remarks which are made regarding it by ancient authors. Dioscorides states that it was placed under the tongue to purify the breath; and that it was a tonic to the stomach: TOTÍVETAL δὲ τῇ γλώσση πρὸς ἐνωδίαν ςόματος. Pliny also ascribes the former property to it: "sapor ejus nardo similis esse debet sub lingua oris et halitus suavitatem commendat linguæ subditum folium.* Eastern India appears to have furnished the greater portion, if not the whole, of the Malabathrum that was imported by the ancients. Though Cinnamomum albiflorum is indigenous in Malabar, and Coromandel, yet no mention is made of Malabathrum having been prepared from it in these countries. This article together with others is noticed as an import into Nelkunda on the Malabar coast, from countries farther to the east,† ἐλέφας καὶ ὀθόνια σηρικὰ *Pliny. Lib. XXIII. Chap. 48. + Vincent's Periplus of the Erythrean Sea, p. 462.


καὶ νάρδος ἡ γαπανική (rendered γαγγιπκη) καὶ μαλάβαθον ἐκ τῶν ἔσω τόπων. Th articles of merchandize here mentioned are the productions of Easter India, and were, no doubt, exported from the Gangetic mart. Mala bathrum appears to have been shipped to Nelkunda, Limurike, and th other ports of Southern India, and was thence exported to the countrie bordering on the Mediterranean, where it was known by various names besides that of Malabathrum, as φύλλον ινδικον-σφαίρια μαλαβαθρον-φυλλο Kaтaσ paιpov*—Herba Paradisii-Folium-appellations which refer to the country where it was produced, the form of its preparation, anc the high estimation in which it was held by the ancients. Malabathrum besides being used as a masticatory, constituted an ingredient in the Mithridatic antidote,† and in the Theraica; it was also infused or macerated in wine, and was employed as an aromatic and tonic. The leaves and bark of Cassia lignea yield an essential oil, which enters into the composition of many of the odoriferous oils which are prepared by the natives of India. It is extracted by boiling the bark of Tuj with a quantity of fixed oil and water, during which process, the essential becomes incorporated with the fixed oil, to which it imparts its odour.

The Romans were in the habit of preparing this perfume by macerating both the leaf puλλov, and the wood or bark uλoquλλov, in fixed oil in the manner which is practised by the natives. It is probable, however, that the leaves of other Indian plants, besides those of the Cinnamon and Cassia trees, were imported into Rome under the name of Malabathrum, for the purpose of being used in perfumes or ointments. Dioscorides describes Malabathrum as a plant found growing without roots on the surface of marshes, and remarks that it is by feeding on its leaves that the Onychia becomes aromatic. Pliny states that this kind of Malabathrum is more odoriferous than saffron that it is of a black colour: rough to the touch, and of a salt taste: and that its flavor ought to resemble that of Nard. He adds that the perfume which Malabathrum or the leaf yields, when it is boiled in wine surpasses all others. Malabathrum, in all probability, was a generic term, which was applied to leaves of different plants rolled up in the manner which is described in the text, and it may, therefore, be regarded as the name,

* Art. Malabathrum et Foliatum. Lexicon Universale, Hoffman, A. D. 1698. + Vide Celsus de Medicina, Lib. V. Chap. XXIII.

Pliny. Lib. XII. C. XXVI.


not of a particular plant, but of a mode of preparing leaves which was adopted to preserve their odoriferous and aromatic qualities. The masticatory called Malabathrum consisted solely of the leaves of the Tejpatra; but the perfume, which was designated by the same name, appears to have been prepared from other plants, besides the leaves and wood of Cassia. The unguent of this name was manufactured and sold at Rome by a class of persons who, from the trade or business they followed, were called Malabathrarii (Malabathrarii vocabantur unguentarii qui malabathrum unguentum pretiosissimum vendebant.) (Plaut. Aul. III. 5. 37.)*

Arrian concludes his narrative by stating that all the regions beyond Thina were unexplored, either on account of the severe frosts and the difficulties of travelling, or because it was perhaps the will of the gods to fix these limits to the curiosity of man. This account seems to refer to the region of Uttara-Cura which is described by the Hindoos as inaccessible to the steps of man, and to the rays of the sun. The name was applied to the north-eastern portion of the Himalayan mountains; and according to Professor Wilson, this region appears to be the northeastern part of Assam, designated by Ptolemy-Ottorocaras, and by Ammianus Marcellinus-Opurrocarra. The lofty mountains, which bound the eastern extremity of this valley, belong to the Himalayan range, and are, it is calculated, about 8000 feet in height.

The country of the Seres is the Thina of Arrian, which I have endeavoured to identify with Assam. The name of Seres appears to have been applied both to the inhabitants of the valley of Assam and to the hill tribes bordering on it, and hence the Seres of some authors are the Sesate of the Seqnel to the Periplus.

Pomponius Mela mentions the country of the Seres as situated between India and Scythia, and describes them as a people celebrated for their justice. "They have become known to us," says he, "by their commerce, for they leave their merchandize in the desert and then retire till the merchants they deal with, have left a price or barter for the amount which, upon their departure, the Seres return and take."+ The *Syrian Malabathrum was that imported into Europe viâ Syria "ex India in Syriam (unde Syriaci cognomen) inde in Europam adferebantur." Lexicon Univer

sale, Hoffm. Art. Malabathrum.

+ De situ orbis. Pomp. Melac, Lib. III. C. VII.

« السابقةمتابعة »