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Headword: *bra/bhla
Adler number: beta,513
Translated headword: sloes
Vetting Status: high
What are called Damaskenes.[1] Theocritus [writes]: "...shoots weighed down to the ground with sloes."[2] Athenaeus in Book 2 of the Deipnosophists[3] says that Seleucus uses the words 'plums'[4] and 'sloes' and ba/drua.[5] It has been said that they are bora/bhla, 'that which expels [e)k-ba/llonta] the food [bora/n]',[6] since they are soothing to the stomach. It has also been said that they are ma/drua, since they are 'tree apples' [malo/drua].[7] They are called Damaskenes from the region, because in the city of Damascus they are cultivated to be more productive and finer.
Greek Original:
*bra/bhla: ta\ kalou/mena *damaskhna/. *qeo/kritos: o)/rpakes brabh/loisi katabri/qontes e)/raze. *)aqhnai=os de\ e)n tw=| b# tw=n *deipnosofistw=n fhsi *se/leukon o)noma/zein kokku/mhla kai\ bra/bhla kai\ ba/drua. ei)/rhtai de\ bora/bhla/ tina o)/nta, ta\ th\n bora\n e)kba/llonta: e)/sti ga\r malaktika\ th=s gastro/s. ei)/rhtai de\ kai\ ma/drua, oi(onei\ malo/drua/ tina o)/nta. *damaskhna\ de\ le/getai kat' e)coxh\n, dia\ to\ e)n *damaskw=| th=| po/lei gewrgou/mena eu)qale/stera kai\ kalli/ona ei)=nai.
= Etymologicum Magnum 211.4.
[1] Damascus-plums, a.k.a. damsons; see further below.
[2] Theocritus, Idylls 7.146.
[3] Athenaeus, Deipnosophists 2.49D-50B (2.33 Kaibel) -- citing the grammarian and commentator Seleucus Homericus of Alexandria (sigma 200), fr.42 FHG (but not adopted in FGrH 341).
[4] kokku/mhla: literally 'cuckoo apples'.
[5] The text of Athenaeus reads ma/drua, as quoted below.
[6] The form bora/bhla does not appear in the text of Athenaeus, though bra/bula or bra/bila do. The etymology offered here is ascribed there to Seleucus.
[7] This etymology is also ascribed to Seleucus in Athenaeus.
Keywords: agriculture; botany; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; food; geography; medicine; poetry
Translated by: William Hutton on 24 October 2002@13:27:26.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (expanded a note) on 26 October 2002@11:22:51.
David Whitehead (another note; more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 13 June 2011@05:33:40.
David Whitehead on 3 June 2012@08:02:09.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 13 August 2012@00:17:31.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 15 January 2015@00:18:31.


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