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Quiquilima vocatur in cicilia quedam species graminis secundum Dyascoridem capitulo de agrostis.


Quiquilima (Quiqui- B) ABC p | Quiquibina f {'l' misread as 'b'} | Quiquitina e {'lim' misread as 'tin'} | Quiquilmia j | κίννα /kínna/ Dioscorides Graece
cicilia AC ef | quilicia p | cilicia B Dioscorides Longobardus | cilitia j | Κιλικία /Kilikía/ Dioscorides Graece
agrostis AC | agurosti fp | agresti B e | agresta j


Quiquilima is what they call a certain kind of gramen {"grass"} in Cicilia according to Dyascorides in his chapter de agrostis.


In book IV Dioscorides speaks of what he considers to be different kinds of ἄγρωστις /ágrōstis/ {varieties of "(couch) grass"}. Apart from ἄγρωστις /ágrōstis/ proper three further kinds are distinguished, which in Wellmann's edition are presented in three separate chapters, (1906-14: II.192-3) [[1]]:

IV, 30 καλαμάγρωστις /kalamágrōstis/ {"calamagrostis", lit. "reed agrostis"},
IV, 31ἡ δὲ ἐν τῷ Παρνασσῷ ἅγρωστις /hē dè en tô Parnassṓ ágrōstis/ {"agrostis grass of Parnassus},
IV, 32 ἡ δὲ ἐν Κιλικίᾳ γεννωμένη /hē dè en Kilikía gennōménē/ {lit. "the one growing in Kilikia".

Sprengel (1829: 529) on the other hand make only two chapters of it [[2]], Δ Κεφ. λα' (31). Περὶ Καλαμαγρώστεως /Perì Kalamagrṓsteōs. / Cap. XXXI. De gramine arundinaceo and (1829: 529-30): Δ Κεφ. λβ' (32). Περὶ τῆς ἐν Παρνασσῷ ἀγρώστεως /Perì tês en Parnassô agrṓsteōs. / Cap. XXXII. De gramine in Parnasso. with the agrostis growing in Kilikia added p. 530 as a mere final paragraph.

In Dioscorides Longobardus these three or two chapters are collapsed into one entitled: 4, ed. Stadler (1901: 21). [[3]], XXIX De calamo agrestis. At the end of this chapter it says: In cilicia nascitur, quem cives ipsi quilima vocant - "The {sc. kind of ἄγρωστις /ágrōstis/} grass that grows in Cilicia the people there call "quilima".

According to the original Greek, the natives of Κιλικία /Kilikía/, a province in the southern part of Asia Minor, call this plant κίννα /kínna/. Carnoy (1959: 82), s.v. cinna, considers it to be a Thracian word from the Indo-European root kwed-no "pungent, stinging". The corrupted forms: Longobardic quilima, i.e. /kilima/ and Simon's quiquilima, i.e. /kikilima/ could be the result of contamination of /kínna/ with Cilicia/ Cicilia.

Botanical identification:

κίννα /kinna/ was seen by Fraas, and Sprengel (Berendes p. 382) as being no different from καλαμάγρωστις /kalamágrōstis/, see Calamus agrestis.

But LSJ, Carnoy (1959) and Beck (2005: 263) prefer Hordeum murinum L. [[4]] "way barley, wall-barley".

An possible help in identifying κίννα /kinna/ is that H. murinum is not suitable for feeding to animals since its awns are known to cause mucosal irritations, a fact at which the original Greek text seems to hint: ὑγρὰ βρωθεῖσα πολλάκις πίμπρησι τοὺς βόας /hygrà brōtheîsa pollákis pímprēsi toùs boas/ - "when eaten moist/damp it often causes inflammation in cattle".

Wellmann mentions among the vvll. of πίμπρησι /pímprēsi/ {"make inflamed"} the variant reading πίμπλησι /pímplēsi/ {"make full, fill"}. This latter variant must have been in the ms. the Longobardic translator(s) worked from because they translated the above-mentioned phrase: si viridis comesta fuerit, bobes inpinguat – "when eaten green it fattens cattle up".

WilfGunther 14:57, 14 June 2015 (BST)

See also: Agrostis, Calamus agrestis

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