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Xaumĩ arabice nigella melantium grece Stephanus in synonymis omnia infra scripta que incipiunt ab .x. scripsit secundum grecum quia ab .X. que vocatur et sonat chi in greco incipiunt.


Xaumin D | Xaumĩ AC | Xamnũ siue xamimi siue xanĩ B | Xamin e | |Xamini j | Xanium f | Xaunĩ p

nigella | nigela B

melantium (-iũ B f; -ãtiũ A) ABC f | melanciũ p | mellantiũ e | mellãtiuʒ j

synonimis A | synonĩs C | synois j | sinonimis B | sinoĩs ep | sinois f

scripsit secundum grecum quia ab .X. om. e

scripsit secundum grecum | sec. g. scr. f

chi | ki ms e

in greco om. f


Xaumin is Arabic for Latin nigella and Greek melantium {"black cumin, Nigella sativa"}. Stephanus in his Synonymus wrote all entries that follow after this entry and begin with 'x' according to Greek spelling, because in Greek they begin with the letter Χ,χ = 'chi', which sounds in Greek like 'ch' {as in Scottish "loch"}.


Xaumĩ, and in one print, B, i.e. Gregorius de Gregoriis, Venetiis 1514, the entry is written out: xaumin. It is Arabic ﺷﻮﻧﻴﺰ /šūnīz/ "black cumin, Nigella sativa", cf. Siggel (1950: 47): /šūnīz/ ﺷﻮﻧﻴﺰ Nigella sativa (Ranunculac.), Schwarzkümmel {i.e. "black cumin"}. The word must have been transcribed *xauniӡ/ *xuniӡ at one time with "long z", which is virtually identical with a "sideways m" resembling a "3", which leads to the misreading xaumim/xaumin, often abbreviated xaumĩ; 'm' misread as 'n' is a common mistake in mss.

A form ﺷﻮﻧﻴﺰ /šawnīz/ is indeed attested in the Vocabulista glossary, ed. Schiaparelli (1871: 126): ﺷﻧﻮﺯﺓ /šunūza/: Git [[1]]; (1871: 408): GIT, herba: ﺷﻧﻮﺯﺓ ﻭﺷﻮﻧﻴﺰ ﺷﻧﻮﺯ /šunūza wa-šawnīz šunūz/ [[2]].

Stephanus in his Breviarium writes: melanthiõ sunisũ [[3]].

For "x" standing for Greek Χ,χ /khi/ see the appropriate section in the entry: X littera.

The word nigella is first mentioned in the works of Theodorus Priscianus (4th c. AD) and Caelius Aurelianus (5th c. AD or before). Its name means "blackish, darkish" and obviously refers to the small black seeds of the plant. Simon equates Latin nigella with Greek μελάνθιον /melánthion/.

Cf. Spanish "nigella" ajenuz < ﺍﻟﺸﻧﻮﺯ /aš-šanūz/, cf. Corominas (1980-91: A-CA.95), s.v.

WilfGunther 05/01/2013

See also: Melantium

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