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The Contribution of Arabic Sources to the Identification of Types of Plums in Ancient Isarel / על תרומת המקורות בערבית ובסורית לזיהוי מיני השזיפים בארץ ישראל הקדומה

זהר עמר and Zohar Amar
Lĕšonénu: A Journal for the Study of the Hebrew Language and Cognate Subjects / לשוננו: כתב-עת לחקר הלשון העברית והתחומים הסמוכים לה
Vol. עא‎, No. א/ב‎ (אדר התשס"ט), pp. 233-235
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24327794
Page Count: 3
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Contribution of Arabic Sources to the Identification of Types of Plums in Ancient Isarel / על תרומת המקורות בערבית ובסורית לזיהוי מיני השזיפים בארץ ישראל הקדומה
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Abstract

Medieval transmissions of traditions serve as an important link for the identification and interpretation of plant names and other terminology found in rabbinic literature. One example relates to names for the plum: אחוניתא and דורמסקין. These and similar words, which appear in the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds, as well as in Syriac and Arabic, are synonyms for the cultivated plum (Prunus domestica). In contrast, Prunus cerasia belongs to the general designation for all types of plums. Differentiated in the writings of some of the ancients from the Prunus domestica, due to its small, rounded shape it has been more frequently identified as the cherry. It seems that this species receives no mention in rabbinic literature and first appears only in medieval literature. The botanical-archeological findings of this species from the Roman period constitute, then, the oldest evidence of its cultivation in the land of Israel and, at present, represent an appearance predating its first mention in historical records by a millennium.

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