Sunday, November 11, 2007

Garlic Origins

There were a couple of longer items left over from the garlic post. I am periodically reminded of this; most recently by a new frozen fusion item from the Super-88 Market, โรตีเมดิติวเรเซียน ตรา ฮิปโป roh-dtee may-dì-dtiw-ray-sian dtraa híp-bpoh 'Hippo Brand Mediteurasian Roti', รสเนยกระเทียม rót noie grà-tiam 'garlic-butter flavor'. A Mediterranean inspired Thai version of the Malaysian version of an Indian bread. It does manage the taste of garlic bread, but with a different texture, and is an excellent foundation for a salad wrap.

In any case, one concerns the origin of garlic and the other an origin from garlic and both go beyond just etymology. They each take a little bit to set up.

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In his A History of Persia, Percy Sykes writes,

There is little exaggeration in the statement that Alexander the Great as the most famous man ever born.

His real life accomplishments were remarkable, conquering most of the known world in his brief career. After his real life, as Hamlet says (Act V Scene 1),

Alexander died : Alexander was buried : Alexander returneth into duſt; the duſt is earth; of earth we make Lome; and why of that Lome (whereto he was conuerted) might they not ſtopp a Beere-barrell?

But then his literary presence takes over. As Arrian says in the prologue to his Anabasis,

ἄλλοι μὲν δὴ ἄλλα ὑπὲρ Ἀλεξάνδρου ἀνέγραψαν, οὐδ' ἔστιν ὑπὲρ ὅτου πλείονες ἤ ἀξυμφωνότερποι ἐς ἀλλήλους· (ed. Abicht)

Different authors have given different accounts of Alexander's life; and there is no one about whom more have written, or more at variance with each other. (tr. Chinnock)

Alexander appears prosaically in 1 Maccabees 1, just to establish the time period. More interesting are the ten questions posed by Alexandrus Mokdon (אלכסנדרוס מוקדון 'Alexander of Macedon') to the Ziknei ha'Negev (זקני הנגב 'Elders of the South') in the Babylonian Talmud (Tamid 31-32). For instance, the third question:

אמר להן: אור נברא תחלה או חשך
אמרו לו: מילתא דא - אין לה פתר (here)

'amar lə-hen 'owr nibəra' təḥillah 'ow ḥošek
'amaru lu milṯa' da' 'ayin paṯar

He then asked, “Was light created first or was darkness?”
They replied, “This is an unanswerable question.” (tr. Harris)

(Naturally some debate follows on whether this is the right answer. I have not been able to find a scan of the traditional typography of this section. But some web pages try to approximate it a little more in Hebrew and English.)

Compare this with Plutarch's Life, Chapter LXIV, where Alexander quizzes the Indian Gymnosophists.

ὁ δὲ πέμπτος ἐρωτηθεὶς πότερον οἴεται τὴν ἡηέραν ἤ τὴν νύκτα προτέραν γεγεονέναι, “Τὴν ἡμέραν,” εῖπεν, “ἡμέρᾳ ηιᾷ·” καὶ προσεπεῖπεν οὗτος, θαυμάσαντος τοῦ βασιλέως, ὅτι τῶν ἀπόρων ἐρωτήσεων ἀνάγκη καὶ τὰς ἀποκρίσεις ἀπόρους εῖναι.

The fifth, being asked which, in his opinion, was older, day or night, replied: “Day, by one day”; and he added, upon the king expressing amazement, that hard questions must have hard answers. (tr. Perrin, p. 406-407)

Alexander appears in the Quran, if we accept that Dulcarnain (ذو القرنين dhū al-qarnayn 'Two-horned one') in Sura XVIII (الكهف al-kahf 'The Cave') refers to him. Three prophetic passages in Daniel are also taken to refer to Alexander: 7:6, the leopard with four wings and four heads; 8:3 ff., the he-goat who attacks the ram with two horns (!), explained as the king of Greece (:21) and of Media and Persia (:20), respectively; and 11:1 ff., again the Greek king who defeats Darius the Mede. (For the Christian exegesis, see Jerome. Or Isaac Newton, who isn't so much remembered for that sort of thing these days.) All of which shows not just his historical character, but also that these texts arose in the Hellenistic world.

The more fanciful tales of Alexander are known as the Alexander Romance, descendant from a work whose author is known as Pseudo-Callisthenes (since the real Callisthenes predeceased Alexander). These spread throughout the Middle Ages and versions are known in many languages, including Latin, Armenian, and Serbian (from which Georgian and some of the Russian translations were made). In France, Walter of Châtillon wrote a very popular Latin Alexandreis, which was translated into Spanish and Icelandic. A French version gave rise to a Scots one. Plus, of course, Old and Middle English versions (see here).

A is for Alexander in the abcedarian poem “Alexander puer magnus” in a 9th or 10th century manuscript in Verona. The 12th century Old French poem Li Romans d'Alexandre gave rise to the term alexandrine for its twelve-syllable meter.

As Chaucer's Monk says:

The ſtorie of Aliſaundre is ſo comune
That every wight that hath diſcrecioun
Hath herd ſomwhat or al of his fortune

Nor does this stop in modern times. There was an Oliver Stone movie. The magic formula,

ποῦ εῖναι ὁ Μεγαλέξανδρος;
ὁ Μεγαλέξανδρος ζεῖ καὶ βασιλεύε

Where is Alexander the Great?
Alexander the Great lives and rules

used by sailors to protect against rough seas, with a folktale about Alexander's sister who turned into a mermaid, shows up on Greek-American web sites. But this takes a nasty turn when mixed with extreme nationalism. For instance, a directory of Greek bankers in Chicago is really all about the Macedonian question: whether the Republic of Macedonia, the part of the former Yugoslavia with its capital at Skopje, should be allowed to use that name. (All sides claim the Vergina Sun as their heritage, making its image a good indication of trouble.) During the Cold War, there was additional anti-Communist coloring to the ethnic tensions. It starts by taking extreme positions on historical matters that have gray areas or definitional ambiguities, like “Was Ancient Macedonia part of Greece?”, “Did the Macedonians speak Greek?”, or “When have there been significant non-Greek speaking populations in Greece?”, and goes downhill from there. No good can come of discussing it here. More (only somewhat out of date) is on one of Tim Spalding's pre-LibraryThing sites. Right now the Wikipedia is pretty balanced, but that can change at any instant.

Naturally, each of the Medieval Alexanders is more or less adapted to the culture into which it is imported. The Ethiopic version has Alexander as a Christian saint and his father as a martyr. Likewise the Coptic; in fact, although the Coptic Alexander Romance is as close to secular literature as Coptic gets (other than some monastic first-aid manuals), the Coptic Encyclopedia does not mince words:

The style of these Coptic versions of the Alexander Romance duplicates the literature of edification written by the monks. The narratives extend the stories of the martyrs and also of the apocalypses. Those who treat some Coptic literature as being “profane” err; Coptic literature is Christian. As a tool of God, Alexander could be considered a prophet; as a martyr, he foreshadowed Christ. (s.v. Romances)

Starting with Alexander, from Ptolemy to Cleopatra, Egypt was ruled by Macedonians. Champollion famously recognized their names written in hieroglyphs, based on their shared sounds in Greek; Alexander is A-l:k-s-i-n:d-rA:z a-l-k-s-i-n-d-r-s. The surviving version of Pseudo-Callisthenes evidently comes from Egypt. To legitimize this rule, it makes Alexander the half-Egyptian son of Nectanebo. This is Nectanebo II, the last native pharaoh, nḫt ḥr ḥbt 'strong is Horus of Hebyt' — modern Behbeit el-Hagar بهبيت الحجارة. The cartouche in the Wikipedia is the fuller B1-U7:D40-G5-W4-X1:O49 nḫt ḥr ḥbt mri ḥtḥr, adding 'beloved of Hathor'; other gods are presumably possible. The French, German, Italian and Polish Wikipedias agree on this translation, while the English and Spanish ones have something more similar to Nectanebo I nḫt nbf  'strong is his lord'. The work cited actually says, “Strong is his lord Horus,” which at least accounts for the ḥr. But on the very next page it says, “Strong is Horus of Behbeit,” in the course of explaining the visual rebus / pub of the famous statue in the Met where a little Nectanebo under a big Horus holds a harpesh [= strong] and a small shrine [= Behbeit]. Anyway, in Pseudo-Callisthenes, Nectanebo is also a magician, travels to Macedonia and seduces Philip's wife Olympias by disguising himself as the god Ammon, fitting a description that he magically sent to her in a dream.

Ὁ δὲ Νεκτανεβὼς ἀποθέμενος τὸ σκῆπτρον ἀναβαίνει ἐπὶ τὴν κλίνην αὐτῆς καὶ συγγίνεται αὐτῇ, καί φησι πρὸς αὐτήν· “Διάμεινον γύναι, κατὰ γαστρὸς ἔχεις ἄρῥενα παϊδα ἔκδικόν σου γινόμενον καὶ πάσης τῆς οἰκουμένης κοσμοκράτορα βασιλέα.” Καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ἀπὸ τοῦ κοιτῶνος ὁ Νεκτανεβὼς, ἄρας τὸ σκῆπτρον, καὶ ἀπέκρυψεν πάντα ἅ εῖχε πλανικά. (Bk. 1, 7)

Nectanebo, putting aside his scepter, climbed on to the bed and made love to her. Then he said, ‘Be calm, woman, in your womb you carry a male child who will avenge you and will become king and ruler of all the world.’ Then he left the room, taking his scepter with him, and hid all the pieces of his disguise. (tr. Stoneman)

Later on, he used another ruse to carefully orchestrate the time of birth.

Πρωΐας δὲ γενομένης, ἰδὼν Φίλιππος τὸ τεχθὲν παιδίον ὑπὸ Ὀλυμπιάδος ἔφη· “Ηβουλόμην μὲν αὐτὸ μὴ ἀναθρέψαι διὰ τὸ γέννημα ἐμὸν μὴ εῖναι· ἀλλ' ἐπειδὴ ὁρω τὴν μὲν σπορὰν οὖσαν θεοῦ, τὸν δὲ τοκετὸν ἐπισημον καὶ κοσμικὸν, τρεφέσθω εῖς μνήμην τοῦ τελευτήσακτός μου ταιδὸς γεννηθέντος ἐκ τῆς προτέρας μου γυναικός· καλείσθω δὲ Ἀλέξανδρος.” (Bk. 1, 13)

Next morning, when Philip saw Olympias' new-born child, he said: ‘I wished him not to be raised because he was not my own offspring, but now that I see that he is the seed of a god and the birth has been signalled by the heavens, let him be raised in memory of my son by my previous wife, who died, and let him be called Alexander.’ (tr. Stoneman)

The name Alexander is Greek, meaning 'defender of man'. The feminine form is found in Linear B 𐀀𐀩𐀏𐀭𐀅𐀨 a-re-ka-sa-da-ra (MY V 659 line 2; see illustration on pg. 64 of this article).

Much of Alexander's rapid conquest was accomplished by taking over the old Achaemenid empire. His long term ruling plan was evidently a combination of hereditary Macedonian warriors and hereditary Persian administrators. Arrian, citing Aristobulus, says (vi, 29) that Alexander had Cyrus' tomb at Pasargadae restored. (Even though it names Arrian as the source, the description given by the Wikipedia matches Strabo xv, 7, specifically what Aristobulus saw the first time, on the way to India. On the way back, they found it looted. The Wikipedia doesn't mention this or the ordered restoration. The second variation of the inscription, given with an incomplete secondary reference, is from Plutarch lxix, who also mentions that the Macedonian perpetrator, one Polymachus, was put to death and that Alexander had a Greek translation added below the Persian. Looks like these couple paragraphs citing Greek historians on Cyrus' tomb need some cleanup. When I get a chance. One of the more interesting spam we received last month was about Cyrus the Great Day, روز کورش بزرگ roz kūrash buzurg, October 29, and a modern appeal to restore the tomb.) Pahlavi sources naturally condemned Alexander as gizistag 'accursed'. But the later romance tradition sought to adopt Alexander as their own. Sikandar (سکندر Alexander, also Iskandar اسکندر) is the son of the Persian king Dārāb (داراب Darius) and the daughter of Failaqūs (فیلقوس Philip). He was born in his maternal grandfather's court because his mother had bad breath and was sent back, but not before she became pregnant; Philip pretends that the child is his own. The bad breath was actually cured, but the Persian king had already lost interest. In one version, she is cured by using sandarac (سندروس sandaros, the ξύλον θύϊνον 'thyine wood' of Rev. 18:12); the queen being conveniently named Halāi, the child is named Halāi-Sandaros, making his name Persian too.

We now come to the version of the story in Ferdowsi (فردوسی)'s Shahnameh (شاهنامه), which is the actual point of this post. Here the mother's name is Nāhīd (ناهید, the planet Venus and a Zoroastrian goddess whose temple was at Pasargadae).

پزشکان داننده را خواندند
به نزدیک ناهید بنشاندند

یکی مرد بینادل و نیک​رای
پژوهید تا دارو آمد به جای

گیاهی که سوزنده​ی کام بود
به روم اندر اسکندرش نام بود

بمالید بر کام او بر پزشک
ببارید چندی ز مژگان سرشک

بشد ناخوشی بوی و کامش بسوخت
به کردار دیبا رخش برفروخت

اگر چند مشکین شد آن خوب​چهر
دژم شد دلارای را جای مهر

دل پادشا سرد گشت از عروس
فرستاد بازش بر فیلقوس

غمی دختر و کودک اندر نهان
نگفت آن سخن با کسی در جهان

چو نه ماه بگذشت بر خوب​چهر
یکی کودک آمد چو تابنده مهر

ز بالا و اروند و بویا برش
سکندر همی خواندی مادرش

بفرخ همی داشت آن نام را
کزو یافت از ناخوشی کام را (32.4)

pazaškān dāninde rā xwāndand
be nazdīkān nāhīd binšāndand

yake mard bīnādil u neko-rāy
pižūhīda tā dārū āmad be jāy

gīyāhe ke sozandahe kām būd
be rūm andar iskandaruš nām būd

bamālīda bar kām o bar pizišk
babārīd čande ze mužagān sirišk

bašidda banāxwuš boy u kamaš basoxt
be kirdār dībā raxš barfuroxt

agar čand muškīn šadd ān xūb-čihr
dižam šadd dilārāy rā jāy mihr

dil pādšā sard gašt az ʻarūs
firistād bāzaš bar failaqūs

qamī duxtar u kūdak andar nihān
neguft ān suxun bā kasī dar jahān

čū be māh baguẕašt bar xūb-čihr
yake kūdak āmad čū tābandah mihr

ze bālā u ārwand u boyā baraš
sikandar hamī xwānde mādaraš

bafarrux hamī dāšt ān nām rā
kazo yāft az banāxwuš kām rā

They summoned skilful leeches to Náhíd,
And one of them, a shrewd and prudent man,
Examined till he found a remedy
A herb whereby the gullet is inflamed,
Called in the Rúman tongue “iskandar.” This
He rubbed upon the palate of the queen,
And caused her eyes to water lustily.
The fetor fled away, her palate burned,
Her face shone like brocade; but though the Fair
Was sweet as musk Dáráb had ceased to love her,
The monarch's heart turned coldly from his bride,
And so he sent her back to Failakús.
She was with child but told not any one.
Nine months passed and from that fair dame was born
A babe like radiant Sol. She used to call him
Sikandar since he was so tall, well favoured,
And sweet of breath, for she esteemed the name
Of what had sweetened her own palate lucky, (tr. Warner & Warner)

So, Iskandar was named after اسكندروس iskandarūs 'garlic'. This is not a native Persian word (as the text admits). It has been proposed that this word comes from or Greek σκόροδον or Latin ascalonium 'shallot', though neither seems entirely satisfactory. It also seems possible that some plant variety was actually named after the person.

Alexander's eastward conquests ended when his men refused to cross the Hyphasis River. (Ὑφασις < विपाशा vipāśā 'unfettered', supposedly because it destroyed the cords that the sage Vasishṭha वसिष्ठ had tied around himself, intending to drown / hang himself from grief when his sons were killed by Viśvāmitra विश्वामित्र. In a chapter titled The Mighty Rivers of India, Karttunen observes that vi- > hy- indicates a Persian intermediary, like with Hystaspes or Hydarnes. The Wikipedia also offers a folk-etymology of the modern name.) There is no trace of him reaching as far as he did in Indian literature or tradition. But the satrapies along the way and westward expansion by Indian kingdoms meant that more or less regular commerce was established. The edicts of Aśoka, the oldest surviving Indian documents (aside from the mysterious Indus valley inscriptions) mention the Yonas (that is, Ionians: Sanskrit यवन yavana — a word applied to successively larger groups: Greeks, then Europeans, then foreigners in general) and a king Alikasudaro (probably Alexander II of Epirus; line 9 of rock edict #13 here). He even issued an edict in Greek and Aramaic. The adjacent Greco-Buddhist kingdoms applied Hellenistic aesthetics to an emergent iconography of the Buddha and Buddhist saints, in particular in Gandhāra (we have a Gandhāran boddhisattva in our dining room).

Alexander the Great appears on the bad-guy short list of a certain kind of fanatical Hindu nationalist. (Again see the Alexander on the Web site for examples.) The enemy is the Aryan invasion theory (it may very well be that all uses of the word Aryan are now indications of some kind of fringe), an imagined mix of prehistoric migrations, historical conquests, and language interactions, against which Sanskrit must clearly be more closely related to Dravidian languages like Tamil (and indeed long contact has led to much borrowing in both directions) since a contrary claim implies ravaging hordes of Europeans. Once language and religion get mixed in, other villains are William Jones for claiming that Sanskrit comes from Greek and Latin, though pretty much all he said on the subject is the one sentence quoted in Wikipedia and even that supposes a common source; and Max Müller for promoting Christianity, though he edited The Sacred Books of the East. These men can well be challenged as ruthless conquerors, imperialists and racists, but that is not grounds for repudiating reputable history or sound science. More recently, a book by Paul Courtright has become the center of controversy, not for applying the psychological principles of contemporary religious studies, but for fabricating blasphemous quotes from Hindu scripture or at least promoting deliberately bad translations, though his works seems to have the usual citation apparatus. Here in the States, the battleground is correcting high school textbooks, going beyond the critically important goal of removing imperialist assumptions and negative ethnic and religious stereotypes to, taking a cue from Creationists and extreme “Ancient Egypt was African” proponents, adding claims that are not generally accepted by mainstream experts. Though it is not impossible, I do not imagine that the accepted theory of the major language families is likely to change significantly. But there are some other generally interesting questions involved, like “Is Hinduism more polytheistic than Roman Catholicism?” However since discussions get so polarized so fast, it's best to once again mostly avoid them here.

Aśoka was also one of the most powerful vegetarian proselytizers ever. For instance, here is part of his Rock Edict #1. Since Brāhmi is not supported in Unicode yet, here is a picture (from here; the same image is also here).

Girnir 1

Which reads:

                                        pu rā ma hā na se ja mā
de vā naṃ pi ya sa pi ya da si no ra ño a nu di va saṃ ba
hū ni pā ṇa sa ta sa ha sā ni ā ra bhi su sū pā thā ya
sa a ja ya dā a yaṃ dhaṃ ma li pi li khi tā tī e va pā
ṇa ā ra bhi re sū pā thā ya dva me ra e ko ma go so pi
ma go na dhū vo e te pā tī pā ṇā pa chā na ā ra bhi saṃ re

Which gets cleaned up a little here to:

pura mahânasaphi Devânampiyasa Piyadasino Ranyo anudivasam bahûni pâna satasahasâni ârabhisu sûpâthâya sa aja yadâ ayam dhammalipi likhitâtî eva pâṇa ârabhire supâthâya dwamera eko mago so pi mago na dhuvo ete pâti pânâ pacchâ na ârabhisante.

(A slightly different version of the text of the same edict from elsewhere is here.) The translation is something like:

Formerly, in the kitchen of King Devanampriya Priyadarsi ('Beloved-of-the-Gods of-Loving-Regard'), every day hundreds of thousands of animals were killed to make curry. But now with the writing of this Dharma edict only three creatures, two peacocks and a deer, are killed to make curry, and the deer not always. And in the future, not even these three creatures will be killed.

The word sūpā-, translated 'curry', is cognate with English soup and also means that.

In March, 1890, Lieutenant (later Major-General Sir) Hamilton Bower of the Indian Army was in Chinese Turkestan on the trail of a murderer named Dad Mahomed. (Bower's “A Trip to Turkistan” from The Geographical Journal can be found in JSTOR or Google Books, or in abbreviated form here. A Confidential Report of a Journey in Chinese Turkistan 1889-90 is mentioned by a number of bibliographies, but evidently harder to find. Bower is more famous as an explorer of Tibet.) In Kumtura, near Kuchar, he was sold a book of fifty-one birch-bark leaves in wooden boards, which came to be known as the Bower Manuscript. He sent it along to the Asiatic Society of Bengal. You can see its initial notice and some images (which didn't scan very well) in their Proceedings here. Here it passed to A. F. Rudolf Hoernle, who recognized the script as one used in Northwestern India (now known as Gupta or Late Brāhmi) and the language as Sanskrit. You can read his initial remarks a few months later here and some more in a later address as President of the Society here. (Some vandal has changed the Wikipedia to claim that the manuscript is in Tamil, either through zealous nationalism or more likely just to cause trouble. I'll probably undo that soon.)

Hoernle published some additional remarks and a first installment of a translation as monographs for the Journal of the Society. Since it does not appear to be online, I have scanned the latter (my copy is very brittle) and since there is no valid copyright, I put it here for downloading. He followed this up with a series of translations with notes, transcriptions, transliterations and facsimiles, the three-volume work completing in 1913. This definitive edition has been reprinted in India several times relatively recently, but I have had no luck getting hold of a copy (a couple of shipments went missing, though I normally have no such trouble). The transliteration is in GRETIL. Two of the volumes are in the Digital Library of India (which does not seem to get very high page ranks in searches), but the scan appears to be defective, lacking much of the transliteration. But it does give his final translation.

The manuscript is one of the oldest surviving Indian books, preserved in the desert where there is no monsoon. It was found in a stūpa associated with a vihāra and the original monk owner appears to have been named Yaśomitra. Hoernle dated it 350-500 CE, with modern scholars tending toward the later end. The manuscript contains seven documents: three on Ayurvedic medicine, two on fortune telling with dice, and two with chants against snake-bite. The non-medical ones have significantly more Prākritisms. The first medical one is on the uses of garlic and, before getting into treatments, starts with a more or less self-contained poem on the origins of garlic (and its folk etymology), which is the second point of this post.

दृष्ट्वा पत्रैर्हरितहरितैरिन्द्रनीलप्रकाशैः कन्दैः कुन्दस्फटिककुमुदेन्द्वङशुशंखाभ्रशुभ्रैः [।] उत्पन्नास्थो मुनिमुपगतः सुश्रुतः काशिराजं किन्न्वेतत्स्यादथ स भगवानाह तस्मै यथावत् ॥
पुरामृतं प्रमथितमसुरेन्द्रः स्वयं पपौ [।] तस्य चिच्छेद भगवानुत्तमांगं जनार्द्दनः ॥
कण्ठनाडी समासन्ना विच्छिन्ने तस्य मूर्धनि [।] विन्दवः पतिता भूमावाद्यं तस्येह जन्म तु ॥
न भक्षयंत्येनमतश्च विप्राः शरीरसंपर्क्कविनिःसृतत्वात् [।] गन्धोग्रतामप्यत एव चास्य वदंति शास्त्राधिगमप्रवीणाः ॥
लवणरस[वियोगा]दाहुरेन रशूनम् लशुन इति तु संज्ञा चास्य लोकप्रतीता [।] बहुभिरिह किमुक्तैर्द्देशभाषाभिधानैः शृणु रसगुणवीर्याण्यस्य चैवोपयोगात् ॥
रसे च पाके च कटुः प्रदिष्टः पाके तथा स्वादुरुदाहृतो न्यः [।] लघुश्च गन्धेन सदुर्ज्जराश्रवीर्येण चोष्णः प्रथितश्च वृष्यः ॥
आंब्लोष्णस्नेहभावात्पवनबलहरः प्रोक्तो मुनिवृषैः माधुर्यात्पित्तभावादपि च स रसतया पित्तप्रशमनः [।] औष्ण्यात्तैक्ष्ण्यात्कटुत्वात्कफबलविजयी विद्वद्भिरुदितः सर्वान्रोगान्निहन्यादिति विधिविहितो दोषत्रयहरः ॥
पवनं विनिहंत्यपि चास्थिगतं कफमप्यचिरादुदितं शमयेत् [।] जनयेदपि चाग्निबलं प्रबलं बलवर्ण्णकरः प्रवरश्च मतः ॥
अथ बहुविधमद्यमांससर्पिर्यवगोधूमभुजां सुखात्मकानाम् [।] अयमिह लशुनोत्सवः प्रयोज्यो हिमकाले च मधौ च माधवे च ॥
त्यज्यंते कामिनीभिर्जयनसमुचिता यत्र काञ्चीकलापाः हाराः शैत्यान्न वक्षस्तनतटयुगलापीडनात्संप्रयांति [।] कांता नेन्द्वन्शुजालव्यतिकरसुभगाहर्म्यपृष्ठोपभोगाः काले तस्मिन्प्रयोज्यो ह्यगुरु बहुमतं कुंकुमांकाश्च यत्र ॥
हर्म्याग्रेष्वथ तोरणेषु वलभीद्वारेषु चाविष्कृताः कन्दाढ्या लशुनस्रजो विरचयेद्भूमौ [त]थैवार्च्चनम् [।] मालास्तत्परिचारकस्य च जनस्यारोपयेत्तन्मयीरित्यस्यैष विधिर्ज्जनस्य विहितः स्वल्पोवमानामतः ॥

Dṛishṭvâ patrair=harita-haritair=indranîla-prakâśaiḥ kandaiḥ kunda-sphaṭika-ku-mud-êndvaṅśu-śaṃkh-âbhra-śubhraiḥ [|] utpann-âsthô m[u]nim=upagataḥ Suśrutaḥ Kâśirájaṃ kinnv=êtat-syâd=atha sa bhagavân=âha tasmai yathâvat || [9||]
Pur=âmṛitaṃ pramathitam=asur-êndraḥ svayaṃ papau [|] tasya chichchhêda bhagavân=u-ttamâṃgaṃ Janârddanaḥ || [10||]
Kaṇṭha-nâḍî samâsannâ vichchhinnê tasya mûrdhani [|] vindavaḥ patitâ bhûmâv=âdyaṃ tasy=êha janma tu || [11||]
Na bhakshaya[ṃ]ty=ênam=ataś=cha viprâḥ śarîra-saṃparkka-viniḥ-sṛitatvât [|] gandh-ôgratâm=apy=ata êva ch=âsya vadaṃti śâstr-âdhigama-pravîṇâḥ || [12||]
Lavaṇa-rasa-viyôgâd=âhur=ênaṃ raśû-na(m) laśuna iti tu saṃjñâ ch=âsya lôka-pratîtâ [|] bahubhir=iha kim=uktair=d=dêśa-bhâsh-âbhidhânaiḥ śṛiṇu rasa-guṇa-vîryâṇy=asya ch=aiv=ôpayôgât || [13||]
Rasê cha pâkê cha kaṭuḥ pra-dishṭaḥ pâkê tathâ svâdur=udâhṛitô nyaḥ [|] laghuś=cha gandhêna sa-durjjar-âśra-vîryêṇa ch=ôshṇaḥ prathitaś=cha vṛishyaḥ || [14||]
Âṃbl-ôshṇa-snêha-bhâvât=pavana-bala-haraḥ prôktô muni-vṛishaiḥ mâdhuryât=pitta-bhâvâd=api cha sa rasatayâ pitta-praśamanaḥ [|] aushṇyât=taikshṇyât=kaṭutvât=kapha-bala-vijayî vidvadbhir=uditaḥ sarvân=rôgân=nihanyâd=iti vidhi-vihitô dôsha-traya-haraḥ || [15||]
Pavanaṃ vinihaṃty=api ch=âsthi-gataṃ kapham=apy=achirâd=uditaṃ śamayêt [|] janayêd=api ch=âgni-balaṃ prabalaṃ bala-varṇṇa-karaḥ prava-raś=cha mataḥ || [16||]
Atha bahu-vidha-madya-mâṃsa-sarpir-yava-gôdhûma-bhujâṃ sukh-âtmakânâm [|] ayam=iha laśun-ôtsavaḥ prayôjyô hima-kâlê cha madhau cha mâdha-vê cha || [17||]
Tyajyaṃtê kâminîbhir=jayana-samuchitâ yatra kâñchî-kalâpâḥ hârâḥ śaityân=na vakshas-tana-taṭa-yugal-âpîḍanât=saṃprayâṃti [|] kâṃtâ n=êndv-anśu-jâla-vyatikara-subhagâ-harmya-pṛishṭh-ôpabhôgâḥ kâlê tasmin=prayôjyô hy=aguru bahu-mataṃ kuṃkum-âṃkâś=cha yatra || [18||]
Harmy-âgrêshv=atha tôra-ṇêshu valabhî-dvârêshu ch=âvishkṛitâḥ kand-âḍhyâ laśuna-srajô virachayêd=bhûmau tath=aiv=ârchchanam [|] mâlâs=tat-parichârakasya cha janasy=ârô-payêt=tan-mayîr=ity=asy=aisha vidhir=j=janasya vihitaḥ svalpô-vamânâm=ataḥ || [19||]

(Verse 9.) Having observed a plant with leaves dark-blue like sapphire, and with bulbs white like jasmine, crystal, the white lotus, moon-rays, conch-shell or mica, and having his attention aroused thereby, Suśruta approached the Muni King of Kâśi (i.e., Benares) with the enquiry, what it could be. Then that holy man replied to him as follows:
(Verse 10 and 11.) Of yore the lord of the Asuras himself drank the forth-churned nectar; his head the holy Janârdana (i.e., Vishṇu) cut off. (11.) The windpipe remained attached to the severed head; from it drops fell on the ground, and those were its (i.e., garlic's) first origin.
(Verse 12.) Hence Brâhmans do not eat it, because of its having originated from something connected with a (living) body; its evil smell also the learned in sacred lore declare to be due to the same cause.
(Verse 13.) Because of the absence of salty taste they call it ‘Raśûna’ and its designation of ‘Laśuna’ is well-known among the people. What need to mention the many names by which it is called in the languages of different countries? Hear only its tastes, properties, and powers on account of their importance for its medicinal use.
(Verse 14.) In tasting as well as in digesting it is declared to be pungent; but in digesting it is also said to be sweet; it is of light, and, as shown by its smell, difficult to digest; with regard to its power, it is hot, and it is famed as an aphrodisiac.
(Verse 15.) By the foremost Munis it has been declared to be, on account of its sour, hot and oily nature, a means of reducing the strength of the air-humour, and, on account of its sweet and bitter nature, as shown by its taste, also to be a means of abating the bile-humour. On account of its hot, sharp, and pungent nature it is said by the learned to be a subduer of the strength of the phlegm-humour. It was thus appointed by the Creator a means of removing the defects of these three humours, in order that it should cure all diseases.
(Verse 16.) It kills also the air-humour when it has got into the bones, and rectifies also the phlegm-humour when it (i.e., its disorder) is not of any long standing; it also greatly stimulates the digestive power, and may be considered an excellent means for restoring vital power and colour.
(Verse 17.) Now by those who want to enjoy in comfort many sorts of liquor, flesh, clarified butter, barley and wheat, the festival of the garlic, here described, is to be observed, in the winter season as well as in the months of Madhu and Mâdhava.
(Verse 18.) When trimmed girdles fit for the conquest of men, are given up by the women, and necklaces are not worn by (lit., do not approach) their bosoms, on account of their distressing cold, and when enjoyments on the roofs of one's mansions, otherwise so pleasant from the contact with the multitude of the rays of the moon, are not coveted, at that time it should be observed, also when Aguru (fragrant aloe) is much esteemed and the bodies are daubed with Kumkuma (saffron).
(Verse 19.) Then in the fronts of the houses, on their gateways, and on the doors of the pavilions, erected over them, garlands of garlic richly set with its bulbs should be displayed, and on the ground itself one should have worship performed. One should also cause the people of one's household to wear chaplets made of the same (garlic). This is the manner for observing the festival, appointed for the people, and known by the name of Svalpôvamâ.

(Another translation can be found here and a Dutch one here.)

There is one discrepancy between the Nagari transcription and the transliteration in the earlier publication. In verse 18, 'saffron' (Classical Sanskrit कुङ्कुम kuṅkuma) is given as kuṃkum but कुकुंम was printed, which would be the impossible kukuṃm; so I've assumed कुंकुम (like it's spelled in Marathi). There are more differences between the transliteration and the one in GRETIL than are accounted for just by the different schemes used. For instance, in the GRETIL text, 'moon-rays' is written endvaṃśu in verse 9 but endvaṅśu in verse 18; of course, it's possible that the manuscript really is inconsistent in when nasals are written with anusvara. More clearly a typo in transcribing online is nimakāle for himakāle '[in the] winter time'. Beside these and other single letter differences, the online version adds khalu after atha at the start of verse 17; since अथ and अथ खलु are so close as a way of keeping a narrative going, the translation is no real guide, though I suspect that this is a real emendation. Anyway, because of all these, I've decided against just copying the online transliteration and gone with the one I can proofread. When I manage to track down a copy of the later work, or it shows up digitized online, I can update it.

The folk etymology then for लशुन laśuna is रसुन rasuna from [लवण lavaṇa 'salty'] रस rasa 'taste' ऊन ūna '-less'. As for mainstream derivations, since there is no Indo-European analogue, in this paper, Thomas Burrow proposes a Dravidian source, noting Kui lesuṛi and Malto nasnu. Words derived from the Sanskrit and words of the 'white onion' sort in the major Dravidian languages were listed in the earlier garlic post. Further out on the limb, Tóth's Etymological dictionary of Hungarian, which aims to prove that it descends from Sumerian, relates Hungarian csomó 'knot', Sumerian šum (also mentioned in the earlier post) and lasuna.

In one of those odd coincidences that ultimately don't mean anything, Hoernle died November 11, 1918, the day of the signing of Armistice ending World War I. Of course, this was only a pause in the succession of troubles caused by nationalist interests playing out on the trans-national stage, among other things. It is commemorated this weekend as Veterans Day.

It was the discovery of the Bower Manuscript that led the Indian Government and the British Museum to launch Sir Aurel Stein's Silk Road expedition, which would discover the Dunhuang caves, plus loads more manuscripts, including ones in Tocharian and Khotanese, on Alexander's track. Other countries undertook similar efforts, of course: see outline here or the popular account in Foreign Devils on the Silk Road. As the Wikipedia points out, Hoernle's reputation suffered as a result of his being taken in by some forgeries, but it recovered in part due to work on these new discoveries; see summary here.

Lately I've thought that someone should write a book of such literary causes and effects. I do not mean the obvious ones, such as Stein being inspired by Through Asia, as mentioned by the Wikipedia. Rather ones where the origin is significantly more obscure or unexpected, like the surprise of the Bower manuscript. Some more examples:

  • When Benjamin Franklin was sixteen, he read a book by Thomas Tryon and became a vegetarian. Everyone still reads Franklin's Autobiography, but Tryon only shows up in histories of vegetarianism and the occasional blog post.
  • It was reading Percival Lowell's Soul of the Far East that persuaded Lafcadio Hearn to go to Japan. He considered it the best book in English on Japanese life, though he disagreed some with it and even more with Occult Japan. Today Lowell is remembered as an astronomer and Hearn as the essential interpreter of Japan.
  • Thomas Merton read James Joyce's Ulysses and was one of the earlier writers on Finnegans Wake. But he always bogged down on A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, where Joyce's conflicts with Catholicism are laid out straightforwardly. When he finally did succeed, he converted and became a monk and one of the most influential modern Catholic authors.