Letter: DK 232.2 (alt: VIII)

Letter DK 232.2 (alt: VIII)



Letter from Binyām (Binyamin) of Rosetta, probably in Alexandria, to Abū Saʿīd the gallnut merchant, in Fustat. In Judaeo-Arabic. Containing urgent instructions to sell or to send certain drugs, metallic dyes, and medical plants, ca. 1120. See Bodl. MS heb. d 66/52, esp. r8–10, for their identities. Goods named in this letter include afsantīn (wormwood); kundus (baby's breath); zunjufr (cinnabar); sunbul (spikenard); quṣṭ (=qusṭ, alecost or costus); martak (litharge); salaqūn (red lead); jullanār (pomegranate blossom); qiṭna or qaṭina (a cryptic term which may simply be a derivative of cotton, but in this form means 'omasum' according to the dictionaries); אבר (either abār, meaning lead, or ibar, meaning "needles"); khaskhāsh abyaḍ (white poppy); 1000 dūdīyya li-l-misk (Goitein suggests astringent kermes worms); qurashiyya (Goitein suggests "odoriferous claws"; Lisān al-ʿArab says it is a type of wheat); and asārūn (asarabacca), which [in Rosetta, probably] is going for 1 dinar, due to demand from the Andalusians. The writer will promptly send money, or if the addressee desires, he may take the payment from Abū Naṣr b. Shaʿyā. Information largely from Goitein's attached notes. Cf. T-S NS 321.60, same sender and same addressee. ASE.