[Sca-cooks] maize and cubits
ranvaig at columbus.rr.com
Sat Nov 28 02:32:06 PST 2009
>Back on September 1, Bear said:
><<< Leonard Fuchs refers to maize as Turkische Ko:rn in his herbal
>but the best evidence is from Leonard Rauwolf who traveled between Tripoli
>and Baghdad in 1573-75. Along the Euphrates, Rauwolf observed, "Indian
>millet (maize) six, seven or eight cubits high."
>Something doesn't seem right here. Looking up the length of a
>"cubit" on the web I get varying measurements, but they range from
>"about 17 to 22 inches (43 to 56 centimeters)". Even assuming a
>conservative number of 17 inches that makes the shortest "Indian
>millet (maize) 102 inches or 8.5 feet tall and the taller up to 136
>inches or 11.3 feet tall.
>I know we've been breeding maize to be shorter and thus easier to
>harvest, but these numbers seem awfully tall.
Why assume they were looking at maize and not millet? A number of
varieties of millet were used in India since ancient times. I'm not
familiar with growing millet, but I found a reference that says it
can be up to 4 meters tall. On the other hand, someone seeing maize
for the first time might easily think it looked like millet.
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