two queries

Ravindran Sriramachhandran rsriramachandran at YAHOO.COM
Tue Nov 25 00:06:13 UTC 2008

With ref. to Prof. Hart's note on Cilapptikaram, the mention of betel leaves occurs in two places one is Cil. 16, 55 where Kannaki offers betel leaves and areca nut in a roll to Kovalan  after a meal, I am not able to remember the second instance. Thambulam is also mentioned in Manimekhalai 28. 243. where betel leaves with a camphor mixture (பளிதம் - paḷitam ) is offered .


--- On Mon, 11/24/08, Jonathan Silk <kauzeya at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
From: Jonathan Silk <kauzeya at GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: two queries
Date: Monday, November 24, 2008, 5:03 PM

I remember reading decades ago a reference in a Buddhist text--which I
*think* I remember to have been in Pali, of a man offering betel to a woman
as a sexual overture. Perhaps it would not be so difficult now for someone
to dig out the passage (if my memory of this is not as defective as it seems
to be becoming in many other things!). But whether the Pali was canonical,
and what the date of the text in question was, I have no idea at all...

On Mon, Nov 24, 2008 at 10:16 PM, George Hart <glhart at>

> I learned that the earliest reference to betel chewing is in the
> Cilappatikaram (about 400 CE?).  Don't know if that is accurate. 
> Hart
> On Nov 24, 2008, at 11:31 AM, Allen W Thrasher wrote:
>  There are several articles on the history of betel by the P.K. Gode
>> reprinted as part of his Kleine Schriften in Studies in Indian
>> History < >.  (There are some
problems in
>> the proofreading of the t.c., which I had added to our online catalog
>> record.  I mean to get them corrected.)
>> The subject headings to browse in the LOC or WorldCat catalog that
seem to
>> pull up titles on the culture of betel chewing rather than works on
the nut
>> and leaf as contemporary economic crops are:
>> Betel chewing—Paraphernalia
>> Betel cutters
>> Betel nut
>> Betel nut—Pictorial works
>> A Google Images search on the Linnaean name Terminalia bellerica
>> belerica) produces a good variety of images of Vibhitaka on the tree,
>> and dried.
>> Allen
>> Allen W. Thrasher, Ph.D.
>> Senior Reference Librarian
>> Team Coordinator
>> South Asia Team, Asian Division
>> Library of Congress, Jefferson Building 150
>> 101 Independence Ave., S.E.
>> Washington, DC 20540-4810
>> tel. 202-707-3732; fax 202-707-1724; athr at
>> The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Library
>> Congress.

J. Silk
Instituut Kern / Universiteit Leiden
Postbus 9515
2300 RA Leiden


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