two queries

Stephen Hodge s.hodge at PADMACHOLING.PLUS.COM
Mon Nov 24 23:19:37 UTC 2008

Dear George,

The betel chewing part of this thread is of interest to me.  A Buddhist 
sutra I have been working on for many years, which is datable to c90CE (+/- 
a couple of decades either way) and originates in Andhradesha, gives a 
lengthy compendium of forbidden items in which dissolute monks of the age 
indulged.  One section of this list gives all the ingredients for paan 
chewing: "betel leaves, herbal oil, powdered lime, cardamon and areca-nuts". 
Another shorter list just mentions "betel mixtures".  So the custom is 
attested in literature long before 400CE.

Best wishes,
Stephen Hodge

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "George Hart" <glhart at BERKELEY.EDU>
Sent: Monday, November 24, 2008 9:16 PM
Subject: Re: two queries

I learned that the earliest reference to betel chewing is in the
Cilappatikaram (about 400 CE?).  Don't know if that is accurate.
George Hart

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