GINSENG, s. A medical root which has an extraordinary reputation in China as a restorative, and sells there at prices ranging from 6 to 400 dollars an ounce. The plant is Aralia Ginseng, Benth. (N.O. Araliaceae). The second word represents the Chinese name Jên-Shên. In the literary style the drug is called simply Shên. And possibly Jên, or ‘Man,’ has been prefixed on account of the forked radish, man-like aspect of the root. European practitioners do not recognise its alleged virtues. That which is most valued comes from Corea, but it grows also in Mongolia and Manchuria. A kind much less esteemed, the root of Panax quinquefolium, L., is imported into China from America. A very closely-allied plant occurs in the Himalaya, A. Pseudo-Ginseng, Benth. Ginseng is first mentioned by Alv. Semedo (Madrid, 1642). [See Ball, Things Chinese, 268 seq., where Dr. P. Smith seems to believe that it has some medicinal value.]

GIRAFFE, s. English, not Anglo-Indian. Fr. girafe, It. giraffa, Sp. and Port. girafa, old Sp. azorafa, and these from Ar. al-zarafa, a cameleopard. The Pers. surnapa, zurnapa, seems to be a form curiously divergent of the same word, perhaps nearer the original. The older Italians sometimes make giraffa into seraph. It is not impossible that the latter word, in its biblical use, may be radically connected with giraffe.

The oldest mention of the animal is in the Septuagint version of Deut. xiv. 5, where the word zamar, rendered in the English Bible ‘chamois,’ is translated [Greek Text] kamhlopardaliV; and so also in the Vulgate camelopardalus, [probably the ‘wild goat’ of the Targums, not the giraffe (Encycl. Bibl. i. 722)]. We quote some other ancient notices of the animal, before the introduction of the word before us:

c. B.C. 20.—“The animals called camelopards ( [Greek Text] kamhlopardaleiV) present a mixture of both the animals comprehended in this appellation. In size they are smaller than camels, and shorter in the neck; but in the distinctive form of the head and eyes. In the curvature of the back again they have some resemblance to a camel, but in colour and hair, and in the length of tail, they are like panthers.”—Diodorus, ii. 51.

c. A.D. 20.—“Camelleopards (kamhlopardaleiV) are bred in these parts, but they do not in any respect resemble leopards, for their variegated skin is more like the streaked and spotted skin of fallow deer. The hinder quarters are so very much lower than the fore quarters, that it seems as if the animal sat upon its rump.…It is not, however, a wild animal, but rather like a domesticated beast; for it shows no sign of a savage disposition.”—Strabo, Bk. XVI. iv. § 18, E.T. by Hamilton and Falconer.

c. A.D. 210.—Athenaeus, in the description which he quotes of the wonderful procession of Ptolemy Philadelphus at Alexandria, besides many other strange creatures, details 130 Ethiopic sheep, 20 of Eubœa, 12 white koloi, 26 Indian oxen, 8 Aethiopic, a huge white bear, 14 pardales and 16 panthers, 4 lynxes, 3 arkeloi, one camelopardalis, 1 Ethiopic Rhinoceros.—Bk. V. cap. xxxii.

c. A.D. 520.—

Ennepe moi kakeina, poluqroV Mousa ligeia,
mikta fusin q hrwn, dicoqen kekerasmena, fula,
pardalin aiolonwton omou xunhn te kamhlon.
* * * * * *
Deirh oi tanah, stikton demaV, ouata baia, Yilon uperqe karh, dolicoi podeV eurea tarsa,
kwlwn douk isa metra, podeV t ou pampan omoioi,

Oppiani Cynegetica, iii. 461 seqq.

c. 380.—“These also presented gifts, among which besides other things a certain species of animal, of nature both extraordinary and wonderful. In size it was equal to a camel, but the surface of its skin marked with flower-like spots. Its hinder parts and the flanks were low, and like those of a lion, but the shoulders and forelegs and chest were much higher in proportion than the other limbs. The neck was slender, and in regard to the bulk of the rest of the body was like a swan’s throat in its elongation. The head was in form like that of a camel, but in size more than twice that of a Libyan ostrich.…Its legs were not moved alternately, but by pairs, those on the right side being moved together, and those on the left together, first one side and then the other.…When this creature appeared the whole multitude was struck with astonishment, and its form suggesting a name, it got from the populace, from the most prominent features of its body, the improvised name of camelopardalis.”—Heliodorus, Aethiopica, x. 27.

c. 940.—“The most common animal in those countries is the giraffe (Zarafa)…some consider its origin to be a variety of the camel; others say it is owing to a union of the camel with the panther: others in short that it is a particular and distinct species, like the horse, the ass, or the ox, and not the result of any cross- breed.…In Persian the giraffe is called Ushturgao (‘camel-cow’

  By PanEris using Melati.

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