TALISMAN to TAMARIND
TALISMAN, s. This word is used by many medieval and post-medieval writers for what we should now
call a moollah, or the like, a member of the Mahommedan clergy, so to call them. It is doubtless the
corruption of some Ar. term, but of what it is not easy to say. Qu. talamiza, disciples, students? [See
Burton, Ar. Nights, ix. 165.] On this Prof. Robertson Smith writes: I have got some fresh light on your
W. Bedwell, the father of English Arabists, in his Catalogue of the Chapters of the Turkish
Alkoran, published (1615) along with the Mohammedis Imposturae, and Arabian Trudgman, has the
following, quoted from Postellus de Orbis Concordia, i. 13: Haec precatio (the fatiha) illis est communis
ut nobis dominica: et ita quibusdum ad battologiam usque recitatur ut centies idem, aut duo aut tria vocabula
repetant dicendo, Alhamdu lillah, hamdu lillah, hamdu lillah, et cetera ejus vocabula eodem modo. Idque
facit in publicà oratione Taalima, id est sacrificulus, pro his qui negligenter orant ut aiunt, ut ea repititione
suppleat eorum erroribus.
Quidam medio in campo tam assiduè, ut defessi considant; alii circumgirando
Here then we have a form without the s, and one which from the vowels seem to be tilima,
a very learned man. This, owing to the influence of the guttural, would sound in modern pronunciation
nearly as Taalima. At the same time tilima is not the name of an office, and prayers on behalf of others
can be undertaken by any one who receives a mandate, and is paid for them; so it is very possible that
Postellus, who was an Arabic scholar, made the pointing suit his idea of the word meant, and that the
real word is talami, a shortened form, recognised by Jawhari, and other lexicographers, of talamidh,
disciples. That students should turn a penny by saying prayers for others is very natural. This, therefore,
confirms our conjecture of the origin.
1338.They treated me civilly, and set me in front of their mosque during their Easter; at which mosque,
on account of its being their Easter, there were assembled from divers quarters a number of their Cadini,
i.e. of their bishops, and of their Talismani, i.e. of their priests.Letter of Friar Pascal, in Cathay,
&c., p. 235.
1471.In questa città è vna fossa dacqua nel modo di vna fontana, la qualè guardata da
quelli suoi Thalassimani, cioè preti; quest acqua dicono che ha gran vertù contra la lebra, e contra le
caualette.Giosafa Barbaro, in Ramusio, ii. f. 107.
Non vi sarebbe più confusione
Sa Damasco il Soldan desse lassalto;
Un muover darme, un correr di
E di talacimanni un gridar dalto.
Ariosto, xviii. 7.
1554.Talismánnos habent hominum genus templorum ministerio dicatum.
Busbeq. Epistola. i. p.
40.TALIYAMAR, s. Sea-Hind. for cut-water. Port. talhamar.Roebuck.
c. 1590.Vt Talismanni, qui sint commodius intelligatur: sciendum, certos esse gradus Mahumetanis
eorum qui legum apud ipsos periti sunt, et partim jus dicunt, partim legem interpretantur. Ludovicus
Bassanus Iadrensis in hunc modum comparat eos cum nostris Ecclesiasticis.
Muphtim dicit esse inter
ipsos instar vel Papae nostro, vel Patriarchae Graecorum.
Huic proximi sunt Cadilescheri.
cum Archiepiscopis nostris comparat. Sequuntur Cadij
locum obtinent Episcopi. Secundum hos sunt
eis Hoggiae,1 qui seniores dicuntur, vt Graecis et nostris Presbyteri. Excipiunt Hoggias Talismani,
seu Presbyteros Diaconi. Vltimi sunt Dervisii, qui Calogeris Graecorum, monachis nostris respondent.
Talismani Mahumetanis ad preces interdiu et noctu quinquis excitant.Leunclavius, Annales Sultanorum
Othmanidarum, ed. 1650, 414.
1610.Some hauing two, some foure, some sixe adioyning turrets, exceeding
high, and exceeding slender: tarrast aloft on the outside like the maine top of a ship
from which the Talismanni
with elated voices (for they vse no bels) do congregate the people.
Sandys, p. 31.
Fylalli converse most in the Alcoran. The Deruissi are wandering wolves in sheepes clothing. The Talismanni
regard the houres of prayer by turning the 4 hourd glasse. The Muyezini crie from the tops of Mosques,
battologuizing Llala Hyllula.Sir T. Herbert, 267; [and see ed. 1677, p. 323].
1678.If he can read like
a Clerk a Chapter out of the Alcoran
he shall be crowned with the honour of being a Mullah or Talman.
It is reported by the Turks that
the victorious Sultan
went with all Magnificent pomp
and solemnity to pay his thanksgiving and devotions at the church of Sancta Sophia; the Magnificence so
pleased him, that he immediately added a yearly Rent of 10,000 zechins to the former Endowments, for
the maintenance of Imaums or Priests, Doctours of their Law, Talismans and others who continually
attend there for the education of youth.
Sir P. Rycaut, Present State of the Ottoman Empire, p. 54.