"Safranum" an "Crocus"?[fontem recensere]
This article is impressive. But do we have attestations for the form safranum? In Ancient times they just said crocus: cf. Apicius 1.1.1 --Iustinus 20:56, 11 Ianuarii 2007 (UTC)
- And presumably they did the same in the 1700s, if Linnaeus called it ‘Crocus sativus’. —Myces Tiberinus 00:22, 12 Ianuarii 2007 (UTC)
- Myces: I don't think that' relevant, because it refers to the plant, not the spice.
- Ioshus: Thanks for the footwork. When and if I have the time I'll try to reedit the introduction to reflect the dichotomy. Since safron was known to the ancients, in theory I'd want to use the ancient name. But since crocus is both the name of the spice and the flower (not to mention the genus), it is probably more convenient to leave it here.
- --Iustinus 01:05, 12 Ianuarii 2007 (UTC)
- Well, the taxobox and the full scope of the article suggest the whole plant is intended as well (both being covered by the same term in the English from which it's translated—as C. sativus is the type species of the genus, the plant could probably be described under Crocus). BTW, the reference.com article is just en.Wikipedia, which historically has a very bad track record on etymology, though in this case the dictionary references do indeed give safrānum  . —Myces Tiberinus 14:21, 13 Ianuarii 2007 (UTC)
- My impression is that Arabic-based Latin forms like zafframen (see Du Cange) and safranum (Liber de coquina etc.) are late medieval names for the product, by which time the trade (from Turkey and points east) to Europe would have been in Arabic and Turkish hands. The word crocus was still familiar to scientists, and eventually they rather used it, as Iustinus suggests, for the botanical genus and species; safranum remained the name for the product. I think I'm just agreeing with what's already been said above, really. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 15:24, 28 Ianuarii 2007 (UTC)
OK, so above I was suggesting that safranum shoudl be about the spice, and crocus about the flower, but then Myces pointed out that the article as it's written is about both, which implies it shoudl be moved to crocus (unless someone wants to do the work of teasing the two threads apart). What should we do about this?
- I think in many cases it will be overdoing it to separate an article about a spice or herb from an article about the species it comes from. In this case, I would suggest, since safranum though post-classical is a good unambiguous name, we should use it for the product and the species, with a redirect from Crocus sativus. This leaves us Crocus for an article about the genus. That genus article will begin with a disambiguation line: for the spice crocus and its source, see Safranum.; it will also contain a list of species, with an additional redirect to Safranum. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 13:27, 4 Martii 2007 (UTC)