This study seeks to clarify some mystifying points, on two dimensions. On the first dimension, Pliny mentioned an appreciated Parthian bread as “aquatic bread”, and we seek to probe into whether the signifier (if not the signified) is continued by Iraq’s still extant “aquatic bread”, being a large, soft flat bread. We conclude that the Iraqi Arabic signifier was perhaps inspired by the compound whose Latin form Pliny preserved, whereas the baked products so named, now and in antiquity, were probably different. The compound itself was retained, translated from Iranic into Arabic, by preserving the semantic motivation. On the second dimension, the Italian compound pane acquatico appears in a passage discussing Pliny, in a book by the Armenians published in 1786 under the name of an Armenian banker, Giovanni de Serpos (or Giovanni Serposiana, from Armenian Serposian), living in Venice and ennobled in the Papal States; we remark that he commissioned it and saw it to publication, but it had been authored in Italian by a Croatian cleric, Josip Marinović (“del mare”). We begin in Sec. 1 with the lexical type pizza / pitta, and flat breads; then Sec. 2, “Is the Iraqi ‘water-bread’, a soft flat bread, related to Pliny’s Parthian panis aquaticus? Giovanni de Serpos’ 1786 claims of an Armenian conduit for the transmission to Rome of the pane acquatico as a luxury bread”, is followed with Sec. 3, “Concerning Giovanni de Serpos and Josip Marinović”, and finally, important insights from the scholarly literature appear in Sec. 4, “Naum Jasny’s insights about Pliny’s panis aquaticus, and concluding remarks”.
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|Titolo:||The Parthian “Aquatic Bread” and the Iraqi “Water-Bread” (khə́bəz ṃā́y). An Instance of Material Culture Continuity?|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|