Cardamom, i. e. the capsular fruit of several species of Elettaria and Ammomum, (N. O. Zingiberaceae), indigenous in the islands of the East Indian archipelago, appears, to have been used during antiquity. In the Ayur-Vedas of Susrutas6) they are mentioned as Ela. According to Plutarch7) the Egyptians used cardamom together with other spices in religious incense.

Later writers use as synonyms the terms Amomis, Amomum and Cardamomum.8) Although a number of spices were imported during antiquity from southern India, it is highly probable that these designations were applied only to cardamom. Dioscorides,9) Theo-phrastus,10) Pliny,1') Scribonius Largus and Alex. Trallianus,12) mention cardamom as well as Amom, mostly together with pepper, cloves and nutmeg. During the 3. and 4. centuries, when Roman luxury had reached its climax, cardamom was one of the favorite spices.1) As products of farther India, the Arabian traveler Masudi2) in 912 mentions cardamom, cubebs, nutmegs, cloves, camphor, sandelwood and linaloes. In the middle of the 12. century, the Sicilian geographer Edrisi3) makes a distinction between Ceylon and Chinese cardamom. Like Barbosa4) and Pegolotti,6) he also mentions that at that time the spices entered the European market via Aden and Alexandria, also via Accon6) during the existence of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

1) Chymia medica dogmatico-experimentalis. Editio Kessel. 1749. Vol. 2, p. 638.

2) Joh. Alb. Gesneri Dissertatio de Zingibere. Altdorf 1723. p. 18.

3) Tractatus de materia medica. Paris 1757. Vol.2, p. 265.

4) Elementa Chymiae dogmatico-experimentalis una cum synopsiMateriae medicae selection's. Halae 1736. Vol. 2, p. 62.

5) Hortus indicus malabaricus. Amstelodami 1678 - 1703. Vol.2, p. 24, Tab. 12.

6) See p. 16, footnote 1.

7) Plutarchi Moralia. Isis et Osiris.

8) The usage of these synonyms continued up to the close of the 18. century. Thus in Murray's Apparatus Medicamentorum (Gottingern 1790) and in similar works the designation Amomum Cardamomum still occurs.

9) Dioscorides, De materia medica libri quinque. Editio Kuhn-Sprengel. Leipzig 1829. Vol. 1, p. 14.

10) Theophrasti Eresii opera, quae supersunt omnia. Historia plantarum. Editio Wimmer. Parisiis 1866. p. 147.

11) Plinii Naturaiis historiae libri. Lib. XII. 28, 29. - Editio Littre. Paris 1877. Vol. 1, pp. 482, 483.

12) Alexandri Tralliani medici libri XII. Basiliae 1556. Editio Puschmann. 1878. Vol. 2, p. 354.

Even at that time, a distinction was made between wild and cultivated cardamom.7) Garcia da Orta8) distinguished between a larger but less aromatic cardamom from Ceylon and a smaller but more spicy variety. Finally, at the time of Valerius Cordus the Malabar Cardamomum minus was given preference over the larger kind.9)

The first good illustration of Eletteria cardamomum was published by Henry van Rheede,10) governor of the Dutch East

1) Apicius Caelius, De re coquinaria libri X. Editio Schuch. Heidelberg 1867. pp. 36, 45, 64, 98, 105, 139, 142, 165. - Hieronymi Opera omnia. Editio Migne Patrologiae cursus completes. Vol. 2, p. 297.

2) Ali el-Masudi, Prairies d'Or. Editio Meynard et Courteille. Paris 1861-1877. Vol. 1, p. 341.

3) Geographie d'Edrisi, traduite par Amedee Jaubert. 1836 - 1840. Vol.1, pp. 51, 341.

4) Libro di Odoardo Barbosa. In Ramusio's Delle navigation/' et viaggi. Venetia 1554. fol. 413 - 417. - Editio Hakluyt Society in London: Description of the Coasts of East Africa and Malabar. 1866. pp. 59, 64, 147, 154.

5) Francesco Balducci Pegolotti, La pratica delta mercatura. In Pagnini's Delia decima e delle altre gravezze, della moneta e della mercatura de' Fiorentini fino al seculo XVI. Lisboa e Lucca 1766. p. 57.

6) Beugnot, Assies de Jerusalem. Paris. Vol. 2, p. 175.

7) Pegolotti, Cardamomi salvatichi, domestici. 1. c. (see footnote 5) p. 211 and 296.

8) Garcias ab Horto, Colloquios dos simples e drogas he cousas medicinais da India, e assai dalguas frutas achadas nella ande se tratam. 1563. Edited by Carolus Clusius in 1567 with the title: Aromatum et Simplicium aliquot medicamentorum apud Indus nascentium historia: primum quidem Lusitanica linguaOil Of Cardamom 31 conscripta, a D. Garcia ab Horto, Proregis Indiae Medico: Deinde latino illustrata a Carolo Clusio Atrebate. Antverpise p. 98. The original Portuguese was reprinted in 1872 by F. A. von Varnhagen. See p. 51 of this edition.

9) Valerius Cordus, Dispensatorium Noricum. Editio Paris, pp. 40, 76, 77, 115, 157, 158.

10) Van Rheede, Hortus indicus malabaricus, cum notis et commentariis Johanni Commelini. Amstelodami 1678-1703. Vol. XI (1692), Tab. 4-5: Elettari.

India Company on the Malabar coast, and by Georg Eberhard Rumpf,1) who, born in Hanau, lived as merchant and botanist in Amboina.

Cardamom oil was distilled as early as 1540 by Valerius Cordus.2) The yield was determined by Caspar Neumann,3) C. Ph. Martius,4) Joh. Friedr. Cartheuser and J. R. Spielmann.5)