Alima (1)

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Alima grece unguentum vel linimentum. Cassius felix capitulo de causone alima lexiperiton .i. permixtio ad febres et cetera. Item liber de doctrina greca per geminum .M. alimma habet.


.i. ACH efjp | & est B
permixtio | perunctio Cassius Felix
febres | febrẽ f
et cetera om. e
alimma (alĩma AC) ABCH fjp | almima .i. ms. e


Alima is Greek for Latin unguentum or linimentum {"ointment" or "liniment"}. Cassius Felix in his chapter De causone {"On the causos fever"} speaks of alima lexipyreton (lit. "fever-allaying ointment"}, i.e. a mixture for fighting fevers, et cetera. The word is also mentioned in the liber de doctrina greca but there it is spelt with double 'm': alimma.


Greek ἄλειμμα /áleimma/ is a derivate of ἀλεíφω /aleíphō/, which means "to anoint the skin with oil". ἄλειμμα /áleimma/ therefore means "anything used for anointing, unguent, fat, oil" (LSJ). Simon’s transcription reflects the medieval itacist pronunciation /álima/.

Greek ληξιπύρετον /lēxipýreton/ means "allaying fever" and it is a compound of λῆξις, /lêxis/ "cessation; death" from /λήγω /lḗgō/ "to stay, abate" + πυρετός /pyretós/ "fever". The itacist pronunciation of this word is /lixipíreton/ but Latin speakers of Romance background still pronounced Greek ”η” as /e/. The expected transcription by Simon would be *lexipireton,

Simon refers explicitly to Cassius Felix De medicina, chapter 61. Ad causon {"On causos fever"}, ed. Fraisse (2001: 166-171), §§ 4,5, (2001: 168), where it says § 4: Alimma lexipyreton id est perunctio ad febres aestatis tempore... - "Alimma lexipyreton {'fever-allaying ointment or liniment'} is an ointment for the summer fevers"...

§ 5: Alia perunctio lexipyretos, ad causon et ad iugem sive continuam febrem, quam Graeci synochon dicunt... - "Another ointment is called lexipyretos {lit. 'allaying fever'}, for causos fever, and for unintermittent or continual fever, which the Greeks call synochon"...
N.b. σύνοχος /sýnokhos/, from συνέχω /synékhō/ "to hold or keep together", is already used in the Corpus Hippocraticum in the sense of "unintermittent fever".
The Latin text is also available online in the Rose edition (1879: 150f) [[1]].

The liber de doctrina greca has so far not been identified.

WilfGunther (talk) 07/02/2014

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