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Asma est offensio anhelitus cum sonitu a greco asma quod est cantus in libro de doctrina greca et in Psalterio ubi nos habemus canticum vel cantum grecus habet asma. Paulus capitulo de asmate sine fibre: respirantes velut currentes ocius ab eventu nominant asmaticos, eosdem vero ipsos ex eo quod toracem erectum servant timore suffocationis ortomicos vocant, dysnia vero communis est casus et has et plures consequens passiones.


offensio | ofẽsio B
anhelitus AC e | anelitus fj | hanelitus B p
cantus | causatus ms. e
ubi om. B
canticum vel om. f
grecus (grecus p) ht̄ B ep | grecus hʒ AC | greci (g͠ f) hn͡t fj {= greci habent}
velut (-ud e) currentes ef Paulus Aeg. | uelut curẽtes B | vel decurrentes (-rrẽtes A) AC | ul' d'currẽtes jp { d’currẽtes} citius l’ add. j
noĩat AC e | nominãt B | noĩant fp
toracem | thoraceʒ f
ortomicos AC | ortopnoycos B | ortopnōicos e | ortopinocos (or- j) jp | ortonoicos f | horthopnicos Paulus Aeg.
dysnia AC | disnia efp | disma B j {'ni' misread as 'm'} | dyspnia Paulus Aeg.
et (& jp) has B efjp | ad has & AC
{et has} eciã add. e
consequẽs (cō- BC p; con- A) ABC ep | con-sequẽter (-sqt~ f) fj
{passiones} et cetera add. BC p


Paulus in his chapter De asmate {"On asthma"} says: Those breathing without fever as if they were running very fast are named astmatici from this occurrence, but those same people who are forced to keep their chest upright for fear of suffocation are named ortomici {shortness of breath when lying flat}; dysnia {i.e shortness of breath} is a common accompanying symptom and many other complaints.


s a late Greek and Latin collateral form of ast(h)ma. The word ἄσθμα /ásthma/ is of Greek origin, and its etymology is unclear. It is attested as early as the Iliad with the meaning "short-drawn breath, panting", but widened its meaning to include "asthma; breath, breathing; blast" (LSJ). The collateral form ἄσμα /ásma/ is found as early as in the 2nd c. A.D. Greek grammarian Herodian, who considered it as the original form with ἄσθμα /asthma/ having a "pleonastic" theta added (Aelius Herodianus περὶ παθῶν 3,2 page 286 line 30, ed. Lentz (1867-70: 286.30) [[1]]; reference supplied by B. Zipser). The deletion of theta is probably due to the – at least for non-native speakers of Greek – unusual consonant cluster /-smθ-/ or /-smt-/. Even to this day Italian and the Iberian Romance languages have adopted asma as their normal form, and French asthme is pronounced [asmǝ] and English asthma is usually pronounced [æsmǝ] although spelling pronunciations like [æstmǝ, æsθmǝ] do exist.

Simon's next sentence is somewhat puzzling; he mentions that asma in the liber de doctrina greca means cantus {"song"} and in the Psalter it means canticum, cantus id. Simon is here simply mentioning a homophone ᾄσμα /ásma/, written with subscript alpha because it is a contracted form of ἄεισμα /áeisma/ meaning "song". Indeed – as he says – the biblical "Song of Songs" is called in the Vulgate CANTICUM CANTICORUM, and in the Septuagint ᾼΣΜΑ ᾼΣΜΑΤΩΝ {= ᾄσμα ᾀσμάτων /ásma asmátōn/}, translating the original Hebrew שיִר הַשּיִריִם /šîr haššîrîm/. It is not quite clear why Simon mentions this homophony.

The rest of Simon's entry is a near-verbatim quote from Paul of Aegina's "Medical Compendium in Seven Books", in its Greek original Ἐπιτομῆς ἰατρικῆς βιβλία ἑπτά /Epitomês iatrikês biblía heptá/. Of this comprehensive work - according to Dahhaoui (2001: 86) - only the third book was known to Medieval Western Europe in a 10th c. Latin translation; the third book being devoted to human ailments. This translation is the one from which Simon quotes, here book 3, 172, ed. Heiberg (1912: 95), De orthopnia, asthmate et dispnia {"On orthopnoea, asthma and dyspnoea"} [[2]].

WilfGunther 18:36, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

For dyspnoea see Disnia, orthopnoea Orthomia.

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