Benet guaridem

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Benet guaridem in .ii. canonis Avicenne est dictu filie guariden et sunt scarabei qui nascuntur in balneis ut dixit mihi arabs.


Benet guariden ejp | Benetguaridẽ B | Benetgariden f | Benerguaridem AC {'t' misread as 'r'}
dictum | dictu ABC
filie guariden fjp | filieguaride AC | filix guariden B | siml'e guariden e
mihi AC | michi B e | m̓ fjp
{mihi} quidam add. f


Benet guariden is the title of a chapter in the second book of Avicenna's Canon; it translates as 'the daughters of guariden', and they are scarabaei {"beetles"} that grow in bath houses as an Arab told me.


Benet guaridem:
- Wehr (1976): s.v. ﺍﺑﻨﺔ /ibna/: ﺑﻨﺎﺕ ﻭﺭﺩﺍﻥ /banāt wardāna/ "earthworms, rainworms"; but Wehr √wrd: ﺑﻨﺖﻭ ﺭﺩﺍﻥ /bint wardāna/, pl.ﺑﻨﺎﺕ ﺭﺩﺍﻥ /banāt wardāna/ "cockroach".
- Siggel (1950: 21): ﺑﻨﺎﺕ ﻭﺭﺩﺍﻥ /banāt wardān/ "Motten" {i.e. "moths"}.
- Lane (1984: 2936): ﺑﻨﺖ ﻭﺭﺩﺍﻥ {/bintu wardāna/}, … pl. ﺑﻨﺎﺕ ﻭﺭﺩﺍﻥ {/banātu wardāna/} "a certain insect, … well known, … like the beetle, of a red colour, mostly found in baths and in privies".

ﺑﻨﺖ /bint/, pl. ﺑﻨﺎﺕ /banāt/ means "daughter(s)". The second element ﻭﺭﺩﺍﻥ /wardān(a)/ is more ambiguous to analyse. Simon himself translates his Benerguariden with filie guariden {i.e. "daughters of guariden"}, thus avoiding the translation of the second element. Corriente (1997: 561), s.v. *(WRD) has: "banāt wardān cockroaches" with /wardān/ derived from the root meaning "enter" {and also: "arrive/ descend to water"; cf. ﻭﺭﺩ /wird/ "watering place"}. However a derivation from a root with the same radicals √wrd and the different meaning "rose (-coloured; red)" seems also possible.

Simon is referring to [Goehl] Avicenna's Canon, Liber II, Capitulum 109 (108). De benec guariden {annotation: ben vardan}. Benec guariden.
N.b. Benec = Benet {'t' misread as 'c'}. This text is also available online in the Lyon edition (1522: 80), Liber II, p. 80, cap. cjx De Benech guariden [[1]].

The Arabic original can be found in the Canon, second book, p.150: ﺑﻨﺎﺕ ﻭﺭﺩﺍﻥ /banāt wardān/ [[2]].

Zoological identification:

The information given is too defective to identify the animal, cf. Wehr (1976) who identifies it with "earthworms, rainworms" but further on also - like Corriente (1997) - with "cockroaches"; Siggel (1950) sees in it "moths" and Lane does not attempt any identification at all. However the cockroach seems to fit in well with the little that is known from the text: the "oriental cockroach", Blatta orientalis L., sometimes called "waterbug", which is nowadays of a world-wide distribution. It prefers a warm and moist habitat often near water as e.g. in baths and its back can be seen to be of a reddish/brownish colour [[3]], but the identification of ﺑﻨﺎﺕ ﻭﺭﺩﺍﻥ /banāt wardān/ must remain uncertain.

WilfGunther 11:49, 2 May 2015 (BST)

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