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Cenosim dicit grecus evacuationem Cassius felix capitulo de quartana.


Cenosim (-siʒ A) ABC | Cenosin fjp | Cenesim ms. e
euacuat͞onẽ B | euaco͢͡eʒ j | euõnem (-nẽ p) AC fp | euac͞om ms. e | vacuationem Cassius


Cenosim says the Greek for Latin evacuatio according to Cassius Felix in his chapter De quartana {“On quartan fever”}.


Simon is referring to Cassius Felix De medicina 55, 2, ed. Fraisse (2001: 158). Ad quartanam: In curationibus vero quartanarios ab initio oportet mediocriter et mite haberi et neque eis medicamentum aliquod fortissimum dare vel apponere neque vacuationem aliquam facere, quam cenosin dicunt, sive per clysterem acrem adhibitum sive per purgatorium datum sive per flebotomiam. This text is also available online in the Rose edition, (1879: 141-2), Ad quartanam [[1]]. It tanslates: "Corcerning the medical treatment it is necessary to have those suffering from quartan fever treated in a measured and gentle way and not give them or apply medication that is too strong and not to cause the type of evacuation, they call cenosis, be it via pungent clystering or purgatives or phlebotomy".

Greek κένωσις /kénōsis/, here imitating the Greek accusative case κένωσιν /kénōsin/, means "an evacuating", {Sophocles (1887: 659)} and is connected to κένος "empty".

The word is attested as early as in the Hippocratic corpus Aphorisms, 2, 8, ed. Jones (1923-95: IV.110), which Chadwick and Lloyd (1978: 209) translate: "If subsequent to an illness, a patient does not derive strength from the nourishment he takes, it means he requires more food. But if this happens when adequate nourishment is taken, it means a purge is necessary" i.e. in the original: σημαίνει ὅτι κενώσιος δεῖται /sēmaínei … hóti kenṓsios deîtai/

Interestingly κένωσις /kénōsis/ is not part of the Dioscoridean terminology but only occurs once in an interpolation in a passage added later to the text of chapter 53: "On hen’s brain". It is recorded in the Kühne/Sprengel edition (1829: XXV.186-7), Dioscorides, 2, 53, /Perì Enkephálou alektorídos/. There a salted and sun-dried chicken stomach is praised for counteracting excessive purging, ἵστησι γὰρ παραχρῆμα τὴν κένωσιν /hístēsi gàr parakhrêma tḕn kénōsin/, because "it stops diarrhoea immediately". In the Wellmann edition (1906-14: I.135-6), 2, 49, ἀλεκτορίδες /alektorídes/ {"hens"}, the passage is mentioned in the apparatus but recorded only in one of the codices consulted.

In later medical texts the word κένωσις /kénōsis/ is very common.

Cenosis is still found in medical dictionaries defined as "morbid discharge".

WilfGunther 16:18, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

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