Cepe muris

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Cepe muris est squilla eo quod mures perimat vocatur arabice hansel vel hansali ab Avicenna vero ascil imitando grecum.


Cepe muris B ef | Cepe murum (-ruʒ A) AC

squilla ef | squlla AC | squila B

hansel uel (ul' B; l' f) hansali B ef | hausil vel ausel AC

ascil B f | ascil or asal ms. e | asthil AC {'c' misread as 't'}

imitando AC | immitando B | inmitando f | ĩ mittando or -mictando ms. e


Cepe muris {lit. "onions for the mouse"} is in Latin squilla {the "sea squill"}, because it kills mice; in Arabic it is called hansel or hansali, but by Avicenna it is called ascil in imitation of the Greek.


Cepa pl. cepe muris translates Arabic ﺑﺼﻞ ﺍﻟﻔﺄﺭ /baṣal al-faʔr/ lit. "onion(s) for the mouse".

Cf. Wehr (1976): ﻋﻨﺻﻞ /ʕunṣul/ "squill, sea onion". Siggel (1950: 53): ﻋﻨﺻﻞ , ﻋﻨﺼﻼﻥ /ʕunṣul, ʕunṣulān/ Scilla maritima (Lil.), Meerzwiebel {i.e. "sea onion"}.

Cf. Wehr (1976): ﺍﺳﻘﻴﻞ /isqīl/ "an Oriental variety of sea onion (Scilla)". Siggel (1950: 14): ﺍﺳﻘﻴﻞ /isqīl/ Scilla maritima (Lil.), Meerzwiebel {i.e. "sea onion"}.

The Greek word that is ultimately the origin of ﺍﺳﻘﻴﻞ /isqīl/ and squilla is σκίλλα /skílla/.

Simon is referring to Avicenna's Canon, Liber secundus, [Goehl] Capitulum 597. De squilla {followed by: id est scilla, et aceto scillino (for squilla annotation: aschil vel alaschil). Squilla quid est? Est cepae muris, quae sic nominatur, propterea quod ipsa interficit murem ... - "On squilla {'squill'}, (followed by: it is scilla, and used in acetum scillinum) {i.e. 'vinegar flavoured with squills'}. (Squilla is annotated: aschil vel alaschil) {i.e. ﺍﺳﻘﻴﻞ /isqīl/ and with article: ﺍﻻﺳﻘﻴﻞ /al-isqīl/ "sea onion"}. It {the squill} is the cepae muris {lit. "mouse onions"}, which are so named because they kill mice…".

The Latin text is also available in the Lyon edition (1522: 118), 2, 597 [[1]].

For the Arabic original, see p. 126: ﺍﻻﺳﻘﻴﻞ /al-isqīl/ [[2]].

Simon's statement: Cepe muris est squilla: eo quod mures perimat is close to the original Arabic text: ﻫﻮ ﺑﺼﻞ ﺍﻟﻔﺄﺭ ﺳﻤﻲ ﺑﺬﻟﻚ ﻻﻧﻪ ﻳﻘﺘﻞ ﺍﻟﻔﺄﺭ /huwa baṣal al-faʔr summiya bi-ḏālika li-annahu yaqtulu al-faʔr/ - "it is the 'onion for mice', so called because it kills mice"

Wilf Gunther 20/03/2014

See also: Squilla, Askil, Haunsel

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