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Disnia grece difficultas respirandi, ortomia vero si quidem recto scemate iacentes prefocantur egroti et cetera. Cassius felix capitulo de asmate. Item supra capitulo de asmate dispnia dicit grecus.


Disnia ABC ejp | Disina f
difficultas AC fjp | dificultas B | difficultates me. e
ortomia AC ej | orptomia fp | orptõia B
scemate (scẽa- AC) AC ef | scemãte B
{felix} capitulo | capictulo or -pitt- ms. e
supra capitulo AC ejp | supra in ca. B | i.c.s. ms. f
dispnia AC e | dipsnia al' dispnia B | dispina f | disnia p
{grecus} g . . . add. j


Disnia is the Greek word for difficulty to breathe, but ortomia is when the patients start choking if put in an upright position, etc., see Cassius Felix's chapter "On asthma". Also in the chapter {= entry} mentioned above on Asma the Greek word is dispnia.


This is a near verbatim quote from Cassius Felix's De medicina,41, 1, ed. Fraisse (2001: 106), Ad asthmaticos. This text is also available online in the Rose edition (1879: 93/94) [[1]]. Simon here repeats a mistake that Cassius Felix makes by saying that orthopnoeics feel breathless when they are in an upright position whereas quite the opposite is true, they must seek the upright position and avoid lying down, e.g. they have to sleep propped up in bed or sitting in a chair.

is a phonetic rendering of Greek δύσπνοια /dýspnoia/ "difficulty of breathing" as it was pronounced by Italian influenced speakers in Simon's days. An itacist pronunciation would result in /díspnia/ and the unusual consonant cluster '-spn-' is easily changed into '-sn-'.

represents Greek ὀρθόπνοια /orthópnoia/, which becomes /ortópnia/ with assimilation of /p/ to /b/ to /m/ > /ortómnia/ and > /ortómia/, cf. Dioscorides Longobardus, 1, 19, ed. Mihăescu (1938: 14-5): De carpobalsamu et xylobalsamu {"On the fruit and the wood of the balsam-tree"}, where the forms hortobnicis and (t)ortomnicis are found. Also according to Latin accentuation habits the words were probably pronounced /disnía/ and /ortomía/.

WilfGunther (talk) 10:42, 4 May 2016 (BST)

See also Asma, Orthomia

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