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Elpis Dyascorides multi scoriam argenti vocant.


Elpis: according to Dyascorides many people use that name for scoria argenti {"silver dross"}.


Simon alludes ultimately to Dioscorides Longobardus, 5, 111, ed. Stadler (1902: 212), De score argenti - "On Silver Dross" [[1]], where it says: Score argenti, quam multi elpis/ v.l. elpim dicunt – "Silver dross, which many people call elpis …".

The original Greek Dioscoridean text can be found Wellmann, vol. III, book V, chapter 86, p. 57 ἡ δὲ τοῦ ἀργύρου σκωρíα /hē dè toû argýrou skōría/ [[2]] {"On Silver Dross"}.

Elpis is a corruption - already present in the Longobardic translation - of Greek ἕλκυσμα /hélkysma/, itacist: /élkisma/, "anything which is drawn off something, i.e. spun wool" but also "dross of silver", because it is drawn off with a hook. (cf. LSJ). The word is derived from late Greek ἑλκύω /helkýō/, which means "to draw, drag".

The expected Latinised form helcysma, late Latin in vulgar speech also pronounced /élkisma/, is likely to have been modified due to false association with the word ἐλπίς /elpís/ "hope, expectation".

Dross, in Greek σκωρία /skōría/ or σκωρέα /skōréa/ and loaned into Latin as scoria or scorea, is the gathering of solid impurities that float on molten metal in a furnace. Silver dross contains mainly lead and copper, which is produced during the last stage of silver smelting, and the dross is drawn off (ἑλκύω /helkýō/) with hooks, hence the name ἕλκυσμα /hélkysma/. Cf. Berendes (1902: 517)

WilfGunther (talk) 18:15, 29 October 2016 (BST)

See also: Scoria

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