Ematites

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Ematites sanguineus lapis cuius tritura et confricatura sanguinis colorem representat que fluxui cuique sanguinis apta est a quocumque horum nomen accepisse potest.


Apparatus:

In ms. f this entry Ematites is written as a continuation of previous entry Ema, i.e. Ema grece sanguis ematites ….

Emathytes AC | Ematites B e | ematites f

cuius (cuius A e) tritura ABC e | cum contritura f

confricatura C e | confricatura A f | cõfractura B {reads -fractura rather than the less common -fricatura}

representat AC | reprehenserat e | rep͡ntat f | representat/reprehenserat om. B

quocũqʒ AC | quocumqʒ f | cuiconcũqʒ e | quocõqʒ B

horum A | horuʒ C f | horum B | eorum e


Translation:

Ematites means "blood-coloured stone"; when rubbed vigorously it takes on the colour of blood, and it is good for {stemming} any blood flow. It can have taken its name {lit. "blood-stone"} from each of the {afore-mentioned} characteristics.


Commentary:

Greek αἱματίτης /haimatítēs/ means "blood-like", and λίθος αἱματίτης /líthos haimatítēs/, translated literally into Latin by Simon as sanguineus lapis, means "blood-like stone", and it is the "blood-stone" or haematite.

Seen chemically haematite is the crystallized form of iron ore. It is mined in often huge deposits that had accumulated at the bottom of standing water or mineral hot springs, where the mineral precipitates. The ore has a wide colour range from black to grey to reddish brown. Especially the red form, which colours ochre, was used as a pigment as early as the Stone Age by Neanderthal man and Homo sapiens.

Naturally the blood-like colour of the stone often suggested indications for blood{-flow} related afflictions, e.g. bloodshot eyes, menstruation.

Like most stones in previous medicinal use it usually had to be heated and pulverized and then mixed with certain further ingredients and made into salves or taken as a draught; cf. Pliny 36, 37, 144-5, ed. Rackham (1938-63: X.114, 116), also Dioscorides Longobardus, 5, 152, ed. Stadler (1902: 237-8), De lapide ematitem, and the Greek original 5, 126, ed. Wellmann (1906-14: III.94-5), λίθος αἱματίτης /líthos haimatítēs/.

WilfGunther 24/03/13

See also: Lapis emathites

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