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Embalmata Alexan. ca. de medicinis ad frigidum stomachum, item de reumatismo ventris sunt intinctiones seu salsamenta in quibus morselli intinguntur.


Embasmata AC | Embalmata B e

iunctiones A | intinctiones B e | inunctiones C


According to Alexander, chapter on medicines for a cold stomach, also on flux from the belly, embalmata are dips or sauces in which bits of food are dipped.


This entry appears to refer to two separate chapters in works attributed to Alexander of Tralles, most likely the Therapeutics. Only one can be identified, the chapter on medicines for a cold stomach, 7, 8, ed. Puschmann (1878-9: II.305). One of its subheadings reads: πρὸς κατεψυγμένον στόμαχον ἔμβαμμα - embamma for a cold stomach. The apparatus of Puschmann's edition does not list any variant readings in this heading.

The word ἔμβαμμα /embamma/ means "soup, sauce". According to LSJ, it is fairly well attested; it is also listed in Kyriakidou's modern Greek dictionary.

Embamma is derived from ἐμβάπτειν /embaptein/ "to dip".

Apparently, Simon was working with a (Latin or Greek) copy of Alexander's Therapeutics that contained a corrupt or ambiguous reading. Most likely, the error was caused by a Greek manuscript: in Greek minuscule, the letters μ and λ ('m' and 'l') look very similar and can easily be confused; in majuscule, Μ looks like a double Λ.

An unknown scribe or translator mistook a 'm' for an 'l', erroneously assuming the word was in fact derived from ἐμβάλλειν /emballein/ "to put inside". The variant embasmata that can be found in A and C of the Simon transmission, was most likely combination of the letter 'l' being mistaken for a "long 's'", and an analogy to the following entry, Embasma.

Of all the extant manuscripts transmitting the Therapeutics, only one predates the clavis, the Par. gr. suppl. 1297 (10th century). It contains large parts of the seventh book, but not the recipe Simon refers to.

For the transmission of the Therapeutics see, Zipser (2005: 211-34).

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