Epithima (1)

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Epithima grece super positio emplastrum molle vel aquosum. Cassius felix epithima dicunt greci medicamentum quod stomacho et precordiis simul et ventri superponitur cum fuerit panno intinctum.


Epithima (-thĩa B) B efp Cassius | Epythyma AC

superpositio (-per- A) AC | suppoi͞tio (-t͞o ep) B ep | supp͡͡o f

{Felix} epithima (-thĩa B) B ef | epith'a p | epythyma AC

stomacho AC | stomaco ef | stō B p {cf. Cappelli p. 366}

simul AC f | sil' B p | siml'is ms. e

supponitur ABC efp | superponitur scripsi {Wilf Gunther} | superponatur Cassius

intinctum {'u' misread as 'ti'} | inunctum Cassius {however, Fraisse op.cit. mentions these vvll. in her apparatus: incintum, intincto. It is therefore quite likely that Simon's own copy might already have been corrupted}.


Epithima is Greek and it translates into Latin as super positio {"placing on top; cover"}; it is a soft and moist plaster {i.e. a poultice}. Cassius Felix says: epithima is what the Greeks call a medicinal application that has been soaked in cloth {Cassius: 'smeared on cloth'} and is placed under {Cassius: 'over'} stomach, hypochondrium and at the same time under {Cassius: 'over'} the belly.


Greek ἐπίθεμα /epíthema/ or ἐπίθημα /epíthēma/, the latter pronounced /epíthima/ in medieval Greek, both mean "external application", and Simon offers super positio as a literal translation into Latin, i.e. "placing on top": ἐπι- /epi-/ {"on top"} + -θεμα, -θημα /-thema, -thēma/ "something placed or laid on". N.b. that the usual meaning of superpositio as found in Caelius Aurelianus is "paroxysm in disease" {i.e. a sudden recurrence or attack of a disease}.

Simon offers first the etymology of epithima and then a brief definition: 'a soft and moist plaster' {i.e. a poultice}. This is followed by a slightly corrupted quote from Cassius Felix De medicine, 76, 11, ed. Fraisse (2001: 207): Ad hydropicos {"On those with dropsy"}, {original text}: Epithima dicunt Graeci medicamentum quod stomacho et praecordiis simul et ventri superponatur, cum fuerit panno inunctum. This text is also available in the Rose edition (1879: 185) [[1]].

Epithem is still used occasionally in modern medicinal terminology defined as "an external local application to the body as a poultice or lotion, excepting ointments and solid plasters".

WilfGunther 17:50, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

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