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Ethereocrania grece Cassius felix est dolor capitis dispar temporibus puta quando in altero temporum .s. dextro vel sinistro fortior fuerit.


Ethereocrania (Etheŕo- C) AC | Ethereocranea ms e | Ethereocarma B {metathgesis 'ra' > 'ar'; 'ni' misread as 'm'} | Ethecarania f

dispar ABC e | distar f

dextro (-tro e) AC ef | destro B


Ethereocrania is a Greek word and according to Cassius Felix it means asymmetric pain in the temples, namely when it is worse on one side of the temples, i.e. the left or the right side.


Simon alludes to (Fraisse) Cassius Felix De medicina, 1, 9, ed. Fraisse (2001: 8) or online in the Rose edition (1879: 5) [[1]], which deals with different types of headache. There it says: Item aliud quod adhibendum probatur dispari temporum dolori, nam Graeci eterocraniam vocant… - "Also {here I give you} another well-tested remedy to be applied when the pain in the temples is asymmetric, which the Greeks call eterocrania …".

Greek ἑτεροκρανία /heterokranía/ is a compound noun consisting of ἑτερο- /hetero-/ {"one of two; other, different"} + κραν-(ίον) /kran-(íon)/ "brain box, skull" + -ία /-ía/ {abstract noun ending} > "pain on either side of the head". The word was adopted into Latin as heterocrania.

In Simon’s witnesses above ἑτερο- /hetero-/ shows contamination with (a)ethereo- "ethereal". The expected transcription would be *eterocrania with loss of /h/ in later and medieval Greek.

The first mention of the word in the Latin literature seems to be in Pliny, 31, 45, 99, ed. Rackham (1938-63: VIII.438): speaking of the medicinal use of salt he says it is good ad heterocranias capitis - "asymmetric pains of the head".

For further information see Cefalargia.

WilfGunther 22:18, 22 July 2014 (BST)

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