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Gefafe arabice spongia libro de doctrina arabica in libris tamen medicinalibus <a>sfengi vocant imitantes grecum ut infra in .s.


Gefafe B | Gefase AC ef {'f' misread as 'ſ i.e."long s"}

sfengi (sfẽ- C) AC ef | asfẽgi B

grecum (-cũ A e) AC e | greci B | gre͡c f

{ut} supra B | ~ ms. f | infra (ĩfra A) AC e

in .s. AC ef | in asfẽgi B


Gefafe is Arabic for Latin spongia according to the liber de doctrina arabica, but in books on medicine they call it <a>sfengi imitating the Greek word as listed below under .s.


Simon's often quoted source, the liber de doctrina arabica, has so far not been identified, but cf. what must be a similar glossary/dictionary - Vocabulista - ed. Schiaparelli (1871: 80) [[1]]: ﺟﻔﺎﻓﺔ /ğaffāfa/ Spongia; p. 589 [[2]]: SPONGIA ﺟﻔﺎﻓﺔﺍﺕ /ğaffāfa/ ~āt/ … . Corriente (1989: 68): >jaffāfah + āt< esponja o bayeta {i.e. "sponge or cleaning cloth"}. This word derives from a root √ğff "to (become) dry". The name ﺟﻔﺎﻓﺔ /ğaffāfa/ is therefore alluding to the use of sponges as a cleaning tool.

Dozy (1877-81: I.199-200) ﺟﻔﺎﻓﺔ /ğaffāfa/ éponge {i.e. "sponge"} quotes Vocabulista and possibly Pedro de Alcalá as his source. He comments that the word is attested in the Mozarabic gospel. This is another lemma that links a number of Simon's Arabic entries to the Iberian Peninsula.

Simon is right concerning the terminology in medicinal books, e.g. Avicenna's Canon, 2nd book, p. 131, uses ﺍﺳﻔﻨﺞ /isfunğ/: [[3]].

Cf. Wehr (1976: 414): ﺳﻔﻨﺞ /safanğ/ or /sifanğ/ or ﺍﺳﻔﻨﺞ /isfanğ/ "sponge". Siggel (1950: 14): ﺍﺳﻔﻨﺞ /isfunğ/ (ﺍﻟﺒﺤﺮ al-baḥr) Spongia officinalis L., Meeresschwamm {i.e. "marine sponge"} σπόγγος /spóngos/.

Zoological identification:

See [[4]].

WilfGunther 10:52, 19 August 2014 (BST)

See also: Spongia, Asfengi, Saufe

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