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Girba grece pila pistatoria mortarius Cassius felix in pluribus locis.


pila AC efjp | pilla B
mortarium B efjp | moratrius AC


Girba is Greek for Latin pila pistatoria {lit. "mortar or cup-shaped vessel for crushing"} or mortarius id. The word is found in Cassius Felix in numerous passages.


The word occurs in Cassius Felix's De medicina, 31, ed. Fraisse (2001). Ad polypum et ozaenas {"Against polyps and ozaenae {i.e. fetid nasal polypus}", where it says, (2001: 72): in girba contusis - "having well pounded {the ingredients} in a mortar vessel …".
This text is also available online in the Rose edition (1879: 62-3): [[1]].

Girba also occurs in Dioscorides Longobardus.

is not a Greek word but is of Semitic origin, cf. Arabic: ﺟﺮﺍﺏ /ğirāb/ "sack, bag, travelling bag; knapsack; scrotum; covering, case; sheath, scabbard for sword" (Wehr). It entered late Latin changing its meaning from an original "container made of hide for liquid" to becoming synonymous with pila and mortarium {both meaning "mortar vessel"}. For a more detailed history of the word with further references, cf. Cassius Felix, ed. Fraisse (2001: 72, annotation 241).

WilfGunther 22/11/2013

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