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Kauken arabice testudo liber de doctrina arabica apud Avicennam vero salahafe vocatur.


Kauken ABC fjp | Kaukem ms. e
testudo | testido f | testitudo j
{arabica} ms. p add. attempt to write ﻗﻮﻗﻦ /qauqan/ in Arabic script p
vero om. f
salahafe B efjp | salabhafe AC {'h' misread as 'b'}
vocatur B ej | uocãt~ p | vocetur AC | dicit~ f
{vocatur} ms. p add. attempt to write ﺳﻠﺤﻔﺎﺓ /sulaḥfāh/ in Arabic script.


Kauken is Arabic for Latin testudo {"tortoise"} according to the liber de doctrina arabica, but in Avicenna it is called salahafe.



  • 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 [[1]]:

(1871: 165) ﻗﻮﻗﻨﺔ /qauqana/ Limax {i.e. "snail, slug"} [[2]]; (1871: 458): LIMAX ﺍﻟﻗﻮﻗﻨﺔ ﺍﻟﻋﺮﻳﺎﻥ /al-qauqanat al-ʕuryān/ {lit. "naked qauqana" = "slug"}; (1871: 608): TESTUDO, animal {"tortoise, the animal"} ﻗﻮﻗﻨﺔ /qauqana/, {and the plural:} ﻗﻮﻗﻦ ﻭﻗﻭﺍﻗﻦ /qauqan wa-qawāqin/ [[3]].

Obviously this word has several meanings, e.g. "tortoise" and "snail; slug".

  • de Alcalá (1883: 139): caracol {i.e. “snail”} cáucana cáucan [[4]].

Cf. also Corriente (1997) s.v. *(QWQN).

Dozy (1877-81: II.420) quotes all the Vocabulista forms and adds another meaning from other sources ﻗﻮﻗﻨﺔ ﺍﻟﺒﺤﺮ /qauqana al-baḥr/ {lit. "sea qauqana"} "huître" {i.e. "oyster"}.
He assumes the word to be derived from Latin concha, which originally meant the "envelope" or "shell" that covers these animals, i.e. limaçons {"snails"}, huîtres {"oysters"} and tortues {"tortoises"}, but it later expanded to mean the animals themselves.

The word Avicenna uses for "tortoise" cf. Wehr: ﺳﻠﺤﻔﺎﺓ /sulaḥfāh, silaḥfāh/ "turtle, tortoise"; Siggel (1950: 42): ﺳﻠﺤﻔﻰ, ﺳﻠﺤﻔﺎﺓ /sulaḥfāh/ Schildkröte {i.e. "tortoise"}.

  • A vocalisation closer to Simon’s is however found in Karbstein’s early 17th c. Morisco glossary (2002: 269): “8) Schildkröte {i.e. “tortoise”}: ﺳﻠﺤﻔﺎ ﻗﻠﺒﻘﺎ /salḥafā qalabaqa/ - “{Arabic} /salḥafā/ is {in Romance} /qalabaqa/ {cf. Spanish galápago ‘tortoise’}".

The chapter from Avicenna’s Canon Simon is alluding to is: [Goehl] Liber II, Capitulum 700. De testudine {followed by id est sanguine (concerning testudine annotation: selhafe). Testudo.
The text is also available online in the Lyon edition (1522: 125), Liber II, De testudine Cap. dcc [[5]].
For the Arabic original see p. 225 [[6]].

WilfGunther 11:31, 28 July 2014 (BST)

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