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Ligurum vocatur a multis urina lincis secundum Dyascoridem et lapis ex ipsa generatus dicitur elecorum capitulo de locio.


a multis vocatur | v. a. m. AC
lincis | linciis B
lapis om. f
generatus | generatur A
elecorum (-rũ B e) AB e | elecorum C p | olicorum f | electoruʒ j
de locio AC ef | de lotio B jp


Urina lincis {"lynx's urine"}, according to Dyascorides, is called by many people ligurum, and a stone is produced from it, called elecorum, as stated in the chapter: De lotio {"On urine"}.


Simon refers to Dyascorides alphabeticus Bodmer [f 46r] Lociuʒ lincis {"lynx's urine"} [[1]], or Dioscorides Longobardus, 2, 64, ed. Stadler (1899: 206-7) De lotium humanum {sic!} {"On human urine"} [[2]], where the perceived medicinal properties of the urine of a number of animals are described.

As for lynx's urine Dioscorides Longobardus says: Lincei urinam, quem multi ligurum vocant, mox mejaverit, lapis fiet, quem multi elecorum vocant – "Lynx urine, which many people call ligurum, turns to stone soon after the lynx has let water, and many people also call this stone elecorum."

In the original Greek text of Dioscorides, 2, 81, ed. Wellmann (1906-14: I.164-5 [[3]]: οὖρον ἀνθρώπου τὸ ἴδιον /oũron anthrṓpou tò ídion/ "Man’s own urine", the view that lynx's urine turns into stone is called μάταιος /mátaios/ "empty, idle, without ground", and it is said that this 'stone' is in truth a substance called ἤλεκτρον πτερυγοφόρον /ḗlektron pterygophóron/ "feather-attracting amber", but no such scepticism is found in the Longobardic translation. It was also in this translation that ἤλεκτρον /ḗlektron/ was corrupted to elecorum.

The word ligurum, apparently contaminated by later authors with the place-name ligurius, {"from Liguria"}, cf. the variant ligurius and Simon's ligurum, has the seemingly etymologically more correct variants lyncurion, lyncurium, lyncurius (Isidore) and many more. They all go back to a group of Greek variants like λυγκούριον /lynkoúrion/, λυγγούριον /lyngoúrion/, also λιγκούριον /linkoúrion/ and λιγγούριον /lingoúrion/, in Aëtius even λογγούριον /longoúrion/ according to LSJ, where it is also said, that the term "was derived by the ancients from a compound λύγξ /lýnx/ {'lynx', with the roots λυγκ- /lynk-/ and λυγγ- /lyng-/} + οὖρον /oũron/ {'urine'}".

Fühner (1902: 103-4) on the other hand maintains that the term was originally the name for amber. Amber, brought to southern Europe from the North Sea and the Baltic, was imported into Greece by Ligurian, i.e. cisalpine, traders. Later the name "Ligurian" was misconstrued and a fantastic story was constructed to suit this popular etymology. This would also explain why there are so many variant forms of the term.

For further information see the excellent work by Duffin (2008: 11-20). [[4]]

Also: Fühner (1902: 103-5). [[5]]

WilfGunther (talk) 15/12/2013

See also: Elecorum, Lapis lincis

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