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Medad arabice tincta apud Avicennam et est encaustrum scriptorum maxime sarracenicum: quod a Dyascoride vocatur attramentum.


tincta ABC jp | tinta ms. e | om. f
encaustrũ (ẽ- p) ep | encastrum AC {'au' is misread as 'a'} | emcaustrũ j | incaustrũ B | eucaustrum f | encaustum Matthaeus Silvaticus
sarracenicum AC fp | saracenicum B ej
attramentum AC j | atramentum B efp


Medad is Arabic for 'colouring stuff' in Avicenna, and it is mainly the writers’ Saracen encaustrum {"ink"}, which is called attramentum by Dyascorides.


Cf. Wehr (1976): ﻣﺪﺎﺩ /midād/ "ink; lamp oil; fertilizer", etc.

Simon alludes to Avicenna’s Canon, 2, 699, Lyon edition (1522: 125), De tinctura (followed by: id est atramento librario (tinctura has annotation: medad)[[1]]; cf. also the original Arabic text ﻣﺪﺎﺩ /midād/, p.209: [[2]].

Latin encaustum < ἔγκαυστον /énkauston/ literally means "burnt in" and in classical Latin was used to mean "the purple-red ink of the later Roman emperors" (Lewis & Short). In Simon's witnesses all have unetymological "r" through possible contamination with claustrum.

In medieval times the word took on the meaning of "ink" generally, with a common secondary form incaust(r)um; cf. du Cange (1883-7):
ENCAUSTUM ... "Incaustum pro Encaustum Italis inchiostro Gallis encre.{i.e. Incaustum instead of Encaustum, Italian inchiostro French encre}", leading ultimately to English "ink". Tincta, short for tincta aqua, lit. "coloured liquid", lives on the Iberian languages Catalan/Spanish/Galego/Portuguese tinta and in German "Tinte".

WilfGunther 21/12/2013

See also Atramentum, Melan (2)

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