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Metromania idem Cassius felix proprio capitulo prefocatio matricis quasi mania matricis Theodorus Priscianus vero stericam spingam vocat.


Felix om. efjp
proprio capitulo | c. p. ms. f vero | uera B
spingam ABC fjp | spigna ms. e


Metromania, is the word the same {previously mentioned author} Cassius Felix uses in the pertinent chapter: prefocatio matricis {"suffocation of the womb"}, which is like a 'raving of the womb'. But Theodorus Priscianus calls it sterica spinga.


μητρομανία /mētromanía/ "hysteria", is a compound noun made up of μητρο- /mētro-/ "womb" + μανία /manía/ "madness, rage". The word only occurs in Cassius Felix and Theodorus Priscianus.

In Cassius Felix's De medicina the word does not, as stated by Simon, occur in chapter 77. Ad praefocationem matricis {"On the suffocation of the womb"}, but in the modern editions in the unusually short chapter 79. Ad metromaniam, which Cassius translates into Latin as matricis furores "ravings of the womb", ed. Fraisse (2001: 214). This text is also available online in the Rose edition (1879: 191) [[1]].

stericam spingam:
Theodorus Priscianus uses metromania as well, cf. Logicus, 11, 32, ed. Rose (1894: 130), De satyriasis vel impedimento usus {"On satyriasis or impediment in the use of the sexual organ"} [[2]]. In this chapter metromania is compared to satyriasis, but Theodorus also uses a more established Greek term: ysterica pnix.

Simon must have confused the reference to Cassius Felix with that to Theodorus' chapter II De praefocatione matricis in the latter's Gynaecia, (1894: 229), where he says: passionem in graeco opere ystericam pnigam appellamus [[3]] - "In Greek literature we call this affliction ysterice pnix {'choking of the womb'}".
Cf. Greek: ὑστερικὴ πνíξ /hysterikḕ pníx/ "suffocation of the womb". In Simon's entry an attempt is made to render the Greek acc. sg. ὑστερικὴν πνíγα /hysterikḕn pníga/. πνίξ /pníx/ means "suffocation", ὑστερική /hysterikḗ/ "relating to the womb".

Simon's form spinga shows signs of mother tongue interference from the Italian (?) scribes, where the unusual word-initial sound combination consisting of a consonant cluster + vowel: pni- is replaced by the more common pin-. The addition of a word-initial 's' remains unexplained.

WilfGunther (talk) 23/12/2013

See also: Istericepnix

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