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Microfiam greci parvitatem pulsus dicunt ut Cassius felix capitulo de stomatica passione.


Microfiam AC jp | Microsiam (-siã B) B fk {'f' misread as long s = ſ"} | Mecrosiam ms. e {loss of 's' and 'xi' in all witnesses is unexplained} | microsfyxian Cassius Felix
etcetera add. j


Microfiam is what the Greeks call a weakness of the pulse as reported in Cassius Felix, in his chapter De stomatica passione {"On stomach disease"}.


Simon here refers to Cassius Felix, De medicina, 42, 1, ed. Fraisse (2001: 108). Ad stomachi passiones, where it says: pulsus parvitas, quam microsfyxian vocant – "weakness of the pulse, which they {i.e. the Greeks} call microsfyxia". This text is also available online in the Rose edition (1879: 96) [[1]].

Greek μικροσφυξία /mikrosphyxía/, in itacist pronunciation /mikrosfixía/, is a compound word consisting of /mikro-/ μικρο- {"small, little"} + /-sphyx-/ -σφυξ- < σφύξις /sphýxis/ "throbbing; pulsation"} + -ία /-ía/ noun suffix. Cassius uses the Greek acc. sg. form: μικροσφυξίαν /mikrosphyxían/ depending on dicunt. The expected transcription would have been *microsfixia.

The word, which also occurs in Galen and in Paul of Aegina, is used by Cassius thrice, first in describing the symptoms of stomach disease, the chapter Simon refers to explicitly, but secondly also as a symptom of frenesis, 42, 1, ed. Fraisse (2001: 171-2) Ad freneticos - in the Rose edition (1879: 154) [[2]]; and finally as occurring with heart disease, chapter LXIV Ad cardiacos - Rose (1879: 156) [[3]]. In all three places the word is explained as parvitas pulsus – "weakness of the pulse" by Cassius.

stomatica passio:
As often happens in late Latin and medieval medical literature - and as shown in this entry too - the adjectives stomachicus/stomacicus "concerning the stomach" < Greek στομαχικός /stomakhikós/ < στόμαχος /stómakhos/ > Latinized stomachus, "stomach; alimentary canal, oesophagus" is confused with stomaticus - "concerning or good for the mouth" < στοματικός /stomatikós/ < στόμα /stóma/ "mouth", a confusion easily occurring because 't' and 'c' look very much alike in medieval mss. and fonts used in early prints. Simon's name for the chapter should read *de stomac(h)ica passione.

Microsphyxia or its synonym microsphygmy is still part of modern medical terminology defined as a weak pulse that is difficult to detect manually.

WilfGunther (talk) 18:37, 4 November 2016 (GMT)

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