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Mistericenita apud Musionem vocatur grece suffocatio matricis.


Mistericenita AC | Mistericennita p | Misteri cemuta B ej | Misteri cecimta f
suffocatio AC ejp | sufocatio B | suffocao f


In Mus<t>io mistericenita is Greek for Latin suffocatio matricis "suffocation of the womb".


This is a very strange entry. The word Mistericenita and vv.ll. are obviously corruptions of Greek: ὑστερικὴ πνíξ /hysterikḕ pníx/ "suffocation of the womb", with: ὑστερική /hysterikḗ/ being the feminine adjectival form derived from ὑστέρα /hystéra/ "womb", and πνίξ /pníx/ "suffocation".

Simon has already had an entry for the very same expression, Istericepnix q.v. and the word is also mentioned in Metromania q.v. The fact that Mistericenita is listed amongst the words starting with the letter 'M' as well as further numerous corruptions point to an error that must have occurred very early on. Understandably Simon or some early copyist(s) did not recognise that Istericepnix and Mistericenita are the same word.

To explain Simon's unusually heavily corrupted form requires long-winded tentative assumptions about the likely paths the corruption might have taken.
The expected transcription by Simon for ὑστερικὴ πνíξ /hysterikḕ pníx/ - or better its accusative form: ὑστερικὴν πνíγα /hysterikḕn pníga/ - would be *istericen pniga. This was then subjected to false word separation, i.e. *isteri cenpniga. An error like this, which is reflected in all witnesses, suggests that it occurred as early as when it was still customary to use scriptio continua, i.e. writing without marked word boundaries, i.e. in a continuous line: istericepnix, the form Simon does indeed use in the entry Istericepnix, and the accusative would be *istericenpniga.

However the corruptions that changed the last element pniga suggest an even earlier time for the sequence of some errors, a time when writing with capital letters was common and at the time when the translator(s) were copying from a Greek copy. Pniga in Greek capital script is
ΠΝΙΓΑ > ΠΝΙΤΑ {'Γ' misread as 'Τ', in Roman letters 'G' misread as 'T', resulting in /PNITA/}
>ΓINITA {'Π' misread as 'ΓΙ'; Roman 'P' misread as 'GI, 'resulting in /GINITA/}. The full expression would read
>*ΥΣΤΕΡΙΚΗΝΓINITA, transcribed into Latin before the sound /h/ was lost as
>*HYSTERICENITA {haplology}
>*HYSTERI CENITA {false word separation}
>*HISTERI CENITA {itacist changes from 'υ,η' > ι {= /y,ē/ > /i/}
MISTERI CENITA. The change from "H" to "M" remains unexplained, although some similarities are apparent when comparing the two letter shapes.

WilfGunther (talk) 25/12/2013

For further information see Istericepnix, Metromania

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