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Necrosis demostenes capitulo de obtalmia est grece mortificatio alicuius partis membri.


Necrosis AC ef | Necorsis B {metathesis}

demostenes B ef | Dya. C | Dy. A {see Commentary below}


Necrosis according to Demosthenes in his chapter de obtalmia {"On eye diseases"} is Greek and means the dying off of some part of a {living} organ or tissue.


Cf. Greek νέκρωσις /nékrōsis/ "mortification; death" (LSJ) < νεκρός /nekrós/ "corpse; dying person"; (pl.) "the dead as dwellers in the nether world".

The choice of Demosthenes as the author of the original source is preferable for a number of reasons. Apart from the evidence that witnesses B e and f have the name Demosthenes, there is also the fact that Dioscorides has no chapter on ophthalmia. Furthermore, although Paulus of Aegina in Collirium agyologia is also quoted by Simon as having a chapter on obtalmia, it is the name Demosthenes which is mentioned in the overwhelming number of entries in connection with a chapter of that name, e.g. Anacollyma, Collirium livianum, Collirium dyaglaution, Diapsesis, etc. This clearly points to Demosthenes as the source for Simon's entry, which unfortunately cannot be verified, see below. Obviously the printers of A and C simply assumed - when faced in their source(s) with an abbreviated name D. or d. - that this stood for Dyascorides rather than Demosthenes.

Demosthenes Philalethes, in Greek Δημοσθένης ὁ Φιλαλήθης /Dēmosthénēs ho Philalḗthēs/, lived in the 1st half of the 1st century AD, wrote a treatise on over 40 eye diseases, ὀφθαλμικός /ophthalmikós/. This work was translated into Latin in late Antiquity, but like its original has not survived. Fragments of the original are known from the works of Rufus of Ephesus, Aëtius Amidenus, Paul of Aegina and Alexander Trallianus, and of the Latin translation from Simon, who quotes Demosthenes frequently.

For further information on Demosthenes see von Staden (1989).

Wilf Gunther 27/12/13

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