Peptica virtus

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Peptica virtus grece digestiva et peptica etiam digestionem facientia seu iuvantia dicuntur.


virtus grece AC | g. v. B fjp | virtus grece virtus ms. e

et om. f

digestionem facientia | f. d. ms. f

facientia | faciencia ef

seu iuvantia dicuntur om. f

iuuãtia AC jp | juuãcia e | in antia B {‘uu’ misread as ‘n’}


Peptica virtus {peptic virtue} is the Latin translation of a Greek term, meaning "digestive virtue", and peptica are medicines that promote digestion or help it, they say.


Greek πεπτικός /peptikós/, loosely translated as "able to digest", is related to the notion of πέψις /pépsis, which is derived from the verb πέσσω /péssō/ - "(of the sun) to soften, ripen fruit; (by fire) cook, dress, bake; (stomach) digest". Consequently πέψις /pépsis/ has a similarly wide semantic range, cf. LSJ's "softening, ripening, or changing by means of heat". II. "cooking of food"; 2. (of wine) "fermentation". III. Medic. "digestion of food"; 2. "ripening, 'concoction' of acid humours". See Pepsin.

Peptica virtus translates the Greek δύναμις πεπτική /dýnamis peptikḗ/, "digestive power/ virtue", an expression found e.g. in Dioscorides Graece, 1, 14, ed. Wellmann (1906-14: I.18-20), where Dioscorides speaks of the different kinds of κινάμωμον /kinámōmon/ {"cinnamon"}, and he says p. 20: δύναμιν δὲ ἔχει πᾶν κινάμωμον … πεπτικήν /dýnamin dè ékhei pân kinámōn … peptikḗn/ - "all cinnamons have … digestive virtue". The Longobardic translator(s), 1, 12, Mihăescu (1938: 10-1) De cinnamomi diversitates {"On the different kinds of cinnamon"} translate: Virtus est autem omnis cinnamomo … digestibilis.

WilfGunther 12:42, 20 April 2015 (BST)

See also: Pepsin

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