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Sceilem arabice zizania lolium in cuius capitulo apud Avicennam ubi habetur sedat scotomiam est falsus textus nam in arabico est facit scotomiam.


Sceilem AB f | Scheilem e | Scilem C

{apud Avicennam} d͞r add. e

sedat ABC e | scedat f

{facit} scotomiam (-miaʒ A e) ABC e | scothoĩam f


Sceilem is Arabic for Latin zizania or lolium {"darnel"}; in the chapter on this plant in Avicenna it says: sedat scotomiam {i.e. "it assuages darkness of sight, dizziness"}, but the text was wrongly translated, in the Arabic original it says: facit scotomiam {i.e. "it causes darkness of sight"}.


Cf. Wehr (1976): ﺷﻴﻠﻢ /šailam/ "darnel (Lolium temulentum; bot.); a variety of vetch"; Siggel (1950: 47): ﺷﻴﻠﻢ /šailam/ Lolium temulentum (Gram.) Taumelloch … {i.e. "darnel"}.

Simon is referring to Avicenna’s Canon, book II, Capitulum 667. De sceilem {followed by: id est lolio; annotation to sceilem: sceilem id est lolio}.

The Venice edition of 1507 has: sedat scotomiam {"it assuages darkness of sight, dizziness"}, a formulation also printed in the Lyon edition (1522: 124), [[1]] Liber II, chapter dclxvii: De sceilem.

But in the edition revised by Andreas Alpagus, Basel 1556, it was corrected into: inebriat et facit scotomiam {i.e. "it makes drunk/ dizzy and it causes darkness of sight"}. The latter translation is more in accord with the Arabic original [[2]], which says: ﻳﺴﻜﻦ ﻭﻳﺼﺪﻉ /yusakkinu wa-yuṣaddiʕu/ "it assuages but it {also} causes headache", from ﺳﻜﻦ /sakana/ "be calm", II ﺳﻜﻦ /sakkana/ "make calm; sedate" and ﻳﺼﺪﻉ /yuṣaddiʕu/ "to cause headache" < ﺻﺪﺍﻉ /ṣudāʕ/ "headache".

It is conceivable that the reviser of the Basel 1556 edition misread ﻳﺴﻜﻦ /yskn/ "to be calm" as ﻳﺴﻜﺮ /yskr/ from ﺳﻜﺮ /sakira/ "to be inebriated, become intoxicated", which would explain the translation inebriat.

At any rate, the translation scotomia "darkness of sight, dizziness" for the Arabic text is imprecise.

See also: Xeilem, Zizanion, Scotomia

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