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Scemon grece retinens sanguinem Cassius felix capitulo de emoptoica passione.


emoptoica | emotoyca ms. e
passione | pasione B


Scemon in Greek means "retaining blood", as mentioned in Cassius Felix in the chapter De emoptoica passione {"On the affliction of blood spitting"}.


Simon alludes to (Fraisse} Cassius Felix's De medicina, 39, 8, ed. Fraisse (2001: 101) Ad emoptyicos, {"On those who spit blood"}, or in the online Rose edition (1879: 90) [[1]]:
8. Aliud. Anagargarisma ischemon appellatum id est retinens sanguinem, si forte de faucibus aut uva contigerit - "Another {sc. treatment of blood spitting.}. A gargle, called ischemon, which means 'holding back blood', {sc. should be applied,} if the blood happens to come from the throat or the uvula."

ἴσχαιμος,ον /ískhaimos, -on/, an adjectival compound of ἴσχω /ískhō/ "to keep back, restrain" + αἷμα /haîma/ "blood", means "staunching blood; styptic". It is found in Theophrastus and the Greek Dioscorides.

Simon or someone in the transmission chain was obviously no longer aware of the etymology of the word. On the likely assumption, that the original transliteration was isc(h)emon, the word was falsely interpreted as having undergone a Vulgar Latin soundshift, where the word-initial consonant sequence /sk-/ was changed into /isk-/, cf. Spanish, Catalan, Galician, Portuguese escala, Old French eschele {> Modern échelle} < Vulgar Latin iscala < Classical Latin scala. Iscemon was then hypercorrectly rewritten as scemon.

WilfGunther (talk) 01/09/2013

See also: Emoptoicus

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