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Semidas vocant greci testudines que in aquis dulcibus vivunt Plinius.


Plinius om. B


Semidas is what the Greeks call tortoises that live in fresh water, according to Pliny.


This is an excerpt from Pliny, 33, 14, 32, ed. Rackham (1938-63: VIII.484), where he speaks of the different kinds of tortoises: sunt ergo testudinum genera terrestres, marinae, lutariae et quae in dulci aqua vivunt. has quidam e Graecis emydas appellant. – "there are therefore these kinds of tortoises: land-, sea-toroises, those living in muddy waters and those that live in fresh water; and it is the latter that some Greeks call emydes."

Greek ἐμύς /emýs/ or ἑμύς /hemýs/ means "fresh-water tortoise", esp. Emys lutaria (LSJ) [[1]]. The word is used in Aristotle’s Historia animalium.

Simon's form, present in all witnesses, has an unetymological initial letter 's'. This is most likely the result of a very early misreading, possibly when scriptio continua, i.e. writing without word-marking spaces, was still used, so that Pliny’s text read: EGRAECISEMYDAS … and was wrongly analysed by some copyist as: e Graeci semidas ….

Simon's Semidas transcribes Greek ἐμύδας /emýdas/, the accusative plural of ἐμύς /emýs/, here dependent on appellant.

WilfGunther 13:10, 28 July 2014 (BST)

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