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Subet arabice somnus preter naturam superfluus in longitudine et profunditate.


Subet ABC p | Subot {‘e’ misread as ‘o’} j | Subeth ef
somnus ABC | sompnus efp | om. j


Subet is Arabic for Latin somnus {"sleep"} that is unnaturally drawn out in length and depth.


Wehr (1976): ﺳﺒﺎﺕ /subāt/ "lethargy; slumber, sleep". Writing "e" for /ā/ is Simon's attempt to render the Arabic pronunciation IPA [su'bæ:t], /æ/ misheard as /e/ being a common substitution.

The word is commonly used in the Arabic-written medical literature, and used in its original form in translations, cf. in Avicenna and Serapion expressions like: facit/inducit subet.

The concept of subet is briefly summed up by de Villalobos in his: El sumario de la medicina con un tratado de las pestiferas bubas (1498), which has a short poem on Subet (33), here quoted from Vázquez de Benito & Herrera (1989: 142):

Subeth es un sueño que no es natural
y viene de gran henchimiento de humores
los quales retraen la virtud animal
y dan a la parte anterior capital
flematicos y otros copiosos vapores …

{"Subeth is a sleep that is not natural // and it is brought on by great inflammations of humours // that retract the virtus animalis {i.e. imagination, reason, memory and the senses} // and give the front part of the head // phlegmatic and other copious vapours."}

WilfGunther 17/01/2013

See also: Subet assahare

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