Xantos

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Xantos grece flavus fulvus rubeus xanta colera .i. flava Cassius felix.


Apparatus:

Xantos B p | Xanthos efj | Xantox AC
flavus om. p
flauus fuluus AC | fuluus flauus B efj
{rubeus} ms. p adds an attempt to write ξανθός /xanthós/ in Greek script
xanta colera .i. flaua casius felix. is a separate entry in B j | om. e


Translation:

Xantos is the Greek word for Latin flavus {"golden yellow"}, fulvus {"reddish yellow"} and rubeus {"red, reddish"}. Xanta colera means flava (sc. colera) {"yellow bile"} acc. to Cassius Felix.


Commentary:

Xantos:
The Greek adjective ξανθός /xanthós/, means "yellow, of various shades, freq. with a tinge of red; brown, auburn" acc. to LSJ. Simon offers a series of Latin colour adjectives for its translation. As an example he gives xanta colera, which would literally mean "yellow cholera". It must however be observed that c(h)olera in late Latin often takes on the meaning "bile", e.g. colera nigra "black bile", beside preserving the old meaning of a disease accompanied by violent discharges and by vomiting and stool. Simon mentions Cassius Felix, who in his De medicina, e.g. in chapter 24, ed. Fraisse (2001: 48) Ad ignem sacrum, quotes the more traditional Greek word for "bile" χολῆ /kholḗ/ in connection with ξανθὴ χολῆ /xanthḕ kholḗ/ "yellow bile", for which Cassius proposes fel flavum as a Latin translation.

The spelling Xantox rather than Xantos is an example of "inverse spelling". In early Italian "X,x" was pronounced /s/ and spellings like mos instead of mox occur in the documents. Here some scribe in the transmission chain who had little or no knowledge of Greek assumed that the final /s/ sound ought to be written with "x". Cf. also Westerbergh (1956: 226f)


WilfGunther (talk) 21:33, 27 March 2016 (BST)


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