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Zoissam eradi navibus diximus cera et pice marino sale macerata et cetera Plinius sed Stephanus zopissa dixit et puto melius et apud Dyascoridem capitulo de pice apozima vocatur ut supra in .a.


Zoissam AC e | Zoisam B | Zoissan f

eradi AC | erradi f | erardi B e

diximus om. B

& pice AC | idest (.i. ef) pice B ef

macerata ABC e | macerato f

et cetera om. e

ca. C | cao e | co f | cap'la B

apozima AC e | apozimia B | dura apozima f

ut supra in .a. om. B ef


We have already said elsewhere that zoissa is scraped off ships and soaked with wax, pitch and sea-salt, etc. as Pliny says. Stephanus has called it zopissa {lit. "live pitch"}, and I think that is the better version; and in Dyascorides, in his chapter De pice {"on pitch"} it is called apozima, as is explained in the entry Apozima above.


Simon's form zoissa is clearly a corrupted zopissa, a form he knows from Stephanus as he says. The loss of 'p', which must have occurred early on since all his witnesses have it, remains unexplained.

Zopissa is Greek ζώπισσα /zṓpissa/, a compound consisting of a derivative of ζῶ /zô/ {"I live"} + πίσσα /píssa/ {"pitch, resin"}, lit. "live pitch/resin".

This is an excerpt from Pliny, 24, 26, 41, ed. Rackham (1938-63: VII.34): Zopissam eradi navibus diximus cera marino sale macerata - "We have already said elsewhere that zopissa is scraped off ships and soaked with wax and sea-salt".

Pliny is referring to his previous statement in 16, 23, 56, ed. Rackham (1938-63: IV.424), Non omittendum apud eosdem zopissam vocari derasam navibus maritimis picem cum cera ... multoque efficaciorem ad omnia quibus pices resinaeque prosunt, videlicet adiecto salis callo - "We must not omit saying that among them {i.e. the Greeks} they give the name zopissa to a pitch which has been shaved off sea-going ships and {mixed} with wax. ... And this is much more efficient for all things pitches and resins are used for, because of the added hardness of the {sea-} salt".

Simon's statement about Stephanus has to await scrutiny with the help of a future critical edition. But in his Breviarium Stephanus has: zopissa ... naniũ pix [[1]]. N.b. naniũ < *nauiũ {'u' misread as 'n'}; nauiũ pix "pitch from ships".

For Dyascorides see Apozima (2).

Wilf Gunther 22/12/13

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