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etimology: sectio caesarea

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For clarification on a thought:

There are three theories about the origin of the name:

  1. The name for the procedure is said to derive from a Roman legal code called “Lex Caesarea”, which allegedly contained a law prescribing that the baby be cut out of its mother’s womb in the case that she dies before giving birth.[4] (The Merriam-Webster dictionary is unable to trace any such law; but “Lex Caesarea” might mean simply “imperial law” rather than a specific statute of Julius Caesar.)
  2. The derivation of the name is also often attributed to an ancient story, told in the first century A.D. by Pliny the Elder, which claims that an ancestor of Caesar was delivered in this manner.[5]
  3. An alternative etymology suggests that the procedure’s name derives from the Latin verb caedere (supine stem caesum), “to cut,” in which case the term “Caesarean section” is redundant. Proponents of this view consider the traditional derivation to be a false etymology, though the supposed link with Julius Caesar has clearly influenced the spelling. (A corollary suggesting that Julius Caesar himself derived his name from the operation is refuted by the fact that the cognomen “Caesar” had been used in the Julii family for centuries before his birth,[6] and the Historia Augusta cites three possible sources for the name Caesar, none of which have to do with Caesarean sections or the root word caedere.)

The link with the Roman dictator Julius Caesar, or with Roman Emperors generally, exists in other languages as well. For example, the modern German, Danish, Dutch and Hungarian terms are respectively Kaiserschnitt, kejsersnit, keizersnede and császármetszés (literally: “Emperor’s section”).[7] The German term has also been imported into Japanese (帝王切開) and Korean (제왕 절개), both literally meaning “emperor incision.” The South Slavic term is carski rez, which literally means caesarean cut, whereas the Western Slavic (Polish) has an analogous term: cesarskie cięcie. The Russian term kesarevo secheniye (кесарево сечение) literally means Caesar’s section. The Arabic term (القيصرية) also means pertaining to Caesar or literally Caesarean. In Portugal it is usually called cesariana, meaning from (or related to) Caesar. The expression in Portuguese usually does not include other words to designate the section. Usual uses of the term are I’m going to have a cesariana next week or I was delivered by cesariana.

via: Wikipedia



Written by zoller

October 2, 2009 at 10:55 pm

Posted in ...general...

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