In the Life of St. Benedict of Gregory the Great (dial. 2,30,1) we can find a term never encountered before: tripedica. The author says that Benedict saw the devil in the shape of a horse-doctor cornu et tripedicam ferens. The cornu is the drenchinghorn, a tool used by ancient horse-doctors to administer potions to the animals. But what does tripedica mean? The word occurs in the medieval Latin always in the sense of "stool with three legs" or "tripod". This meaning probably comes from the particular value of the word pedica in the medieval Latin, where beside the usual meaning of "hobble" it can also designate the "foot" (as agrarian measure) or the "toe". But there is an unambiguous - although very late - example of a second meaning of tripedica, this time depending from pedica in the sense of "hobble". It is a passage in the old statutes of the city of Terlizzi in Apulia (written in ancient Italian), where the verb intrepidicare and the noun trepedica are referred to the oxen. To this we can perhaps add also the Sardinian terms tropèya (Nuoro, Fonni), tropèa (Bitti, Dorgali, Orosei), trob slash signèa (log. and camp.), treb slash signèa (camp.), which mean "rope hobble". So the devil St. Benedict met had a "three way hobble" in his hand. This is a particular kind of hobble (used today too) to tie the two front feet of a horse to the right or left back foot. It is used when there is no fixed support to tie to the animal to.
|Data di pubblicazione:||2009|
|Citazione:||Lat. "tripedica" / ORTOLEVA V. - In: INDOGERMANISCHE FORSCHUNGEN. - ISSN 0019-7262. - 114(2009), pp. 240-256.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|