Etymology of Cerebrum

Steve Brown sb009h at MAIL.ROCHESTER.EDU
Wed Feb 23 03:25:50 UTC 2000


there is in fact a latin word cerebrum. meaning brain.  i suggest refering to the Oxford English Dictionary, which does in fact list this as the etymology.
best of luck

Stephen J Brown
University of Rochester

" The Spirit of God, I realized, is exaustless Bliss; His body is countless tissues of light..."

-Paramahansa Yogananda

Lord Buddha was once asked why a man should love all persons equally.
"Because," the great teacher replied, "in the very numerous and varied lifespans of
each man, every other being has at one time or another been dear to him."

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Ven. Tantra 
  Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2000 10:04 PM
  Subject: Etymology of Cerebrum

  I am trying to determine the etymology of the Latin word Cerebrum. I would appreciate any insights readers might share. 

  English dictionaries do not give a real etymology of Cerebrum. I see in it two Sanskritic roots. Cere-would appear to designate "the head" as is evidenced by the Sanskrit/Hindi sirii with its special reference to "the head of a sacrifice." -brum I assume to be derived from Sanskrit Brahman, the ultimate principle of Indian thought. 

  Heinrich Zimmer(1) notes that Brahman is based on the Vedic root br.h (or brah), the particle of "power," "growth" and "expansion." When inflected, br.h becomes both br.h-ant "great" and br.m.h "to make or render great." As applies to sound, br.h signifies "roar" and when inserted with the nasal m. as in br.m.hita it has the meaning of "elephant roar," the sentient sound that "swells" above the others. When the genitive ending -man is considered, Brah-man gives the sense of "heightened activation." On the strength of this, "cerebrum" seems to point to "the human organ of understanding," the aspect of the body that mirrors Brahman. 


  Troy Harris 

  (1) Heinrich Zimmer, Philosophies of India, edited by Joseph Campbell, Bollingen Series XXVI, (Princeton University Press, 1951), 79

  Do You Yahoo!?
  Talk to your friends online with Yahoo! Messenger.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list