Etymology of the word mediation

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The word mediation has the same root as medium, Mediterranean, intermediate, Medoc, medullary and mediocre...

[edit] Etymology

Before being a Latin word (medium, medius, mediator), the word mediation seems to have been used by the Romans, especially for the word Mediterranean. The discovery of the word might be attributed to the connection of ideas from the name Medie which was a lost country, a neighbouring land of ancient Persia that later became Iran. However in the Celtic Gaul, the word Mediolanon meant the center of a territory. Perhaps this root Medi is Celtic.

Indeed, the root "medi" was present in antique names of cities of the Roman Empire, for example:

  • Mediolanum
  • now Milan (city of the center)
  • Mediolanum Santonum,
  • now Saintes

The Romans used to celebrate a grape harvest festival they called Meditrinalia that consisted of mixing new wine with old wine. They attributed healing properties to this mixture and ascribed its origin to Meditrina, one of the daughters of their god of medicine Aesculapius.

With a same sense, the Latin Medulla means the center or the marrow, for example used for marrowbone or medulla oblongata, related to the central nervous system.

If the Indo-European origin is correct, the root med would mean "to think" and could introduce the notion of help to diagnosis and would be also found in the word medicine.

Regarding the link with the word medicine, it can be noticed that in the Roman mythology, a daughter of the god of medicine Aesculapius was named Meditrina which has given the name of the festivities Meditrinalia in Italy every October 11th.

With the help of the printing creation, the word mediation had been published in the French encyclopedia of 1694. Its origin was identified around the thirteenth century, to describe a human intervention between two parties.

In French, it was in the general and curious dictionary of Master Cesar de Rochefort in 1684 that the word appeared for the first time; thereafter in the universal dictionary of Furetiere 1690 edition and then in the dictionary of the French Academy in 1694.

But it came from the construction of media-tor that made to translate (the described concepts in) the letters of Saint Paul written in Greek in the first century. In the second century, Apuleius Madaura also used the word mediator. The terms mediator and mediacion were often used during the Middle Age.

[edit] Consequences of this Etymological research

The word mediation can easily be associated with a position of reflection, and must be adopted as well by the parties which enter into mediation in order to reach on a conflict resolution than by the mediator who accompanies them.

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