duodenum (n.)

late 14c., from Medieval Latin duodenum digitorium "space of twelve digits," from Latin duodeni "twelve each." Coined by Gerard of Cremona (d. 1187), who translated "Canon Avicennae," a loan-translation of Greek dodekadaktylon, literally "twelve fingers long," the intestine part so called by Greek physician Herophilus (c. 353-280 B.C.E.) for its length, about equal to the breadth of twelve fingers.

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