Posted by Bruce Kahl on April 19, 2000

In Reply to: Testify posted by Robert R. on April 19, 2000

: Across the e-mail waves I was informed that to "testify" was based on men in the Roman court swearing to a statement made by swearing on their testicles. True?

I searched for the stem "test- " in a Latin Dictionary:

testatio -onis f. [calling to witness , or bearing witness].

testificatio -onis f. [bearing witness , testifying; evidence, proof].

testificor -ari dep. [to bear witness to , give evidence of; to show, bring to light; to call to witness].

testimonium -i n. [witness , evidence; proof, indication].

testis -is c. [one who gives evidence , a witness; an eye-witness, a spectator].

testis -is m. [a testicle].

testor -ari dep. [to bear witness to , give evidence of; to make known, publish, declare]; as pass. [to be attested, declared]. [to make a will]. [to call to witness].