hippocrates i ( loeb)
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THE LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARYFOUNDED BY JAMES LOEB,EDITED BYtT.1E. CAPPS,L. A.
PH.D., LL.D. M.A.
HIPPOCRATESWITH AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY
BURSAR AND STEWARD OF S. CATHARINE'S COLLEOB, CAMBRIDGE, CORRESPONDING MEMBER OF THE HISTORICAL SECTION OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF MEDICINK
WILLIAM HEINEMANN LTDCAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS
HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESSMCMLVII
Firsl printed 1923 Reprinted 1939, 1948, 1957
Printed in Great Britain
GENERAL INTRODUCTIONANCIENT MEDICINEAIRS
289 303 333
TREFACEThe works^ some seventyof our"
which in any
manuscripts are assigned to Hippocrates, " Hippocratic colleccomprise what is called the three centuries there appeared tion. During nearly many editions, of some or of all of these works, intended to instruct medical students or practiThe birth of modern medical science tioners. in the nineteenth century stopped finally this long series, but a few scholars still worked at The the treatises from an historical standj^oint. literary merit, however, of the Hippocratic writings, at least of the majority, is not great, and it is only within the last few years that they have been subjected to the exact scholarship which has thrown such a flood of new light upon most of the classicalauthors.
Even now very
text, dialect, grammar realization of the value
history of philosophy is So for the present a translator must also be, in part, an editor. He has no scholarly tradition behind
has been done for although the of the collection for the rapidly improving matters.little
him upon whichfoundations.It will
but must lay his own
be many years before the task is finished, the meanwhile there is work for less ambitious students. My own endeavour has been to make as clear and accurate a translation as the condition of butinvii
PREFACEthe text permits, introducing as few novelties of my own as possible, and to add such comment as may bring out the permanent value of the various treatises. They are no longer useful as text-books, but all of us, whether medical or lay, may learn a lesson from the devotion to truth which marked the school of Cos, and from the blunders committed by tlieorizers who sought a short cut to knowledge without the labour of patient observation and careful experiment. The present volume has been in preparation since 1910, and the actual writing has occupied all my The time would leisure for the past three years. have been longer, had it not been for the great kindness of Dr. E. T. Withington, whose name will probably appear on the title-page of one of the succeeding volumes. My thanks are also due to the Rev. H. J. Chaytorfor his heljiful criticisms.
Greek Medicine and "Hippocrates."
We have learned to associate, almost by instinct, the science of medicine with bacteria, with chemistry, with clinical thermometers, disinfectants, and all the All such associations, apparatus of careful nursing. if we wish even dimly to appreciate the work of Hippocrates and of his predecessors, we must endeavour to break we must unthink the greater part of those habits of thought which education has made second nature. The Greek knew that there were certain collections of morbid phenomena which he that tiiese diseases normally ran a called diseases that their origin was not unconnected certain course with geographical and atmospheric environment that the patient, in order to recover his health, must modify his ordinary mode of living. Beyond this he knew, and could know, nothing, and was compelled to fill up the blanks in his knowledge by having In doing so recourse to conjecture and hypothesis.;
he was obeying a human instinct which assures us that progress requires the use of stop-gaps where complete and accurate knowledge is unattainable, and that a working hypothesis, although wrong, is better than no hypothesis at all. System, an organYet ized scheme, is of greater value than chaos. however healthy such an instinct may be, it hasix
GENERAL INTRODUCTIONadded considerablyto the difficulties of the historian in his attempts so to reconstruct the past as to it intelliffible to modern readers.
Primitive man regards everything he cannot To him the abnormal, explain as the work of a god. The uncharted region of the unusual, is divine. mysterious phenomena is the peculiar realm of " It is the work of heaven" supernatural forces."^ is a sufficient answer when the human intelligence
can give no satisfactory explanation. The fifth century b.c. witnessed the supreme effort of the Greeks to cast aside this incubus in all spheresof thought.
to realize that to attribute
an event to the action of a god leaves us just where we were, and that to call noi'mal phenomena natural and abnormal divine is to introduce an unscientificdualism, in that whatinis
divine (because mysterious)
one generation may be natural (because understood) in the next, while, on the other hand, however fully we may understand a phenomenon, there must always be a mysterious and unexplained element All phenomena are equally divine and equally in it.natural.
But this realization did not come all at once, and in the science of medicine it was peculiarly slow. There is something arresting in the spread of an epidemic and in the onset of epilepsy or of a It is hard for most minds, even pernicious fever.scientific
minds, not to see the woi'king of a god in the other hand, the efficacy of human means to relieve pain is so obvious that even in Homer, our first literary authority for Greek medicine, rational treatment is fully recognized. As the divine origin of disease was gradually
GENERAL INTRODUCTIONdiscarded, another element, equally disturbing, and equally opposed to the progress of scientific medicine,
superseded religion. uniformity in the of phenomena, and the desire to find multiplicity this uniformity led to guesswork and to neglect of fact in the attempt to frame a comprehensive theory. The same impulse which made Thales declare that ^ in all things are water led the writer of a treatise the Hippocratic Corpus to maintain that all diseases As Daremberg'^ says, ''the are caused by air. philosophers tried to explain nature while shutting their eyes." The first philosophers to take a serious medicine were the in interest Pythagoreans. Alcmaeon^ of Croton, although perhaps not strictly a Pythagorean, was closely connected with the sect, and appears to have exercised considerable influence upon the Hippocratic school. The founder of ema student of astronomy, he held pirical psychology and that health consists of a state of balance between certain "opposites," and disease an undue preponderance of one of them.* Philolaus, who flourished about 440 B.C., held that bile, blood, and phlegm were the causes of disease. In this case we have a Pythagorean philosopher who tried to include medicalPhilosoj)hy
Ilistoire iPt; sciences
A young man in the old age of Pythagoras. See Aristotle Alcmaeon was more interested in medicine Meta. A 986 a .30.*
than in philosophy, but does not seem to have been a "general practitioner."*
rSiv Suvafxewt', vypov, ^rjpov, \pvXpov, dep/xov, TTiicpov, y\vKfos, Kal 5' eV avTo7s ixovapxiav vicov TroiriTiKr}v' (pBopoTttiv AonraJc,
yap eKUTepov /xovapxiav.
GENERAL INTRODUCTIONtheory iu his philosophical system.^
somewhat earlier than Philolaus, was " a "medicine-man rather than a physician, thoughflourished
is called by Galen the founder of the Italian school of medicine. 2 The medical side of his teach-
ing was partly magic and quackery. This combination of medicine and philosophy is There clearly marked in the Hippocratic collection. are some treatises which seek to explain medical phenomena by a priori assumptions, after the manner of the philosophers with their method of vTro6icrei7y^t.
that both Hippocrates and correctthen,