hippocrates iv ( loeb)
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THE LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARYFOUNDED BY JAMES LOEB,EDITED BYfT. E. PAGE,C.H., LITT.D.
HERACLEITUSON THE UNIVERSE
REPRODUCED FROM A PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN BV MISS M.HENRV
HIPPOCRATESWITH AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY
CATHARINE'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE
HERACLEITUSON THE UNIVERSE
WILLIAM HEINEMANN LTDCAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS
HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESSMCMLIX
First printed 1931 Reprinted 1931, 1943, 1953, 1959
Printed in Great Britain
the plane treePREFACEINTRODUCTION
NATURE OF MANREGIMEN IN HEALTH
223 297 36742]
HERACLEITUSON THE UNIVERSE449
PREFACEthe Loeb translation of of preparing the volume my leisure for over five years, the most laborious part being the collation of the manuscripts Urb. 64, A, M, V, 6, C, Holkhamensis and Caius -|. I have not quoted all the variants, the perhaps not the greater number of them rule 1 have tried to follow is to record only those readings that are intrinsically interesting and those The readings that seriously affect the meaning. recorded by my predecessors are often wrongly transcribed knowing by experience the risk of mistakes in collations, however carefully done, I am sure that there are some errors in the notes in this volume. The readings of Urb. 64 are here printed for the first time, as also are many from the manuscripts M, V. I wish to thank my pupil, Mr. A. W. Poole, for help in preparing the index.
Hippocrates. has taken all
INTENTIONAL OBSCURITY WRITINGS
To a modern it appears somewhat strange that a writer should be intentionally obscure. An author wishes to be easily understood, knowing that neither critics nor readers will tolerate obscurity of any kind. But in ancient times the public taste was different the reader, or hearer, was not always averse to being mystified, and authors tried to satisfy this appetite;
the oracles, with their ambiguous or doubtful replies, that set the fashion, which was followed most closely by those writers who affected an oracular style. The difficulties of Pindar and ofthe choral odes of Aeschylus,this
for puzzles. It was probably
later dramatists, were not entirely or even mainly due to the struggle of lofty thought seeking to find adequate expression in an as yet inadequate
medium. They were to a great extent the result of an effort to create an atmosphere congenial to So Plato, who can religion and religious mystery.his purpose be transparently clear, almost unnatural obscurity when he wishes to attune his readers' mind to truths that transcend human understanding. Much of the Phaedrus and of the Symposium, the Number in the Republic, and a great part of the Timaeus, are oracularit
INTRODUCTIONutterances rather than reasoned argument, takingtheir colour from the difficulty of their subject. But prose remained comparatively free from intentional
obscurity ; lyric poetry, on the other hand, at any rate the choral lyric, seems to have been particularly prone to it. In Alexandrine times obscure writing became one of the fads of literary pedants, and Lycophron is a warning example of its folly when carried to extremes.
There must have been somethingtality to
account for the persistence of this curious habit, which appears all the more curious when we remember how fond the Greeks were of clear-cut The reason is probably outlines in all forms of art. to be found in the restless activity of the Greek mind, which never had enough material to occupy The modern has perhaps too much to it fully. think about, but before books and other forms of mental recreation became common men were led
and extravagances. broods, often becoming fanciTo quote but two instances ful, bizarre or morbid. " out of many, the " tradition condemned by Jesus in the Gospels, and the elaborate dogmas expounded at tedious length by the early Fathers, were to some extent at least caused by active brains being deIt is a tribute to the prived of suitable material. genius of the Greeks that they found so much healthy occupation in applying thought to everyday things, thus escaping to a great extent the dangersintoall
sorts of abnormalities
The unoccupied mind
come when the mind
tendency to idle speculation is the only serious fault that can be found with Greek mentality indulgence;
in intentional obscurity
INTRODUCTIONa slight and venial one. As has been said above, oracular responses seem to have started the fashion
of purposely hiding thought, but it was kept up by the Greeks' love of solving puzzles, of having some-
with which to exercise their
It has already been pointed out, in the introduction to Decorum, that certain (probably late) tracts in the Corpus are intentionally difficult, but the reason for their difficulties may well be due to a desire to keep secret the ritual or liturgy of a guild Decorum, Precepts and ham are in a class by themselves. This explanation, however, will not apply to the obscure passages in Humours. This work has nothing to do with secret societies. It is a series of notes which, however disjointed or Their obviunconnected, are severely practical.;
ously utilitarian purpose makes their obscurity all the more difficult to understand a text-book, one;
might suppose, ought
hasty writing and for the natural obscurity of all abbreviated notes, there remains in Humours a large residue of passages in which the difficulties appear to be intentional. The fact that these passages 1 are sometimes written in a rather lofty style seems to Humours is akin, suggest an explanation of them. though not closely so, to Nutriment ; it is aphoristic after the manner of Heracleitus " the dark." This thinker adopted the oracular style when expounding his philosophical system, and certain later thinkers1
when we have made allowances
chiefly in etc.
seem to detect the characteristics to which I refer Chapter I, and in the various lists of symptoms,xi
INTRODUCTIONfollowed his example. Perhaps it was thought that a "dark" subject required a "dark" medium of The writer of Nutriment, who was expression. striving to wed Heracleiteanism and physiology,
succeeds in producing a not altogether incongruous result. But Heracleitean obscurity is sadly out ofin a work entirely free from philosophy, whether Heracleitean or other, and the modern
by it. The ancients, however, have been attracted, for Humours is often referred to, and commentators upon it were numerous. It is interesting to note that the author, or compiler, of Aphorisms, who was a really greatreaderis
thinker, while adopting the oracular aphorism as a medium of expression, and keeping
the lofty style appropriate to it, makes no use of intentional obscurity, realising, consciously or unconsciously, how unsuitable it is in a work intended to instruct medical students and practising physicians.
THE FORM AND CONSTRUCTION OF CERTAIN HIPPOCRATIC WORKSthe Hippocratic Collection are Many books in " not strictly " books at all they consist of separate pieces written continuously without any internal bond of union. Already, in Volume I, we have discussed the curious features presented by Epidemics I and III,1 and by Airs Waters Places. 2 The aphoristic;
works, being at best compilations, exhibit a looseness of texture which makes additions and interpolations not only easy to insert but also difficult to detect. Nature of Man and Regimen in Health appear as one work in our MSS., and the whole has been variously
by commentators from Galen onwards. Humours has scarcely any texture at all, and the disjointed fragments of which it is composed can in not a few places be traced to other works in theCorpus.
The scholars who have devoted themselves to the study of Nature of Man Humours, probably because of its hopeless obscurity, has been very much neglected seem to make, perhaps unconsciously, a more than doubtful assumption. They suppose the present form of the book to be due to a compiler,
pp. 141, 142.
acted on some definite purpose. It is, however, possible that the "conglomerates," as they be called, are really the result of an accident.
printed book goes through a fixed routine, which is apt to make us forget that a papyrus roll may well have been a chance collection of unconnected fragments. In the