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Biographies (34)

Ancient comedy playwrites


Epicharmos, Epicharmus

, , 550 - 460

   Epicharmus, (Epicharmos). The first Greek comic writer of whom we have any definite account. He was a Syracusan, either by birth or emigration. Some writers make him a native of the island of Cos, but all agree that he passed his life at Syracuse. It was about B.C. 500, thirty-five years after Thespis began to exhibit, eleven years after the commencement of Phrynichus, and just before the appearance of Aeschylus as a tragedian, that Epicharmus produced the first comedy properly so called. Before him, this department of the drama was little more than a series of licentious songs and sarcastic episodes, without plot, connection, or consistency. He gave to each exhibition continuity, and converted the loose interlocutions into regular dialogue. The subjects of his Doric comedies, as we may infer from the extant titles of thirty-five of them, were partly parodies of mythological subjects, and, as such, not very different from the dialogue of the satyric drama, and partly political, and in this respect may have furnished a model for the dialogue of the Athenian comedy. Tragedy had, some years before the era of Epicharmus, begun to assume its dignified character. The woes of heroes and the majesty of the gods had, under Phrynicus, become its favourite themes. The Sicilian poet seems to have been struck with the idea of exciting the mirth of his audience by the exhibition of some ludicrous matter dressed up in all the grave solemnity of the newly invented art. Discarding, therefore, the low drolleries and scurrilous invectives of the ancient komoidia, he opened a novel and less objectionable source of amusement by composing a set of burlesque dramas upon the usual tragic subjects. They succeeded, and the turn thus given to comedy long continued; so that when it once more returned to personality and satire, as it afterwards did, tragedy and tragic poets were the constant objects of its parody and ridicule. The great changes thus effected by Epicharmus justly entitled him to be called the Inventor of Comedy, though it is probable that Phormis or Phormus preceded him by a few Olympiads. But his merits do not rest here: he was distinguished for elegance of composition as well as originality of conception. Demetrius Phalereus says that Epicharmus excelled in the choice and collocation of epithets, on which account the name of Epicharmios was given to his kind of style, making it proverbial for elegance and beauty. So many were his dramatic excellences that Plato terms him the king of comic writers, and in a later age and foreign country Plautus chose him as his model and is thought to have borrowed from him the plot of the Menaechmi. The parasite who figures so greatly in the plays of the New Comedy and in those of Plautus was first brought upon the stage by Epicharmus.
    The plays of Epicharmus, to judge from the fragments still left us, abounded in apophthegms, little consistent with the ideas we might otherwise have entertained of their nature from our knowledge of the buffooneries whence his comedy sprang and of the writings of Aristophanes, his partially extant successor. Epicharmus, however, was a philosopher and a Pythagorean. We find Epicharmus still composing comedies B.C. 485, and again during the reign of Hiero, B.C. 477. He died at the age of ninety or ninety-seven years. Epicharmus is said by some authorities to have added the letters x, e, ps, o to the Greek alphabet, but inscriptions show that these characters were in use at Miletus half a century before his reputed birth.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Epicharmus, (Epicharmos), the chief comic poet among the Dorians, was born in the island of Cos about the 60th Olympiad (B. C. 540). His father, Elothales, was a physician, of the race of the Asclepiads, and the profession of medicine seems to have been followed for some time by Epicharmus himself, as well as by his brother.
  At the age of three months he was carried to Megara, in Sicily; or, according to the account preserved by Suidas, he went thither at a much later period, with Cadmus (B. C. 484). Thence he removed to Syracuse, with the other inhabitants of Megara, when the latter city was destroyed by Gelon (B. C. 484 or 483). Here he spent the remainder of his life, which was prolonged throughout the reign of Hieron, at whose court Epicharmus associated with the other great writers of the time, and among them, with Aeschylus, who seems to have had some influence on his dramatic course. He died at the age of ninety (B. C. 450), or, ac cording to Lucian, ninety-seven (B. C. 443). The city of Syracuse erected a statue to him, the inscription on which is preserved by Diogenes Laertius. (Diog. Laert. viii. 78; Suid. s. v. ; Lucian, Macrob. 25; Aelian, V. H. ii. 34; Plut. Moral.; Marmor Parium, No. 55.)
  In order to understand the relation of Epicharmus to the early comic poetry, it must be remembered that Megara, in Sicily, was a colony from Megara on the Isthmus, the inhabitants of which disputed with the Athenians the invention of comedy, and where, at all events, a kind of comedy was known as early as the beginning of the sixth century B. C. This comedy (whether it was lyric or also dramatic, which is a doubtful point) was of course found by Epicharmus existing at the Sicilian Megara; and he, together with Phonnis, gave it a new form, which Aristotle describes by the words to muthous poiein (Poet. 6 or 5, ed. Ritter), a phrase which some take to mean comedies with a regular plot; and others, comedies on mythological subjects. The latter seems to be the better interpretation; but either explanation establishes a clear distinction between the comedy of Epicharmus and that of Megara, which seems to have been little more than a sort of low buffoonery.
  With respect to the time when Epicharmus began to compose comedies, much confusion has arisen from the statement of Aristotle (or an interpolator), that Epicharmus lived long before Chionides. We have, however, the express and concurrent testimonies of the anonymous writer On Comedy (p. xxviii.), that he flourished about the 73rd Olympiad, and of Suidas (s. v.), that he wrote six years before the Persian war (B. C. 485-4). Thus it appears that, like Cratinus, he was an old man before he began to write comedy; and this agrees well with the fact that his poetry was of a very philosophic character. (Anon. de Com. l. c.) The only one of his plays, the date of which is certainly known, is the Nasoi, B. C. 477. (Schol. Pind. Pyth. i. 98; Clinton, sub ann.) We have also express testimony of the fact that Elothales, the father of Epicharmus, formed an acquaintance with Pythagoras, and that Epicharmus himself was a pupil of that great philosopher. (Diog. Laert. l. c.; Suid. s. v.; Plut. Numa, 8.) We may therefore consider the life of Epicharmus as divisible into two parts, namely, his life at Megara up to B. C. 484, during which he was engaged in the study of philosophy, both physical and metaphysical, and the remainder of his life, which he spent at Syracuse, as a comic poet. The question respecting the identity of Epicharmus the comedian and Epicharmus the Pythagorean philosopher, about which some writers, both ancient and modern, have been in doubt, may now be considered as settled in the affirmative. (Menag. ad Laert. l. c.; Perizon. ad Aelian. V. H. ii. 34; Clinton, Fast. Hell. vol. ii. Introd.)
  The number of the comedies of Epicharmus is differently stated at 52 or at 35. There are still extant 35 titles, of which 26 are preserved by Athenaeus. The majority of them are on mythological subjects, that is, travesties of the heroic myths, and these plays no doubt very much resembled the satyric drama of the Athenians. The following are their titles:--Alkuon, Amukos, Bakchai, Bousiris, Deukalion, Dionusoi, Ebes gamos, Ephaistos e Komastai, Kuklops, Logos kai Logeina, Odusseus automolos, Odusseus nauagos, Seipenes, Skiron, Sphige, Troes, Philoktetes. But besides mythology, Epicharmus wrote on other subjects, political, moral, relating to manners and customs, and, it would seem, even to personal character; those, however, of his comedies which belong to the last lead are rather general than individual, and resembled the subjects treated by the writers of the new comedy, so that when the ancient writers enumerated him among the poets of the old comedy, they must be understood as referring rather to his antiquity in point of time than to any close resemblance between his works and those of the old Attic comedians. In fact, we have a proof in the case of Crates that even among the Athenians, after the establishment of the genuine old comedy by Cratinus, the mythological comedy still maintained its ground. The plays of Epicharmus, which were not on mythological subjects, were the following:--Agrostinos (Sicilian Greek for Alroikos), Harpagai, Ga kai Thalassa, Diphilos, Elpis e Ploutos, Heorta kai Nasoi Epinikios, Herakleitos, Thearoi, Megaris, Menes, Orua, Periallos, Persai, Pithon, Triakades, Choreuontes, Chutrai. A considerable number of fragments of the above plays are preserved, but those of which we can form the clearest notion from the extant fragments are the Marriage of Hebe, and Hephaestus or the Revellers. Miller has observed that the painted vases of lower Italy often enable us to gain a complete and vivid idea of those theatrical representations of which the plays of Epicharmus are the type.
  The style of his plays appears to have been a curious mixture of the broad buffoonery which distinguished the old Megarian comedly, and of the sententious wisdom of the Pythagorean philosopher His language was remarkably elegant: he was celebrated for his choice of epithets: his plays abounded, as the extant fragments prove, with gnomai, or philosophical and moral maxims, and long speculative discourses, on the instinct of animals for example. Muller observes that "if the elements of his drama, which we have discovered singly, were in his plays combined, he must have set out with an elevated and philosophical view, which enabled him to satirize mankind without disturbing the calmness and tranquillity of his thoughts; while at the same time his scenes of common life were marked with the acute and penetrating genius which characterized the Sicilians." In proof of the high estimate in which he was held by the ancients, it may be enough to refer to the notices of him by Plato (Theact.) and Cicero. (Tusc. i. 8, ad Att. i. 19.) It is singular, however, that Epicharmus had no successor in his peculiar style of comedy, except his son or disciple Deinolochus. He had, however, distinguished imitators in other times and countries. Some writers, making too much of a few words of Aristotle, would trace the origin of the Attic comedy to Epicharmus; but it can hardly be doubted that Crates, at least, was his imitator. That Plautus imitated him is expressly stated by Horace (Epist. ii. 1.58),--
"Plautus ad exemplar Siculi properare Epicharmi."
  The parasite, who forms so conspicuous a character in the plays of the new comedy, is first found in Epicharmus.
  The formal peculiarities of the dramas of Epicharmus cannot be noticed here at any length. His ordinary metre was the lively Trochaic Tetrameter, but he also used the Iambie and Anapaestic metres. The questions respecting his scenes, number of actors, and chorus, are fully treated in the work of Grysar.
  Some writers attribute to Epicharmus separate philosophical poems; but there is little doubt that the passages referred to are extracts from his comedies. Some of the ancient writers ascribed to Epicharmus the invention of some or all of those letters of the Greek alphabet, which were usually attributed to Palamedes and Simonides.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

  In his Lives of the Philosophers Diogenes Laertius has left us a short biography of Epicharmus, but as he treats him purely as one of the 'philosophic family' and disdained to mention his dramatic writings, we would known nothing about the great contributions made to dramatic literature by him were it not for Suidas. From his short bu invaluable notice we learn that Epicharmus was the son of Elotheles, a physician of Cos, in which island his famous son was born in about 540 B.C., and whence when but three months old he passed with his father to Sicilian Megara. But his father belonged to the Asclepiad clan, and as the Asclepiads were certainly not Dorians, neither can that race in general nor the Hyblaean Magarians in particular claim him as their own. When the boy grew to man's estate, he embraced the tenets of Pythagoras and made Syracuse the scene of his life's work. He wrote on Natural Science, Philosophy, and Medicine; he composed gnomes and left also a series of memoirs when he died at the age of ninety. As a dramatist he was no less active, since he wrote fifty-two comedies or according to others thirty-five. In these plays Comedy for the first time took formal shape, since he and his contemporary Phormis were the first to use plots (muthoi) and regular dialogues. His compositions, however, were simply burlesques on the heroic themes which formed the usual subjects of the tragic performances of the time.
  The most famous of his plays was the Marriage of Hebe to Hercules, in which that hero was degraded for the first time by being represented as a glutton. Dr. Mahaffy is probably right in holding that the degradation in Greek literature of Odysseus, Agamemnon and Menelaus may also have been due to Epicharmus. In a certain sense, therefore, he may be regarded as the Cervantes of Greece, for as the latter laughed mediaeval chivalry to death, so Epicharmus was the first to make the great ones of the Heroic Age the butts of popular ridicule. But as Epicharmus is said to have created the character of the conventional parasite in his Elpis, he was also the founder of the comedy of manners as well as of the burlesque. The date of his dramatic activity is well ascertained, for as he was in high favor with Gelon (485-478 B.C.) and with his brother and successor Hieron (478-467 B.C.), there seems no doubt that his dramatic activity should be placed between 485 and 467 B.C. But, as we shall soon find that his fellow dramatist Phormis was at work in the reign of Gelon, we may place the date of the birth of true Comedy in the reign of that monarch (485-478 B.C.). As Epicharmus was born about 540 B.C., and lived to be ninety, his death may be placed about 450 B.C., a date which tallies well with a statement respecting an attack made on him by Magnes the Attic comedian, then a young man.

Alfred Bates, ed.
This text is cited July 2003 from the TheatreHistory URL below.

   Comoedia, (komoidia). The Greek comedy, like the Greek tragedy and satyric drama, had its origin in the festivals of Dionysus. As its name, komoidia, or the song of the komos, implies, it arose from the unrestrained singing and jesting common in the komos, or merry procession of Dionysus. According to the tradition, it was the Doric inhabitants of Megara, well known for their love of fun, who first worked up these jokes into a kind of farce. The inhabitants of Megara accordingly boasted that they were the founders of Greek comedy. From Megara, it was supposed, the popular farce found its way to the other Dorian communities, and one Susarion was said to have transplanted it to the Attic deme of Icaria about B.C. 580. No further information is in existence as to the nature of the Megarian or Dorian popular comedy.    The local Doric farce was developed into literary form in Sicily by Epicharmus of Cos (about B.C. 540-450). This writer gave a comic treatment not only to mythology, but to subjects taken from real life.

This extract is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks



Hippocrates (Hippokrates)

   A famous Greek physician, was born in the island of Cos, about B.C. 460. He was the son of Heraclides and of Phaenarete, and sprang from the race of the Asclepiadae, a priestly family, who in the course of time had gathered and preserved medical traditions, which were secretly handed down from father to son. Like many of the Asclepiadae, he practised his art while travelling in different parts of Greece. He is said to have been at Athens at the time of the Peloponnesian War, and to have taken advantage of the instructions of the sophists Gorgias and Prodicus; Democritus of Abdera is also named as one of his teachers. The value he himself set upon philosophic education is proved by his remark that "a philosophic physician resembles a god". Towards the end of his life he lived chiefly in Thessaly and on the island of Thasos. He died about B.C. 377 (or later) in the Thessalian Larissa, where his tomb was to be seen as late as the second century A.D.
   All through his long life his activity was unceasing in its efforts to increase the amount of his knowledge on all subjects, by both practical and theoretical investigations, and his practical knowledge was as great as his theoretical. Some of his fragments and epigrammatic dicta have passed into the literature of all time, as, for instance, the famous saying, "Life is short, and Art is long." He was the founder of the school of a scientific art of healing, and, as in the case of Homer, numerous writings of unknown authorship, proceeding from the school which followed his system, were attributed to him. Seventy-two works, great and small, in the Ionic and old Attic dialects, bear his name, and, apparently, formed a single collection, even before they came under the consideration of the critics of Alexandria. But it is clear that, as the ancients themselves were aware, only a small portion, which can no longer be precisely defined, really belongs to him.
   It is highly probable that his nearest relations, who were also distinguished physicians, contributed their share to the collection, and that it contains works by his sons Thessalus and Dracon, his sonin-law Polybus, and his two grandsons, the sons of Thessalus and Dracon, who bore his own name. The best known of these works are the aphorisms (Aphorismoi), which, in antiquity and in mediaeval times, were held in high esteem, and have been freely commented on by Greeks, Romans, and Arabs; they consist of short sentences upon the nature of illnesses, their symptoms and crises, and their final issue.
   One of his treatises (Peri Aeron, Hudaton, Topon), which is of general interest, and is in all respects among the best, is that on the influence of the climate, the water, and the configuration of a country upon the physical and intellectual life of its inhabitants. In the second portion of this work are found the first beginnings of a comparative ethnography, which at once surprise us by the acuteness and intelligence of its observation, and attracts us by the simplicity and clearness of its style. Many ancient physicians wrote commentaries on the works of Hippocrates, the most celebrated being those of Galen. The first edition of the Greek text of Hippocrates is the Aldine.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Hippocrates, the second of that name, and in some respects the most celebrated physician of ancient or modern times; for not only have his writings (or rather those which bear his name) been always held in the highest esteem, but his personal history (so far as it is known), and the literary criticism relating to his works, furnish so much matter for the consideration both of the scholar, the philologist, the philosopher, and the man of letters, that there are few authors of antiquity about whom so much has been written. Probably the readers of this work will care more for the literary than for the medical questions connected with Hippocrates; and accordingly (as it is quite impossible to discuss the whole subject fully in these pages) the strictly scientific portion of this article occupies less space and than the critical; and this arrangement in this place the writer is inclined to adopt the more readily, because, while there are many works which contain a good account of the scientific merits of the Hippocratic writings, he is not aware of one where the many literary problems arising from them have been at once fully discussed and satisfactorily determined. This task he is far from thinking that he has himself accomplished, but it is right to give this reason for treating the scientific part of the subject much less fully than he would have done had he been writing for a professed medical work.
   A parallel has more than once been drawn be tween " the Father of Medicine " and " the Father of Poetry; " and, indeed, the resemblances between the two, both in their personal and literary history, are so evident, that they could hardly fail to strike any one who was even moderately familiar with classical and medical literature. With respect to their personal history, the greatest uncertainty exists, and our real knowledge is next to nothing ; although in the case of both personages, we have professed lives written by ancient authors, which, however, only tend to show still more plainly the ignorance that prevails on the subject. Accordingly, as might be expected, fable has been busy in sup plying the deficiencies of history, and was for a time fully believed; till at length a reaction followed, and an unreasoning credulity was succeeded by an equally unreasonable scepticism, which reached its climax when it was boldly asserted that neither Homer nor Hippocrates had ever existed. (See Houdart, Etudes sur Hippocrate) The few facts respecting him that may be considered as tolerably well ascertained may be told in few words. His father was Heracleides, who was also a physician, and belonged to the family of the Asclepiadae. According to Soranus (Vita Hippocr., in Hippocr. Opera, vol. iii.), he was the nineteenth in descent from Aesculapius, but John Tzetzes, who gives the genealogy of the family, makes him the seventeenth. His mother's name was Phaenarete, who was said to be descended from Hercules. Soranus, on the authority of an old writer who had composed a life of Hippocrates, states that he was born in the island of Cos, in the first year of the eightieth Olympiad, that is. B. C. 460; and this date is generally followed, for want of any more satisfactory information on the subject, though it agrees so ill with some of the anecdotes respecting him, that some persons suppose him to have been born about thirty years sooner. The exact day of his birth was known and celebrated in Cos with sacrifices on the 26th day of the month Agrianus, but it is unknown to what date in any other calendar this month corresponds. He was instructed in medical science by his father and by Herodicus, and is also said to have been a pupil of Gorgias of Leontini. He wrote, taught, and practised his profession at home; travelled in different parts of the continent of Greece; and died at Larissa in Thessaly. His age at the time of his death is uncertain, as it is stated by different ancient authors to have been eighty-five years, ninety, one hundred and four, and one hundred and nine. Mr. Clinton places his death B. C. 357, at the age of one hundred and four. He had two sons, Thessalus and Dracon, and a son-in-law, Polybus, all of whom followed the same profession, and who are supposed to have been the authors of some of the works in the Hippocratic Collection. Such are the few and scanty facts that can be in some degree depended on respecting the personal history of this celebrated man; but though we have not the means of writing an authentic detailed biography, we possess in these few facts, and in the hints and allusions contained in various ancient authors, sufficient data to enable us to appreciate the part he played, and the place he held among his contemporaries. We find that he enjoyed their esteem as a practitioner, writer, and professor; that he conferred on the ancient and illustrious family to which he belonged more honour than he derived from it; that he rendered the medical school of Cos, to which he was attached, superior to any which had preceded it or immediately followed it; and that his works, soon after their publication, were studid and quoted by Plato. (See Littre's Hippocr. vol. i.; and a review of that work (by the writer of this article) in the Brit. and For. Med. Rev. April, 1844.)
  Upon this slight foundation of historical truth has been built a vast superstructure of fabulous error; and it is curious to observe how all these tales receive a colouring from the times and countries in which they appear to have been fabricated, whether by his own countrymen before the Christian era, or by the Latin or Arabic writers of the middle ages. One of the stories told of him by his Greek biographers. which most modern critics are disposed to regard as fabulous, relates to his being sent for, together with Euryphon, by Perdiccas II., king of Macedonia, and discovering, by certain external symptoms, that his sickness was occasioned by his having fallen in love with his father's concubine. Probably the strongest reason against the truth of this story is the fact that the time of the supposed cure is quite irreconcileable with the commonly received date of the birth of Hippocrates; though M. Littre, the latest and best editor of Hippocrates, while he rejects the story as spurious, finds no difficulty in the dates (vol. i.). Soranus, who tells the anecdote, says that the occurrence took place after the death of Alexander I., the father of Perdiccas; and we may reasonably presume that one or two years would be the longest interval that would elapse. The date of the death of Alexander is not exactly known, and depends upon the length of the reign of his son Perdiccas, who died B. C. 414. The longest period assigned to his reign is fortyone years, the shortest is twenty-three. This latter date would place his accession to the throne on his father's death, at B. C. 437, at which time Hippocrates would be only twenty-three years old, almost too young an age for him to have acquired so great celebrity as to be specially sent for to attend a foreign prince. However, the date of B. C. 437 is the less probable because it would not only extend the reign of his father Alexander to more than sixty years, but would also suppose him to have lived seventy years after a period at which he was already grown up to manhood. For these reasons Mr. Clinton (F. Hell. ii. 222) agrees with Dodwell in supposing the longer periods assigned to his reign to be nearer the truth; and assumes the accession of Perdiccas to have fallen within B. C. 454, at which time Hippocrates was only six years old. This celebrated story has been told, with more or less variation, of Erasistratus and Avicenna, besides being interwoven in the romance of Heliodorus (Aethiop. iv. 7.), and the love-letters of Aristaenetus (Epist. i. 13). Galen also says that a similar circumstance happened to himself. (De Praenot. ad Epig. c. 6. vol. xiv. p. 630.) The story as applied to Avicenna seems to be most probably apocryphal (see Biogr. Dict. of the Usef. Knoul. Soc. vol. iv.); and with respect to the two other claimants, Hippocrates and Erasistratus, if it be true of either, the preponderance of historical testimony is decidedly in favour of the latter. Another old Greek fable relates to his being appointed librarian at Cos, and burning the books there (or, according to another version of the story, at Cnidos,) in order to conceal the use he had made of them in his own writings. This story is also told, with but little variation, of Avicenna, and is repeated of Hippocrates, with some characteristic embellish ments, in the European Legends of the Middle Ages.
  The other fables concerning Hippocrates are to be traced to the collection of Letters, &c. which go under his name, but which are universally rejected as spurious. The most celebrated of these relates to his supposed conduct during the plague of Athens, which he is said to have stopped by burning fires throughout the city, by suspending chaplets of flowers, and by the use of an antidote, the composition of which is preserved by Joannes Actuarius (De Meth. Med. v. 6., ed. H. Steph.) Connected with this, is the pretended letter from Artaxerxes Longimanus, king of Persia, to Hippocrates, inviting him by great offers to come to his assistance during a time of pestilence, and the refusal of Hippocrates, on the ground of his being the enemy of his country.
   Another story, perhaps equally familiar to the readers of Burton's " Anatomy of Melancholy," contains the history of the supposed madness of Democritus, and his interview with Hippocrates, who had been summoned by his countrymen to come to his relief.
  If we turn to the Arabic writers, we find "Bokrat" represented as living at Hems, and studying in a garden near Damascus, the situation of which was still pointed out in the time of Abu/lfaraj in the thirteenth century. (Abu-l-faraj, Hist. Dynast.; Anon. Arab. Philosoph. Bibl. apud Casiri, Biblioth. A rabico-Hisp. Escur. vol. i.) They also tell a story of his pupils taking his portrait to a celebrated physiognomist named Philemon, in order to try his skill; and that upon his saying that it was the portrait of a lascivious old man (which they strenuously denied), Hippocrates said that he was right, for that he was so by nature, but that he had learned to overcome his amorous propensities. The confusion of names that occurs in this last anecdote the writer has never seen explained, though the difficulty admits of an easy and satisfactory solution. It will no doubt have brought to the reader's recollection the similar story told of Socrates by Cicero (Tusc. Disp. iv. 37, De Fato, c. 5), and accordingly he will be quite prepared to hear that the Arabic writers have confounded the word Sokrat, with Bokrat, and have thus applied to Hippocrates an anecdote that in reality belongs to Socrates. The name of the physiognomist in Cicero is Zopyrus, which cannot have been corrupted into Philemon ; but when we remember that the Arabians have no P, and are therefore often obliged to express this letter by an F, it will probably appear not unlikely that either the writers, or their European translators, have confounded Philemon with Polemon. This conjecture is confirmed by the fact that Philemon is said by Abu-l-faraj to have written a work on Physiognomy, which is true of Polemon, whose treatise on that subject is still extant, whereas no person of the name of Philemon (as far as the writer is aware) is mentioned as a physiognomist by any Greek author. (1) The only objection to this conjecture is the anachronism of making Polemon a contemporary of Hippocrates or Socrates ; but this difficulty will not appear very great to any one who is familiar with the extreme ignorance and carelessness displayed by the Arabic writers on all points of Greek history and chronology.
  It is, however, among the European storytellers of the middle ages that the name of "Ypocras" is most celebrated. In one story he is represented as visiting Rome during the reign of Augustus, and restoring to life the emperor's nephew, who was just dead; for which service Augustus erected a statue in his honour as to a divinity. A fair lady resolved to prove that this god was a mere mortal; and, accordingly, having made an assignation with him, she let down for him a basket from her window. When she had raised him half way, she left him suspended in the air all night, till he was found by the emperor in the morning, and thus became the laughing-stock of the court. Another story makes him professor of medicine in Rome, with a nephew of wondrous talents and medical skill, whom he despatched in his own stead to the king of Hungary, who had sent for him to heal his son. The young leech, by his marvellous skill, having discovered that the prince was not the king's own son, directed him to feed on "contrarius drink, contrarius mete, beves flesch, and drink the brotht," and thereby soon restored him to health. Upon his return home laden with presents, "Ypocras" became so jealous of his fame, that he murdered him, and afterwards "he let all his bokes berne." The vengeance of Heaven overtook him, and he died in dreadful torments, confessing his crime, and vainly calling on his murdered nephew for relief.
  If, from the personal history of Hippocrates, we turn to the collection of writings that go under his name, the parallel with Homer will be still more exact and striking. In both cases we find a number of works, the most ancient, and, in some respects, the most excellent of their kind, which, though they have for centuries borne the same name, are discovered, on the most cursory examination, to belong in reality to several different persons. Hence has arisen a question which has for ages exercised the learning and acuteness of scholars and critics, and which is in both cases still far from being satisfactorily settled. With respect to the writings of the Hippocratic Collection "the first glance," says M. Littre (vol. i.), "shows that some are complete in themselves, while others are merely collections of notes, which follow each other without connection, and which are sometimes hardly intelligible. Some are incomplete and fragmentary, others form in the whole Collection particular series, which belong to the same ideas and the same writer. In a word, however little we reflect on the context of these numerous writings, we are led to conclude that they are not the work of one and the same author. This remark has in all ages struck those persons who have given their attention to the works of Hippocrates; and even at the time when men commented on them in the Alexandrian school, they already disputed about their authenticity."
  But it is not merely from internal evidence (though this of itself would be sufficiently convincing) that we find that the Hippocratic Collection is not the work of Hippocrates alone, for it so happens that in two instances we find a passage that has appeared from very early times as forming part of this collection, quoted as belonging to a different person. Indeed if we had nothing but internal evidence to guide us in our task of examining these writings, in order to decide which really belong to Hippocrates, we should come to but few positive results; and therefore it is necessary to collect all the ancient testimonies that can still be found; in doing which, it will appear that the Collection, as a whole, can be traced no higher than the period of the Alexandrian school, in the third century B. C.; but that particular treatises are referred to by the contemporaries of Hippocrates and his immediate successors. (Brit. and For. Med. Rev.)
  We find that Hippocrates is mentioned or referred to by no less than ten persons anterior to the foundation of the Alexandrian school, and among them by Aristotle and Plato. At the time of the formation of the great Alexandrian library, the different treatises which bear the name of Hippocrates were diligently sought for, and formed into a single collection; and about this time commences the series of Commentators, which has continued through a period of more than two thousand years to the present day. The first person who is known to have commented on any of the works of the Hippocratic Collection is Herophilus. The most ancient commentary still in existence is that on the treatise " De Articulis," by Apollonius Citiensis. By far the most voluminous, and at the same time by far the most valuable commentaries that remain, are those of Galen, who wrote several works in illustration of the writings of Hippocrates, besides those which we now possess. His Commentaries, which are still extant, are those on the " De Natura Hominis," " De Salubri Victus Ratione," " De Ratione Victus in Morbis Acutis," " Praenotiones," Praedictiones I.," "Aphorismi," " De Morbis Vulgaribus I. II. III. VI," " De Fracturis," " De Articulis," "De Officina Medici," and " De Humoribus," with a glossary of difficult and obsolete words, and fragments on the " De Aere, Aquis, et Locis," and " De Alimento." The other ancient commentaries that remain are those of Palladius, Joannes Alexandrinus, Stephanus Atheniensis, Meletius, Theophilus Protospatharius, and Damascius; besides a spurious work attributed to Oribasius, a glossary of obsolete and difficult words by Erotianus, and some Arabic Commentaries that have never been published. (Brit. and For. Filed. Rev.)
  His writings were held in the highest esteem by the ancient Greek and Latin physicians, and most of them were translated into Arabic. (See Wenrich, De Auct. Graec. Vers. et Comment. Syr. Arab., &c.) In the middle ages, however, they were not so much studied as those of some other authors, whose works are of a more practical character, and better fitted for being made a class-book and manual of instruction. In more modern times, on the contrary, the works of the Hippocratic Collection have been valued more according to their real worth, while many of the most popular medical writers of the middle ages have fallen into complete neglect. The number of works written in illustration or explanation of the Collection is very great, as is also that of the editions of the whole or any part ot the treatises composing it. Of these only a very few can be here mentioned: a fuller account may be found in Fabric. Bibl. Gruec.; HIaller, Bibl. Medic. Pract.; the first vol. of Kiihn's edition of Hippocrates; Choulant's Handb. der Bucherkunde fur die Aeltere Medicin; Littre's Hippocrates; and other professed bibliographical works. The works of Hippocrates first appeared in a Latin translation by Fabius Calvus, Rom. 1525, fol. The first Greek edition is the Aldine, Venet. 1526, fol., which was printed from MSS. with hardly any correction of the transcriber's errors. The first edition that had any pretensions to be called a critical edition was that by Hieron. Mercurialis, Venet. 1588, fol., Gr. and Lat.; but this was much surpassed by that of Anut. Foesius, Francof. 1595, fol., Gr. and Lat., which continues to the present day to be the best complete edition. Vander Linden's edition (Lugd. Bat. 1665, 8vo. 2 vols. Gr. and Lat.) is neat and commodious for reference from his having divided the text into short paragraphs. Chartier's edition of the works of Galen and Hippocrates has been noticed under Galen; as has also Kuhn's, of which it may be said that its only advantages are its convenient size, the reprint of Ackermann's Histor. Liter. Hippocr. (from Harless's ed. of Fabr. Bibl. Gr.) in the first vol., and the noticing on each page the corresponding pagination of the editions of Foes, Chartier, and Vander Linden. By far the best edition in every respect is one which is now in the course of publication at Paris, under the superintendence of E. Littre, of which the first vol. appeared in 1839, and the fourth in 1844. It contains a new text, founded upon a collation of the MSS. in the Royal Library at Paris; a French translation; an interesting and learned general Introduction, and a copious argument prefixed to each treatise; and numerous scientific and philological notes. It is a work quite indispensable to every physician, critic, and philologist, who wishes to study in detail the works of the Hippocratic Collection, and it has already done much more towards settling the text than any edition that has preceded it; but at the same time it must not be concealed that the editor does not seem to have always made the best use of the materials that he has had at his command, and that the classical reader cannot help now and then noticing a manifest want of critical (and even at times of grammatical) scholarship.
  The Hippocratic Collection consists of more than sixty works; and the classification of these, and assigning each (as far as possible) to its proper author, constitutes by far the most difficult question connected with the ancient medical writers. Various have been the classifications proposed both in ancient and modern times, and various the rules by which their authors were guided; some contenting themselves with following implicitly the opinions of Galen and Erotianus, others arguing chiefly from peculiarities of style, while a third class distinguished the books according to the medical and philosophical doctrines contained in them. An account of each of these classifications cannot be given here, much less can the objections that may be brought against each be pointed out: upon the whole, the writer is inclined to think M. Littre's superior to any that has preceded it; but by no means so unexceptionable as to do away with the necessity of a new one. The following classification, though far enough from supplying the desideratum, differs in several instances from any former one: it is impossible here for the writer to give more than the results of his investigation, referring for the data on which his opinion in each particular case is founded to the works of Gruner, Ackermann, and Littre/, of which he has, of course, made free use. (2) Perhaps a tabular or genealogical view of the different divisions and subdivisions of the Collection will be the best calculated to put the reader at once in possession of the whole bearings of the subject.
Class I., containing Prognostikon Praenotiones or Prognosticon (vol. i., ed. Kuhn); Aphorismoi, Aphorismi (vol. iii.); Epidemion Bibgia A, G, De Morbis Popularibus (or Epidemiorum), lib. i. and iii. (vol. i.); Peri Diaites Oxeon, De Ratione Victus in Morbis Acutis, or De Diaeta Acntorumn (vol. ii.); Peri Aepon, psdaton, topon, De Aere, Aquis, et Locis (vol. i.); Peri ton en kephale tromaton, De Capitis Vulneribus (vol. iii.).
Class II., containing Peri Apchaies Ietpikes, De Prisca Medicina (vol. i.); Peri axthron, De Articulis (vol. iii.); Peri Agmon, De Fractis (vol. iii.); Mochlikos, Mochlicus or Vectiarius (vol. iii.); Horkos, Jusjurandum (vol. i.); Nomos, Lex (vol. i.); Peri Helkon, De Ulceribus (vol. iii.); Peri Suringon, De Fistulis (vol. iii.); Peri Aimorhro+idon, De Haemorrhoididibus (vol. iii.); Kat ietreion, De Officina Medici (vol. iii.); Peri Ieres nousou, De Morbo Sacro (vol. i.).
Class III., containing Prorhretikon A, Prorrhetica, or Praedictiones i. (vol. i.); Koakai Prognoseis, Coacae Praenotiones (vol. i.).
Class IV., containing Peri Susios Anthropon, De Natura Hominis (vol. i.); Peri Diaites, Hugieines, De Salubri Victus Ratione (?) (vol. i. ); Peri Gunaikeies Phusios, De Natura Muliebri (?) (vol. ii.); Peri nouson *B, *G, De Uorbis, ii. iii (?) (vol. ii.); Peri Epikuesios, De Superfoetatione (?) (vol. i.).
Class V., containing Peri Phuson, De Flatibus (vol. i.); Peri Topon ton kat Anthropon, De Locis in Homine (vol. ii.); Peri technes, De Arte (?) (vol. i.); Peri Diaites, De Diaeta, or De Victts Ratione (vol. i.); Peri enupnion, De Insomniis (vol. ii.); Peri Pathon, De Affectionibus (vol. ii.); Peri ton entos Pathon, De Internis Affectionibus (vol. ii.) ; Peri nouson A, De Morbis i. (vol. ii.); Peri Heptamenou, De Septimestri Partu (vol. i.) ; Peri Oktamenou, De Octinestri Partu (vol. i.); Epidemizu Bibgia B, D, Z, Epidemiorum, or De Morbis Popularibus, ii. iv. vi. (vol. iii.); Peri Chumon, De Humoribus (vol. i.); Peri Hugron Chresios, De Usu Liquidorum (voi. ii.)
Class VI., containing Peri Gones, De Genitura (vol. i.); Peri Phusios Paidiou, De Natura Pueri (vol. i.); Peri Nouszn D, De Morbis in. (vol. ii.); Peri Gunaikeion, De Mulierum Morbis (vol. ii.); Peri Parthenion, De Virginum Morbis (vol. ii.); Peri Aphoron De Sterilibus (vol. iii.).
Class VII., containing Epidemion bibgla E, H, Epidemiorum, or De Morbis Popularibus v. vii. (vol. iii.); Peri kardies, De Corde (vol. i.); *Peri\ *Trofh=s, De Alinmento (vol. ii.); Peri Sarkon, De Carnibus (vol. i.); Peri Hebdomadon, De Septimanis, a work which no longer exists in Greek, but of which M. Littre has found a Latin translation; Pororhretikon B, Prorrhetica (or Praedictiones) ii. (vol. i.) ; Peri Odteon Sutios, De Natura Ossim, a work composed entirely of extracts from other treatises of the Hippocratic Collection, and from other ancient authors, and which therefore M. Littre is going to suppress entirely (vol. i.); Peri Adenon, De Glandulis (vol. i.); Peri Ietrou, De Medico (vol. i.); Peri Eudchemodunes, De Decenti Habitu (vol. i.); Papangegliai, Pracceptiones (vol. i.); Peri Anatomes, De Anatomia (or De Resectione Corporum) (vol. iii.); Peri Odontophuies, De Dentilione (vol. i.); Peri Enkatatomes Embruou, De Resectione Foetus (vol. iii.); Peri Opsios, De Visu (vol. iii.); Peri Krision, De Crisibus (or De Judicationibus) (vol. i.) ; Peri krisimon, De Diebus Criticis (or De Diebus Judicatoriis) (vol. i.); Peri Pharmakon, De Medicamentis Purgatiris (vol. iii.).
Class VIII., containing Epistolai, Epistolae (vol. iii.); Presbeutikos thessagou, Thessali Legati Oratio (vol. iii.; Epibomios Oratio ad Aram (vol. iii.); Dogma Athenaion, Atheniensium Senatus Consultum (vol. iii.).
  Each of these classes requires a few words of explanation. The first class will probably be considered by many persons to be rather small; but it seemed safer and better to include in it only those works of whose genuineness there has never been any doubt. To this there is perhaps one exception, and that relating to the very work whose genuineness one would perhaps least expect to find called in question, as it is certainly that by which Hippocrates is most popularly known. Some doubts as to the origin of the Aphorisms, and indeed the discussion of the genuineness of this work may be said to be an epitome of the questions relating to the whole Hippocratic Collection. We find here a very celebrated work, which has from early times borne the name of Hippocrates, but of which som parts have always been condemned as spurious. Upon examining those portions that are considered to be genuine, we observe that the greater part of the first three sections agrees almost word for word with passages to be found in his acknowledged works; while in the remaining sections we find sentences taken apparently from spurious or doubtful treatises; thus adding greatly to our difficulties, inasmuch as they sometimes contain doctrines and theories opposed to those which we find in the works acknowledged to be genuine. And these facts are (in the opinion of the critics alluded to) to be accounted for in one of two ways: either Hippocrates himself in his old age (for the Aphorisms have always been attributed to this period of his life) put together certain extracts from his own works, to which were afterwards added other sentences taken from later authors; or else the collection was not formed by Hippocrates himself, but by some person or persons after his death, who made aphoristical extracts from his works, and from those of other writers of a later date, and the whole was then attributed to Hippocrates, because he was the author of the sentences that were most valuable, and came first in order. This account of the formation of the Aphorisms appears extremely plausible, nor does it seem to be any decisive objection to say, that we find among them sentences which are not to be met with elsewhere; for, when we recollect how many works of the old medical writers, and perhaps of Hippocrates himself, are lost, it is easy to conceive that these sentences may have been extracted from some treatise that is no longer in existence. It must however be confessed that this conjecture, however plausible and probable, requires further proof and examination before it can be received as true.
  The second class is one of the most unsatisfactory in the writer's own opinion, and affords at the same time a curious instance of the impossibility of satisfying even those few persons in Europe whose opinion on such a matter is really worth asking; for, upon submitting the classification to two friends, one of whom is decidedly the most learned physician in Great Britain, and the other one of the best medical critics on the continent, he was advised by the one to call this class "Works probably written by Hippocrates," and by the other to transfer them (with one exception) to the class of " Works certainly not written by Hippocrates." The amount of probability in favour of the genuineness of all these works is certainly by no means equal; e. g. the two little pieces called the " Oath," and the " Law," though commonly considered to be the work of the same author, and to be intimately connected with each other, seem rather to belong to different periods, the former having all the simplicity, honesty, and religious feeling of antiquity, the latter somewhat of the affectation and declamatory grandiloquence of a sophist. However, as all of these books have been considered to be genuine by some critics of more or less note, it seemed better to defer to their authority at least so far as to allow that they might perhaps have been written by Hippocrates himself.
  The two works which constitute the third class, and which are probably the oldest medical writings that exist, have been supposed with some probability to consist, at least in part, of the inscriptions on the votive tablets placed in the temple of Aesculapius by those who had recovered their health, which certainly constituted one of the sources from which the medical knowledge of Hippocrates was derived.
  In the fourth class are placed those works which were certainly not written by Hippocrates himself, which were probably either contemporary or but little posterior to him, and whose authors have been, with more or less degree of certainty, discovered. The works De Natura Homiinis, and De Salubri Victus Ratione, are supposed by M. Littre to have been written by the same author, because it is said by Galen that in many old editions these two treatises formed but one; and this author he concludes to have been Polybus, the son-in-law of Hippocrates (vol. i.), because a passage is quoted by Aristotle (Hist. Anim. iii 3), and attributed to Polybus, which is found word for word in the work De Natura Hominis (vol . i). For somewhat similar reasons, Euryphon has been supposed to be the author of the second and third books De Morbis, and the work De Natura Muliebri; and also (though with much less show of reason) a certain Leophanes, or Cleophanes (of whom nothing whatever is known), to have written the treatise De Superfoetatione (Littre, vol. i.).
  In the fifth class there is one treatise (De Diaeta) in which an astronomical coincidence with the calendar of Eudoxus has been pointed to the writer by a friend, which (as far as he is aware) has never been noticed by any commentator on Hippocrates, and which seems in some degree to fix the date of the work in question. If the calendar of Eudoxus, as preserved in the Apparentiae of Ptolemy and the calendar of Geminus (see Petav. Uranol.), be compared with part of the third book De Diaela (vol. i.), it will be found that the periods correspond so exactly, that (there being no other solar calendar of antiquity in which these intervals coincide so closely,and all through,but that of Eudoxus), it seems a reasonable inference that the writer of the work De Diaeta took them from the calendar in question. If this be granted, it will follow that the author must have written this work after the year B. C. 381, which is the date of the calendar of Eudoxus; and, as Hippocrates must have been at least eighty years old at that time, this conclusion will agree quite well with the general opinion of ancient and modern critics, that the treatise in question was probably written by one of his immediate followers.
  The sixth class agrees with the sixth class of M. Littre, who, with great appearance of probability, supposes it to form a connected series of works written by the same author, whose name is quite unknown, and of whose date it can only be determined from internal evidence that he must have lived later than Hippocrates, and before the time of Aristotle.
  The works contained in this and the seventh class have for many centuries formed part of the Hippocratic Collection without having any right to such an honour, and therefore are not genuine; but, as it does not appear that their authors were guilty of assuming the name of Hippocrates, or that they have represented the state of medical science as in any respect different from what it really was in the times in which they wrote, there is no reason for denying their authenticity. And in this respect they are to be regarded with a very different eye from the pieces which form the last class, which are neither genuine nor authentic, but mere forgeries; which display indeed here and there some ingenuity and skill, but which are still sufficiently full of difficulties and inconsistencies to betray at once their origin.
  So much space has been taken up with the preliminary, but most indispensable step of determining which are the genuine works of Hippocrates, and which are spurious, that a very slight sketch of his opinions is all that can be now attempted, and for a fuller account the reader must be referred to the works of Le Clerc, Haller, Sprengel, &c., or to some of those which relate especially to Hippocrates. He divides the causes of disease into two principal classes; the one comprehending the influence of seasons, climates, water, situation, &c., and the other consisting of more personal and private causes, such as result from the particular kind and amount of food and exercise in which each separate individual indulges himself. The modifications of the atmosphere dependent on different seasons and climates is a subject which was successfully treated by Hippocrates, and which is still far from exhausted by all the researches of modern science. He considered that while heat and cold, moisture and dryness, succeeded one another throughout the year, the human body underwent certain analogous changes, which influenced the diseases of the period; and on this basis was founded the doctrine of pathological constitutions, corresponding to particular conditions of the atmosphere, so that, whenever the year or the season exhibited a special character in which such or such a temperature prevailed, those persons who were exposed to its influence were affected by a series of disorders, all bearing the same stamp. (How plainly the same idea runs through the Observationes Medicae of Sydenham, our " English Hippocrates " need not be pointed out to those who are at all familiar with his works.) The belief in the influence which different climates exercise on the human frame follows naturally from the theory just mentioned; for, in fact, a climate may be considered as nothing more than a permanent season, whose effects may be expected to be more powerful, inasmuch as the cause is ever at work upon mankind. Accordingly, Hippocrates attributes to climate both the conformation of the body and the disposition of the mind-indeed, almost every thing; and if the Greeks were found to be hardy freemen, and the Asiatics effeminate slaves, he accounts for the difference of their characters by that of the climates in which they lived. With respect to the second class of causes producing disease, he attributed all sorts of disorders to a vicious system of diet, which, whether excessive or defective, he considered to be equally injurious; and in the same way he supposed that, when bodily exercise was either too much indulged in or entirely neglected, the health was equally likely to suffer, though by different forms of disease. Into all the minutiae of the "Humoral Pathology" (as it was called), which kept its ground in Europe as the prevailing doctrine of all the medical sects for more than twenty centuries, it would be out of place to enter here. It will be sufficient to remind the reader that the four fluids or humours of the body (blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile) were supposed to be the primary seat of disease; that health was the result of the due combination (or crasis) of these, and that, when this crasis was disturbed, disease was the consequence; that, in the course of a disorder that was proceeding favourably, these humours underwent a certain change in quality (or coction),which was the sign of returning health, as preparing the way for the expulsion of the morbid matter, or crisis;and that these crises had a tendency to occur at certain stated periods, which were hence called "critical days." (Brit. and For. Med. Rev.)
  The medical practice of Hippocrates was cautious and feeble, so much so, that he was in after times reproached with letting his patients die, by doing nothing to keep them alive. It consisted chiefly in watching the operations of nature, and promoting the critical evacuations mentioned above; so that attention to diet and regimen was the principal and often the only remedy that he employed. Several hundred substances have been enumerated which are used medicinally in different parts of the Hippocratic Collection; of these, by far the greater portion belong to the vegetable kingdom, as it would be in vain to look for any traces of chemistry in these early writings. In surgery, he is the author of the frequently quoted maxim, that " what cannot be cured by medicines is cured by the knife; and what cannot be cured by the knife is cured by fire." The anatomical knowledge displayed in different parts of the Hippocratic Collection is scanty and contradictory, so much so, that the discrepancies on this subject constitute an important criterion in deciding the genuineness of the different treatises.
  With regard to the personal character of Hippocrates, though he says little or nothing expressly about himself, yet it is impossible to avoid drawing certain conclusions from the characteristic passages scattered through the pages of his writings. He was evidently a person who not only had had great experience, but who also knew how to turn it to the best account; and the number of moral reflections and apophthegms that we meet with in his writings, some of which (as, for example, " Life is short, and Art is long ") have acquired a sort of proverbial notoriety, show him to have been a profound thinker. He appears to have felt the moral obligations and responsibilities of his profession, and often tries to impress upon his readers the duties of care and attention, and kindness towards the sick, saying that a physician's first and chief consideration ought to be the restoring his patient to health. The style of the Hippocratic writings, which are in the Ionic dialect, is so concise as to be sometimes extremely obscure; though this charge, which is as old as the time of Galen, is often brought too indiscriminately against the whole collection, whereas it applies, in fact especially only to certain treatises, which seem to be merely a collection of notes, such as De Humoribus, De Alimento, De Officina Medici, &c. In those writings, which are universally allowed to be genuine, we do not find this excessive brevity, though even these are in general by no means easy. (Brit. and For. Med. Rev.)
  Of the great number of books published on the subject of the Hippocratic Collection, only a very few of the most modern and most useful can be here enumerated; a fuller list may be found in Choulant's Handb. der Bucherkunde fur die Aeltere Medicin, or his Biblioth. Medico-Histor.; or in Ackermann's Historia Literaria Hippocratis. Foesii Oeconomia Hippocratis is a very copious and learned lexicon, published in fol. Francof. 1588, and Genev. 1662. Sprengel's Apologie des Hippocr. und seiner Grundsatze (Leipz. 1789, 1792, 2 vols. 8vo.), contains, among matter, a German translation of some of the genuine treatises, with a valuable commentary. The treatise by Ermerins, De Hippocr. Doctrine a Proynostice oriunda (Lugd. Bat. 1832, 4to.), deserves to be carefully studied; as also does Link's dissertation, Ueber die Theorien in den Hippocratiscien Schriften, nebst Bemerkungen uber die Echtheit dieser Schriften, in the " Abhandlungen der Berlin. Akadem." 1814, 1815. Gruner's Censura Librorum Hippocrateorum qua veri a falsis, integri a suppositis segregantur, Vratislav. 1772, 8vo., contains a useful account of the amount of evidence in favour of each treatise of the collection, though his conclusions are not always to be depended on. See also Houdart, Etudes Histor. et Crit. sur la Vie et la Doctrine d' Hippocr. Paris, 1836, 8vo.; Petersen, Hippocr. Nomine quae circumferuntur Scripta ad Temporis Rationes dispos. Hamburg, 1839, 4to. ; Meixner, Neue Prufung der Echtheit und Reihefolge Sammtlicher Schriften Hippocr., Munchen, 1836, 1837, 8vo.
1 There is at this present time among the MSS. at Leyden a little Arabic treatise on Physiognomy which bears the name of Philemon, and which (as the writer has been informed by a gentleman who has compared the two works) bears a very great resemblance to the Greek treatise by Polemon. (See Catal. Biblioth. Lugdun. p. 461. § 1286.)
2 Some of the readers of this work may perhaps be interested to hear that a strictly philologicalclassification of the works of the Hippocratic Collection is still a desideratum; and that, as this is in fact almost the only question connected with the subject which has not by this time been thoroughly examined, any scholar who will undertake the work will be doing good service to the cause of ancient medical literature.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

  The central historical figure in Greek medicine is Hippocrates. The events of his life are shrouded in uncertainty, yet tales of his ingenuity, patriotism and compassion made him a legend. He provided an example of the ideal physician after which others centuries after him patterned their existence.
  He was associated with the Asclepium of Cos, an island off the coast of Asia Minor, near Rhodes and with a group of medical treatises known collectively as the Hippocratic Corpus. Celsus says that Hippocrates first gave the physician an independent standing, separating him from the cosmological speculator, or nature philosopher. Hippocrates confined the medical man to medicine. At the same time that he assigned the physician his post, Hippocrates would not let him regard the post as sacrosanct. He set his face against any tendency toward sacerdotalism. He was also opposed to the spirit of trade-unionism in medicine. His concern was rather with the physician’s duties than his “rights”. Hence the greatest legacy of Hippocrates: the Hippocratic Oath.

This extract is cited Sept 2003 from the University of Virginia Historical Collections URL below, which contains image.

  Hippocrates (c. 460 BC-377 BC). Ancient Greek physician, commonly regarded as one of the most outstanding figures in medicine of all times. He is often called “the father of medicine”. He was the leader of a medical school of Cos and the author of most of writings of the school. He had a great impact on succeeding generations of practitioners of medicine and some general rules still apply.
  His work and writings rejected the superstition and magic of primitive “medicine” and laid the foundations of medicine as a branch of science. The whole collection of works of the Hippocratic medical school were gathered as the Hippocratic Corpus.
  The best known of the Hippocratic writings is the Hippocratic Oath.
  “I swear by Apollo the physician, by Aesculapius, Hygeia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgement, the following Oath. To consider dear to me as my parents him who taught me this art; to live in common with him and if necessary to share my goods with him; to look upon his children as my own brothers, to teach them this art if they so desire without fee or written promise; to impart to my sons and the sons of the master who taught me and the disciples who have enrolled themselves and have agreed to the rules of the profession, but to these alone the precepts and the instruction. I will prescribe regimen for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgement and never do harm to anyone.
  To please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug nor give advice which may cause his death. Nor will I give a woman a pessary to procure abortion. But I will preserve the purity of my life and my art. I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners, specialists in this art. In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or with men, be they free or slaves. All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal.
  If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all men and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my lot.”

This extract is cited July 2003 from the Malaspina Great Books URL below, which contains image.

  Hippocrates (c.460-377). Also called the “Father of Medicine”, Hippocrates was born on the island of Kos.
  Not much of him is known, except that he was exiled from his home, an outstanding physician and that he died in Larissa, where there is a monument of him. An anecdote tells us he was so sharp that once he met a girl in the street, and greeted her saying “good morning, maiden” but when he met her in the afternoon, he said “good evening, woman”.
  Hippocrates was almost free of superstition, and believed disease came from nature as opposed to from the gods. He even stated that epilepsy was caused from a blockage in the brain. He was the first physician to actually examine his patients.
  A revolutionary aspect that was invented by Hippocrates was the concepts of cleanliness. When the plague broke out he recommended that people burn their clothes and boil the water before they drank it. It was to take over 2000 years before this was rediscovered. He wrote about diagnostical methods, diets, the importance of hygiene, how to prevent diseases, surgery, women's diseases, the construction of towns and houses in order for people's environment to be healthy, massage et.c.
  Hippocrates believed the health is good when the four humours, blood, yellow bile, black bile and phlegm, are in balance. When we vomit, cough or sweat for example, the body is trying to get rid of excessive amounts of one or more of these humours.
  The Hippocratic Oath, which he might not have actually written himself, is still sworn by new doctors in many parts of the world. This oath is the basis for the ethics of the World Health Organization (WHO). Hippocrates also introduced the vow of silence that all doctors still take.

This text is cited Sept 2003 from the In2Greece URL below.

  Medicina (iatrike). The ancients ascribed the origin of the medical art to the gods (Pliny , Pliny H. N.xxix. 2), and Prometheus, Chiron, and Asclepius were among those who made it known to men. It was also believed to have been improved by the observation of the remedies instinctively sought out by animals when suffering from injuries or disease (Pliny , Pliny H. N.viii. 97). Thus, dogs taught the Egyptians the use of purgatives, bleeding was learned from the hippopotamus, and enemata from the ibis. Sheep and cattle led men to the use of the natural saline and chalybeate waters. The results of these and various other observations of cures were recorded on tablets, and suspended by the priests in the temples of the gods both in Egypt and in Greece. These tablets were the beginnings of medical literature.
  The Asclepiadae, to which family Hippocrates belonged, were, in a way, hereditary physicians, and founded a number of medical schools, of which the most famous in early times were those of Rhodes, Cnidos, and Cos. From the second came the collection of medical observations called Knidiai Gnomai, "Cnidian Maxims", which long enjoyed a considerable repute. The school of Cos was, however, the best known of the three, and one of its representatives was Hippocrates himself. Herodotus mentions other schools at Crotona in Italy and Cyrene in Africa (iii. 131). Of the different medical sects that sprang up at different times, the following deserve especial mention:
  (1) The Dogmatici or Hippocratici, founded about B.C. 400 by Thessalus, the son, and Polybus, the son-in-law of Hippocrates;
  (2) the Empirici, founded in the third century B.C., and so called because they professed to base their knowledge and practice on experience alone;
  (3) the Methodici, founded in the first century B.C. by Themison, who taught doctrines partly theoretical and partly empirical;
  (4) the Pneumatici, founded by Athenaeus in the first century a.d.; and
  (5) the Eclectici, founded at about the same time by Agathinus of Sparta, or perhaps his pupil Archigenes.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Febr 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

  Medicus (iatros). A physician or surgeon, the name being indiscriminately used of either. In Greece and Asia Minor, physicians were held in higher repute than at Rome, probably because of the traditional association of medicine with religion. A law of the Locrians quoted by Aelian (Var. Hist. ii. 37), punished with death the patient who disobeyed the orders of his physician. Hippocrates was treated as a demigod by the Athenians, if the account of Soranus be true.
  The Greek physician compounded his own medicines, and either sat in his consulting-room (iatreion) or visited his patients, in the latter duty being often accompanied by his pupils or assistants. There is only one mention of a Greek hospital prior to the Roman period. State physicians were employed in Greece, receiving a salary and their expenses, but no fees. Thus Democedes received from the public treasury of Aegina about $1400 per annum, and from Athens afterwards a salary of some $2000 ( Herod.iii. 131). A physician who cured King Antiochus received from him a fee of over $100,000 (Pliny , Pliny H. N.vii. 123; xxix. 5). State physicians attended gratis any one who called for them.
  In the early days of the Republic, Rome had no regular physicians. The haruspices and augurs pretended to some knowledge of medicine; but when a man fell ill, he was usually treated by the old women with their simples; or if the disease was a very serious one, he trusted to religious rites, vows, and sacrifices for his recovery. The various deities of disease were propitiated by temples and altars. In Varro's time there were in Rome three temples to the goddess of Fever; in the Esquiline quarter, an altar to Mefitis, the goddess Malaria; in the centre of the Forum Romanum, an altar to Cloacina, "the goddess of typhoid" (so Lanciani), and near the Praetorian Camp, an altar to Verminus, the god of diseasegerms.
  At a later period, among the Greeks who first came in numbers to Rome in the second century B.C., were many professed physicians; and from that time the practice of medicine became a lucrative profession among the Romans, though the chief practitioners remained Greeks, a fact to which the Latin vocabulary bears witness in that its medical terms are nearly all of Greek origin. The elder Pliny gives some interesting details regarding the fees received by the leading doctors. The native physicians of celebrity, Cassius, Calpetanus, and Arruntius, received, he estimates, an income of not less than 250,000 sesterces ($10,000) a year. Quintus Stertinius, a fashionable physician, was asked by the emperor to give up his private practice and devote himself to the imperial family alone. Stertinius said that, as an especial favour, he would do it if he could receive a salary of 500,000 sesterces ($20,000). This struck the emperor as an exorbitant demand, but Stertinius showed from his books that his private practice was worth to him at least 600,000 sesterces per annum. The brother of this Stertinius had a sort of partnership with him, and when they died, which they did at about the same time, they left a property of 30,000,000 sesterces ($1,200,000), though they had lived very expensively, and given large sums to public objects. The Greek physicians at Rome probably earned still larger sums. An ex-praetor paid 200,000 sesterces ($8000) as a single fee to the practitioner who treated him for leprosy. Pliny mentions one Thessalus, of whom he says: "No popular actor, no famous jockey, had a greater throng attending him when he appeared in public".
  Nothing is known of the course of study necessary to qualify a man for medical practice. That there were medical students and clinical lectures is seen from Martial. It is probable that the profession was open to all kinds of quacks and impostors, for we read of men taking up medicine as they would any form of trade, with no mention of any special qualification. It is, in fact, likely that, in the main, ancient medicine was little better than quackery, and that the best physicians were men like Crinas who made a careful study of dietetics, and like Asclepiades, who said "Nature is the true physician". How absurd much of the treatment must have been is shown in the list of remedies given by Pliny in his Historia Naturalis. The patent medicines of to-day sink into insignificance beside them. Thus, we read of a mysterious preparation called Theriaca with 600 ingredients, and of another known as "the Mithridatic antidote" with 450. Pliny mentions 35 nostrums prepared from wool, 22 from eggs, and also several pastes of which the principal constituent was pounded bugs. The notion, which is still largely prevalent among the laity, that the efficacy of a drug is in direct proportion to its nastiness seems to have had a strong hold on the minds of the ancients. Dog's blood was given for narcotic poisons; urine for gout; goat's gall for ophthalmia; bull's gall and garlic for ear-ache. Superstition entered largely into the treatment. A person afflicted with hiccoughing was gravely advised to touch his lips to a mule's nostrils and be cured. Hydrophobia was treated by applying to the bite the ashes of the dead dog's hair. A still more effectual remedy for the same disease was to cut out the liver of the dog and to eat it raw, applying at the same time to the wound, horse-dung sprinkled with vinegar.
  All these prescriptions are the serious advice of men of reputation. It is not surprising if, on the whole, the profession was less esteemed than others. Pliny the Elder sums up the matter in the following sentences: "There is no doubt that physicians in pursuit of celebrity, by the introduction of some novelty or other, purchase it at the cost of human life. Hence these woful discussions, these consultations at the bedside of the patient; hence, too, the ominous inscription to be read upon a tomb--'I perished by the multitude of physicians' . . . And there is, moreover, no law to punish the mistakes of a physician, and no instance before us of any punishment so inflicted. They acquire skill at our risk, and put us to death for the sake of making an experiment; for a physician is the only person who is licensed to kill".
  Other scandals besides those due to ignorance were not unknown. So many unprincipled persons entered the profession that it is not surprising to find complaints made of their conduct. Even the palace of the Caesars was the scene of strange occurrences, for it is recorded that both Livia, the wife of Drusus, and the empress Messalina were criminally intimate with their medical attendants. It is not remarkable, therefore, to find a Roman writer concluding a discussion of the subject with the words: "Medicine is the only one of the arts of Greece that, lucrative though it be, Roman dignity still refuses to cultivate".
  Nevertheless, medicine flourished, and its followers kept increasing in number. We hear of the practice of specialties. General practitioners were known as medici; surgeons as chirurgi and vulnerarii. There were also oculists (ocularii) and dentists (medici a dentibus). We even read of female physicians (Orell. Inscript. 4320-31), and, of course, of numerous midwives (obstetrices). Pharmacies existed, their sign being the Aesculapian snake; and though physicians usually furnished their own drugs, they also gave signed prescriptions (Duruy). The physicians attached to the imperial household were under the direction of a chief styled archiater (archiatros), or in pure Latin dominus medicorum. The name archiater was also applied to the dispensary-physicians who gave their services to the people (archiatri populares).
  Surgery was the branch of medicine most scientifically pursued, and successful operations were performed by the ancient surgeons for stone and cataract, while trephining was not unknown.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Febr 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

  Diaetetica (diaitetike). One of the principal branches into which the ancients divided the art and science of medicine. The word is derived from diaita, which meant much the same as our word diet. It is defined by Celsus (De Medic. Praef.lib. i.) to signify that part of medicine which cures diseases by means of regimen and diet. Taken strictly in this sense, it would correspond very nearly with the modern "dietetics", and this is the meaning which it always bears in the earlier medical writers.
  In later times the comic poet Nicomachus introduces a cook who, among his other qualifications, implies that he is a physician; but no attention seems to have been paid to eating as a branch of medicine before the date of Hippocrates. Homer represents Machaon, who had been wounded in the shoulder by an arrow ( Il.xi. 507) and forced to quit the field, as taking a draught composed of wine, goat's-milk cheese, and flour, which probably no surgeon in later times would have prescribed in such a case. Hippocrates seems to claim for himself the credit of being the first person who had studied this subject, and says that "the ancients had written nothing on it worth mentioning". Among the works forming the Hippocratic collection, there are four that bear upon this subject, of which, however, only one (viz. that just quoted) is considered to be undoubtedly genuine. It would be out of place here to attempt anything like a complete account of the opinions of the ancients on this point, so that in this article only such particulars are mentioned as may be supposed to have some interest for the classical reader.
  In the works of Hippocrates and his successors almost all the articles of food used by the ancients are mentioned, and their real or supposed properties discussed, sometimes quite as fancifully as by Burton in his Anatomy of Melancholy. In some respects they appear to have been much less delicate than the moderns, as we find the flesh of the fox, the dog, the horse, and the ass spoken of as common articles of food. Beef and mutton were of course eaten, but the meat most generally esteemed was pork. A morbid taste for human flesh appears to have been secretly indulged in the time of Xenocrates (first century A.D.); so that the unnatural practice was forbidden by an imperial edict, which decree serves to illustrate the "strange and revolting anecdote", as Milman calls it, of the wild cry that, in a time of scarcity amounting to famine, assailed the ears of the emperor Attalus, "Fix the tariff for human flesh" (pone pretium carni humanae, Zosim. vi. 11).
  With regard to the strength or quality of the wine drunk by the ancients, we may arrive at something like certainty from the fact that Coelius Aurelianus mentions it as something extraordinary that Asclepiades at Rome in the first century B.C. sometimes ordered his patients to double and treble the quantity of wine, till at last they drank half wine and half water. From this it appears that wine was commonly diluted with five or six times its quantity of water. Hippocrates also in particular cases recommends wine to be mixed with an equal quantity of water, and Galen approves of the proportion. According to Hippocrates, the proportions in which wine and water should be mixed together vary according to the season of the year; for instance, in summer the wine should be most diluted, in winter the least so. In one place the patient after great fatigue is recommended to get himself drunk once or twice, in which passage it has been doubted whether actual intoxication is meant or only the "drinking freely and to cheerfulness", in which sense the same word is used by St. John and the Septuagint.
  Exercises of various kinds and bathing are also much insisted on by the writers on diet and regimen, but for further particulars on these subjects the articles Balneae and Gymnasium must be consulted. It may, however, be added that the bath could not have been very common, at least in private families, in the time of Hippocrates, as he says that "there are few houses in which the necessary conveniences are to be found". Another very favourite practice with the ancients, both as a preventive of sickness and as a remedy, was the taking of an emetic from time to time. In one of the treatises of the Hippocratic collection the unknown author recommends it two or three times a month. Celsus considers it more beneficial in the winter than in the summer, and says that those who take an emetic twice a month had better do so on two successive days than once a fortnight. In the first century B.C. this practice was so commonly abused that Asclepiades rejected the use of emetics altogether.
  It was the custom among the Romans to take an emetic immediately before their meals, in order to prepare themselves to eat more plentifully; and again soon after, so as to avoid any injury from repletion. Cicero, in his account of the day that Caesar spent with him at his house in the country, says, "Accubuit, emetiken agebat (he was meditating an emetic), itaque et edit et bibit adeos et iucunde"; and this has by some persons been considered a sort of compliment paid by Caesar to his host, as it intimated a resolution to pass the day cheerfully and to eat and drink freely. He is represented as having done the same thing when he was entertained by King Deiotarus. The glutton Vitellius is said to have preserved his own life by constant emetics, while he destroyed all his companions who did not use the same precaution; so that one of them, who was prevented by illness from dining with him for a few days, said, "I should certainly have been dead if I had not fallen sick". It might truly be said, in the strong language of Seneca, Vomunt, ut edant; edunt, ut vomant. By some, the practice was thought so effectual for strengthening the constitution that it was the constant regimen of all the athletae, or professed wrestlers, trained for the public shows, in order to make them more robust. Celsus, however, warns his readers against the too frequent use of emetics without necessity and merely for luxury and gluttony, and says that no one who has any regard for his health and wishes to live to old age ought to make it a daily practice.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Febr 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

  Chirurgia (cheirourgia). Surgery; a word meaning literally "handiwork". The practice of surgery was at first considered by the ancients to be merely a part of a physician's duty; but, as in later times the two branches of the profession were to a great extent separated, it will perhaps be more convenient to treat of it under a separate head. Without touching upon the disputed question, which is the more ancient branch of the profession, or even trying to give such a definition of the word chirurgia as would be likely to satisfy both the physicians and the surgeons of the present day, it will be sufficient to determine the sense in which the word was used by the ancients; and then to give an account of this division of the science and art of medicine as practised among the Greeks and Romans, referring to the article Medicina for further particulars.
  The word chirurgia is derived from cheir, "the hand", and ergon, "a work", and is explained by Celsus to mean that part of medicine quae manu curat, "which treats ailments by means of the hand"; in Diogenes Laertius (iii. 85) it is said to cure dia tou temnein kai kaiein, "by cutting and burning". Omitting the fabulous and mythological personages, Apollo, Aesculapius, Chiron, etc., the only certain traditions respecting the state of surgery before the establishment of the republics of Greece, and even until the time of the Peloponnesian War, are to be found in the Iliad and Odyssey. There it appears that surgery was almost entirely confined to the treatment of wounds, and the imaginary power of enchantment was joined with the use of topical applications ( Il.iii. 218). The Greeks received surgery, together with the other branches of medicine, from the Egyptians; and from some observations made by the archaeologists who accompanied the French expedition to Egypt in 1798, and by subsequent investigators, it appears that there are documents fully proving that in very remote times this extraordinary people had reached a degree of proficiency of which few of the moderns have any conception. Upon the ceilings and walls of the temples at Karnac, Luxor, etc., bas-reliefs are seen, representing limbs that have been cut off with instruments very similar to those which are employed for amputations at the present day. The same instruments are again observed in the hieroglyphics, and vestiges of other surgical operations may be traced, which afford convincing proofs of the skill of the ancient Egyptians in this branch of medical science.
  The earliest remaining surgical writings are those in the Hippocratic Collection, where there are ten treatises on this subject, of which, however, only one is considered undoubtedly genuine. Hippocrates (B.C. 460-357?) far surpassed all his predecessors in the boldness and success of his operations; and though the scanty knowledge of anatomy possessed in those times prevented his attaining any very great perfection, still one should rather admire his genius, which enabled him to do so much, than blame him because, with his imperfect information, he could not accomplish more. The scientific skill in reducing fractures and luxations displayed in his works De Fracturis, De Articulis, excites the admiration of Haller (Biblioth. Chirurg.); and he was most probably the inventor of the ambe, an old surgical machine for dislocations of the shoulder, which, though now fallen into disuse, enjoyed for a long time a great reputation. In his work De Capitis Vulneribus he gives minute directions about the time and mode of using the trephine, and warns the operator against the probability of his being deceived by the sutures of the cranium, as he confesses happened to himself (De Morb. Vulgar. lib. v. tom. iii. p. 561, ed. Kuhn). Amputation, in the modern sense of the word, is not described in the Hippocratic Collection; though mention is made of the removal of a limb at the joint, after the flesh has been completely destroyed by gangrene. The author of the "Oath" commonly attributed to Hippocrates binds his pupils not to perform the operation of lithotomy, but to leave it to persons specially accustomed to it (ergateisi andrasi prexios tesde); from which it would appear as if certain persons confined themselves to particular operations.
  The names of several persons are preserved who practised surgery as well as medicine in the times immediately succeeding those of Hippocrates; but, with the exception of some fragments, inserted in the writings of Galen, Oribasius, Aetius, etc., all their writings have perished. Archagathus deserves to be mentioned, as he is said to have been the first foreign surgeon who settled at Rome, B.C. 219 ( Plin. H. N.xxix. 12). He was at first very well received, the ius Quiritium was conferred upon him, a shop was bought for him at the public expense, and he received the honourable title of Vulnerarius; which, however, on account of his frequent use of the knife and cautery, was soon changed by the Romans, who were unused to such a mode of practice, into that of Carnifex. Asclepiades, who lived at the beginning of the first century B.C., is said to have been the first person who proposed the operation of tracheotomy. Ammonius of Alexandria, surnamed Lithotomos, who is supposed to have lived rather later, is celebrated in the annals of surgery for having been the first to propose and to perform the operation of lithotrity, or breaking a calculus in the bladder when found to be too large for safe extraction. Celsus has minutely described his mode of operating, which in some respects resembles that of Civiale and Heurteloup in the early part of the present century, and proves that, however much credit they may deserve for perfecting the operation and bringing it out of oblivion into public notice, the praise of having originally thought of it belongs to the ancients. "A hook or crotchet", says Celsus, "is fixed upon the stone in such a way as easily to hold it firm, even when shaken, so that it may not revolve backward; then an iron instrument is used, of moderate thickness, thin at the front end, but blunt, which, when applied to the stone and struck at the other end, cleaves it: great care must be taken that the instrument does not come into contact with the bladder itself, and that nothing fall upon it by the breaking of the stone". The next surgical writer after Hippocrates, whose works are still extant, is Celsus, who lived at the beginning of the first century A.D., and who has devoted the four last books of his work De Medicina, and especially the seventh and eighth, entirely to surgical matter. It plainly appears from reading Celsus that since the time of Hippocrates surgery had made very great progress, and had, indeed, reached a high degree of perfection. We find in him the earliest mention of the use of the ligature for the arrest of hemorrhage from wounded bloodvessels; and the Celsian mode of amputation was continued down to comparatively modern times. He is the first author who gives directions for the operation of lithotomy, and the method described by him (called the apparatus minor, or Celsus's method) continued to be practised till the commencement of the sixteenth century. It was performed at Paris, Bordeaux, and other places in France, upon patients of all ages, even as late as the latter part of the seventeenth century; and a modern author (Allan On Lithotomy, p. 12) recommends it always to be preferred for boys under fourteen. He describes the operation of infibulatio, which was so commonly performed by the ancients upon singers, etc., and is often alluded to in classical authors. He also describes the operation of circumcision alluded to by St. Paul. Paulus Aegineta (De Re Med. vi. 53) transcribes from Antyllus a second method of performing the same operation.
  The following description by Celsus of the necessary qualifications of a surgeon deserves to be quoted: "A surgeon ought to be young, or, at any rate, not very old; his hand should be firm and steady, and never shake; he should be able to use his left hand as readily as his right; his eyesight should be clear, and his mind not easily startled; he should be so far subject to pity as to make him desirous of the recovery of his patient, but not so far as to suffer himself to be moved by his cries; he should neither hurry the operation more than the case requires, nor cut less than is necessary, but do everything just as if the other's screams made no impression upon him".
  Omitting Scribonius Largus, Moschion, and Soranus, the next author of importance is Caelius Aurelianus, who is supposed to have lived about the beginning of the second century A.D., and in whose works there is much surgical matter, but nothing that can be called original. He rejected as absurd the operation of tracheotomy. He mentions a case of ascites that was cured by tapping, and also a person who recovered after being shot through the lungs by an arrow.
  Galen, the most voluminous and at the same time the most valuable medical writer of antiquity, is less celebrated as a surgeon than as an anatomist and physician. He appears to have practised surgery at Pergamus, but upon his removal to Rome (A.D. 165) he entirely confined himself to medicine. His writings prove, however, that he did not entirely abandon surgery. His Commentaries on the treatise of Hippocrates De Officina Medici, and his treatise De Fasciis, show that he was well versed even in the minor details of the art. He appears also to have been a skilful operator, though no great surgical inventions are attributed to him.
  Antyllus, who lived some time between Galen and Oribasius, is the earliest writer whose directions for performing tracheotomy are still extant, though the operation (as stated above) was proposed by Asclepiades about three hundred years before. Only a few fragments of the writings of Antyllus remain, and among them the following passage is preserved by Paulus Aegineta: "When we proceed to perform this operation, we must cut through some part of the windpipe, below the larynx, about the third or fourth ring; for to divide the whole would be dangerous. This place is commodious, because it is not covered with any flesh, and because it has no vessels situated near the divided part. Therefore, bending the head of the patient backward, so that the windpipe may come more forward to the view, we make a transverse section between two of the rings, so that in this case not the cartilage, but the membrane which unites the cartilages together, is divided. If the operator be a little timid, he may first stretch the skin with a hook and divide it; then, proceeding to the windpipe, and separating the vessels, if any are in the way, he may make the incision".
  This operation appears to have been very seldom, if ever, performed by the ancients upon a human being. Avenzoar tried it upon a goat, and found it might be done without much danger or difficulty; but he says he should not like to be the first person to try it upon a man.
  Oribasius, physician to the emperor Julian (A.D. 361), professes to be merely a compiler; and though there is in his great work, entitled Sunagogai Iatrikai (Collecta Medicinalia), much surgical matter, there is nothing original. The same may be said of Aetius and Alexander Trallianus, both of whom lived towards the end of the sixth century A.D. Paulus Aegineta has given up the fifth and sixth books of his work De Re Medica entirely to surgery, and has inserted much useful matter, derived in a great measure from his own observation and experience. Albucasis translated into Arabic great part of these two books as the basis of his work on surgery. Paulus was particularly celebrated for his skill in midwifery and female diseases, and was called on that account, by the Arabians, Al-Kawabeli, "the Accoucheur" (Abulfaraj, Hist. Dynast. p. 181, ed. Pococke). He probably lived towards the end of the seventh century A.D., and is the last of the ancient Greek and Latin medical writers whose surgical works remain. The names of several others are recorded, but they are not of sufficient eminence to require any notice here. For further information on the subject both of medicine and surgery, see Medicina; and for the legal qualifications, social rank, etc., both of physicians and surgeons, among the ancient Greeks and Romans, see Medicus.
  The surgical instruments from which the accompanying engravings ... (see more in the URL below)

This extract is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Febr 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

The Hippocratic Oath was unquestionably the exemplar for medical etiquette for centuries, and it endures in modified form to this day. Yet uncertainty still prevails concerning the date the oath was composed, the purpose for which it was intended, and the historical forces which shaped the document. The date of composition in modern debate varies from the sixth century BCE to the fourth century CE.
  In antiquity it was generally not considered a violation of medical ethics to do what the Oath forbade. An ancient doctor who accepted the rules laid down by “Hippocrates” was by no means in agreement with the opinion of all his fellow physicians; on the contrary, he adhered to a dogma which was much stricter than that embraced by many, if not by most, of his colleagues.

I swear by Apollo the Physician and Asclepius and Hygeia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfill according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant: To hold him who has taught me this art as equal to my parent and to live my life in partnership with him, and if he is in need of money to give him a share of mine, and to regard his offspring as equal to my brothers in male lineage and to teach them this art--if they desire to learn it--without fee and covenant; to give share of precepts and oral instruction and all other learning to my sons and to the sons of him who has instructed me and to pupils who have signed the covenant and have taken an oath according to the medical law, but to no one else. I will apply dietetic measure for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice. I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and in holiness I will guard my life and my art. I will not use the knife, not even on sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favor of such men as are engaged in this work. Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves. What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself holding such things shameful to be spoken about. If I fulfill this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honored with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite be my lot.
--Translated by Ludwig Edelstein

The organization of the Hippocratic Oath is clearly bipartite. The first half specifies the duties of the pupil toward his teacher and his obligations in transmitting medical knowledge; the second half gives a short summary of medical ethics.
  It is the second half, the ethical half, which is inconsistent with the principles and practices of Hippocrates, thus the manifesto was incorrectly attributed to him. One immediate inconsistency is the Oath’s prohibition against abortion. The Hippocratic Corpus contains a number of allusions to the methods of abortion and the use of pessaries. Apparently the prohibitions found within the Oath did not echo the general feeling of the public. Abortion was practiced in Greek times no less than in the Roman era, and it was resorted to without scruple. In a world in which it was held justifiable to expose children immediately after birth, it would hardly seem objectionable to destroy the embryo.
  A second discrepancy between the Oath and general Hippocratic principles is the ban on suicide. Suicide was not censured in antiquity. Self-murder as a relief from illness was regarded as justifiable, so much so that in some states it was an institution duly legalized by the authorities. Nor did ancient religion proscribe suicide. It did not know of any eternal punishment for those who had ended their own lives. Law and religion then left the physician free to do whatever seemed best to him.
  Pythagoreanism is the only philosophical dogma that can possibly account for the attitude advocated in the Hippocratic Oath. Among all the Greek philosophical schools, the Pythagoreans alone outlawed suicide and abortion and did so without qualification. The Oath also concurs with Pythagorean prohibitions against surgical procedures of all kinds and against the shedding of blood, in which the soul was thought to reside.
  The interdiction in the Oath against the knife is especially out of keeping with the several treatises that deal at length with surgical techniques and operating room procedures. It is little wonder that this Oath, although a non-Hippocratic document, has remained steadfastly the symbol of the physician’s pledge. The prohibition against abortion and suicide were (and remain) in consonance with the principles of the Christian Church. The earliest reference to this Oath is in the first century CE, and it may have been appropriated soon after to fit the religious ideals of the time. The substitution of God, Christ and the saints for the names of Asclepius and his family is easy enough.
  It is ironic that the Hippocratic Oath in its present form with its religious subtext is associated with Hippocrates, the man who first separated medicine from religion and disease from supernatural explanations.

This text is cited Sept 2003 from the University of Virginia Historical Collections URL below, which contains image.

Editor's Information
The e-texts of the works by Hippocrates are found in Greece (ancient country) under the category Ancient Greek Writings.


Thessalus (Thessalos). A Greek physician, son of Hippocrates. He passed some of his time at the court of Archelaus, king of Macedonia, who reigned B.C. 413-399. He was one of the founders of the sect of the Dogmatici, and is several times highly praised by Galen, who calls him the most eminent of the sons of Hippocrates. He was supposed by some of the ancient writers to be the author of several of the works that form part of the Hippocratic Collection, which he might have compiled from notes left by his father.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Febr 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

  From the death of Hippocrates about the year 375 B.C. till the founding of the Alexandrian School, the physicians were engrossed largely in speculative views, and not much real progress was made, except in the matter of elaborating the humoral pathology. Only three or four men of the first rank stand out in this period: Diocles the Carystian, "both in time and reputation next and second to Hippocrates" (Pliny), a keen anatomist and an encyclopaedic writer; but only scanty fragments of his work remain. In some ways the most important member of this group was Praxagoras, a native of Cos, about 340 B.C. Aristotle, you remember, made no essential distinction between arteries and veins, both of which he held to contain blood: Praxagoras recognized that the pulsation was only in the arteries, and maintained that only the veins contained blood, and the arteries air. As a rule the arteries are empty after death, and Praxagoras believed that they were filled with an aeriform fluid, a sort of pneuma, which was responsible for their pulsation. The word arteria, which had already been applied to the trachea, as an air-containing tube, was then attached to the arteries; on account of the rough and uneven character of its walls the trachea was then called the arteria tracheia, or the rough air-tube.(Galen: De usu partium, VII, Chaps. 8-9)We call it simply the trachea, but in French the word trachee-artere is still used.
  Praxagoras was one of the first to make an exhaustive study of the pulse, and he must have been a man of considerable clinical acumen,as well as boldness, to recommend in obstruction of the bowels the opening of the abdomen, removal of the obstructed portion and uniting the ends of the intestine by sutures.

This text is cited Sept 2003 from the Greek & Roman Science & Technology URL below.

Historic figures


Ptolemaeus Philadelphus, king of Egypt

   The son of Ptolemy I. by his wife Berenice, was born in the island of Cos, 309.
His long reign was marked by few events of a striking character. He was engaged in war with his half-brother Magas, who had governed Cyrene as viceroy under Ptolemy Soter, but on the death of that monarch not only asserted his independence, but even attempted to invade Egypt. Magas was supported by Antiochus II., king of Syria; and the war was at length terminated by a treaty, which left Magas in undisputed possession of the Cyrenaica, while his infant daughter Berenice was betrothed to Ptolemy, the son of Philadelphus. Ptolemy also concluded a treaty with the Romans. He was frequently engaged in hostilities with Syria, which were terminated towards the close of his reign by a treaty of peace, by which Ptolemy gave his daughter Berenice in marriage to Antiochus II. Ptolemy's chief care, however, was directed to the internal administration of his kingdom, and to the patronage of literature and science. The institutions of which the foundations had been laid by his father quickly rose under his fostering care to the highest prosperity. The Museum of Alexandria became the resort and abode of all the most distinguished men of letters of the day, and in the library attached to it were accumulated all the treasures of ancient learning. Among the other illustrious names which adorned the reign of Ptolemy may be mentioned those of the poets Philetas and Theocritus, the philosophers Hegesias and Theodorus, the mathematician Euclid, and the astronomers Timocharis, Aristarchus of Samos, and Aratus. Nor was his patronage confined to the ordinary cycle of Hellenic literature. By his interest in natural history he gave a stimulus to the pursuit of that science, which gave birth to many important works, while he himself formed collections of rare animals within the precincts of the royal palace. It was during his reign also, and perhaps at his desire, that Manetho gave to the world in a Greek form the historical records of the Egyptians; and according to a well-known tradition it was by his express command that the Holy Scriptures of the Jews were translated into Greek. The new cities or colonies founded by Philadelphus in different parts of his dominions were extremely numerous. On the Red Sea alone we find at least two bearing the name of Arsinoe, one called after another of his sisters Philotera, and two cities named in honour of his mother Berenice. The same names occur also in Cilicia and Syria: and in the latter country he founded the important fortress of Ptolemais in Palestine. All authorities concur in attesting the great power and wealth to which the Egyptian monarchy was raised under Philadelphus. He possessed at the close of his reign a standing army of 200,000 foot and 40,000 horse, besides war-chariots and elephants, a fleet of 1500 ships, and a sum of 740,000 talents in his treasury; while he derived from Egypt alone an annual revenue of 14,800 talents. His dominions comprised, besides Egypt itself, and portions of Aethiopia, Arabia, and Libya, the important provinces of Ph?nicia and Coele-Syria, together with Cyprus, Lycia, Caria, and the Cyclades, and during a great part at least of his reign Cilicia and Pamphylia also. Before his death Cyrene was reunited to the monarchy by the marriage of his son Ptolemy with Berenice, the daughter of Magas. The private life and relations of Philadelphus do not exhibit his character in as favourable a light as we might have inferred from the splendour of his administration. He put to death two of his brothers; and he banished his first wife Arsinoe, the daughter of Lysimachus, to Coptos in Upper Egypt on a charge of conspiracy. After her removal Ptolemy married his own sister Arsinoe, the widow of Lysimachus, a flagrant violation of the religious notions of the Greeks, but one which was frequently imitated by his successors. He evinced his affection for Arsinoe not only by bestowing her name upon many of his newly-founded colonies, but by assuming himself the surname of Philadelphus, a title which some writers referred in derision to his unnatural treatment of his two brothers. By this second marriage Ptolemy had no issue: but his first wife had borne him two sons--Ptolemy, who succeeded him on the throne, and Lysimachus; and a daughter, Berenice, whose marriage to Antiochus II., king of Syria, has been already mentioned.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Apelles (c 352 - 308 BC)

Apelles, the most celebrated of Grecian painters, was born, most probably, at Colophon in Ionia (Suidas, s. v.), though Pliny (xxxv. 36.10) and Ovid (Art. Am. iii. 401; Pont. iv. 1. 29) call him a Coan. The account of Strabo (xiv.) and Lucian (De Calumn. lix.2, 6), that he was an Ephesian, may be explained from the statements of Suidas, that he was made a citizen at Ephesus, and that he studied painting there under Ephorus. He afterwards studied under Pamphilus of Amphipolis, to whom he paid the fee of a talent for a ten-years' course of instruction (Suidas, s. v.; Plin. xxxv. 36.8). At a later period, when he had already gained a high reputation, he went to Sicyon, and again paid a talent for admission into the school of Melanthius, whom he assisted in his portrait of the tyrant Aristratus (Plut. Arat. 13). By this course of study he acquired the scientific accuracy of the Sicyonian school, as well as the elegance of the Ionic...
More about Apelles at Ancient Colophon

Aphrodite Anadyomene

Anadyomene (Anaduomene), the goddess rising out of the sea, a surname given to Aphrodite, in allusion to the story of her being born from the foam of the sea. This surname had not much celebrity previous to the time of Apelles, but his famous painting of Aphrodite Anadyomene, in which the goddess was represented as rising from the sea and drying her hair with her hands, at once drew great attention to this poetical idea, and excited the emulation of other artists, painters as well as sculptors. The painting of Apelles was made for the inhabitants of the island of Cos, who set it up in their temple of Asclepius. Its beauty induced Augustus to have it removed to Rome, and the Coans were indemnified by a reduction in their taxes of 100 talents. In the time of Nero the greater part of the picture had become effaced, and it was replaced by the work of another artist. (Strab. xiv.; Plin. H. N. xxxv. 36.12. and 15; Auson. Ep. 106; Paus. ii. 1.7)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Herondas, 3rd cent. BC

   or Herodas. A Greek writer of iambics, who lived probably at Cos in the third century B.C., and of whose verses little was known before the recent discovery among the papyri in the British Museum of a MS. containing [p. 807] seven poems. Previous to this discovery there existed only ten quotations from him (one in iambic dimeter and nine in choliambics), five of which are found in the British Museum MS., and served to identify the author, as his name is not there given. These seven complete poems contain from 85 to 129 lines apiece, and are entitled (1) Prokuklis e Mastropos, "The Matchmaker or the Go-between;" (2) Pornoboskos, "The Pimp;" (3) Didaskalos, "The Schoolmaster;" (4) Asklepioi anatitheisai kai thusiazousai, "A Visit to Asclepius;" (5) Zelotupos, "The Jealous Woman;" (6) Philiazousai e Idiazousai, "Affectionate Friends, or the Confidantes;" (7) Skuteus(?), "The Cobbler." The titles of two more poems are found in the MS.--Enupnion, "The Dream;" and Aponestizomenai, "Ladies at Breakfast." The poems are difficult to read, abounding in words found hitherto only in Hesychius, and containing some that are entirely unknown. Many of these strange vocables are probably the result of copyists' errors, having been written in Egypt whence the MS. came, while others are doubtless colloquialisms.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

A Hellenistic Bibliography: Herodas

This file forms part of A Hellenistic Bibliography, a bibliography on post-classical Greek poetry and its influence, accessible through the website of the department of Classics of the University of Leiden.
The file contains ca. 450 titles on Herodas; it has two sections:
Essentials (editions, etc.)
All titles (by year/author).
Compiled and maintained by Martijn Cuypers
Last updated: 3 july 2002

Philetas, Elegiac Poet

   Near the end of the fourth century B.C., Philetas of Cos, celebrated as a poet by Theocritus and Propertius, wrote a famous book, atakta or glossai, on the meanings of words, especially of poetical and dialectic forms.

This extract is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Daphnis & Chloe. Philetas teaches Daphnis and Chloe about love and how to enjoy the beauties of it.

Philetas and the Liar Paradox
An ancient gravestone on the Greek Island of Cos was reported by Athenaeus to contain this poem about the difficulty of solving the paradox:
O Stranger: Philetas of Cos am I, 'Twas the Liar who made me die, And the bad nights caused thereby'.

Bittis, a woman beloved by the poet Philetas of Cos. His elegies, chiefly of an amatory nature and singing the praises of his mistress Battis (or Bittis), were much admired by the Romans.

   Glossa . . .The word underwent a gradual development of meaning, which may be described with brevity. By the earliest Greek commentators and editors of texts, glossa denoted any word in an author that required definition or explanation. Such were (a) archaisms; (b) hapax legomena and newly-coined words; (c) provincialisms; (d) barbarisms; and (e) technical terms. In editing or transcribing a text it was usual for the editor or transcriber to define the glossa by writing opposite to it in the margin the more familiar synonym (onoma kurion). The term glossa soon came to be applied to the pair of words--the word in the text and the definition in the margin--the two being regarded as constituting a single whole. Finally, the explanation alone was called a glossa. With these glosses begins the history of lexicography; for collections of them began to be made, and published separately as glossaria or glossaries. Such was the compilation of the elegiac poet Philetas of Cos, whose collection was the first attempt at an Homeric glossary . .

This extract is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

A Hellenistic Bibliography: Philetas

This file forms part of A Hellenistic Bibliography, a bibliography on post-classical Greek poetry and its influence, accessible through the website of the department of Classics of the University of Leiden.
The file contains ca. 40 titles on Philetas, arranged by year/author.
Compiled and maintained by Martijn Cuypers
Last updated: 3 july 2002

Simonides, of Ceos

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Ferry Departures

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