Aristotle, Problems

LCL 316: 6-7

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859A1. Διὰ τί αἱ μεγάλαι ὑπερβολαὶ νοσώδεις; ἢ ὅτι ὑπερβολὴν ἢ ἔλλειψιν ποιοῦσιν; τοῦτο δ᾿ ἦν ἡ νόσος.

2. Διὰ τί δὲ τὰς νόσους πολλάκις ὑγιάζουσιν ὅταν | 5πολὺ ἐκστῇ τις; καὶ ἐνίων ἰατρῶν τοιαύτη ἡ τέχνη· ὑπερβολαῖς γὰρ ἰῶνται οἴνου ἢ ὕδατος ἢ ἅλμης ἢ σίτου ἢ λιμοῦ. ἢ ὅτι ἐναντία ἀλλήλοις τὰ τὴν νόσον ποιοῦντα; εἰς τὸ μέσον οὖν ἄγει θάτερον ἑκάτερα.1

3. Διὰ τί αἱ τῶν ὡρῶν μεταβολαὶ καὶ πνεύματα 10ἐπιτείνουσιν | ἢ παύουσι καὶ κρίνουσι τὰς νόσους καὶ ποιοῦσιν; ἢ ὅτι θερμαὶ καὶ ψυχραί εἰσι καὶ ὑγραὶ καὶ ξηραί, αἱ δὲ νόσοι τούτων εἰσὶν ὑπερβολαί, ἡ δ᾿ ὑγεία ἰσότης; ἐὰν οὖν δι᾿ ὑγρότητα καὶ ψύξιν, ἡ ἐναντία ὥρα παύει· ἐὰν δὲ μὴ2 ἐναντία ὥρα ἔχηται, ἡ ὁμοία κρᾶσις 15ἐπιγενομένη ἐπέτεινε καὶ ἀνεῖλεν. | διὰ ταῦτα δὲ καὶ νοσίζουσι τοὺς ὑγιαίνοντας, ὅτι μεταβάλλουσαι λύουσι τὴν κρᾶσιν· ἅμα γὰρ ταῖς οἰκείαις ὥραις καὶ


Problems I.

Medical Problems

1.1 Why are great excesses disease-producing? Is it because they produce either excess or defect? And these are disease.

2. But why do people often cure diseases by making the patient go through a great deal of change? Indeed, this is the technique of some physicians; for they heal by excesses of wine, water, salt, food, or hunger. Is it because the things that produce disease are the opposites of one another? Therefore each excess or defect leads the other to the mean.

3.2 Why do the changes of season and the winds intensify or check, and bring to a crisis and produce, diseases? Is it because they are hot and cold, wet and dry, and diseases are excesses of these, whereas health is their equilibrium? Therefore, if a disease is due to moisture or cold, the opposite season checks it; but if a season that is not opposite follows, the addition of a mixture of similar qualities intensifies the disease and produces death. This is why such seasons even cause disease in the healthy, because by changing they disturb the mixture; for at the same time health is

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aristotle-problems.2011