Galen, Method of Medicine

LCL 516: 244-245

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οὐδὲν τούτων οὐδέπω τεχνικόν, ἀλλ᾿ ὅπερ, οἶμαι, καὶ τοῖς ἰδιώταις ἅπασιν ὑπάρχει γινώσκειν· ἐμβληθῆναι γοῦν ἑαυτῶν κελεύουσι τὸ κῶλον, ὅταν ἐξηρθρηκότος αἰσθάνωνται καὶ ἀφαιρεθῆναι τὴν ἀκροχορδόνα καὶ τὸ ἕλκος εἰς οὐλὴν ἀχθῆναι καὶ τὸ ῥεῦμα τῆς κοιλίας ἐπισχεθῆναι.

τὸ δὲ δι᾿ ὧν χρὴ ταῦτα ποιεῖν οὐκ ἴσασι. καὶ τοῦτ᾿ ἔστιν ὃ χρὴ προστιθέναι τὸν ἰατρόν. ὥστε ἡ ἀπὸ τῶν νοσημάτων ἔνδειξις ἀρχὴ μέν ἐστι καὶ οἱονεὶ ὁρμητήριόν τι τῆς θεραπευτικῆς μεθόδου, τῆς τέχνης δ᾿ 159Kοὔπω | τῆς ἰατρικῆς μόριον οὐδέν, ἢ οὐκ ἀξιόλογόν γε μόριον, οὐδὲ ἴδιον, ἀλλ᾿ ὅπερ καὶ τοῖς ἰδιώταις ὑπάρχει κοινόν. ὁ τοίνυν ἐξευρεῖν δυνάμενος ὑφ᾿ ὧντινων ἔσται τὸ δηλούμενον ἐκ τῆς πρώτης ἐνδείξεως, οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τῶν νοσημάτων θεραπευτής· καὶ εἰ μὲν διὰ τῆς ἐμπειρίας εὕροι, τηρητικός τέ τις καὶ Ἐμπειρικὸς ὀνομασθησόμενος, εἰ δὲ διὰ λόγου τινός, ἢ μεθόδου, Λογικός τε καὶ Μεθοδικὸς καὶ Δογματικός. οὐκοῦν ὁ μὲν ἰδιώτης, ἄνωθεν γὰρ ταὐτὸ ῥητέον, ἥκει παρὰ τὸν ἰατρόν, ἐμβαλεῖν κελεύων τὸ κῶλον, ἢ διαπλάσαι τὸ συντετριμμένον ὀστοῦν, ἢ ἐξελεῖν τὴν μελικηρίδα. τὸ δ᾿ ὅπως χρὴ τούτων ἕκαστον ποιῆσαι τῆς ἰατρικῆς ἐστι τέχνης εὕρημα. οἱ μὲν οὖν Ἐμπειρικοὶ δι᾿ ἐμπειρίας εὑρίσκεσθαι πάντα φασίν· ἡμεῖς δὲ τὰ μὲν ἐμπειρίᾳ, τὰ δὲ λόγῳ. μήτε γὰρ ἐκείνην ἱκανὴν εἶναι πάντα μήτε μόνον εὑρίσκειν τὸν λόγον.

οὐ μὴν ἀξιοῦμέν γε συγκεχυμένην ποιεῖσθαι τὴν διδασκαλίαν, ἀλλ᾿ ἰδίᾳ μὲν τὴν ἐμπειρικήν, ἰδίᾳ δὲ


Method of Medicine III

for these matters other than that which is, in my view, also known by all laymen. At all events, they direct that their own limb be put back into place whenever they realize it is dislocated, that a thin-necked wart be removed, that a wound be brought to a scar, and that a flux of the stomach be stopped.

But what they don’t know is how they ought to do these things. This is what the doctor must add. As a result, the indication from the diseases is a beginning and starting point, as it were, for the therapeutic method, and is not as yet any part of the medical art, or at least not a noteworthy159K or specific part, but something also common to laymen. Therefore, the person who is able to discover by whatever means what will be revealed from the primary indication is the one who treats the disease. And if he finds out through experience, he will be called an “observer” or an “Empiric” whereas, if he finds out through some theory or method, [he will be called] a “Rationalist,” or “Methodic,” or “Dogmatic.” Therefore the layman, for we must be consistent, comes to the doctor directing him to put the limb back into place, or to set the broken bone, or to remove the meliceris. However, the means necessary for doing each of these things is the invention of the medical art. The Empirics say all these things are discovered through experience. I say that some are discovered through experience; but some through reason, because experience alone is not enough to discover everything, nor is reason.

However, I think it is important not to make the teaching confused, but to identify separately the empirical and

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.galen-method_medicine.2011