Galen, Method of Medicine

LCL 518: 110-111

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οὖν εἶεν σάρκες ὑγραὶ καὶ μαλακαὶ μετὰ πλήθους πιμελῆς, τὰς συντήξεις αἰσθητὰς ἴσχουσιν· εἰ δὲ ἄνευ πιμελῆς καὶ ξηραί, τοῖς μαρασμώδεσιν ἁλίσκονται πυρετοῖς. ἐναργέστατον δὲ τούτου τεκμήριον οἱ τὰς συντήξεις ἐκκρίνοντες ἄρρωστοι διὰ γαστρός, ἢν μὴ φθάσωσιν ἀποθανεῖν, ἤτοι γ᾿ ὑπὸ βίας τοῦ νοσήματος ἢ διὰ τὴν τῶν ἰατρῶν ἀμαθίαν εἰς τοὺς μαρασμώδεις ἐμπίπτοντες πυρετούς. ἄχρι μὲν γὰρ ἂν ἔχωσι τὴν ὕλην δαψιλῆ, ταύτην συντήκουσιν· ὅταν δὲ ἐπιλείπωσιν αὐτοὺς αἵ τε πιμελαὶ καὶ αἱ σάρκες αἱ μαλακαί, 733Kξηραίνουσι | τὰς σκληρὰς καὶ δυστήκτους σάρκας, ὧν οὐδὲν ἀπορρεῖ διὰ ξηρότητα, καθάπερ οὐδὲ τῶν ταριχηρῶν κρεῶν, εἰ καὶ ταῦτ᾿ ἐθελήσειας ὀπτᾶν, ἐπιβάλλων ἴσῳ τοῖς ἄλλοις πυρί· ξηρότεραι μὲν γὰρ αἱ σάρκες αὐτῶν ἔσονται καὶ σκληρυνθήσονταί γε βύρσης τρόπον· οὐ μὴν ἐκρυήσεταί γε αὐτῶν οὐδεμία τηκεδὼν αἰσθητή. ταῦτ᾿ οὖν γινώσκοντί σοι καὶ ἡ τῶν συντηκτικῶν πυρετῶν ἐπιμέλεια κατὰ τὰς αὐτὰς γινέσθω μεθόδους ἐπί τε ψυχροῦ δόσιν ὅτι τάχιστα παραγιγνομένῳ καὶ διὰ τῶν ὑγραινόντων καὶ ψυχόντων τρέφοντι. μελίκρατον δ᾿ οἰομένῳ πολεμιώτατον εἶναι, ᾧ μάλισθ᾿ ὁρᾷς χρωμένους ἐπὶ τῶν τοιούτων πυρετῶν τοὺς πλείστους τῶν ἰατρῶν.

ἀλλὰ περὶ μὲν τῶν συντηκόντων πυρετῶν αὖθις ἐξέσται διελθεῖν, ὥσπερ γε καὶ περὶ τῶν ἐν λοιμοῖς πυρετῶν ἑκτικῶν, οἷος ὁ νῦν ἐπιδημῶν ἐστιν, εἰρήσεται γὰρ περὶ τοῦδε κατὰ τοὺς λοιμώδεις πυρετούς. τῶν δ᾿ ἄλλων ἑκτικῶν καὶ μαρασμωδῶν αὐτάρκως εἰρῆσθαι νομίζω τὴν μέθοδον τῆς ἰάσεως.

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Method of Medicine X

moist and soft with an abundance of fat, they have a perceptible colliquescence. On the other hand, if they are without fat and are dry, they are seized by marasmic fevers. The clearest evidence of this comes from sick people who excrete what is liquefied through the stomach. If they don’t die beforehand, either from the force of the disease or because of the ignorance of doctors, they fall into marasmic fevers. For as long as they have abundant material, they melt this away. However, when fat and soft flesh are deficient in them, they dry out the hard and difficult to733K dissolve flesh, nothing of which flows away due to the dryness, just as nothing of pickled meats does. And if you wished to roast this, you would throw it with other things onto an adequate fire, for the flesh of these [meats] will be drier and hardened like hide. In fact, no perceptible liquefied material will flow away from those meats. Therefore you, who know these things, must carry out the care of the colliquative fevers according to the same methods, administering a dose of cold [water] as quickly as possible and nourishing with foods that are moistening and cooling. However, you must regard melikraton as highly inimical, although you do see the vast majority of doctors using it in such fevers.

But it will be possible to go through the colliquative fevers again, as it will be to go through the hectic fevers in plagues, such as the one now visiting us, for I will speak about this in relation to the pestilential fevers. But I think enough has been said on the method of cure of the other hectic and marasmic fevers.

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.galen-method_medicine.2011