1. 1KὍτι μὲν οὐ τὴν κοινὴν μόνον ἁπάντων ἀνθρώπων φύσιν, ὦ Γλαύκων, ἐπίστασθαι χρὴ τὸν ἰατρόν, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὴν ἰδίαν ἑκάστου, πάλαι τε πρὸς Ἱπποκράτους ὀρθῶς εἴρηται καὶ ἡμῖν δ’ ἐπ’ αὐτῶν, ὡς οἶσθα, τῶν ἔργων τῆς τέχνης ἱκανῶς ἐσπούδασται. οὐ μὴν γράφειν γε δυνατόν, ὥσπερ τὴν κοινήν, οὕτως καὶ τὴν ἰδίαν ἑκάστου, ἀλλ’ ὑπεναντίως ἔχει τὰ γράμματα πρὸς τὰς πράξεις, ἄλλοθί τε πολλαχόθεν καὶ οὐχ ἥκιστα ἐν τοῖς νῦν ὑπ’ ἐμοῦ γραφομένοις.1 ἠξίωσας μὲν γὰρ ἡμᾶς, ἰαμάτων τινά σοι καθόλου μέθοδον | 2Kὑποτυπώσασθαι· περαίνεται δὲ αὕτη διά τε ποιότητα καὶ ποσότητα ἑκάστου τῶν βοηθημάτων καὶ τοῦ τρόπου τῆς χρήσεως αὐτῶν καὶ τοῦ πάντων τούτων χαλεπωτάτου διαγνωσθῆναι καιροῦ. περὶ ὃν ὀξὺν ἱκανῶς ὄντα, καθάπερ που καὶ τοῦτό φησιν ὁ πάντων ἡμῖν τῶν καλῶν Ἱπποκράτης, σφαλλομένους πολλάκις
1. 1KΑ long time ago, Glaucon,1 Hippocrates rightly said it is necessary for the doctor to know not only the nature common to all people,2 but also the nature specific to each individual. As you know, I have been zealously committed to these same actions of the art. However, it is not possible to write about the specific nature of each person as it is about the nature common to all. Rather, words stand in opposition to practices, as they do in many other things, and not least in those matters now lying before me. You asked me to sketch out for you some general method of treatment. 2KThis is accomplished through the quality and quantity of each of the remedies, the manner of their use, and the opportune time, which is the most difficult of all these things to determine. It is with reference to the last, which is very quick to pass, just as Hippocrates, our guide in all things good, also says somewhere that not only do
- 1Glaucon is thought to be a philosopher, possibly of Athenian origin, who came to know Galen during the latter’s first stay in Rome (AD 162–166). He is mentioned several times in Galen’s writings—for example, Loc. Aff., VIII.361–66K. The most detailed consideration of Glaucon is to be found in Peterson, “Galen’s Therapeutics.”
- 2Stephanus, in his commentary, considers the term “nature” here and gives the following four meanings: as krasis, as the arrangement of the parts, as the powers or capacities of the organism, and as the governing functions of the soul. He identifies the second and fourth as particularly relevant here.