Galen, On Non-Uniform Distemperment

LCL 546: 288-289

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1. 733KἈνώμαλος δυσκρασία γίγνεται μὲν ἐνίοτε καὶ καθ’ ὅλον τοῦ ζώου τὸ σῶμα, καθάπερ ἔν τε τοῖς ἀνασάρκα λεγομένοις ὑδέροις, καὶ τοῖς ἠπιάλοις καλουμένοις πυρετοῖς, καὶ σχεδὸν ἅπασι τοῖς ἄλλοις, πλὴν τῶν ἑκτικῶν ὀνομαζομένων. γίγνεται δ’ ἐνίοτε καὶ καθ’ ἓν ὁτιοῦν μόριον, οἰδισκόμενον ἢ φλεγμαῖνον ἢ γαγγραινόμενον1 ἢ τῷ ἐρυσιπελατι κάμνον ἢ τῷ καρκινῳ. τούτου δ’ ἐστὶ τοῦ γένους καὶ ὁ καλούμενος ἐλέφας καὶ ἡ φαγέδαινα καὶ ὁ ἕρπης. ἀλλὰ ταῦτα μὲν ἅπαντα μετὰ ῥευμάτων· ἄνευ δ’ ὕλης ἐπιρρύτου, μόναις ταῖς ποιότησιν ἀλλοιουμένων τῶν μορίων, ἀνώμαλος γίγνεται δυσκρασίαι, | 734Kψυγέντων, ἢ ἐκκαυθέντων

  • 1post γαγγραινόμενον: ἢ τῷ ἐρυσιπελατι κάμνον ἢ τῷ καρκινῳ. EGN; ἢ ἐρυσιπελατούμενον, ἢ καρκινούμενον. K



1. 733KA non-uniform dyskrasia1 occurs sometimes in the whole body of the animal, as in the dropsies termed anasarcas,2 in the fevers called agues, and in almost all the other fevers, apart from those termed hectic.3 It also sometimes occurs in relation to any one part whatsoever, when edematous, inflamed, or gangrenous, or affected by erysipelas, or by cancer. However, of this class too are the so-called elephas, phagedaina and herpes.4 But all these follow fluxes. Non-uniform dyskrasias occur without flowing material, when the parts are changed in the qualities alone, | 734Kthat is, when parts are cooled, overheated, or exercised

  • 1The term ἀνώμαλος δυσκρασία is rendered “non-uniform dyskrasia”; the distinction is between ἀνώμαλος (uneven, non-uniform) and ὁμαλός (even, uniform). It is found in a number of Galen’s works, including Ars medica, I.408K, and De methodo medendi, X.15, 122, 216, and 694K.
  • 2Dropsy may be taken as a general term for edema in Galen’s usage. In modern usage, anasarca refers to “a generalized infiltration of oedema into subcutaneous connective tissue” (S).
  • 3The Greek term ἠπιάλος is defined in LSJ as “ague” with reference to Hippocrates, De superfoetatione 34, and Galen, De febrium differentiis, VII.347K. The term “ague” came to be applied to a fever in which the sufferer feels both hot and cold, in particular the fever of malaria. On hectic fevers, see, for example, De methodo medendi, Book 10, section 6 (X.691–92K), and also section 4 of the present work.
  • 4For these diseases, see the General Introduction, section 9, Diseases and Symptoms.
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.galen-nonuniform_distemperment.2020