1. 509KὍτι μὲν1 ἐκ θερμοῦ καὶ ψυχροῦ καὶ ξηροῦ καὶ ὑγροῦ τὰ τῶν ζῴων σώματα κέκραται καὶ ὡς οὐκ ἴση πάντων ἐστὶν ἐν τῇ κράσει μοῖρα, παλαιοῖς ἀνδράσιν ἱκανῶς ἀποδέδεικται φιλοσόφων τε καὶ ἰατρῶν τοῖς ἀρίστοις· εἴρηται δὲ καὶ πρὸς ἡμῶν ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν τὰ εἰκότα δι’ ἑτέρου γράμματος, ἐν ᾧ περὶ τῶν καθ’ Ἱπποκράτην στοιχείων ἐσκοπούμεθα. νυνὶ δ’, ὅπερ ἐστὶν ἐφεξῆς ἐκείνῳ, ἁπάσας ἐξευρεῖν τῶν κράσεων τὰς διαφοράς, ὁπόσαι τ’ εἰσὶ καὶ ὁποῖαι κατ’ εἴδη τε καὶ γένη διαιρουμένοις, ἐν τῷδε | 510Kτῷ γράμματι δίειμι τὴν ἀρχὴν ἀπὸ τῆς τῶν ὀνομάτων ἐξηγήσεως ποιησάμενος.
Ἐπειδὰν μὲν γὰρ ἐκ θερμοῦ καὶ ψυχροῦ καὶ ξηροῦ καὶ ὑγροῦ κεκρᾶσθαι λέγωσι τὰ σώματα, τῶν ἄκρως τοιούτων ἀκούειν φασὶ χρῆναι, τουτέστι τῶν στοιχείων αὐτῶν, ἀέρος καὶ πυρὸς καὶ ὕδατος καὶ γῆς· ἐπειδὰν δὲ ζῷον ἢ φυτὸν ἤτοι θερμὸν ἢ ψυχρὸν ἢ ξηρὸν ἢ ὑγρὸν εἶναι λέγωσιν,2 οὐκέθ’ ὡσαύτως. οὐδὲ γὰρ δύνασθαι ζῷον οὐδὲν οὔτ’ ἄκρως θερμὸν ὑπάρχειν ὡς πῦρ οὔτ’ ἄκρως ὑγρὸν ὡς ὕδωρ. ὡσαύτως δ’
1. 509KThat the bodies of animals are compounded from hot, cold, dry, and wet, and that all the parts are not equal in their krasis, has been adequately shown by the ancients—the best of both philosophers and doctors.1 The probabilities regarding these were also stated by us in another work, in which we examined the elements according to Hippocrates.2 What follows now in sequence, which is next in order to that, is to discover all the differentiae of the krasias. In | 510Kthis work, I shall go through how many there are and of what kinds, divided according to class and kind, making a start from the explanation of the terms.
When they say the bodies are compounded from hot, cold, dry, and wet, they say it is necessary to understand such things completely—that is to say, the elements themselves, which are air, fire, water, and earth. When they say an animal or plant is either hot, cold, dry, or wet, it is no longer similar, for no animal can either be completely hot as fire is, or completely wet, as water is. Likewise, no animal
- 1The reference is a general one to the proponents of the four elements/qualities theory of the basic structure of matter, notably Empedocles, Hippocrates, and Aristotle, as opposed to the proponents of an “atomic” theory, notably Leucippus, Democritus, and in medicine specifically, Asclepiades. For further details, see Galen’s De elementis referred to in the following note.
- 2Galen, De elementis secundum Hippocratem, I.413–508K; English translation by de Lacy, Galen on the Elements.