Galen, On Temperaments

LCL 546: 16-17

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οὐδὲ ψυχρὸν ἢ ξηρὸν ἐσχάτως, ἀλλ’ ἀπὸ τοῦ πλεονεκτοῦντος ἐν τῇ κράσει γίγνεσθαι τὰς προσηγορίας, ὑγρὸν μὲν καλούντων ἡμῶν, ἐν ᾧ πλείων ὑγρότητός ἐστι μοῖρα, ξηρὸν δ’, ἐν ᾧ ξηρότητος· οὕτω δὲ καὶ θερμὸν μέν, ἐν ᾧ τὸ θερμὸν τοῦ ψυχροῦ πλεονεκτεῖ, ψυχρὸν δ’, ἐν ᾧ τὸ ψυχρὸν τοῦ θερμοῦ. αὕτη μὲν ἡ τῶν ὀνομάτων χρῆσις.

2. Ὥρα δ’ ἂν εἴη λέγειν ἤδη καὶ περὶ τῶν κράσεων αὐτῶν. ἡ μὲν δὴ πλείστη δόξα τῶν ἐπιφανεστάτων ἰατρῶν τε καὶ φιλοσόφων, ὑγράν τ’ εἶναι καὶ θερμὴν | 511Kκρᾶσιν, ἑτέραν τῆς ὑγρᾶς τε καὶ ψυχρᾶς, καὶ τρίτην ἐπὶ ταύταις τὴν ξηράν τε καὶ ψυχράν, ἑτέραν τῆς ξηρᾶς θ’ ἅμα καὶ θερμῆς. ἔνιοι δ’ ἐξ αὐτῶν ὑγρὰν μέν τινα καὶ ψυχρὰν ἅμα κρᾶσιν ὑπάρχειν φασὶ καὶ θερμὴν ἅμα καὶ ξηρὰν ἑτέραν, οὐ μὴν οὔτε τὴν θερμὴν ἅμα καὶ ὑγρὰν οὔτε τὴν ψυχρὰν ἅμα καὶ ξηράν. οὐδὲ γὰρ ἐγχωρεῖν οὔθ’ ὑγρότητα πλεονεκτούσῃ θερμότητι συνδραμεῖν οὔτε ξηρότητα ψυχρότητι. δαπανᾶσθαι μὲν γὰρ ὑπὸ τοῦ θερμοῦ κρατοῦντος τὴν ὑγρότητα καὶ οὕτω θερμὸν ἅμα καὶ ξηρὸν γίγνεσθαι τὸ σῶμα, μένειν δ’ ἄπεπτόν τε καὶ ἀκατέργαστον, ἐν οἷς ἂν σώμασιν ἀρρωστῇ τὸ θερμόν, ὥστ’ ἀναγκαῖον εἶναι θερμότητος μὲν ἐπικρατούσης ἕπεσθαι ξηρότητα, ψυχρότητος δὲ πλεονεκτούσης ἀκολουθεῖν ὑγρότητα. οὗτοι μὲν δὴ κατὰ τάδε πεπείκασι σφᾶς αὐτούς, ὡς δύο εἰσὶν αἱ πᾶσαι διαφοραὶ τῶν κράσεων.



can be entirely cold or dry. Rather, the appellations arise from what prevails in the krasis, since we call wet a part in which there is a greater amount of wetness, and dry a part in which there is a greater amount of dryness. In like manner too, a part is hot in which the hot prevails over the cold, and conversely cold in which the cold prevails over the hot. This is the actual use of the terms.

2. Now would also be a time to speak about the krasias themselves. Certainly, the majority opinion among the most distinguished doctors and philosophers is that there is a wet and hot krasis, | 511Kanother that is wet and cold, a third in addition to these that is dry and cold, and another that is dry and at the same time also hot. Some of them say, however, that there is a wet and cold krasis, and another that is hot and at the same time dry, but not one that is hot and wet at the same time, nor one that is cold and dry at the same time, because it is not possible for wetness to exist concurrently with overriding hotness, or dryness with overriding coldness. For the wetness is consumed by the predominant heat, and in this way the body becomes hot and dry at the same time, while in those bodies in which the hot remains unconcocted and imperfect, it would be weak, so that it is inevitable that when hotness prevails, dryness follows, and when coldness prevails, wetness follows. Therefore, these men have certainly persuaded themselves on the basis of these things that there are in all two differentiae of the krasias.3

  • 3This paragraph identifies two conflicting views on the possible combinations of the four qualities. Of the four possible combinations of the six theoretical possibilities, the first viewpoint accepts all four, that is, hot and dry, hot and wet, cold and dry, and cold and wet, which is Galen’s position, while the second excludes hot and wet, and cold and dry.
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.galen-temperaments.2020