Galen, On Temperaments

LCL 546: 32-33

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ψυχροῦ τύχῃ πλεονεκτῆσαν ἢ τὸ ὑγρὸν τοῦ ξηροῦ, δυσκρασίαν οὕτω γιγνομένην, ἐπειδὰν δ’ ἐπὶ πλέον, νόσον, ἐπειδὰν δ’ ἐπὶ πλεῖστον, θάνατον; ὁ γὰρ αὐτὸς ἐπ’ ἀμφοῖν λόγος. ἢ μηδὲ τὰς ἀμέτρως ὑγρὰς καὶ θερμὰς καταστάσεις αἰτιώμεθα μηδ’ ὅσα μεθ’ ὑγρότητος ἀμέτρου νοσήματα συνίσταται θερμά, | 522Kμηδὲ ταῦθ’ ὁμολογῶμεν εἶναι νοσήματα.

Πρὸς δὴ τοὺς τοιούτους λόγους ἀπομαχόμενοί τινες τῶν ἀπ’ Ἀθηναίου τοῦ Ἀτταλέως ὁμόσε χωροῦσιν οὔτε κατάστασιν ὑγρὰν καὶ θερμὴν μέμφεσθαι λέγοντες οὔθ’ εὑρεθῆναί τι νόσημα φάσκοντες ὑγρὸν καὶ θερμόν, ἀλλὰ πάντως ἢ θερμὸν καὶ ξηρὸν ὑπάρχειν ὡς τὸν πυρετόν, ἢ ψυχρὸν καὶ ὑγρὸν ὡς τὸν ὕδερον, ἢ ψυχρὸν καὶ ξηρὸν ὡς τὴν μελαγχολίαν. ἐπιμέμνηνται δ’ ἐνταῦθα καὶ τῶν ὡρῶν τοῦ ἔτους, ὑγρὸν μὲν καὶ ψυχρὸν εἶναι τὸν χειμῶνα φάσκοντες, ξηρὸν δὲ καὶ θερμὸν τὸ θέρος καὶ ψυχρὸν καὶ ξηρὸν τὸ φθινόπωρον, εὔκρατον δ’ ἅμα καὶ θερμὴν καὶ ὑγρὰν ὥραν εἶναί φασι τὸ ἔαρ. οὕτω δὲ καὶ τῶν ἡλικιῶν τὴν παιδικὴν εὔκρατον θ’ ἅμα καὶ θερμὴν καὶ ὑγρὰν εἶναί φασιν. δηλοῦσθαι δὲ τὴν εὐκρασίαν αὐτῆς νομίζουσι κἀκ τῶν ἐνεργειῶν τῆς φύσεως ἐρρωμένων τηνικαῦτα μάλιστα. καὶ μὲν δὴ καὶ τὸν θάνατόν φασιν εἰς ξηρότητα καὶ ψῦξιν ἄγειν τὰ τῶν ζῴων σώματα. καλεῖσθαι γοῦν ἀλίβαντας τοὺς νεκροὺς ὡς ἂν οὐκέτι λιβάδα καὶ ὑγρότητα κεκτημένους οὐδεμίαν, ἐξατμισθέντας θ’ ἅμα διὰ | 523Kτὴν ἀποχώρησιν τοῦ θερμοῦ καὶ παγέντας ὑπὸ τῆς ψύξεως. ἀλλ’ εἴπερ ὁ θάνατος,



a slight predominance over the cold, or the wet over the dry, in this way a dyskrasia arises, while if still more, a disease, and if to the greatest extent, death? It is the same argument in both cases, for we neither inculpate immoderately wet and hot states, nor those hot diseases which coexist with immoderate wetness, | 522Knor do we agree these are diseases.

In regard to such arguments, certain contentious followers of Athenaeus the Attaleian resile on the issue, saying that neither a wet and hot state is deserving of blame, nor is any disease discovered that is wet and hot, but in every case there is either hotness and dryness as in fever, or coldness and wetness as in dropsy, or coldness and dryness as in melancholia. Here, however, they also make mention of the seasons of the year, saying wet and cold relate to winter, dry and hot to summer, cold and dry to autumn, while they say spring is eukratic and at the same time a hot and wet season. In this way too, of the ages, they say childhood is eukratic and at the same time hot and wet. They think the eukrasia of this is shown by the functions of nature being particularly strong at that time. Furthermore, they say death leads bodies of animals to dryness and coldness. At all events, the dead are called alibantes (corpses)9 as they would no longer have any acquired moisture and wetness, being simultaneously turned into vapor | 523Kthrough the departure of the heat and being congealed by the cooling. But, they say, if death is such as this,

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.galen-temperaments.2020