Hippocrates of Cos, The Art

LCL 148: 190-191

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ΠΕΡΙ ΤΕΧΝΗΣ

ΠΕΡΙ ΤΕΧΝΗΣ

I. Εἰσί τινες οἳ τέχνην πεποίηνται τὸ τὰς τέχνας αἰσχροεπεῖν, ὡς μὲν οἴονται οὐ τοῦτο διαπρησσόμενοι ὃ ἐγὼ λέγω,1 ἀλλ᾿ ἱστορίης οἰκείης ἐπίδειξιν ποιεύμενοι. ἐμοὶ δὲ τὸ μέν τι τῶν μὴ εὑρημένων ἐξευρίσκειν, ὅ τι καὶ εὑρεθὲν κρέσσον ᾖ ἢ ἀνεξεύρετον, συνέσιος δοκεῖ ἐπιθύμημά τε καὶ ἔργον εἶναι, καὶ τὸ τὰ ἡμίεργα ἐς τέλος ἐξεργάζεσθαι ὡσαύτως· τὸ δὲ λόγων οὐ καλῶν τέχνῃ τὰ τοῖς ἄλλοις εὑρημένα αἰσχύνειν 10προθυμεῖσθαι, ἐπανορθοῦντα μὲν μηδέν, διαβάλλοντα δὲ τὰ τῶν εἰδότων πρὸς τοὺς μὴ εἰδότας ἐξευρήματα, οὐκέτι συνέσιος δοκεῖ ἐπιθύμημά τε καὶ ἔργον εἶναι, ἀλλὰ κακαγγελίη μᾶλλον φύσιος ἢ ἀτεχνίη· μούνοισι γὰρ δὴ τοῖσιν ἀτέχνοισιν ἡ ἐργασίη αὕτη ἁρμόζει, φιλοτιμεομένων μέν, οὐδαμὰ δὲ δυναμένων κακίῃ ὑπουργεῖν ἐς τὸ τὰ τῶν πέλας ἔργα ἢ ὀρθὰ ἐόντα διαβάλλειν, ἢ οὐκ ὀρθὰ μωμεῖσθαι. τοὺς μὲν οὖν ἐς τὰς ἄλλας τέχνας τούτῳ τῷ τρόπῳ ἐμπίπτοντας, οἷσι μέλει 20τε, καὶ ὧν μέλει, οἱ δυνάμενοι κωλυόντων· ὁ δὲ παρεὼν λόγος τοῖσιν ἐς ἰητρικὴν οὕτως ἐμπορευομένοις ἐναντιώσεται, θρασυνόμενος μὲν διὰ τούτους οὓς ψέγει, εὐπορέων δὲ διὰ τὴν τέχνην 24ᾗ βοηθεῖ, δυνάμενος δὲ διὰ σοφίην ᾗ πεπαίδευται.

II. Δοκεῖ δή μοι τὸ μὲν σύμπαν τέχνη εἶναι

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The Art

The Art

I. Some there are who have made an art of vilifying the arts, though they consider, not that they are accomplishing the object I mention, but that they are making a display of their own knowledge. In my opinion, however, to discover that was unknown before, when the discovery of it is better than a state of ignorance, is the ambition and task of intelligence, and so is to bring to completion what was already accomplished in part. On the other hand, to be eager to bring shame through the art of abuse upon the discoveries of others, improving nothing, but disparaging before those who do not know the discoveries of those who do, seems to me to be not the ambition and work of intelligence, but the sign of a nasty nature, or of want of art. Indeed it becomes only those who are without art to act in this manner, with the ambition, though not the power, to indulge their malevolence by disparaging what is right in their neighbours’ works and by cavilling at what is amiss. Now as for the attacks of this kind that are made on the other arts, let them be repelled by those who care to do so and can, and with regard to those points about which they care; the present discussion will oppose those who thus invade the art of medicine, and it is emboldened by the nature of those it blames, well equipped through the art it defends, and powerful through the wisdom in which it has been educated.

II. Now it seems to me that generally speaking

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.hippocrates_cos-art.1923