Hippocrates of Cos, Diseases of Women 2

LCL 538: 256-257




In principle, each chapter1 of Diseases of Women II presents a specific disorder of women and prescribes its therapy. In their fullest form, these accounts have three parts—identification of the disease by name, pathognomonic symptom or cause; description of its clinical manifestation, course, and prognosis; recommendation of one or more applicable treatments—but they vary greatly in their internal arrangement, emphasis, and comprehensiveness. Thus, for example, chapters 1, 10, 24–25, 53, and 92 furnish detailed accounts of their condition’s etiology, semeiology, and therapy; chapters 21, 43, 50–51, 74–75, 81, and 95 contain only a succinct account of their condition’s course and one prescription; chapters 33, 38–39, 52, 55, 64, 71, 80, 82, and 89 only name the condition and recommend one or more treatments; and chapters 83–88, 97, and 100 take the form of collections of particular treatment modalities (e.g., suppositories, douches, potions, poultices, fumigations, fomentations) applicable for specific conditions (e.g., red flux, aqueous flux, sclerosis of the uterus, pains caused by excessive purgation).



The treatise is arranged according to various aspects of the disorders being considered, such as their etiology, clinical presentation, the part of the body they involve, or their mode of therapy; the chapters are arranged in five main groups, and within these in various subgroups.

A. Vaginal discharges
1, 4Red flux
2[General factors affecting the moistness and tendency to fluxes in women of different complexions and in different circumstances]
5Bloody discharges originating from the hip joints
6Flame-colored flux
7–8White flux
9Flux resembling cattle urine
10–11Yellow-whitish flux resembling the contents of an egg
12–13Flux resembling the juice of roasting meat
B. Movements of the uterus within the body
14Toward the head, with suffocation
15Toward the heart, with suffocation
16–17Against the hypochondria, with suffocation
18Against the liver, with loss of speech
19Against the side and hypochondria, with suffocation
20Against the ribs, with coughing and pain
21To the lower flank, with shallow breathing and suffocation
22Twisting upon itself in the loins, with pain
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.hippocrates_cos-diseases_women_ii.2018