Hippocrates of Cos, Fleshes

LCL 482: 130-131

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ΠΕΡΙ ΣΑΡΚΩΝ

ΠΕΡΙ ΣΑΡΚΩΝ

VIII 584 Littré1. Ἐγὼ τὰ μέχρι τοῦ λόγου τούτου κοινῇσι γνώμῃσι χρέομαι ἑτέρων τε τῶν ἔμπροσθεν, ἀτὰρ καὶ ἐμεωυτοῦ· ἀναγκαίως γὰρ ἔχει κοινὴν ἀρχὴν ὑποθέσθαι τῇσι γνώμῃσι βουλόμενον ξυνθεῖναι τὸν λόγον τόνδε περὶ τῆς τέχνης τῆς ἰητρικῆς. περὶ δὲ τῶν μετεώρων οὐδὲν1 δέομαι λέγειν, ἢν μὴ τοσοῦτον ἐς ἄνθρωπον ἀποδείξω καὶ τὰ ἄλλα ζῷα, ὅκως2 ἔφυ καὶ ἐγένετο, καὶ ὅ τι ψυχή ἐστιν, καὶ ὄ τι τὸ ὑγιαίνειν, καὶ ὅ τι τὸ κάμνειν, καὶ ὅ τι τὸ ἐν ἀνθρώπῳ κακὸν καὶ ἀγαθόν, καὶ ὅθεν ἀποθνῄσκει. νῦν δὲ ἀποφαίνομαι αὐτὸς <τὰς>3 ἐμεωυτοῦ γνώμας.

2. Δοκέει δέ μοι ὃ καλέομεν θερμόν, ἀθάνατόν τε εἶναι καὶ νοέειν πάντα καὶ ὁρῆν καὶ ἀκούειν καὶ εἰδέναι πάντα καὶ τὰ ἐόντα καὶ τὰ μέλλοντα ἔσεσθαι· τούτου4 οὖν τὸ πλεῖστον, ὅτε ἐταράχθη πάντα, ἐξεχώρησεν εἰς τὴν ἀνωτάτω περιφορήν· καὶ ὀνομῆναί μοι αὐτὸ δοκέουσιν οἱ παλαιοὶ αἰθέρα. ἡ δευτέρα μοῖρα κάτωθεν αὐτῆς5 καλέεται μὲν γῆ, ψυχρὸν καὶ ξηρὸν καὶ πολὺ κινοῦν· καὶ ἐν τούτῳ ἔνι δὴ πολὺ τοῦ θερμοῦ. ἡ δὲ τρίτη μοῖρα ἡ τοῦ ἠέρος τοῦ ἐγγυτάτω πρὸς τῇ γῇ, ὑγρότατόν τε καὶ παχύτατον.

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Fleshes

Fleshes

1. In this treatise I shall employ assumptions that are generally held—both those of my predecessors and my own—since it is necessary to establish a common starting point, if I wish to compose this treatise about medicine. About what is in the heavens I have no need to speak, except insofar as is necessary in order to explain how man and the other animals are formed and come into being, what the soul is, what health and sickness are, what in man is evil and what good, and where his death comes from. From here on, then, I present opinions that are my own.

2. I believe that what we call heat is in fact immortal, that it perceives all things, and sees, hears and knows all that is and all that will be. Now at the time that the universe was in a state of turbulence, the greatest part of this heat separated off into the uppermost revolving vault of heaven. This the ancients, I believe, called the “aether”. The second portion of material below this is called earth; it is cold, dry and in great motion, although it too contains much heat. The third portion is the air closest to the earth; it is moistest and thickest.

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.hippocrates_cos-fleshes.1995