Hippocrates of Cos, Nature of Man

LCL 150: 2-3

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ΠΕΡΙ ΦΥΣΙΟΣ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΟΥ

ΠΕΡΙ ΦΥΣΙΟΣ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΟΥ

I. Ὅστις μὲν οὖν εἴωθεν ἀκούειν λεγόντων ἀμφὶ τῆς φύσιος τῆς ἀνθρωπείης1 προσωτέρω ἢ ὅσον αὐτῆς2 ἐς ἰητρικὴν ἀφήκει,3 τούτῳ μὲν οὐκ ἐπιτήδειος ὅδε ὁ λόγος ἀκούειν· οὔτε γὰρ τὸ πάμπαν ἠέρα λέγω τὸν ἄνθρωπον εἶναι, οὔτε πῦρ, οὔτε ὕδωρ, οὔτε γῆν, οὔτ᾿ ἄλλο οὐδὲν ὅ τι μὴ φανερόν ἐστιν ἐνεὸν4 ἐν τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ· ἀλλὰ τοῖσι βουλομένοισι ταῦτα λέγειν παρίημι. δοκέουσι μέντοι5 μοι οὐκ ὀρθῶς γινώσκειν οἱ 10ταῦτα6 λέγοντες· γνώμῃ μὲν γὰρ τῇ αὐτῇ πάντες χρέονται, λέγουσι δὲ οὐ ταὐτά· ἀλλὰ τῆς μὲν γνώμης τὸν ἐπίλογον τὸν αὐτὸν ποιέονται7 (φασί τε8 γὰρ ἕν τι9 εἶναι, ὅ τι ἔστι, καὶ τοῦτο εἶναι τὸ ἕν τε καὶ10 τὸ πᾶν) κατὰ δὲ τὰ ὀνόματα οὐχ ὁμολογέουσιν· λέγει δ᾿ αὐτῶν ὁ μέν τις φάσκων ἠέρα τοῦτο εἶναι τὸ ἕν τε καὶ τὸ πᾶν, ὁ δὲ πῦρ, ὁ δὲ ὕδωρ,11 ὁ δὲ γῆν, καὶ ἐπιλέγει ἕκαστος τῷ ἑωυτοῦ λόγῳ μαρτύριά τε καὶ τεκμήρια, ἅ ἐστιν οὐδέν. ὁπότε δὲ γνώμῃ τῇ αὐτῇ12 προσχρέονται, 20λέγουσι δ᾿ οὐ τὰ αὐτά, δῆλον ὅτι οὐδὲ

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Nature of Man

Nature of Man

I. He who is accustomed to hear speakers discuss the nature of man beyond its relations to medicine will not find the present account of any interest. For I do not say at all that a man is air, or fire, or water, or earth, or anything else that is not an obvious constituent of a man; such accounts I leave to those that care to give them. Those, however, who give them have not in my opinion correct knowledge. For while adopting the same idea they do not give the same account. Though they add the same appendix to their idea—saying that “what is” is a unity, and that this is both unity and the all—yet they are not agreed as to its name. One of them asserts that this one and the all is air, another calls it fire, another, water, and another, earth; while each appends to his own account evidence and proofs that amount to nothing. The fact that, while adopting the same idea, they do not give the same account, shows that their knowledge

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.hippocrates_cos-nature_man.1931