Hippocrates of Cos, Physician

LCL 482: 296-297

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ΠΕΡΙ ΙΗΤΡΟΥ

IX 204 Littré1. Ἰητροῦ μὲν εἶναι προστασίην ὁρῆν <ὡς>1 εὔχρως τε καὶ εὔσαρκος ἔσται πρὸς τὴν ὑπάρχουσαν αὐτῷ φύσιν· ἀξιοῦνται γὰρ ὑπὸ τῶν πολλῶν οἱ μὴ εὖ διακείμενοι τὸ σῶμα οὕτως ὡς οὐδ᾿ ἂν ἑτέρων ἐπιμεληθῆναι καλῶς. ἔπειτα <τὰ>2 περὶ αὐτὸν καθαρείως ἔχειν ἐσθῆτι χρηστῇ καὶ χρίσμασιν εὐόδμοις ὀδμὴν ἔχουσιν ἀνυπόπτως· πρὸς ἅπαντα ταῦτα γὰρ ἡδέως ἔχειν ξυμβαίνει τοὺς νοσέοντας, δεῖ δὲ τοῦτο σκοπέειν. τὰ δὲ περὶ τὴν ψυχὴν σώφρονα, μὴ μόνον τὸ σιγᾶν, ἀλλὰ καὶ περὶ τὸν βίον πάνυ εὔτακτον· μέγιστα γὰρ ἔχει πρὸς δόξαν ἀγαθά. τὸ δὲ ἦθος εἶναι καλὸν καὶ ἀγαθόν, τοιοῦτον δ᾿ ὄντα πᾶσι καὶ σεμνὸν καὶ φιλάνθρωπον· τὸ γὰρ προπετὲς καὶ τὸ πρόχειρον καταφρονεῖται, κἂν πάνυ χρήσιμον ᾖ. σκοπὸν δὲ ἐπὶ τῆς 206ἐξουσίης· τὰ γὰρ | αὐτὰ παρὰ τοῖς αὐτοῖς σπανίως ἔχουσιν ἀγαπᾶται. σχήμασι δὲ ἀπὸ μὲν προσώπου σύννουν μὴ πικρῶς· αὐθάδης γὰρ δοκέει εἴναι καὶ μισάνθρωπος· ὁ δὲ εἰς γέλωτα ἀνιέμενος καὶ λίην ἱλαρὸς φορτικὸς ὑπολαμβάνεται, φυλακτέον δὲ τὸ τοιοῦτον οὐχ ἥκιστα. δίκαιον δὲ πρὸς πᾶσαν ὁμιλίην

  • 1Zwinger in margin.
  • 2Littré.
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Physician

Physician

1. The dignity of a physician requires that he should look healthy, and as plump as nature intended him to be; for the common crowd consider those who are not of this excellent bodily condition to be unable to take care of others. Then he must be clean in person, well dressed, and anointed with sweet-smelling unguents that are beyond suspicion. For all these things are pleasing to people who are ill, and he must pay attention to this. In matters of the mind, let him be prudent, not only with regard to silence, but also in having a great regularity of life, since this is very important in respect of reputation; he must be a gentleman in character, and being this he must be grave and kind to all. For an over-forward obtrusiveness is despised, even though it may be very useful. Let him look to the liberty of action that is his; for the same things, if done but seldom to the same patients, are appreciated.1 In appearance, let him be of a serious but not harsh countenance; for harshness is taken to mean arrogance and unkindness, while a man of uncontrolled laughter and excessive gaiety is considered vulgar, and vulgarity especially must be avoided.

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.hippocrates_cos-physician.1995