Hippocrates of Cos, Ulcers

LCL 482: 336-337

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This treatise is known under this name to both Erotian and Galen. Erotian lists it among the therapeutic works in his preface,1 and includes about a dozen words from it in his Glossary.2 Galen, besides including words from it in his Glossary,3 uses the treatise’s account as the basis of his discussion of ulcers in Methodus Medendi 4, quoting frequently and extensively from the text.4 In his Commentary to Articulations, he even refers to a now lost commentary he wrote to Ulcers.5

Ulcers presents a thorough and well-ordered account of surface lesions, arranged under the heads pathology (ch. 1–10), general therapy (ch. 11–17), and special therapy (ch. 18–27). The treatise is convincing testimony to its author’s extensive clinical experience of the signs of superficial disorders, their modes of healing, and their complications, and draws on a rich store of pharmacological and surgical treatments.



Besides appearing in all the collected Hippocratic editions and translations, Ulcers is included in the surgical collections of Vidius, Manialdus and Petrequin. The treatise’s textual transmission receives a careful investigation in D. Raupach, Die handschriftliche Überlieferung der hippokratischen Schrift “De ulceribus,” Diss. Göttingen, 1965. On the basis of the conclusions reached by Dr. Raupach, I have collated the manuscript M from microfilm, as our sole independent witness for the text of Ulcers.

An English translation of Ulcers appeared in Adams vol. 2, 794–809.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.hippocrates_cos-ulcers.1995