Front Page Titles (by Subject) THE COAN PROGNOSTICS. - The Writings of Hippocrates and Galen
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THE COAN PROGNOSTICS. - Hippocrates, The Writings of Hippocrates and Galen 
The Writings of Hippocrates and Galen. Epitomised from the Original Latin translations, by John Redman Coxe (Philadelphia: Lindsay and Blakiston, 1846).
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THE COAN PROGNOSTICS.
Duretus (says Haller in his preface to this treatise), like most of its commentators, divides it into several parts. Haller himself, constituting it as a single book, divides it into three sections, consisting of twenty-seven chapters. Gardeil divides it into three books, as Duretus has done; the first of which is simply subdivided into one hundred and sixty-six sentences. The second book contains twenty-six chapters, subdivided into three hundred and fifty-nine sentences; as is the case also with the third book, containing four chapters, and two hundred and forty-six sentences. The whole number of sentences is seven hundred and seventy-one. Fœsius makes six hundred and forty-nine sentences, accompanied by copious notes, and preceded by a long prefatory dissertation, of considerable interest, but scarcely embraced by my present intentions. Haller tells us that Galen considered this treatise as spurious, and that Fœsius did not much esteem it. It is admitted by all to be very obscure. Questions are propounded, to which no one can reply, and many fallacious aphorisms are given with too great precision. Many, are the same with those that are given in the preceding book (De Predictionibus, Lib. i.) The first part of the treatise is devoted to such particulars as belong to fever. The second treats of those that are connected with the various parts of the human body, as the head, neck, chest, abdomen, &c.; and the prognostics are stated in connexion with the parts from which the symptoms are derived. The third division derives the first part of its presages almost entirely from the Prognostics; a second portion is assigned to wounds of the head and other parts; and the third portion is devoted to female diseases. An addition is made of the presages derived from the various excretions, &c.
The book may be generally considered as delivering the existing and supervening symptoms of fevers, and other diseases, both febrile and non-febrile, affecting the whole system or its parts, and explained by theorems, with the predictions to be derived from them, both benefical or injurious.
In a note at the commencement of this treatise, Gardeil states, “that it is usually designated by name of the Coacæ simply, and that it is constantly referred to in medical writings. It is not considered by the learned as the work of Hippocrates, in which opinion (says he) I acquiesce.” Nevertheless it is much esteemed, for, notwithstanding its imperfections, its authority in medicine is of the highest grade. It is supposed to be the composition of some physician of the celebrated school of Cos, of which Hippocrates was the most illustrious member; but it is uncertain whether this collection of sentences was anterior or posterior to him. I have pursued, says Gardeil, the order adopted by Duretus, as being very commodious, although not always adapted to the discovery of what we are seeking, in consequence of its division in the distributed matter. It would indeed be impossible to effect this, without continued repetition of those sentences that have reference to more than one particular.
M. De Mercy, in 1815, printed at Paris a French translation of this treatise, entitled “Prognostics de Cos, D’Hippocrate, traduits sur le texte grec, d’après la collation des manuscrits de la Bibliothèque Impériale, avec une dissertation sur ces manuscrits, des variantes, des notes explicatives, et une table analytique.”
This analytical table is so excellent, that I have deemed it better to give it here, than to attempt a more full and complete translation of the whole,—omitting at the same time his references, which could only be applicable to the entire translation. As it is, this analysis extends to nearly fifty pages.
It may be further remarked, that the latter part, commencing with chap. xxviii., entitled “Prognostics common to all parts of the body,” and constituting the third book of Duretus, contains generally what is to be found with more minuteness in the Predictions, Prognostics, Aphorisms, &c. Sometimes the precision is remarkable.
It may be concisely stated, that M. De Mercy, in his prefatory observations on this treatise, divides it under five principal heads. The first, up to the one hundred and sixtieth sentence, relates to acute and epidemic fevers, and their varied and complicated symptoms, such as rigor, chills, hemorrhages, menstrual discharges, hemorrhoids, bilious vomitings, and purgings,—urine, sweat, parotids, abscesses,—crises, good and bad, as announced by various symptoms, such as insomnia, subsultus tendinum, sputation, alteration and loss of the voice, delirium, convulsions, and all that characterizes the highest grade of fever. The second part consists of inflammation of the organs and different viscera, with continual fever, such as acute headache, phrenitis, convulsions, suppuration, and sphacelus of the brain, &c., otitis and deafness, &c., as noticed in the headings of the succeeding chapters. The third part has reference to external lesions and wounds, &c. The fourth to the diseases of females; and the fifth to the different excretions, as vomiting, sweat, urine, and the dejections.
Most of the sentences here enumerated are to be found in some one or other of the Hippocratic writings, and are pointed out by M. De Mercy; such are the parts relating to the face, which he tells us are the same as in the Prognostics, and in the Prenotions also, but less correct;—the same of the eyes. Some Aphorisms are here found, and a few passages from the book, “De Morbis.” Some are alike with parts of the Predictions, &c., and his observations terminate as follows: “The intentions of the different sentences cannot be misapprehended. Many passages are extracted from other works, especially ‘De Morbis,’ which certainly is not one of Hippocrates’. We can discover no other object than that of forming a general collection of the prognosis of disease. It is easy to assure ourselves of this, even from the conclusion of the book, which is a recapitulation of all the varieties of the different excretions, of which mention is made throughout the treatise. No doubt the Coan Prognostics are a very estimable and essential part in the practice of medicine; a kind of vade mecum, but difficult from their number, to be recollected. The analysis of the chapters is intended to render the connexion of the different sentences more clear and distinct, and will in a degree subserve the purpose of an index.”
It would too much prolong this, if continued; I give, therefore only the heads of the chapters.—Ed.