Front Page Titles (by Subject) EPISTOLÆ HIPPOCRATIS. - The Writings of Hippocrates and Galen
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EPISTOLÆ HIPPOCRATIS. - 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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Haller, as a preface to these letters, says, they are very ancient, since Cato alludes to the one in which Hippocrates refuses his assistance to Artaxerxes. Many of them, however, are deemed problematical. The honorarium of ten talents from the Abderites to Hippocrates, was far beyond their means. The dream is unworthy of the gravity of Hippocrates, and the collection of letters appears to be rather the production of some sophist, than of that eminent man. Cratevas is manifestly of a different era; and the account of the plague cured by Hippocrates, can scarcely be reconciled with the narration of Thucydides; neither is it any where cited by Galen.
1. Artaxerxes to Pætus, respecting the plague in his army.
2. Pætus to Artaxerxes, recommending Hippocrates to him.
3. Artaxerxes to Hystanides, præfect, offering high rewards for the services of Hippocrates.
4. Hystanides to Hippocrates, announcing this to him.
5. Hippocrates to Hystanides, refusing his services to an enemy.
6. Hippocrates to Demetrius.
7. Hystanides to Artaxerxes.
8. Artaxerxes to the Coans, threatening them if Hippocrates is not sent.
9. The Coans, in reply, refusing his demand.
10. The Abderite senate and people, to Hippocrates, in behalf of Democritus.
11. Hippocrates, in reply.
12. Hippocrates to Philopæmon.
13. Hippocrates to Dyonisius.
14. Hippocrates to Damagetus.
15. Hippocrates to Philopæmon.
16. Hippocrates to Cratevas.
17. Hippocrates to Damagetes, a long letter in relation to Democritus.
18. Democritus to Hippocrates.
19. Hippocratis de Insania scriptum.
20. Hippocrates to Democritus.
21. Hippocratis de Veratri usu libellus.
22. Hippocrates to his son Thessalus.
23. Democritus to Hippocrates, de natura humana.
24. Hippocrates to King Demetrius.
25. Decree of the Athenians in favour of Hippocrates and the Coans.
26. Oration of Hippocrates before the altar of Minerva.
27. Oration of Thessalus, his son, to the Athenians.
These letters are followed by an account of the life, family, and writings of Hippocrates, from Soranus, and Vander Linden, with numerous testimonials from various sources; the last of which is taken from the “Itinerary of John Mandevyle,” chap. 6, and is entitled, “De filia Hippocratis mirabile.” A curious relation, from a curious traveller!
Subsequent to these testimonials, we find in Haller, vol. iv. p. 345 to 367, a collection of what he denominates, “Fragmenta et Elogia” ex eodem Lindenio, from numerous ancient writers,—Plato, Aristotle, &c., down to Ulpian and Bartolus. Following which, appear the “Consentientia ex Galeno,” from various authors, p. 367 to 398; and lastly, a division entitled “Contradicta et Defensa,” p. 399 to 414, with which the edition of Haller terminates.
A few short treatises, introduced by Haller under his division of “Hippocrati adscripta opera spuria,” vol. iv. p. 127, require to be here noticed, as some of them do not appear in Fœsius; and they are therefore here added to complete the object of the editor.
LIBER DE HOMINIS STRUCTURA, AD PERDICCAM REGEM.
Haller, iv. p. 199.
Haller tells us this exists only in the Latin. It treats of the four elements; of nature; and the four humours of the human body, their constitution, and location, &c.; of arteries; veins; the causes of mirth or sorrow, pusillanimity, &c.; of lethargy, phrenitis, palsy. Some affections of the head depend on the stomach; sutures of the head occasionally wanting; colour of the hair, baldness, &c., explained. Three gradations of voice: grave, acute, and intermediate. Liver, its influence in digestion. Five senses. Fourteen constituents of man stated (qu. tissues?—Ed.), viz.: nerve, vein, artery, blood, spirit, flesh, fat, cartilage, nails, bones, marrow, hair, membrane, and humours. To these are added, in the female, milk and catamenia. Spine consists of twenty-four vertebræ, and as many ribs. Teeth more than thirty. Stomach in length five palms; intestines thirteen cubits. Names of the different fingers. The four seasons; their properties, &c. Some observations as to the non-naturals, &c.
DE NATURA HOMINIS.
Haller, iv. p. 205.
This constitutes the twenty-third letter, of Democritus to Hippocrates, in the preceding list. It is, says Haller, a rhetorical description of parts of the body, in which much appears of a later period than that of Hippocrates. It is a piece of little or no importance.
LIBER DE ÆTATE.
Haller, iv. p. 208.
A small treatise of two pages, which Haller says is a fragment; in which the signs are pointed out of fœtal death at seven and eight months, in a better way than in the legitimate treatises under those titles. A description is given of certain human ova, of seven days’ formation, discharged by whores, through the agency of abortives; in which the outline of every part was conspicuous. Septenary periods of life, &c.
A small fragment on the same subject, by Philo, follows. It is entitled, “De Ætate Fragmentum, ex Philonis Judæi, de Opif. Mundi,” p. 24. It seems a mere abstract of the above, and of about the same estimate.
DE SEPTIMESTRI PARTU, LIBER SPURIUS.
Haller, iv. p. 211.
Undeserving of notice, says Haller.—It is, however, well to look into it, if only to become acquainted with some former opinions.
DE SIGNIFICATIONE VITÆ ET MORTIS, SECUNDUM MOTUM LUNÆ, ET ADSPECTUS PLANETARUM.
Haller, iv. p. 214.
Altogether astrological, says Haller, and very remote from the wisdom of Hippocrates. It does not exist in the Greek, and is the production of some later writer. It runs over (in fourteen paragraphs, and sixteen pages) the whole signs of the zodiac, and of the moon’s locality in relation to them. Its perusal will afford some insight into the absurdities of astrology; a science still pointed to, in the figure as a frontispiece to many of our annual almanacs!
LIBER DE MEDICAMENTIS PURGANTIBUS.
Haller, iv. p. 238.
Some things herein, says Haller, are taken from the Aphorisms. A bold defence is set up for the doctrine of elective purgation, founded on the difference of the four humours.
The great variety in the operation of purgatives noticed. The same one at times operating powerfully, at other times, not at all. Sometimes what is not expected is discharged, or in smaller amount, &c. All which is explained, and leads to the division of purgatives into chologogues, &c., according as they act on the humours; and directions are laid down for the success of this: for, adds the author, it is a shameful misfortune to kill a man by super-purgation.
DE VERATRI USU.
Fœsius, Epist. xxi. p. 1287.—Haller, iv. p. 241.
Haller here states, that much is taken from the Aphorisms, Prognostics, and Prænotions, relating to the ptisan, and menstruation, which are quoted as if the productions of the author of this treatise. Towards the close, some extension is given to the subject of purgation by means of sesamoid; and cases are stated wherein veratrum is appropriate, and cautions given as to its employment. Purgation, in this treatise, seems more intended for vomition, or purging upward (sursum).
Ex Actuarii Methodi Medendi, vi.—Haller, iv. p. 243.
This is called by Haller, a “farrago aromatum,” and is said to be from Myrepsus. It is in the text called an antidote of Hippocrates, “quo usus corona Athenis est donatus.” Many virtues are attributed to its employment; its doses are stated, and mode of administration; its preparation is finally given, constituted of about twenty-five ingredients, and no doubt was equally a panacea with the confectio Damocritis, and Theriaca so celebrated by Galen!
Ex Nicolai Alexandrini, De Comp. Medic. i. 365.—Haller, iv. 244.
Pretty much of the same character with the preceding, but consisting of only eleven ingredients, one of which is opium. This is also called an antidote of Hippocrates, and was used as a panacea! Hundreds might be formed of equal importance, by drawing out the names of medicines from a wheel, and manipulating the ingredients secundum artem!
DE RE VETERINARIA.
Haller, iv. p. 247.
Much posterior (says Haller) to the period of Hippocrates. A farrago of remedies, many of a superstitious character. It is not altogether devoid of interest, as being of so remote antiquity, and not deficient in treatment of sundry affections of importance. Venesection described, &c.
I have now brought to a conclusion the immediate object in view, that of affording a general outline of all the writings that have reached us under the name of Hippocrates, rather than a complete translation of the whole. I trust such a work may yet appear in the English language; and, although it will be perceived that of nearly eighty treatises, scarcely a dozen are attributed undisputedly to him,—yet their antiquity alone would be a sufficient plea for the medical profession, to desire to know the state of that profession nearly three hundred years before the birth of our Saviour;—and that, even if it did not contain much really useful matter. Were I now half a century younger, with my present feelings towards the memory of that great man, and of his still greater successor, Galen, I should take pleasure in assuming the task; but at the age of more than “threescore years and ten,” I feel that the hour-glass of life must soon have its sand expended; and that other cares should now engross my mind. I will add, that imperfect as this present attempt is, by myself considered, I look forward with a fervent hope, that it may prove a pioneer for a more efficient labourer in the schools of Hippocrates and of Galen, when the present writer may perhaps, be holding an interesting communionship with those individuals themselves in a higher state of existence.—Editor.
end of the works of hippocrates.
AN ABSTRACT OF THE WRITINGS OF GALEN.