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CLASS III.: ÆTIOLOGY. - 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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Signa quibus tum dignoscere morbos, et locos affectos, tum præscire futura possimus, docet.—Eighth Venice Edition, 1609, Title.
Complectens, cui insunt quæ de morborum ac symptomatum causis differentiisque; et reliqua hisce finitima materia per artem totam traduntur, unà cum commentariis in libros Hippocratis, de morbis vulgaribus.—Basil Edit. 1549, Title.
GALENI, DE DIFFERENTIIS MORBORUM ET CAUSIS, SYMPTOMATUMQUE.
of the difference and causes of diseases and symptoms.
in six books.
Bas. Ed. p. 6.
These books, under a number of subdivisions, treat of the differences of diseases, of their causes, of their variety of symptoms, and of the causes of those symptoms. We notice them in the order pursued in the Basil edition.
GALENI DE DIFFERENTIIS MORBORUM.
of the difference of diseases.
This commences with propounding what is meant by disease, and what by health; what are primary and universal, and simple diseases; and, lastly, what those diseases are that are compounded of the former. It is that we may comprehend the nature of disease, that Galen first takes a concise view of its opposite, or the state of health. All men, says he, consider themselves well, when, by means of the various parts of the body, the actions essential to life are perfectly performed (sine aliquo vitio perfungi potuerint); and that if the operation of any part is painful (offensa sit), that part must be considered as in a state of disease (ægrotare).—If so, says he, then health is to be sought for in two things,—viz., in the natural functions of the parts, and in the structure of the organs (fabrica instrumentorum) by which those functions are performed. May we not be permitted here to inquire, if, in these few words, we have not a concise, yet comprehensive view of all that has been lately enlarged upon, in newfangled terms, as to organic and functional diseases? He goes on to say, with respect to disease, that it must therefore consist in “vel operationis, vel structuræ oblœsio,” and we may defy modern writers to define in fewer words, the objects thus brought to our notice.—To support his views, Galen is at no loss; but we cannot dwell on them. Certainly the merit of the doctrine, if any, belongs to him, but he has never been quoted as authority for it, that I know of, proh pudor!—I shall only remark, that he soon after adds, that, in order that any operation may ensue, the structure must be natural; if otherwise, it is productive of imperfect operation, or disease.
In considering the nature of the body, Galen regards it as a compound, and not, as some imagined, constituted of only one kind of matter; and he proceeds to state, that the composition and structure of the animal frame is of a triple character; viz., 1, of certain similar parts, such as arteries, veins, nerves, bones, cartilages, ligaments, membranes, flesh, &c. (Quere? What are these but the so-called tissues of the present day?) 2d, of various instruments or organs, compounded of some or more of the above, as the brain, heart, lungs, liver, stomach, spleen, kidneys, the eyes, &c.;—and of 3d, the full and perfect body or animal system;—which thus is found to be constituted of the above different instruments or organs; and which, in like manner, are themselves constituted of the more simple, but similar parts, that are themselves formed by the conjunction of the primary or elementary matters. Thus, in illustration, he says, flesh, inasmuch as it is flesh, consists of the four primary elements; but, inasmuch as it constitutes a part of an organ or instrument, in its formation or magnitude, &c., a discrimination exists between them.
It would be impossible, without enlarging greatly, to pursue the views of Galen on this subject further; what is thus cursorily noticed, will, perhaps, suffice to give some slight appreciation of what is omitted; wherein he treats of the diseases incident to similar parts; of those incident to organs or instruments; of such as arise from defective formation, either natural or accidental; and of various other divisions he has thought it expedient to make. In speaking of redundancy in size, as constituting disease, he refers to an individual whose body augmented so greatly, that he could not move, adding that it was reported he was cured by Esculapius.
GALENI, DE CAUSIS MORBORUM.
on the causes of disease.
In this book are considered, as causes of disease, heat, cold, food, both as to quantity and quality; constipation, moisture, and dryness;—of the causes of compound diseases of similar parts;—of those connected with instruments or organs in various particulars;—and of the causes of a solution of continuity, &c. In one of the chapters of this book, he strongly enforces the injury sustained by children, from the careless or injudicious manner of bandaging them by the nurse; as well as subsequently, in attempts to enlarge certain parts, by pressure on others, by which spinal distortion ensues; so that the system of corsets and stays of the present period, appears to have equally prevailed in the females of the time of Galen; and from him downwards.
GALENI, DE SYMPTOMATUM DIFFERENTIIS.
of the difference of symptoms.
Here he commences by defining or explaining some terms, which, though frequently confounded, have yet a difference, which is pointed out; and many excellent remarks are made on the change of names by authors, with the endless disputes thereby induced, and which it would not be unreasonable to ask our perpetual innovators in nomenclature carefully to peruse. “Litigando, (says he, speaking of these modifiers of well-established names, in order to uphold a favourite doctrine,) litigando enim de nominibus totam vitam conterunt. Quare ad finem artis attingere nunquam possint.” He considers in due order what a symptom is, both common, or proper;—some symptoms are referred to affections of the body; some to imperfect actions, and others to the circumstances connected with the excreta and retenta. The actions that become injured, are animal, natural, and vital; the first is subdivided under three heads; in one of which, that of sensation, Galen says something as to the five senses, and points out the symptoms arising from their diseased action. Symptoms are said to be of a fourfold nature; some are visible, some sensible to the smell, some to the taste, and some to the touch. Surely he ought to have added a fifth, that connected with hearing! Who can recognise the principal symptom of cynanche trachealis, by any better or more peculiar, than by the characteristic sounds of breathing or of coughing? And assuredly Galen was acquainted with this disease, as various references to the subject of angina, &c., may serve to testify. He does, indeed, say something on the subject of sound as a symptom, both as regards the voice, and of the crepitus and intestinal rumbling, &c., denoting their varieties by particular terms; which renders it the more extraordinary that he does not divide his symptoms by at least an equality of the senses.
GALENI, DE SYMPTOMATUM CAUSIS.
of the causes of symptoms.
This book, subdivided into three parts, is highly interesting, in following the learned author in his attempts to explain in various places the symptoms of diseases.
1. The first of these books treats of the causes of the symptoms, in the diseases of the senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch, and of the causes of pleasure and pain in each of them; and he seems to ascribe to the venereal orgasm a species of sense or sensation sui generis. He treats of the causes of symptoms arising from the stomach, appetite, hunger, thirst, &c., and in Chapter V. he dwells much on the sympathy between it and other parts of the system.a He distinguishes between nerves of sense and motion, and treats of the causes of the symptoms of the affections of the brain, and of its faculties, &c., and he calls the brain in one part the “sensoriorum sensorium.” Some phrenological remarks may also here be noticed.
2. The second of these books embraces the investigation of the causes of the symptoms of depraved motions, in which the author treats of paralysis, convulsions, tremors, palpitation, rigor, cough, sneezing, pandiculation, itching, and many other vitiated motions. He then proceeds to consider the causes of the principal animal functions, in respect to their motions; and treats of the motions of the stomach, uterus, and other parts, both natural, and symptomatic of a diseased condition; of the causes of apoplexy, epilepsy, coma, lethargy, delirium, loss of memory, and other affections of the brain, &c.
3. The third book treats of the causes of the symptoms of the natural functions and faculties; of the causes of imperfect concoction in the stomach, vessels, and each particular member; of the symptoms connected with distribution through the system, and of its excretions; of imperfect nutrition; unnatural excretions, as of hemorrhages, vomiting, and purging, &c.; of symptoms appertaining to the urinary organs; of sweating, fluxions from the head; and of symptoms connected with the uterus; of priapism and gonorrhœa, or rather involuntary seminal discharge; together with the causes of the symptoms connected with several other parts, &c.
These last three books terminate the six books embraced in the first book of this class, De differentiis Morborum.
GALENI, DE DIFFERENTIIS FEBRIUM, LIBRI DUO.
of the difference of fevers: in two books.
Bas. Ed. p. 113.
In this book some principles are laid down by which the differences of the various fevers may be comprehended; of their general division and the symptoms distinguishing them; the foreign causes of fever; of an ephemeral and pestilential fever; objections against those who consider fever of a putrid nature; and some analogies and differences noticed between putrefaction, in and out of the vessels;—of hectic fever and its varieties. In pointing out the principal differences of fevers, he seems to consider a preternatural heat as the essence of the disease; which heat is sometimes most extreme in the solids, at other times in the fluids, and sometimes in the spirits; according to a subdivision of Hippocrates, in some measure analogous to a theory of later times, of the continens or solids, the contenta or fluids, and the impetum facientia or spirits; the two last of which are regarded as more generally the first invaded, and if not soon resolved, the febrile disposition soon extends to the solids also. A long list of causes is given of the preternatural heat that gives origin to fever: such as fatigue, anger, &c.; external heat and cold, &c.; as also a pestilential state of the air. In the course of his remarks, he adverts to ignorance, especially of physicians, with accompanying reasons for such remarks; and divides such ignorant physicians into two genera: the one, confiding in self-experience, affirms that by reason alone, we cannot find out the nature of any thing; the other, ascribing all knowledge to themselves, whilst, in fact, quite as ignorant as the others; yet always watching to catch the passing ideas of science. The hardness of the pulse in some diseases is taken notice of, in opposition to Archigenes; and many excellent observations and practical remarks abound throughout the whole book. The different forms of fever are adverted to, besides the above: intermittents, simple, continued, quotidian, tertian, quartan.—Of obstruction in the vessels.—A question seems to have been the subject of dispute, whether a fever in the blood occurred, and is considered by Galen. He says he had seen the state of rigor in quartans, without fever; and he presents to us a variety of the old names of febrile subdivisions, serving partly to illustrate the nosology of that period. The intermixture of febrile forms is pointed out; and, taking the whole of these two books into consideration, we shall be led to the conclusion, that sixteen centuries ago, the hypotheses and practical attainments as to the various particulars of fever and its symptoms, were as well cemented together, and quite as well explained and illustrated, as at the present enlightened period of medical science! Nor can it be doubted, I think, that a close perusal of them, will amply repay, both in pleasure and profit, all who will take the pains to examine them.
GALENI DE INÆQUALI INTEMPERIE LIBER.
of an unequal intemperies.a
Bas. Ed. p. 162.
By intemperies, Galen apparently means that unseasonable or unfit state of some individual part of the body, or of the whole system, which predisposes to disease, if it be not actually disease itself. He makes four varieties of it,—simple, compound, equal, and unequal. A variety of affections are mentioned, seemingly as coming within the scope of this division. The modes of origin of this unequal intemperies are described; a concise view of his division of the body is given; and some particulars, as by what means inflammation arises and terminates in any part. Sundry anomalies are explained of this temperament, such as the sense of heat and cold at the same time, and of rigors not followed by fever, &c.
GALENI, DE MARCORE SIVE MARASMO LIBER.
of atrophy, or marasmus.
Bas. Ed. p. 170.
This state of the system is defined to be a corruption of the living body arising from dryness (siccitas). Marasmus, the Greek term, is that which is still used to signify a wasting away of the body; and has some analogy with tabes. An interesting subject it is made in the hands of Galen, who speaks of the inevitable approach of age, as one of the forms or states of marasmus; and he ridicules the folly of some Sophists who promised to make men immortal. He treats of it as affecting the whole, or a part of the body; and mentions one in his time, who wrote a book on the subject at the age of forty; he reached that of eighty, but was then so shrivelled and dried up, as to resemble the description given by Hippocrates in his Prognostics (the facies Hippocratica) as the precursor of death, viz., sharp nose, hollow eye, collapsed temples, cold contracted ears, with the lobes partially turned, the skin of the forehead, hard, tense, and dry;—the picture indeed of death, under the name of the Hippocratic countenance.
Galen here investigates the causes leading to old age, both in man and animals; he considers the usual comparison of life to a fire provided with fuel, and gradually becoming extinct by combustion, as altogether incorrect, although maintained by all the physicians and philosophers of the day. Equally does he oppose the idea of a similarity between the flame of fire and animal heat; and he vindicates Hippocrates from being the author of a book in which that subject is discussed. He attempts to prove the necessity of growing old, from the nature of the elements constituting the animal structure; and shows, that although it cannot be avoided, yet it may be hastened or anticipated. The different varieties of marasmus are in turn presented to notice, with the means of relief, from diet, bathing, drink, &c., together with much useful matter of a practical tendency, and well deserving attention.
GALENI, DE COMATE, LIBELLUS APUD HIPPOCRATEM.
Bas. Ed., p. 183.
This is rather a commentary on the Hippocratic views of coma, as exhibited in various parts of his works, (Prorrhetics, Epidemics, &c.) He points out the opinions entertained on the subject by him, and its connexion with cataphora; which last is considered as twofold, viz., somnolent and wakeful, (coma vigil.) and which becomes in a measure a distinction between lethargy and phrenitis. Galen is far from agreeing to all the views of Hippocrates, and argues fairly when dissenting from him. Attention to this book may prove very useful to the physician, in some cephalic affections; and so may likewise attention to the succeeding book.
GALENI, DE TREMORE, PALPITATIONE, RIGORE, ET CONVULSIONE LIBER.
of tremor, palpitation, rigor, and convulsion.
Bas. Ed., p. 191.
The occasion of writing this book, appears to have been that of rectifying the error of Praxagoras, otherwise so superior in medicine and philosophy, in ascribing all the above, together with the pulse, to an affection of the arteries, differing only in degree; and in so doing, Galen has presented us with an excellent treatise, wherein he points out the kind and variety of motion, in tremor, convulsion, rigor, and palpitation; he notices the locality, causes, and difference of them. In that part where he treats particularly of palpitation, much stress is laid, when speaking of blood-letting, on the communion of the vessels. Adverting to the propriety of bleeding in some of these cases, which by many was much opposed, he notices the statement of Hippocrates of his daring so to do, and his reasons for so doing; and remarks on the locality from which blood should be drawn in certain specified cases. Some remarks are made, tending to show a difference between convulsions and tetanic affections.
GALENI, DE DIFFICULTATE RESPIRATIONIS, LIBRI TRES.
of difficult respiration.
in three books.
Bas. Ed., p. 214.
Few of the writings of Galen are, in my opinion, more interesting than these, or which will better repay the attention of the reader. It is impossible to do justice to them, within the compass I have allotted to myself. A full translation of them would, I think, prove acceptable to the Profession. I shall barely state, that setting off with the term of difficultas respirandi, he considers it to be the same with the dyspnœa of the Greeks;—the difference or variety in which, are to be learned by attending to the respiration, and thus, by comparison with that which is natural, judge of its existing state. This was strictly attended to by the ancients, although the latter, being as it were a unit, and the former infinite in variety, the difficulty was by no means small. The subject is largely pursued, in all its relations; its causes, natural and preternatural. Natural respiration by being either excessive or defective, becomes preternatural; the names attached to the variations, both of inspiration and expiration; of quick or slow, &c.; the mode of detecting their respective causes. Of the proportion between the pulse and respiration in health, the attention seems to have been extended in a degree of minuteness, that can scarcely be conceived of, to every particular connected with the function of respiration. The difference of respiration and of the pulse in youth and age is taken notice of; the influence of sleep on; of fever, and of other agencies, such as cold, heat, pain, internal congestions or suppurations, mental emotions, &c. The different varieties of respiration, as quick, slow, deep, irregular, &c., are all investigated; and a kind of classification seems to be attempted, in which the intimate connexion of the function with the pulse is strongly laid down; and towards the end of the first book, the conclusion is drawn, that there are three genera of causes influencing respiration, viz., faculty or power, utility, and the essential instruments, which, separately, or conjointly, are productive of the changes, &c., which lead to its deterioration.
Continuing his observations in the second book, much reference is made to Hippocrates, as to what he remarks of the breathing, in his first and third Epidemics, in numerous cases of disease; a refutation of those who regarded respiration as involuntary, referring to his remarks in the second book, De Motu Musculorum. The whole book seems enthusiastic in praise of Hippocrates; and scarcely less so is the third book, wherein the other remaining books on Epidemics, ascribed to him, are referred to, and their cases considered; here, too, some inquiry is entered into, as to the authors of those writings. Not a little of the value of these books consists in the analysis thus necessarily entered into by Galen, of the writings of Hippocrates.
GALENI, DE (PLENITUDINE, VEN. ED.) MULTITUDINE LIBER.
Bas. Ed., p. 302.
This book opens with a statement of the confused opinions of the medical men in Galen’s time, respecting plethora.a These various opinions he attacks, and turns the arguments of his opponents against themselves; indiscriminately urging his objections against the Rationalist and Empiric sects; against the Stoics, Herophilus, Erasistratus, and others. Partial and general plethora are noticed, and an inquiry is pursued as to whether plethora consists in the blood alone; in which many curious remarks on that fluid are to be found, as to its amount, &c., and not undeserving attention. The general indications of a plethoric state are pointed out, as redness, tension, sense of weight, pulsation, &c.
GALENI, DE TUMORIBUS PRÆTER NATURAM LIBER.
of præternatural swellings.
Bas. Ed., p. 330.
Explaining what he means by a preternatural tumour, or swelling of a part, or of the whole body; he states that it may be sometimes caused by an excess, of that which in itself is natural, as in a great increase or augmentation of obesity; or of the natural fluids of the cavities, &c. He, however, principally treats of them, as the product of actual disease; beginning with inflammation or phlegmon, whose symptoms are detailed and explained, with as much probability perhaps, as in the present day, its termination in abscess is noticed, and its various locations, inducing empyema, sinuous ulcers, fistulæ, &c. He then treats of atheroma and other encysted tumours; of anthrax, cancer, erysipelas, herpes, œdema, scirrhus, ecchymosis, aneurism, scabies, lepra, elephantiasis;—speaks of buboes, or swellings in the inguinal glands; of sarcocele, hydrocele, and many others;—all indeed briefly,—and the whole of less importance than many others of his writings. It is not undeserving of a cursory examination, if only for the purpose of noticing the synonymes of many diseases, now differently denominated.
GALENI, DE MORBORUM TEMPORIBUS LIBER.
of the periods or stages of diseases.
Bas. Ed., p. 338.
This is an attempt to illustrate and explain the progressive periods of diseases, which he assimilates to the regular progression of the different stages of life, or age, in animals. He considers such consecutive changes in the progress of disease, as partly depending on the age of the patient; and that a doubt may be raised, whether any determinate point of time can be fixed on, as the beginning of disease, Much curious speculation is pursued in the consideration of the subject, which is not devoid of interest. He concludes, however, in favour of a commencement; and opposes some opinions of Archigenes, and gives the views of medical men, anterior to the period of Archigenes. He then takes notice of the different periods in intermittents, and the variety of the class, interspersed with much useful observations in regard to the accession, progress, and stages of these diseases; together with practical remarks on the state of the pulse, under these various changes during the paroxysm; and he gives us a division of the paroxysm into six periods, viz., the beginning, a state of inequality intermediate between it and the third state of augmentation, or increase; the fourth is that of vigour, or full strength, or acmé; the fifth is the declension, and the sixth, the state of remission. Here he gives a digression, as to the abuse that had been made of ancient names, and the itch of coining new ones, which had led to much error and confusion; adding, that some were so prone to it, (quidam hujusmodi ingenio refractario sunt præditi,) that they would not have regarded Apollo or Esculapius, if giving them advice to the contrary. He, moreover, adduces this fault, as a cause, and that a chief one, of their errors and ignorance as to the difference of diseases. He proceeds to consider the terms or names applied to the stages of an intermittent paroxysm, and affords a variety of particulars connected with fever, and with the opinion of Hippocrates on the subject. The periods or stages of fever, non-intermitting, (continued,) are next attended to, and of some of a mixed character.
GALENI, DE TOTIUS MORBI TEMPORIBUS.
of the periods of the entire disease.
Bas. Ed., p. 353.
This book, it is stated, ought not to be separated from the former, but should be considered as a part of it, and that Galen seems so to have intended it to be. Four times, or periods, are assigned to disease; the beginning, increase, acmé, and decline. These are respectively considered; the signs distinctive of each, pointed out; the variety in each under different circumstances, and other particulars. He then notices the nature of mortal diseases, their indications and periods; and the diversity induced, when, at the same time, the patient is attacked with several diseases; one generally predominating. Great stress is laid by Galen on strict attention to three principal parts of the body, viz., the brain, the heart, and the liver,a together with the vessels that belong to them, and their respective subdivisions—pointing out the utility of this knowledge, and of the stages of disease, as greatly assisting in their cure.
GALENI, DE TYPIS LIBER, VEL COMMENTARIUS.
of the form or order of diseases.
Bas. Ed., p. 362.
It has by some been supposed that this is not the production of Galen, inasmuch as much of what is herein delivered, is in opposition to what is to be found in his other writings.
The author sets off by stating, that many having largely treated of this subject, he thought an abbreviated and simpler statement might be useful to beginners. He proceeds to explain what the term indicates, and distinguishes it from points with which it had been frequently confounded. Many diseases, he tells us, have their types, especially fevers, with the exception of continued. The type is the order in which the occurrences take place. The period or circuit is the time employed therein. He notices the difference and division of types;—those of fevers, with their symptoms; and gives an explanation of those of double fevers, as the double quartan, tertian, and quotidian; and shows their numerous complications in a singularly curious and terminating chapter. Some have short accessions and long remissions; the opposite is the case in other instances; and this leads to a twofold division. Some occur at stated periods, some precede, and others are tardy. A quintan and a septan type are treated of;—the difference of pulse under these varieties are mentioned. A good deal of subtile distinction is made in all these particulars; yet, even admitting his divisions to be problematical, there is considerable interest in the book.
GALENI, AD EOS QUI DE TYPIS SCRIPSERUNT LIBER.
an address to the writers on types.
Bas. Ed. p. 367.
This may be considered as subsidiary to the preceding book; in it the author points out the error of those who confounded the types or order of diseases, with their period or circuit,—as well as in other respects. He gives a curious table, in which all the types of fevers are designated, in conformity with those erroneous hypotheses; from that of the quotidian, embracing twenty-four hours, up to one called quinquegesimanus, of eleven hundred and seventy-six hours, or forty-nine days;—which he says he formed at the request of his friends,—and points to the mistakes which such hypotheses lead to; saying that fools only would engage in such pursuits, to the total neglect of more important subjects. The whole is sufficiently interesting to demand perusal.
GALENI, DE CAUSIS PROCATARCTICIS LIBER.a
of procatarctic causes.
Galen begins by maintaining the pre-existing causes of disease to have existence, and repels the sophistry of the older physicians. He then explains the action of such causes, by the changes they induce in the body; of which he affords instances in point, in order to satisfy his friend Gorgias, to whom the treatise is written. We have here a proof, that however sedulous in his profession, yet that he was not inattentive to the poetic precept—
“Neque semper arcum tendit Apollo;”
for we find him referring to the theatre as proving the truth of his propositions;—this resort of dissipation thus becoming in his hands a place for observation! Heu! quam pauci!—Accordingly, like the bee, culling from every variety of flower, so Galen draws important deductions from this locality, in speaking of Menander; in whom he prognosticated a hemorrhage from the nose, which took place, to the astonishment of those around him. His remarks are levelled principally at Erasistratus and Herophilus; but others are noticed, and we have thereby the means of attaining the opinions of several, whose writings have not reached us. In the progress of this, he introduces a train of legal distinctions, and an oratorical piece of imagery in defence of Orestes as the murderer of Clytemnestra, which is given as a reply to the sophisms of Erasistratus, and would not disgrace the acutest member of the bar. Another of the like nature, is the inquiry into the cause of death in a person to whom medicine is given,—whether it be the physician, the nurse, or the apothecary! all in a strain of mirth, yet accompanied with reason.
GALENI, IN HIPPOCRATIS DE MORBIS VULGARIBUS, COMMENTARII.
i. commentarius in primum librum hipp. primus.
commentary on the first book of epidemics.
Bas. Ed. p. 400.
As commentaries upon the books of Epidemics, it is scarcely necessary to say that a rich treat awaits all who will take the trouble to explore them—far beyond that, which the simple text of Hippocrates alone affords.
In the Basil edition of this first commentary, about a page is wanting, which appears in that of Venice. Three commentaries are given by Galen on this first book, and three on the third. Both these (the first and third) books are regarded as the genuine productions of Hippocrates; the others are at least problematical. On the sixth book of Hippocrates, we have six commentaries, besides some additional ones, not appearing in the Basil edition, but are found in that of Venice. It would be impossible to analyze them—they are themselves a luminous analysis of Hippocrates, with the superaddition of Galen’s reflections,—and which must suffer by any mutilation, as they consist of nearly three hundred folio pages. A translation of them would, I should think, be acceptable to the whole profession.
GALENI, IN LIBRUM SECUNDUM HIPP. DE MORBIS VULG: COMMENT. SECUNDUS.
a second commentary on the second book of epidemics.
Ven. Ed., p. 198—Novissime Repertus.
It would seem that three commentaries on the second book of Hippocrates’ Epidemics were written by Galen, or, at least, once had existence; but that this, the second commentary, has come to light at a period not very remote, (1609,) whilst the first is altogether wanting, as far as I can determine. The comments are pursued upon the same plan with the preceding,—and a vast deal of important practical and speculative matter is dispersed throughout. In several parts of these two commentaries, numerous lacunæ are unhappily supplied by stars, (* *), implying a loss or destruction in that part of the copy.
GALENI, IN LIB. TERTIUM HIPPOC. DE MORB. VULG. COMMENT. TRES.
three commentaries on the third book of epidemics.
Bas. Ed., p. 488.
This is one of the books considered as legitimate. It is on the same plan as the others. Some particular cases of disease, mentioned pretty concisely by Hippocrates, are very largely commented on by Galen, and are spread through all the three commentaries. The first is divided under twenty-nine paragraphs or sections, the second under nine, and the third under eighty-eight.
GALENI IN SEXTUM H. DE MORB. POPULARIBUS. LIBRI SEX.
Similar in arrangement, &c., to the preceding books.
GALENI, RELIQUUM SEXTI COMMENTARII IN SEXTUM DE MORB. POP. LIBRUM.
Ven. Ed., p. 212.
This was not printed in the former editions of the commentary on the sixth book; it is stated (Ven. eighth edit.) to be “nuper in lucem prolatum,” and is, as the title expresses, a continuation of the sixth commentary of the sixth book. It continues in the same style as the preceding, and begins with the ninth paragraph of the sixth book, and ends with the twenty-seventh.
GALENI IN SEXTUM HIPPOC. DE MORB. VULG. COMMENTARIUS SEPTIMUS.
Ven. Ed., p. 215.
This, which is not in the Basil edition, follows the preceding, in that of Venice. It belongs properly to the consideration of Epidemics;—and it gives a description of the pestilential state of the air, explaining the various and successive symptoms, &c., in thirty-four paragraphs, accompanied with Galen’s comments on them.
GALENI, IN SEXTUM HIPPOC. DE MORB. VULG. COMMENTARIUS OCTAVUS.
Ven. Ed., p. 220.
As the preceding;—in forty-two paragraphs, and accompanying comments. In one of which (seventh), the “continentia, contenta, impetum facientia” of Hippocrates are explained.
The whole of these Hippocratic tracts, de morbis vulgaribus, occupy, with their accompanying commentaries, about two hundred and fifty folio pages, and, certainly, are not undeserving of perusal, both on account of the facts stated, and of the explanatory aid afforded by Galen.
GALENI IN LIB. HIPPOC. DE HUMORIBUS, COMMENTARII TRES.
Ven. Ed., p. 225.
These commentaries are not in the Basil edition, but they are in that of Venice (eighth), with a remark that they were not in the preceding editions. They are in different paragraphs; concise, and serving as texts on which Galen has abundantly enlarged; the three containing nearly one hundred paragraphs, and several lacunæ.
This book created formerly much dissension as to its paternity, whether it was written by Hippocrates or by his son Thessalus, or son-in-law Polybius. Galen has his doubts, but inclines to Thessalus. Be this as it may, it is deserving of attention, if only for the purpose of understanding the estimation in which the fluids were held in ancient times; and the folly and presumption of those who have at different periods risked the interests of medicine by their absurd attempts to do without them; explaining every thing by sympathy, and associated motions, (which they cannot demonstrate, but give upon trust) among the solids of the system alone!—It is not intended to affirm that all here said by the ancients is right, and all of modern date is wrong: it is the want of harmony and co-operation that is to be regretted in these particulars; which, by both parties might easily be surmounted, and a more equitable estimate had of every part of the system. It is the defect of information as to the real extent of the knowledge of our forefathers, that renders us so unjust to their merits, whilst we plume our writings with their feathers.
The third class terminates with the above. The fourth is now to be noticed. It is very much of the character of the preceding books, consisting chiefly of commentaries on particular parts of the writings of Hippocrates. All interesting, and of much value; yet scarcely capable of being epitomized.
[a ]Forestalling a similar doctrine of present date, though with more moderation; and which might have been perhaps duly appreciated by an acquaintance with the writings of Galen.
[a ]Dyscrasia—δυϛϰραϛια—significat intemperies; et opponitur temperamento, sive ϰραϛει,—est autem intemperies duplex; alia sanitatis, alia morborum, &c.—Castelli Lexicon.
[a ]“Plethora, πληϑωρα; Lat. plenitudo, multitudo, copia. Accipitur communiter in foro medico pro humorum omnium abundantia; quamvis minus accurate; cum hac ratione a cacochymia non recte possit distingui. Plethora igitur proprie sanguinis redundantiam significat,” &c.—Castelli Lexicon.
[a ]The lungs are equally entitled to the strictest attention, and it is extraordinary that Galen should have overlooked them here. “Aliquando dormitat.”
[a ]Procatarctica—προϰαταρϰω—antegredior, præincipiens—est causa morborum præexistens, vel præ-incipiens, una cum aliis agens, unde primo morbus producitur.—Blancard’s Lexicon.