Hippocratic Writings

Hippocratic Writings

by Hippocrates

It is impossible to be certain which, if any, of the works in the Hippocratic corpus were written by Hippocrates himself (c.430 BC).

The writers were the pioneers of rational medicine; their ideas, dominant for centuries, still reveal to us the ideal of ethical practice, as well as the origins not just of Western medicine but of scientific method.This excellent selection of Hippocratic treatises shows the range of writing and thought.

Some are technical works on embryology, surgery or anatomy; others are addressed to a lay audience; all are informed with the spirit of inquiry.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Classics
  • Rating: 3.72
  • Pages: 384
  • Publish Date: November 24th 1983 by Penguin Classics
  • Isbn10: 0140444513
  • Isbn13: 9780140444513

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Its healthy, I think, to take a moment once in a while and reflect how different our lives would be without modern medicine. Yes, life would be far less pleasant without the timely intervention of modern medicine. During my reading of this book, this thought kept popping into my mind: Thank God I didnt live back then! The Hippocratic Writings is a disjointed and various body of texts, probably written by many different people. Unless you are a historian or a curious doctor, I think the best way to read this would be to skim until you found something that caught your eye. (By the way, I read the edition in the old Great Books of the Western World series; the Penguin edition might be better edited.) The modern reader will notice much that is distressingly wrong. Nevertheless, I think that the reflections contained in this book are, in the main, impressively modern. And in this way truly you may see that it is not a god that injures the body, but disease. Also, most of these case studies end in deathnot very reassuring.) Another impressive quality of the Hippocratics were their professionalism.

Within its context, this book is reduced to a sort of museum piece that reflects many long-held scientific and medical theories. If you have an interest in ancient Greek science, then The Hippocratic Writings are probably something you can pass by in favor of the large amount of other quality works on the subject.

You will know these alleged sayings of Hippocrates of Cos. Oft called the Father of Modern Medicine, the ideas and works of Hippocrates held sway and were still taught until fairly recently, given their age. The Hippocratic Writings is a collection of chapters and essays from The Corpus, the Hippocratic Schools body of work. For example, it was believed that: the mind being located in the heart; homosexuality results from too much horse-riding; that diseases are the result of natural processes (not the interventions of gods); that these processes are influenced by behaviour and environment and follow a set course. The simplistic treatments of preventative medicine, exercise, diet and environment are held to be the future of medical care. The importance lies in that this was the product of a school, that the ideas of medicine needed to be passed on a developed.

Nevertheless, Hippocrates is commonly portrayed as the paragon of the ancient physician.