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On Ancient Medicine   

they invented soups, by mixing a few strong things with much water,
and thus abstracting that which was strong in them by dilution and
boiling. But such as could not manage even soups, laid them aside,
and had recourse to drinks, and so regulated them as to mixture and
quantity, that they were administered neither stronger nor weaker
than what was required.

But this ought to be well known, that soups do not agree with certain
persons in their diseases, but, on the contrary, when administered
both the fevers and the pains are exacerbated, and it becomes obvious
that what was given has proved food and increase to the disease, but
a wasting and weakness to the body. But whatever persons so affected
partook of solid food, or cake, or bread, even in small quantity,
would be ten times and more decidedly injured than those who had taken
soups, for no other reason than from the strength of the food in reference
to the affection; and to whomsoever it is proper to take soups and
not eat solid food, such a one will be much more injured if he eat
much than if he eat little, but even little food will be injurious
to him. But all the causes of the sufferance refer themselves to this
rule, that the strongest things most especially and decidedly hurt
man, whether in health or in disease.

What other object, then, had he in view who is called a physician,
and is admitted to be a practitioner of the art, who found out the
regimen and diet befitting the sick, than he who originally found
out and prepared for all mankind that kind of food which we all now
use, in place of the former savage and brutish mode of living? To
me it appears that the mode is the same, and the discovery of a similar
nature. The one sought to abstract those things which the constitution
of man cannot digest, because of their wildness and intemperature,
and the other those things which are beyond the powers of the affection
in which any one may happen to be laid up. Now, how does the one differ
from the other, except that the latter admits of greater variety,
and requires more application, whereas the former was the commencement
of the process?

And if one would compare the diet of sick persons with that of persons
in health, he will find it not more injurious than that of healthy
persons in comparison with that of wild beasts and of other animals.
For, suppose a man laboring under one of those diseases which are
neither serious and unsupportable, nor yet altogether mild, but such
as that, upon making any mistake in diet, it will become apparent,
as if he should eat bread and flesh, or any other of those articles
which prove beneficial to healthy persons, and that, too, not in great
quantity, but much less than he could have taken when in good health;
and that another man in good health, having a constitution neither
very feeble, nor yet strong, eats of those things which are wholesome
and strengthening to an ox or a horse, such as vetches, barley, and
the like, and that, too, not in great quantity, but much less than
he could take; the healthy person who did so would be subjected to
no less disturbance and danger than the sick person who took bread
or cake unseasonably. All these things are proofs that Medicine is
to be prosecuted and discovered by the same method as the other.

And if it were simply, as is laid down, that such things as are stronger
prove injurious, but such as are weaker prove beneficial and nourishing,

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