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On Ancient Medicine   

power of raising a disturbance in the body (and there are many other
kinds of heat, possessing many opposite powers), he will be obliged
to administer some one of them, either the hot and the sour, or the
hot and the insipid, or that which, at the same time, is cold and
sour (for there is such a substance), or the cold and the insipid.
For, as I think, the very opposite effects will result from either
of these, not only in man, but also in a bladder, a vessel of wood,
and in many other things possessed of far less sensibility than man;
for it is not the heat which is possessed of great efficacy, but the
sour and the insipid, and other qualities as described by me, both
in man and out of man, and that whether eaten or drunk, rubbed in
externally, and otherwise applied.

But I think that of all the qualities heat and cold exercise the least
operation in the body, for these reasons: as long time as hot and
cold are mixed up with one another they do not give trouble, for the
cold is attempered and rendered more moderate by the hot, and the
hot by the cold; but when the one is wholly separate from the other,
then it gives pain; and at that season when cold is applied it creates
some pain to a man, but quickly, for that very reason, heat spontaneously
arises in him without requiring any aid or preparation. And these
things operate thus both upon men in health and in disease. For example,
if a person in health wishes to cool his body during winter, and bathes
either in cold water or in any other way, the more he does this, unless
his body be fairly congealed, when he resumes his clothes and comes
into a place of shelter, his body becomes more heated than before.
And thus, too, if a person wish to be warmed thoroughly either by
means of a hot bath or strong fire, and straightway having the same
clothing on, takes up his abode again in the place he was in when
he became congealed, he will appear much colder, and more disposed
to chills than before. And if a person fan himself on account of a
suffocating heat, and having procured refrigeration for himself in
this manner, cease doing so, the heat and suffocation will be ten
times greater in his case than in that of a person who does nothing
of the kind. And, to give a more striking example, persons travelling
in the snow, or otherwise in rigorous weather, and contracting great
cold in their feet, their hands, or their head, what do they not suffer
from inflammation and tingling when they put on warm clothing and
get into a hot place? In some instances, blisters arise as if from
burning with fire, and they do not suffer from any of those unpleasant
symptoms until they become heated. So readily does either of these
pass into the other; and I could mention many other examples. And
with regard to the sick, is it not in those who experience a rigor
that the most acute fever is apt to break out? And yet not so strongly
neither, but that it ceases in a short time, and, for the most part,
without having occasioned much mischief; and while it remains, it
is hot, and passing over the whole body, ends for the most part in
the feet, where the chills and cold were most intense and lasted longest;
and, when sweat supervenes, and the fever passes off, the patient
is much colder than if he had not taken the fever at all. Why then
should that which so quickly passes into the opposite extreme, and
loses its own powers spontaneously, be reckoned a mighty and serious
affair? And what necessity is there for any great remedy for it?

One might here say- but persons in ardent fevers, pneumonia, and other
formidable diseases, do not quickly get rid of the heat, nor experience
these rapid alterations of heat and cold. And I reckon this very circumstance
the strongest proof that it is not from heat simply that men get into
the febrile state, neither is it the sole cause of the mischief, but
that this species of heat is bitter, and that acid, and the other

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