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first to write upon it. But familiar with its traditionary lore, with the science and philosophy of his day, and with the practical details of his profession in all its bearings, he was the first to combine such knowledge in systematic form, and to give - to it a scientific value ; yet not so clearly scientific, as to be sufficient of itself, in the form in which he left it, and independent of oral comment or practical illustration, to qualify the aspirant who would avail himself of it alone, for the proper exercise of his calling. “The more I become familiar with the Hippocratic books,” says M. Littré, * " the more I am convinced that they were prepared with reference to the accompaniment of oral instruction, without which even the clearest of them are both obscure and incomplete."
Yet these books opened to the learned much that had hitherto been taught in full only to the initiated, and paved the way for the more exact and rational study of medicine as a liberal art. The loss of respect for the mysteries of the temples was afterwards in proportion to the general diffusion of correct : knowledge. The schools of Cnidos and Cos had now
entered upon the cultivation of medicine as a science; and with them were associated not only the family descendants of this great man, but also most of the distinguished names in the profession between : the days of Hippocrates and the founding of the Alexandrian Museum.
Among the writings attributed to Hippocrates, it
Euvres d'Hippocrat, tome iv. p. 625.
is difficult to determine what portion was written by himself, and what by his immediate disciples. On this point the critics have never been able to agree. By. Erotian and Galen many works were accepted as his which the moderns are disposed to refer to other writers. Foës,* to whom we are indebted for a most careful Latin version of the whole collection, was willing to accept as genuine all works pronounced to be such by the ancients; but the later critics have not so readily deferred to ancient authority.
According to Mercuriali, t not more than fourteen treatises out of the whole collection were published by Hippocrates himself. Five others, according to the same critic, may have been left by him unfinished, to be completed either by his son-in-law and successor, Polybius, by his sons Thessalus and Draco, by his grandson Hippocrates, or by other members of his family. A third portion, including about twenty-two treatises, though perhaps not even begun by Hippocrates, is in'strict accordance with his doctrines, and is believed by Mercuriali to have emanated from the immediate descendants of Hippocrates or other disciples of the school of Cos. 'The remaining portion of the collection, according to the same authority, consists of spurious writings, and of such as contain opinionş not in accordance with the doctrines of Hippocrates, though published. as his. Other distributions of these works have since been made, by Haller, Gruner, · Schulze, Ackermann, Grimm, Sprengel, Link, Peterson, and other writers.
* Magni Hippocratis Opera omnia quæ extant, in sectiones octo ex Erotiani mente distributa, nunc recens Latina interpretatione et annotationibus illustrata, Anutio Fæsio auctore. ` 2 vols. fol. Frankfort, 1695.
+ See Schulze, p. 218.'
M. Littré, * after a most careful and searching examination of the whole collection, distributes the various works composing it into eleven classes, placing in class first the thirteen treatises which are believed to be from the pep of Hippocrates. These; are, 1st,—the book on Ancient Medicine ; 2d, the Prognostics; 3d, the Aphorisms; 4th; the Epidemics, first and third books; 5th, Regimen in Acute Diseases; 6th,, on Air, Water,' and Places; 7th, on Articulations ; 8th, on Fractures; 9th, the Mochlicus, or Instrument for reducing Luxations, &c.; 10th, the Physician's Office ; 11th; Injuries of
; the Head ; 12th, the Oath ; 13th, the Law.
The works of the second class he attributes to, Polybius. These are, the book on the Nature of Man, and that on Regimen for Persons in Health. In the third class he includes two books which he believes to be more ancient than the genuine writings. These are the Coan Prænotions and the first book of Prorrhetics. In class fourth,' he places certain works which he cannot on undisputed authority aşsign to Hippocrates, but" which may have emanated from his school. These are the treatises on Ulcers, on Fistulæ and Hæmorrhoids, on Pneumà, on the Sacred Disease, on the Places in Man; on Art, on Regimen and Dreams, on Affections, on Internal Affections ; on Diseases, first; second, and third:
* Loco citato, chap. xii.
books ; on the Seventh Month Fætus, on the Eighth Month Fætus. In the fifth class he includes such, works as appear to be merely collections of notes, or extracts from other of the genuine writings: these are the second, fourth, fifth; sixth, and seventh . books on Epidemics; the book on Humors, that on the use of Liquids, and perhaps the Physician's Office, which is also mentioned in the first class. • In class sixth he places several books by some unknown author, who must have written earlier than Aristotle, and whose writings form a special series in the collection. These are the treatises on Generation, on the Natüre of the Infant, Diseases—fourth book, the Diseases of Women, the Diseases of Young Women, on Unfruitful Women. In class seventh he places the treatise on Superfætation which,' on the authority of Aristotle, he is disposed to ascribe to Leophantes. His eighth class is made up of works which appear to have been written about the time of Aristotle and Praxágoras; and which he considers to have been of this epoch, either because they make allusion' to the pulse; or because, in accordance with the teaching of Aristotle, they refer the origin of the blood-vessels to the heart; or because, by Erotian, Galen, or other of the ancient critics, they have been pronounced to be more recent. than the time of Hippocrates. These are treatises or fragments on the Heart, on Aliment, on Fleshes, on the Weeks, the second book on Prorrhetics, on the Glands, and an extract from the compilation on the Nature of Bone:
In class ninth he places several small treatises,
fragments, or compilations, which do not appear to have been mentioned by the ancient critics or commentators. These are, on the Physician, on Honorable Conduct, the Precepts, on Anatomy, on Dentition, on the Nature of Woman, on Excision of the Fætus, the eighth section of Aphorisms, on the Nature of Bone, on Crises, on Crítical Days, on Purgative Medicines, on Vision. In class tenth he introduces a notice of such works as formerly belonged to the collection, but which are now lost. These were, the book on Dangerous Wounds, that on Missiles and Wounds, and the first book on Diseases-the less. In the last class he places the Letters, Decree, and Discourse; which, though very ancient, are not the less apocryphal. These are, the Letter and Decree concerning the Plague, the Letters relating to the Madness of Democritus, the Letter from Hippocrates to his son Thessalus, and the Discourse relative to the war between the Athenians and the people of Cos.
The classification adopted by Dr. Greenhill, of Oxford, and Mr. Francis Adams,* the English translator of Hippocrates, does not materially differ from the foregoing so far às relates to the writings of Hippocrates and of his immediate family and disciples; though Mr. Adams believes that M. Littré, in rejecting certain portions of the eighth class, has underestimated the anatomical knowledge of the sage of Cos, and he gives good reasons for this opinion.
In examining the collection with reference to its
* Genuine Works of Hippocrates, vol. i. p. 46.