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Book I

This webpage reproduces a section of
De Medicina (On Medicine)

by
A. Cornelius Celsus

published in Vol. I
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1935

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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Book III

(Vol. I) Celsus
On Medicine

Book II p85

PROOEMIUM

[Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Of impending disorders there are many signs, in explaining which I shall not hesitate to make use of the authority of ancient men, and especially of Hippocrates; for although more recent practitioners have made some changes in methods of treatment, they allow none the less that the ancients prognosticated best. 2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Before I note,1 however, those preceding symptoms which suggest fear of disease, it does not seem unfitting to set out: the seasons2 of the year (1, 1‑2), the sorts of weather (1, 3‑4), periods of life and temperaments which may be in particular safe or open to risks (1, 5), and what kind of disorders is most to be apprehended in each (1, 6‑23). Not that men may not sicken and die at any season, in any sort of weather, at any age, whatever their temperament, from any kind of disease, but since certain kinds occur less3 . . . but some kinds occur more often, so it is of use that everyone should recognize against what, and when, he should be most on his guard.

p87 1 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] So then spring is the most salubrious, next after it comes winter; summer is rather more dangerous than salubrious, autumn is by far the most dangerous. 2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]But as regards weather the best is that which is settled, whether cold or hot, the worst that which is the most changeable, and that is why autumn brings down the greatest number. For generally about midday there is heat, but at night and in the early morning, cold, as also in the evening. Thus the body, relaxed by the preceding summer, and now by the midday heat, is caught by the sudden cold. But while this chiefly occurs at this season, so whenever the like happens harm is done.

3 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]In settled weather fine days are the most salubrious, rainy better than foggy or cloudy days; and in winter the best days are those in which there is an entire absence of wind, in summer those in which westerly winds blow. As for the other winds, the northerly are more salubrious than those from the sunrising or south; nevertheless, these vary somewhat according to the character of the district. 4 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]For almost everywhere wind when coming from inland is salubrious, and injurious when from the sea. And not only is health more assured in settled weather, but pre-existing diseases also, if there have been any, are milder and more quickly terminated. But the worst weather for the sick man is that which has p89caused his sickness, so much so that a change to weather of a naturally worse sort may be, in his condition, salutary.

5 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]The middle period of life is the safest, for it is not disturbed by the heat of youth, nor by the chill of age. Old age is more exposed to chronic diseases, youth to acute ones. The square-built frame, neither thin nor fat, is the fittest; for tallness, as it is graceful in youth, shrinks in the fulness of age; a thin frame is weak, a fat one sluggish.

6 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]In spring those diseases4 are usually to be apprehended which are stirred up anew by movement of humor. Consequently there tend to arise runnings from the eyes, pustules, haemorrhages, congestions5 in the body, which the Greeks call apostemata, black bile which they call μελανχολία, madness, fits, angina, choked nostrils, runnings from the nose. Also those diseases which affect joints and sinews, being at one time troublesome, at another quiescent, then especially both begin and recur.

7 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]But summer, while not wholly exempt from most of the foregoing maladies, adds to them fevers whether continued or ardent or tertian, vomitings, diarrhoeas, earaches, oral ulcerations, cankers6 which occur on other parts but especially upon the pudenda, and whatever exhausts the patient by sweating.

8 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]In autumn there is scarcely one of the foregoing which does not happen; but at this season in addition there arise irregular fevers, splenic pain, subcutaneous dropsy, consumption, called by the Greeks phthisis, urinary difficulty, which they call strangury,7 the p91small intestine malady which they term ileos,8 the intestinal lubricity which they call leienteria,9 hip-pains, fits. 9 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Autumn too is a season fatal to those exhausted by chronic diseases and overwhelmed by the heat just past, others it weakens by fresh maladies; and it involves some in very chronic ones, especially quartan fevers, which may last even through the winter. Nor is any other period of the year more exposed to pestilence of whatever sort; although it is harmful in a variety of ways.

Winter provokes headache, coughs, and all the affections which attack the throat, and the sides of the chest and lungs.

10 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Of the various sorts of weather, the north wind excites cough, irritates the throat, constipates the bowels, suppresses the urine, excites shiverings, as also pain of the lungs and chest. Nevertheless it is bracing to a healthy body, rendering it more mobile and brisk. 11 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]The south wind dulls hearing, blunts the senses, produces headache, loosens the bowels; the body as a whole is rendered sluggish, humid, languid. The other winds, as they approximate to the north or south wind, produce affections corresponding to the one or other. Moreover, any hot weather inflates the liver and spleen, and dulls the mind; the result is that there are faintings, that there is an outburst of blood. 12 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Cold on the other hand brings about: at times tenseness of sinews which the Greeks call spasmos, at times the rigor which they call tetanos, the blackening of ulcerations, shiverings in fevers. In times of drought there arise acute fevers, runnings from the eyes, dysenteries, urinary difficulty, articular pains. In wet weather there occur chronic fevers, diarrhoeas, angina, canker, p93fits, and the loosening of sinews which the Greeks call paralysis. 13 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Not only does the weather of the day but also of the preceding days matter. If a dry winter has been accompanied by north winds, or again a spring by south winds and rain, generally there ensue runnings from the eye, dysenteries, fevers, and most of all in more delicate bodies, hence especially in women. 14 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]If on the other hand south winds and rain have prevailed during winter, and the spring is cold and dry, pregnant women near their confinement are in danger of miscarrying; those indeed who reach term, give birth only to weaklings hardly alive. Other people are attacked by dry ophthalmia, and if elderly by choked nostrils and runnings from the nose. 15 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]But when the south wind prevails from the beginning of winter to the end of spring, side pains, also the insanity of those in fever which is called phrenesis, are very rapidly fatal. And when hot weather begins in the spring, and lasts through the summer, severe sweating must ensue in cases of fever. If a summer has been kept dry by northerly winds, but in the autumn there are showers and south winds, there may then arise cough, runnings from the nose, hoarseness, and indeed in some, consumption. 16 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]But if the autumn is dry owing to a north wind continuing to blow, all those with more delicate bodies, among whom, as I have mentioned, are women,10 enjoy good health. The harder constitutions, however, may possibly be attacked by dry ophthalmias, and by fevers, some acute, some chronic, also by those maladies which arise from black bile.

17 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]As regards the various times of life, children and p95adolescents enjoy the best health in spring, and are safest in early summer; old people are at their best during summer and the beginning of autumn; young and middle-aged adults in winter. 18 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]At these periods should any indisposition arise, it is very probable that infants and children still of tender age should suffer from the creeping ulcerations of the mouth which the Greeks call aphthas,11 vomiting, insomnia, discharges from the ear, and inflammations about the navel. Especially in those teething there arise ulcerations of the gums, slight fevers, sometimes spasms, diarrhoea; and they suffer as the canine teeth in particular are growing up; the most well-nourished children, and those constipated, are especially in danger. 19 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]In those somewhat older there occur affections of the tonsils, various spinal curvatures, swelling in the neck, the painful kind of warts which the Greeks call acrochordones,12 and a number of other swellings. At the commencement of puberty, in addition to many of the above troubles, there occur chronic fevers and also nose-bleedings. 20 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Throughout childhood there are special dangers, first about the fortieth day, then in the seventh month, next in the seventh year, and after that about puberty. The sorts of affections which occur in infancy, when not ended by the time of puberty, or of the first coitions, or of the first menstruations in the females, generally become chronic; more often, however, puerile affections, after persisting for a rather long while, come to an end. 21 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Adolescence is liable to acute diseases, such as fits, especially to consumption; those who spit blood are generally youths. After that age come on p97pain in the side and lung, lethargy, cholera,13 madness, and outpourings of blood from certain mouths of veins which the Greeks call haemorrhoids. 22 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]In old age there occur breathing and urinary difficulties, choked nostrils, joint and renal pains, paralysis, the bad habit of body which the Greeks call cachexia, insomnias, the more chronic maladies of the ears, eyes, also of the nostrils, and especially looseness of the bowels with its sequences, dysentery, intestinal lubricity, and the other ills due to bowel looseness. 23 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]In addition thin people are fatigued by consumption, diarrhoea, running from the nose, pain in the lung and side. The obese, many of them, are throttled by acute diseases and difficult breathing; they die often suddenly, which rarely happens in a thinner person.

2 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Now antecedent to illness, as I have stated above,13 certain signs arise, all of which have this in common, that the body becomes altered from its accustomed state, and that not only for the worse, but it may be even for the better. Hence when a man has become fatter and better looking and with a higher colour, he should regard with suspicion these gains of his for, because they can neither remain in the same state nor advance further, as a rule they fall back in a sort of collapse. 2 Still it is a worse sign when anyone, contrary to his habit, becomes thinner, and loses his colour and good looks; for when there is a superfluity of flesh there is something for the disease to draw upon; when there is a deficiency, there is nothing to hold out against the disease itself. Further, there should be apprehension at once: if the limbs become heavier, if frequent ulcerations arise, if the body feels hotter p99than customary; if heavier sleep oppresses, if there are tumultuous dreams, if anyone wakes up oftener than usual, then falls asleep again; if the body of the sleeper has partial sweats in unaccustomed places, and especially about the chest or neck or legs or knees or hips. 3 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Again, if the spirit flags, if he is reluctant to talk or move about, if the body be torpid; if there is pain over the heart or over all the chest, or of the head as happens in most; if the mouth becomes filled with saliva, if there is pain in turning the eyes, if the troops are constricted, when the limbs shiver, if the breathing becomes more laboured; if the blood-vessels of the forehead are distended and throb, if there are frequent yawns; if the knees feel as if fatigued, or the whole body feels weary. 4 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Of these signs, many are often, some always, antecedents of fever. The first thing, however, to be considered is, whether any of these signs happen somewhat frequently, yet no bodily trouble has followed it. For there are some peculiarities of persons, without knowledge of which it is not easy for anybody to prognosticate what is going to happen. Consequently anyone may readily be at ease in the case of happenings which he has frequently escaped without harm: the man who ought to be anxious is the one to whom these signs are new, or who has never found them free from danger unless he has taken precautions.

3 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] But when fever has actually seized upon a man, it may be known that he is not in danger: if he lies upon his side, whether on his right or left, just as suits him, with his legs a little drawn up, as is generally the way with a healthy person when lying p101down; if the patient turns readily in bed, if he sleeps through the night, and keeps awake by day; if he breathes easily; if he does not toss about; if the skin around the navel and pubes is plump; if the parts below the ribs14 on the two sides are uniformly soft, without any sensation of pain; 2 for even although they are somewhat tumid, so long as they yield to pressure by the fingers, and are not tender, this illness, though it will continue for some time, yet will be safe. There is promise of freedom from anxiety when the body in general is uniformly soft and warm, and it sweats uniformly all over, and if with this sweating the touch of fever comes to an end. 3 Among good signs are: sneezing, also a desire for food, whether maintained from the first, or even beginning after a distaste for food. Nor should a fever which ends on the same day cause alarm, nor indeed one which, although longer in disappearing, yet entirely quiets down before the next paroxysm, so that the body is rendered sound, or, as the Greeks call it, eilikrines.15 4 But should any vomiting occur, it should be of bile and of phlegm mixed; any sediment in the urine would be white, slimy, and uniform, and so that even if small clouds, as it were, are swimming in it, they sink to the bottom. 5 Again the belly of one who is safe from danger yields soft, formed motions, at much the same time as was customary in health, as well as proportionate to the food taken. A loose motion is worse; but not even this should cause alarm at once, if on the following morning the stool is rather more solid, or if each succeeding motion p103becomes firmer, reddish, and smelling no worse than that of a man in health. 6 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]There is no harm in passing off some round worms16 towards the crisis of the malady. When flatulence causes pain and swelling in the upper part of the abdomen, it is a good sign when intestinal rumbling passes thence downwards towards the lower belly, and the more so, when without difficulty the wind escapes along with the faeces.

4 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] On the contrary there is danger of a severe disease: when the patient lies on his back with his arms and legs outstretched; when at the onset of an acute disease, especially in lung troubles, he wants to sit up; when he is worn down by insomnia even if he gets some sleep in the day-time, in which case to sleep between ten o'clock in the morning and night is worse than from early morning till ten o'clock. 2 The worst, however, is if he gets sleep neither by day nor by night; for this generally cannot happen unless there is continuous pain. It is not a good sign, however, to be oppressed beyond measure by sleep, and it is the worse the more that somnolence continues day and night. 3 It is also evidence of a serious malady: when the breathing is forcible and quick, when the patient begins to have shiverings from the sixth day, to spit up pus, to expectorate it with difficulty, to have continuous pain, to bear up against the disease with difficulty, to toss the arms and legs, to shed tears involuntarily, to have sticky humor adhering to the teeth, the skin about the navel and the pubes wasted; the parts below the ribs inflamed, painful, hard, tumid, tense and this more on the right than on the left side; the greatest danger, however, is if in that region the p105blood-vessels throb forcibly. 4 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]It also indicates a serious malady: to become thinner too quickly; to have the head, feet and hands hot, and the belly and sides cold, or to have the extremities cold at the height of an acute disease, or to shiver after sweating; or after vomiting to hiccough or to get red eyes; or to have loss of appetite after eagerness for food or after prolonged fevers; or to sweat profusely, especially a cold sweat, 5 or to have sweats unequally distributed over the body which do not put an end to the fever; and when those fevers which recur every day at the same hour, or which have always equal paroxysms, are not relieved on the third day, but continue; serious also are those fevers which, whilst they increase by paroxysms and are relieved by declining, yet never leave the body free. 6 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]The worst is when the fever is not even relieved but continues uniformly at its height. It is likewise dangerous for a fever to supervene upon jaundice, especially if the parts below the ribs on the right side remain hard. In these sufferers every acute fever must make us seriously anxious; and never in acute fever or following on sleep is a spasm otherwise than terrifying. 7 To lie in a fright on awaking from sleep is a sign of serious malady; and also when, immediately upon the onset of a fever, there is mental disturbance, or any one of the limbs is paralysed; in which case, although there is a return of vitality, yet generally that limb is weakened. A vomit also is a danger-sign if purely of phlegm or of bile, unmixed, and it is the worse if green or black. 8 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]It is a bad sign when the urinary sediment is reddish and slimy; worse if it is like flower-petals, thin and white; worst of all if there is an appearance as if of fine clouds composed p107of bran. Also thin and white urine is faulty, but above all in phrenetics.17 9 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Again it is bad for the motions to be totally suppressed; it is dangerous also during fevers when fluid stools allow the patient no rest in bed, and especially if the evacuation is quite liquid, whether it be whitish or greenish or frothy. In addition danger is indicated when the motion is scanty, viscid, slimy, white, the same when greenish yellow; or if it is either livid or bilious, or bloody, or if a worse odour when ordinary. It is bad after a prolonged fever when the stool is unmixed.18

5 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] After such signs the only thing to pray for is that the disease may be a long one, for so it must be unless it kills. Nor is there any other hope of life in grave illnesses except that the patient may avoid the attack of the disease by protracting it, and that it may be prolonged for sufficient time to afford opportunity for treatment. At the onset, however, there are certain signs from which it is possible to conclude that the disease, even if it be not fatal, nevertheless is going to last rather a long time: 2 when in fevers which are not acute a cold sweat breaks out over the head and neck only, or when there is general sweating without the fever subsiding, or when the patient is at one time cold, at another time hot, or his colour changes from moment to moment, or when in the course of fever there is a congestion19 in some part, which does not lead the way to recovery, or when the patient wastes a little for a considerable time,20 3 again if the urine is at one time clear and limpid, at another time has some sediment which is slimy, white or red, or if there p109is in the sediment an appearance of bread crumbs, or it sends up bubbles.

6 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] But among the foregoing signs, though there are indeed grounds for fear, still there is hope left: however, that the last stage has now been reached is indicated by the nose becoming pointed, the temples sunken, the eyes hollowed, the ears cold and flaccid with the tips drooping slightly, the skin of the forehead hard and tight: 2 the aspect is dusky or very pallid, and much more so when there has been no preceding insomnia, nor diarrhoea, nor loss of appetite. From which causes these appearances at times arise, but only last one day: and so when they last longer death is indicated. 3 In the case of long-standing disease, when such signs have lasted for the third day, death is at hand, and the more so if besides this the eyes also shun the light and shed tears, and are reddened where they should be white, and the veins in them are pale, and phlegm floating in them comes to stick to the angles and one eye becomes smaller than the other, and either both are deep-sunken, or more tumid, and the eyelids are not closed in sleep, but some of the white of the eyes appears between them — always provided that this has not been occasioned by fluid motions; 4 the same is the case when the eyelids become pale and a similar pallor renders colourless the lips and nostrils; so also when the lips and nostrils and eyes and eyebrows or any one of them become distorted; and the patient owing to weakness either hears not or sees not. 5 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Death is likewise denoted: when the patient lies on his back with his knees bent; when he keeps on slipping down towards the foot of the bed; when he uncovers his arms and legs and tosses them p111about anyhow, whilst they lack warmth; when he gapes, when he continually falls asleep; when he whose mind is amiss grinds his teeth, which he did not do in health; when an ulceration, whether pre-existing or arising in the course of the illness, has become dry and either pallid or livid. 6 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]The following are also indications of death: the nails and fingers pallid; the breath cold; or if the patient, in a fever or acute disease, or mad or with pain either in the lung or head, picks with his hands at the flock or pulls at the fringes of the bedclothes, or claws at anything small projecting from the adjacent wall.a Pains about the hips and lower parts, which, after starting and spreading to the viscera, then suddenly subside, afford evidence of oncoming death, and the more so if there are other signs in addition. 7 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]It is impossible for a patient to be saved, who, having fever without any swelling, is suddenly choked, or who cannot swallow his saliva; or who, in the same condition of fever and body, has the neck21 twisted so that he can swallow nothing whatever; or who has continuous fever and is in the last stage of bodily weakness; or when, without the fever subsiding, the surface of the body becomes cold whilst the interior is so hot as even to produce thirst; or when, likewise without the fever subsiding, he is distressed at once by delirium and difficulty in breathing; or when, after a draught of hellebore, he is seized with spasm; or becoming drunk he loses his speech: 8 for generally he is carried off in a spasm, unless either fever supervenes, or he begins to speak by the time that the intoxication should have passed off. A woman also when pregnant is easily carried of by an acute disease, as also a man p113in whom sleep aggravates pain, and one in whom, at the very beginning of a fresh disorder, black bile presents itself, whether below or above; or after his body has become attenuated by a long illness and weakened, when such bile gains exit either way. 9 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Expectoration of bile or pus, whether they come up separately or mixed, discloses a danger of death. And when either commences about the seventh day, the patient will most likely die about the fourteenth day, unless other signs, better or worse, supervene; and according as these subsequent signs are the slighter or the graver, so they denote a later or earlier death. 10 In an acute fever a cold sweat is noxious,22 and so is a vomit in any malady when varied in composition and multicoloured, particularly so when malodorous. And to have vomited blood in a fever is also noxious. 11 Now red and thin urine is usual in severe indigestion, and often, before there is time for it to mature, it carries the man off;23 and so when such urine persists for a rather long while, danger of death is indicated. The worst and especially death-bringing urine, however, is that which is black, thick, malodorous; such urine is most to be dreaded both in men and in women; but in children urine which is thin and diluted. 12 A motion also is noxious: when varied in composition, when it presents shreds, blood, bile, greenish matter, whether at different times, or simultaneously mixed together yet distinguishable. But although it is possible for the patient to bear up awhile against such symptoms, a speedy termination is denoted, when the motion is livid and also when it is either p115black, or pallid, or fatty, especially if there is added an intensely fetid odour.

13 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]I know that on this point someone may question me:— if there are such sure signs of approaching death, how is it that patients who have been deserted by their medical attendants sometimes recover? And rumour has spread it about that some have revived whilst being carried out to burial. 14 Democritus, indeed, a man justly renowned, even held that the signs of life having ended, upon which practitioners had relied, were not sufficiently sure; much more did he not admit that there could be any sure signs of approaching death. 15 In answer to these I shall not even assert that some signs, stated as approximately certain, often deceive inexperienced practitioners, but not good ones; for instance Asclepiades, when he met the funeral procession, recognized that a man who was being carried out to burial was alive; and it is not primarily a fault of the art if there is a fault on the part of its professor. 16 But I shall more modestly suggest that the art of medicine is conjectural, and such is the characteristic of a conjecture, that though it answers more frequently, yet it sometimes deceives. A sign therefore is not to be rejected if it is deceptive in scarcely one out of a thousand cases, since it holds good in countless patients. 17 I state this, not merely in connexion with noxious signs, but as to salutary signs as well; seeing that hope is disappointed now and again, and that the patient dies whom the practitioner at first deemed safe; and further that measures proper for curing now and again make a change into something worse. 18 Nor, in the face of such a variety of temperaments, can p117human frailty avoid this. Nevertheless the medical art is to be relied upon, which more often, and in by far the greater number of patients, benefits the sick. It should not be ignored, however, that it is rather in acute diseases that signs, whether of recovery or of death, may be fallacious.

7 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Now that I have set out the signs which are of general occurrence in any case of illness, I pass on to indicate signs which may be presented in particular sorts of diseases. There are, moreover, certain signs, some preceding, some in the course of fevers, which show what is, or what is about to become, the state of the internal parts. 2 Before fever, if the head is heavy, or the eyes dimmed after sleep, or there are frequent sneezings, some attack of phlegm about the head is to be apprehended. If a man is full blooded or very hot, it is likely that there will be haemorrhage from some part. If a man without cause becomes thin, there is fear that his body may lapse into a dangerous state. If there is pain below the ribs or severe flatulence, or if for a whole day undigested urine is passed, there is clearly indigestion present. 3 Persons whose colour is bad when they are not jaundiced are either sufferers from pains in the head or are earth eaters.24 Those who for a long time have a pale or puffy face are sufferers from head, bowel or stomach trouble. If in the case of a child with constant fever no motion is passed, the colour is altered, and sleeplessness persists and constant crying, there is danger of spasms. 4 Again running from the nose recurring often in a slender and tall man is a sign that consumption is to be apprehended. When for several days no motion passes, it shows that a sudden p119motion or a touch of fever is impending. Dropsy is impending, when with prolonged diarrhoea the feet swell; when there is pain in the lower belly and hips; but this class of disease is wont to arise from the flanks. 5 There is danger, the same as just stated, to those in whom, when there is a desire for stool, the bowels yield nothing unless a forced hard motion; also in whom there is swelling in the feet, and a swelling in turn in the right and then the left half of the abdomen which rises and subsides: but this disease appears to begin from the liver. 6 It is a sign of the same disease, when intestines in the umbilical region undergo twisting (the Greeks call it strophos), when pains in the hips persist, which are not dispersed either by time or by medicaments.25 But when heat of joints, whether in the feet, hands, or any other part, is such that at that spot the sinews are contracted, or if that same limb, fatigued by a slight cause, is disturbed by heat and by cold alike, it denotes that there is about to set in pain26 in feet or hands, or disease of that joint in which heat is felt. 7 Children in whom there has been nose-bleeding, which then has ceased, are sure to be troubled by pains in the head, or they get some severe joint-ulcerations, or they also become debilitated by disease of some kind. Women in whom the menstrua are not forthcoming are sure to have the most acute pains in the head, or some part or other becomes subject to disease. 8 There are similarly dangers for those in whom joint-disorders, pains and swellings, arise and subside p121without pain in the feet and such like diseases, especially if they have often pain in the temples and night sweats. Running from the eyes is to be apprehended when the forehead itches. If after childbirth a woman has severe pains, yet without other bad signs, about the twentieth day either blood will burst out from the nose, or there will be some congestion27 in the lower parts. 9 Indeed anyone getting great pain in the temples or forehead may be rid of it in one of these two ways, by haemorrhage especially if young, if older by suppuration. Fever, moreover, which suddenly, unaccountably and without good signs comes to an end, generally recurs. 10 He will be found to have ulceration either in the nose or in the throat, whose throat, whether in the day-time, or by night, fills with blood, when this has been preceded neither by pains in the head, nor by pain over the heart, nor by coughing, nor by vomiting, nor by slight fever. In a woman, if without apparent cause an inguinal swelling has arisen with slight fever, there is ulceration in the womb. 11 Again thick urine, the sediment from which is white, indicates that pain and disease are to be apprehended in the region of joints or viscera. Similar urine, when greenish, is a sign that there will be either visceral pain and swelling with some danger, or certainly that the patient is not free from fever. But if there is blood or pus in the urine, either the bladder or the kidneys have become ulcerated. 12 The kidneys at any rate are the seat of disorder: if the urine is thick and contains bits of flesh like hairs; if it froths and is malodorous; if at one time it presents something like sand, at another time like blood; when the hips are painful, p123as also the parts intermediate and above the pubes, and there are frequent eructations, now and again bilious vomiting, and the extremities become cold; when there is frequent desire to urinate but great urinary difficulty,28 and when what is passed is like water, reddish or pallid, yet is followed by little relief, and much wind too is passed with a motion. 13 But the bladder is the actual seat of the disorder: when urine is passed drop by drop, or when blood is emitted with it, and in the blood are some clots which are passed with difficulty, and when the lower parts in the region of the pubes are painful. 14 Cases of stone29 in the bladder are recognized by the following signs: urine is passed with difficulty and slowly, now and again even involuntarily, drop by drop, the urine being sandy; at times blood, or something blood-stained or purulent, is excreted with the urine; this some pass more readily standing, some whilst lying on the back and especially those with large calculi, some even pass urine bending forwards whilst they relieve the pain by drawing out the penis. 15 There is in that part also a feeling of weight, increased by running, or by any kind of movement. Some also when in great pain interlock their feet, crossing alternatelyº the one over the other. Women again are forced to put their hands to their vulvar orifice and scratch; at times they feel the stone when they put a finger to the place where it is pressing upon the neck of the bladder. 16 But there is a lung disease in those who spit up frothy blood. In a pregnant woman immoderate looseness of the bowels can drive out the foetus; in the same condition, what she is carrying is a weakling, if milk escapes from her breasts; firm breasts testify that it is p125healthy. 17 It signifies that the liver is inflamed when there is hiccough both frequent and continuing longer than usual. When swellings which have supervened upon ulcerations subside suddenly, if situated in the back, either spasm or rigor may be apprehended; but if this happens in front, either acute pleural pain or madness is to be expected: 18 at times also in such a case, diarrhoea follows, which is the safest thing. If a customary bleeding from haemorrhoids is suddenly suppressed, dropsy or phthisis follows. 19 Phthisis likewise supervenes if, after beginning with pain in the side, suppuration cannot be cleared off within forty days. And the black bile30 disease supervenes upon prolonged despondency with prolonged fear and sleeplessness. 20 Those who often have bleeding from the nose, have swelling of the spleen, or pains in the head, and as a consequence some observe phantoms31 before their eyes. 21 But those in whom the spleens are enlarged, in these the gums are diseased, the mouth foul, or blood bursts out from some part. When none of these things happen, of necessity bad ulcers will be produced on the legs, and from these black scars. In those who, with a cause for pain, do not feel it, the mind is disordered. If blood flows into the abdomen it is there turned into pus. 22 There is danger of suppuration in the chest when pain spreads there from the hips and lower parts, even although no other bad sign is added. When, without any fever, there is pain or itching in some part, with redness and heat, some suppuration is taking place there. Also urine which is not limpid enough for a man in health denotes that some parotid suppuration is about to set in.

p127 23 Now these signs, though even in the absence of fever, they afford indications of latent or oncoming affections, do so with much more certainty when there is fever in addition; and then signs of other diseases besides may develop. 24 Thus madness is to be apprehended immediately: when a patient speaks more hurriedly than he did when well, and of a sudden becomes loquacious, and that with more audacity than was his wont; or when he breathes slowly and forcibly, and has dilated blood-vessels, while the parts below the ribs are hard and swollen. 25 Further signs of madness are: frequent movement of the eyes, and, in cases of headache, shadows passing before the eyes; or loss of sleep in the absence of pain, the wakefulness persisting night and day; or lying on the belly contrary to habit without being obliged to do so by abdominal pain; or, while the body is still vigorous, an unaccustomed grinding of the teeth. 26 If also there has been congestion32 which has subsided without the formation of pus, whilst fever persists, there is brought about danger first of delirium, then of death. Acute pain in ear with continuous severe fever also often disturbs the mind; from which affection younger patients die at times within seven days; older ones later, for they experience neither such high fever, nor are equally delirious, hence they hold out until this condition33 is converted into pus. 27 The breasts of a woman, when they become suffused with blood, also indicate that delirium is about to supervene. But in those in whom fevers are prolonged, there will be an abscess somewhere or pains in the joints. When during fever the breathing in the throat becomes impeded, spasms are impending. If angina34 subsides suddenly, the malady has passed p129into the lung; and it is then often fatal within seven days. 28 If that does not happen, it follows that somewhere there is suppuration. Again after a prolonged looseness of the bowels there arise dysenteries, and after these intestinal lubricity;35 phthisis after excessive runnings from the nose;36 lung diseases after pain in the side; and from these madness; after ardent fevers rigor or spasm of sinews; after a head wound, delirium; when wakefulness tortures, spasms of sinews; when in wounds blood-vessels throb violently, haemorrhage. 29 But suppuration is induced by many diseases; for if fever continues for a long while without pain and without evident cause, suppuration is developing in some part37 — in younger patients, however; for generally in the elderly from a self-same malady a quartan38 fever is developed. 30 Suppuration is likewise being produced if the parts below the ribs are hard and painful, and have not carried off the patient by the twentieth day, or nose-bleeding has not occurred, and this chiefly in the case of adolescents, especially if from the commencement there has been dimness of vision, or headache; but in these cases something is abscessing in the lower parts of the abdomen.39 31 Or if the parts below the ribs present a soft swelling which persists and does not subside within sixty days, and fever holds all that time; but in these cases an abscess is being produced in the upper parts of the abdomen. And if it is not produced in the actual viscera, it breaks out around the ears. Whilst every swelling of long standing is generally an expectant abscess, it tends more to this in the region in front of the heart, than in the abdomen, and in the abdomen rather above than below the p131navel. 32 Something is abscessing, either in the jaws or in the joints, if there is with the fever also a feeling of lassitude. At times too the urine remains thin and unconcocted for so long that other signs are salutary, and from this condition an abscess often occurs below the transverse membrane which the Greeks call diaphragma. 33 Pain in the lung again, when not terminated by expectoration or by blood-letting, or by regulation of the diet, may excite some abscesses40 in it about the twentieth, thirtieth, fortieth, occasionally sixtieth day. 34 But we will count from the day when there is first fever or shivering or sense of weight in that part. These abscesses originate sometimes from the lung, sometimes from the opposite side.41 Whichever side is affected the suppuration gives rise to pain in inflammation; it is hotter there, and if the patient lies on the sound side he seems to oppress it by some weight. 35 Further, any suppuration, not yet evident to the eye, can be detected as follows: if the fever does not remit, but whilst diminishing by day, increases at night, there is profuse sweating, a desire to cough, yet hardly anything is expectorated in coughing; the eyes are sunken, the cheeks flushed, the veins under the tongue pale; the finger nails become curved, the fingers hot, especially at their tips; there are swellings in the feet; there is greater difficulty in breathing, and distaste for food; pustules spring up all over the body. 36 But if there was pain from the commencement with cough and difficult breathing, the abscess will burst before or p133about the twentieth day; if these signs happen later they necessarily have to develop, but the less quickly they come to a head, the later the relief. In a grave disease the feet, toes and nails also tend to blacken; and when death does not follow, and the rest of the body recovers, nevertheless the feet fall off.42

8 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] It follows now that I have to explain the special signs which in any particular affection indicate either hope or danger.

When there is pain in the bladder, if purulent urine is discharged which has in it a sediment slimy and white, it allays apprehension.

2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]In pulmonary disease a patient may possibly regain health, if expectoration, although purulent, relieves pain, so long as he breathes and expectorates freely, and bears the disease without difficulty. Nor is there cause for alarm at an early stage, if the expectoration is mixed with something reddish and with blood, so long as it is expectorated at once.

3 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Pain in the side ends if the suppuration which has arisen is cleared off within forty days.43

If there is an abscess in the liver, and the pus let out is uniform and white, in that case recovery is easy, because the mischief is enclosed in a capsule.

4 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Among suppurations too those are tolerable which point and discharge outwards. And of those which move inwards, those are the most favourable which do not affect the overlying skin, but leave it free from pain, and of the same colour as the surroundings. Pus indeed causes no fear, wherever it breaks out, when slimy and uniformly white, and if the fever subsides at once upon its discharge, and distaste for food and thirst cease to be troublesome. 5 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Also whenever suppuration descends into the legs, p135and the patient's expectoration from being reddish becomes purulent, there is less danger.

6 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]But in phthisis,44 he that is to recover should have his expectoration white, uniform in consistency and colour, unmixed with phlegm; and that which drips into the nose from the head should have similar characters. It is the best by far for there to be no fever; second best when the fever is so slight as not to impair the appetite or cause frequent thirst. In this affection the patient's state is favourable: when the bowels are moved once a day, the motions being formed and in amount corresponding to the food consumed; the body least attenuated, the chest most broad and hairy; its cartilages small, and covered with flesh. 7 If supervening on phthisis, a woman's menses also become suppressed and pain is continuous over her chest and shoulders, a sudden eruption of blood customarily relieves the disease; for the cough becomes less, and the thirst and slight fever subside. But generally in these cases, unless the haemorrhage recurs, an abscess bursts, and the more blood comes from it the better.

8 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Dropsy45 is the least alarming when it has commenced without being preceded by any disease; next when it has supervened upon a long illness, certainly if the viscera are sound, if the breathing is easy, if there is no pain, if the body is not hot, and the extremities are wasted uniformly, if the abdomen is soft, if there is no cough, no thirst, if the tongue is not much parched even after sleep; 9 if there is desire for food, if the bowels are moved by medicaments, if the motions when spontaneous are soft and formed, if the size of the abdomen are reduced; if the urine is altered both by a change of p137the wine and of certain medicinal draughts;46 if there is no lassitude and the disorder is easily borne: a patient who presents all these signs is thoroughly safe, and that case is hopeful which exhibits the greater number of them.

10 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Joint-disorders, too, such as foot and hand aches,47 if they attack young people and have not induced callosities, can be resolved; for the most part they are removed by dysenteries and fluid motions, whatever the sort.

11 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Epileptic48 fits again are not difficult to bring to an end, when they have commenced before puberty, and whenever the sensation of the coming fit begins in some one part of the body. It is best for it to begin from the hands or feet, next from the flanks, worst of all from the head.

12 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]In such patients, also, the most favourable signs are when the disease can be discharged in the stools. Diarrhoea49 is itself harmless, when there is no fever, if it is quickly over, if on touching the abdomen no movements are to be felt, if wind follows the last of the motion.

13 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Even dysenteries50 are not a danger although blood or shreds are passed, as long as fever and other accessories of this malady are absent, so that even a pregnant woman can not only be preserved herself, but the foetus preserved also. It is helpful in this malady if the patient's age is already mature.

14 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Intestinal lubricity on the other hand is more easy got rid of in childhood, certainly if urine begins to be passed and the body to be nourished by the food.

The same age has the advantage in cases both of hip and shoulder pains, and of all forms of paralysis; p139in such the hip51 may be cured easily and early, if it is not numbed, if slightly cool, even though the pains are severe, and a paralysed limb can be restored if its nutrition is not at all impaired. Paralysis of the face may be even ended by a quick motion; and any purging benefits runnings of the eyes. 15 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]But madness52 is relieved rather by the formation of varicose veins or by a sudden effusion of blood from haemorrhoids or by dysentery.

Shoulder pains spreading to the shoulder-blades or hands are relieved by a vomit of black bile; and pain of any kind which moves downwards is the more curable.

Sneezing puts an end to hiccough.

16 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Prolonged diarrhoeas are suppressed by vomiting.

In a woman a vomiting of blood is relieved by menstruation; when not cleared up by menstruation, nose-bleeding removes all danger. A woman in trouble with her womb or labour difficulty is relieved by sneezing.

Quartan fever in summer is mostly short. In a case of ardent fever with a tremor, delirium is salutary. For enlargement of the spleen53 dysenteries are good.

17 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Then again fever itself is in the end often a protection, which may appear very strange. For it brings to an end pains over the heart if there is no inflammation; and it also relieves a painful liver; and if it begins after spasm and rigor, it gives entire relief; and it removes the disease of the small intestine arising from urinary difficulty, if by its heat it promotes urination.

18 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Now pains in the head, accompanied by dimness of vision and redness of the eyes, along with some p141itching of the forehead, may be relieved by a haemorrhage, whether fortuitous or procured. Pains in the head and forehead due to wind or to cold or to heat are terminated by running from the nose and sneezings.

19 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]The ardent fever, however, which the Greeks call causodes, is got rid of by a sudden shivering. During a fever, if the ears have become dulled, that trouble is entirely removed by a flux of blood from the nose, or by loose motions from the bowel. Against deafness nothing can be more efficacious than a bilious stool. 20 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Those who have begun to suffer from the smaller kinds of abscesses in the urethra which they call phumata, get well when pus has come away from that part.54

. . . and since they mostly arise of themselves, we may know that even where the resources of art are applied, nature can do the most.

21 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]On the other hand, pain in the bladder with persistent fever, when nothing is passed by the bowel, is a fatal evil; the danger is greatest in boys from the seventh to the fourteenth year.55

22 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]In pulmonary disease, if there was no expectoration during the first days, if it then begins from the seventh day and persists beyond a further seven days, it is dangerous.56 And the more the sputum has an undistinguishable admixture of colours, the worse it is. But nevertheless nothing is worse than for the expectoration emitted to be homogeneous, whether reddish, or clotted, or white, or glutinous, or pallid, p143or frothy; worst of all, however, is the black. In this same disease the following are signs of danger: cough, catarrh, and even sneezing, which in other maladies is held salutary; and a sudden diarrhoea following upon the above is a most dangerous sign.

Generally too the same signs hold good for pain in the side as for that in the lung, both the more favourable as well as the graver signs.

If the pus discharged from the liver is bloody, it is a deadly sign.

23 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Now of suppurations the worst are those which tend inwards, whilst also discolouring the overlying skin: of those again which burst externally, the worst are those which are largest and most widespread. But even after the abscess has ruptured, or the pus has been let outwards, there is danger for certain if the fever does not subside, or although it subsides, nevertheless recurs; or further if there is thirst, if distaste for food, if liquid motions, if the pus is livid and pallid, if the patient expectorates nothing but frothy phlegm. And of such suppurations, old people die mostly of those excited by lung diseases; younger people of other kinds.

24 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]But that in phthisis danger threatens a thin57 man is signified as follows: the expectoration is purulent with admixtures, a persistent fever robs him of his appetite at meal-times and afflicts him with thirst. Death is at hand if, after the patient has dragged on for a long while, the hair falls out, the urine exhibits sediment like cobwebs and has a foul odour, and most of all when upon the above diarrhoea supervenes; especially if it is the autumn season, when patients who have lasted through the rest of the year are generally undone. Moreover, in this p145disease, after pus has been expectorated, it is fatal for there to be an entire cessation of spitting. 25 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]In the course of phthisis, even in adolescents, abscesses followed by fistulae58 arise in the lung; and unless numerous signs of convalescence follow, they do not readily heal. But as regards others, the least easily cured are girls, or those women in whom suppression of menses has supervened upon the phthisis. When again in a man who has been healthy there arises suddenly pain in the head, next he is so overcome by sleep that he snores and cannot be awaked, he will die by the seventh day; the more so, if a loose motion has not preceded, if the eyelids of the sleeper are unclosed and the whites of the eyes show.59 And in these cases death follows except if the malady has been dispersed by fever.

26 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Again dropsy, if caused by an acute disease, is seldom conducted to a cure, at any rate when signs supervene the reverse of those noted above.60 Likewise too in this disease a cough takes away hope as is also the case if there is an outburst of blood whether upwards or downwards and water fills the middle61 of the body. In some also in this disease swellings arise, then subside, and again recur: such patients are in a somewhat safer state than those mentioned above, if they give attention; but generally they are undone by over-confidence in their health. 27 Here we may wonder with good reason why there should be occurrences which cause our bodies harm, and yet at the same time in a measure are beneficial: for whether it is dropsical fluid which has filled a patient up, or whether it is a quantity of pus which has collected in a large abscess, evacuation all at once is as fatal to him, as if a healthy man loses blood by a wound.

p147 28 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Those too who suffer in their joints, so that growths of hard stuff are formed upon them, are never relieved entirely: all these damages, whether they have begun in old age, or have lasted from youth up to old age, although there is a possibility of some alleviation, are never entirely cured.

29 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Also fits62 which have arisen after the twenty-fifth year are hard to relieve, much harder when they begin after the fortieth; hence at this age, whilst there may be some hope from nature, there is scarcely any from the Art of Medicine. In this affection, if the whole body is affected all together, and there has not been beforehand in any part some feeling of an oncoming ill, but the patient falls down unexpectedly, he scarcely ever gets well, be his age what it may: further, if either the mind is diseased, or paralysis has been set up, there is no opportunity for the Art of Medicine.

30 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Again in cases of diarrhoea, danger of death is at hand: if there is fever in addition, if there is inflammation of the liver or of the parts over the heart or of the stomach,63 if excessive thirst, if the affection is prolonged; if the stools are varied and passed with pain, and especially if with these signs true dysenteries set in; and this disease carries off mostly children up to the age of ten; other ages bear it more easily. Also a pregnant woman can be swept away by such an event, and even if she herself recovers, yet she loses the child. 31 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Dysenteries are fatal, moreover, when originated by black bile, or if a black motion suddenly issues from a body already wasted by dysentery.

32 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Now intestinal lubricity is the more dangerous, if there is a frequent motion, if there is a flux from p149the bowel at all hours, with or without noise, if the same condition continues by night and in the day-time, if what is passed is either undigested or black, and besides that also slimy and foul; if there is urgent thirst, if urine is not passed after a drink (which happens because then all fluid passes down, not into the bladder, but into the intestine); 33 if the mouth becomes ulcerated, the face reddened and marked as if by kinds of spots of all colours; if the belly is as though in a state of fermentation, fatty and wrinkled,64 also if there is no desire for food . . . ; while death is imminent in these circumstances, it is much more imminent if also this disease has already lasted a long while, especially if it be in an old patient.

34 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]If again there is disease in the smaller intestine, vomiting, hiccough, spasm, delirium are bad signs.

In jaundice again it is most pernicious65 for the liver to become hard.

If dysentery has seized upon those with disease of the spleen which has then turned into dropsy or into leientery,66 scarcely any medical treatment can save them from danger.

35 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]The disease of the smaller intestine,67 unless resolved, kills within seven days.

A woman after childbirth is in danger of death, if p151also oppressed by violent and persistent pain in the head along with fever.

To breathe rapidly is a bad sign if there is pain and inflammation in those parts which contain viscera.68

36 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]A prolonged pain69 in the head, if without cause it shifts to the neck and shoulders, and again returns to the head, or if it spreads from the head to reach the neck and shoulders, is most pernicious, unless it induces some abscess so that pus is coughed up, or unless there is an outburst of blood from some part, or unless there is upon the head an eruption70 of much scurf or of pimples all over the body. 37 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Equally severe is this malady when a numbness or an itching wanders, now all over the head, now over part of it, or there is felt there a sensation as of something cold, and when these symptoms extend to the tip of the tongue. And since the abscesses described above are beneficial, recovery is more difficult, in proportion as they supervene less often upon such maladies.

38 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]When there are pains71 in the hips, if there is great numbness, and both the leg and hip become cold, if there is no movement of the bowel except forced, and the stool passed is mucous,72 and if the patient is already over forty, there will be a very prolonged illness, lasting at least a year, nor will it possibly come to an end except either in spring or in autumn.

39 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Treatment is likewise difficult at that age when pain in the shoulders either spreads to the hands or extending to the shoulder-blades gives rise to numbness and pain there, which is not relieved by a vomit of bile.73

p153 40 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Whatever too the part of the body, any limb which becomes paralysed if it is not moved and wastes, will not be restored to its former state, and the less so the longer the paralysis74 has been, and the older the patient. And for the cure of all cases of paralysis,75 winter and autumn are not favourable seasons; there is possibly hope in spring and summer; even when mild this disease is scarcely curable, a severe attack cannot be cured.76

All pain also becomes less amenable to treatment as it spreads upwards.77

41 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]In a pregnant woman,78 if the breasts suddenly shrivel up, there is danger of abortion. A woman has a defective menstruation who has milk in her breasts, not having just borne a child, or being pregnant.

42 Quartan fever,79 whilst brief in summer, is generally prolonged in autumn, and especially so when beginning at the approach of winter. There is danger of death if haemorrhage is followed by dementia and by spasm; the same is the case when, after purgation by medicaments, and, with the bowel still empty, there is an attack of spasm, as also if with great pain in the bowel the extremities become cold.

43 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]He does not return to life80 who has been taken down from hanging with foam around the mouth.

A black stool resembling black blood, passed suddenly, whether accompanied by fever, or even without fever, is dangerous.

p155 9 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Having recognized the indications which either console us with hope, or terrify us with fear, we must pass to the methods of treating Diseases. Of these some are general aids,81 some special. General82 Aids are those which are beneficial in most diseases, Special Aids in particular ones. I shall speak first of the general, some of which,83 however, sustain not alone the sick but also those in health; some are applied against illness only.84

2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Now every corporeal aid either diminishes substance or adds to it, either draws it out or represses it, either cools or warms, either hardens or softens;85 some act, not merely in one way, but even in two ways, not contrary the one to the other. Substance is withdrawn by blood-letting, cupping, purging, vomiting, rubbing, rocking, and by bodily exercises of all kinds, by abstinence, by sweating; of these I shall now speak.84

10 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] To let blood by incising a vein is no novelty; what is novel is that there should be scarcely any malady in which blood may not be let. Again, to let blood in young women who are not pregnant is an old practice; but it is not an old practice for the same to be tried in children and in the elderly and also in pregnant women: for indeed the ancients were of opinion that the first and last years could not sustain this kind of treatment, and they were persuaded that a pregnant woman, so treated, would abort.86 2 Practice subsequently showed indeed that in these matters there is no unvarying rule, and that other observations are rather to be made, to which the consideration of the practitioner ought to be directed. For p157it matters not what is the age, nor whether there is pregnancy, but what may be the patient's strength. So, then, if a youth is weakly, or a woman, although not pregnant, has little strength, it is bad to let blood; for any remaining strength dies out if it is thus stripped away. 3 But a strong child, or a robust old man, or a pregnant woman in good health, may be so treated with safety. It is mostly, however, in such cases that an inexperienced practitioner can be deceived, because at the above ages there is usually a less degree of strength; and a pregnant woman has need also, after the blood-letting, of forces to sustain, not merely herself, but also her unborn child. 4 Not that we should be in a hurry to do anything that demands anxious attention and care; for in that very point lies the art of medicine, which does not count years, or regard only the pregnancy, but calculates the strength of the patient, and infers from that whether possibly or no there is a superfluity, enough to sustain either a child or an old man or simultaneously two beings within one woman. 5 There is a difference between a strong and an obese body, between a thin and an infirm one: thinner bodies have more blood, those of fuller habit more flesh. The more easily, therefore, do the former sustain this sort of depletion; and the more quickly is he who is over-fat distressed by it; hence it is that the body's strength may be estimated better by its blood-vessels than by its actual appearance. And the foregoing are not the sole considerations, but there is also the kind of disease, whether a superabundance or a deficiency of bodily material87 has done the harm, whether the body is corrupted or sound. 6 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]For if the material p159of the body is either deficient, or is sound, blood-letting in unsuitable; but if the harm is its copiousness, or the material has become corrupted, there is no better remedy. Therefore severe fever, when the bodily surface is reddened, and the blood-vessels full and swollen, requires withdrawal of blood; so too diseases of the viscera, also paralysis and rigor and spasm of sinews, in fact whatever strangulates the throat by causing difficulty of breathing, whatever suppresses the voice suddenly, whenever there is intolerable pain, and whenever there is from any cause rupture and contusion of internal organs; 7 so also a bad habit of body and all acute diseases, provided, as I have stated above,88 they are doing harm, not by weakness, but by overloading. But it may happen that some disease demands blood-letting, although the body seems scarcely able to bear it; if, however, there appears to be no other remedy, and if the patient is likely to die unless he be helped even at some risk — that being the position, it is the part of a good practitioner to show that without the withdrawal of blood there is no hope, and to confess how much fear there may be in that step, and then at length, if the attempt is demanded, to let blood. 8 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]In such a case there should be no hesitation about it; for it is better to try a double-edged remedy than none at all; and in particular it should be done: when there are paralyses; when a man becomes speechless suddenly; when angina89 causes choking; when the preceding paroxysm of a fever has been almost fatal, and it is very probable that a like paroxysm is about to set in which it seems impossible for the patient's strength to sustain. 9 Further although it is least proper to let blood whilst food is p161undigested, yet that is not an invariable precept; for the case will not always wait for digestion. Thus if a man falls from a height, if there is contusion, or something else happening suddenly has caused vomiting of blood, although food may have been taken but a short while before, yet at once the bodily material should be depleted, lest, if it forms a congestion, it should harm the body; and the same rule will hold good also in other sudden accidents which cause suffocation. 10 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]But if the character of the affection permits, it should be done then only when there remains no suspicion of undigested food; and therefore the second or third day of the illness may seem the most fitting for the procedure. But whilst there is sometimes a necessity for blood-letting even on the first day, it is never of service after the fourth day, for within that interval the material itself has both been sucked up and corrupted the body, so that then depletion can make it weak but cannot make it sound. 11 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]But if there is the oppression of a vehement fever, to let blood during the actual paroxysm is to cut the man's throat; the remission is therefore to be awaited: if the fever does not decrease, but merely stops increasing, and there is no hope of remission, then also the opportunity, bad as it is, as it is the only one, should not be missed. 12 When the measure is necessary it should generally be divided between two days; on the first it is better to relieve, and later to deplete the patient, rather than perchance to precipitate his end by dissipating his strength all at once. But if this answers in the case of pus, or of the water in dropsy,90 all the more necessarily should it answer in the letting out of blood. If the cause affects the body as a whole, blood should be let from the arm; p163if some part, then actually from that part, or at any rate from a spot as near as may be, for it is not possible to let blood from everywhere, but only from the temples, arms and near the ankles. 13 Nor am I ignorant that some say blood should be let from a place the furthest91 away from the damaged part, for that thus the course of the material of the disease is diverted, but that otherwise it is drawn into the very part which is damaged. Yet this is erroneous, for blood-letting draws blood out of the nearest place first, and thereupon blood from more distant parts follows so long as the letting out of blood is continued; when put a stop to, no more blood comes to the part diseased, because it is no longer drawn to the opened vein. 14 Practice itself, however, seems to have taught that for a broken head blood should be let preferably from the arm; when the pain is situated in one upper limb, then from the arm opposite; I believe because, if anything goes wrong, those parts are more liable to take harm which are already in a bad state. Blood is also at times diverted when, having burst out at one place, it is let out at another. For bleeding from a place where it is not desired ceases after something is applied to stop it there, when the blood is given another exit. 15 Now blood-letting, whilst it may be very speedily done by one practised in it, yet for one without experience is very difficult, for to the vein is joined an artery, and to both sinews.92 Hence should the scalpel strike a sinew, spasm follows, and this makes a cruel end to the patient. Again, when an artery is cut into, it neither coalesces nor heals; it even sometimes happens that a violent outburst of blood results. 16 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]As to the actual vein, when completely divided by a forceful cut, its two ends p165are pressed together, and do not let out the blood. Yet if the scalpel is entered timidly, it lacerates the skin but does not enter the vein; at times, indeed, the vein is concealed and not readily found. Thus many things make difficult to one who is unskilled what to one experienced is very easy. The vein ought to be cut half through. As the blood streams out its colour and character should be noted. 17 For when the blood is thick and black, it is vitiated, and therefore shed with advantage, if red and translucent it is sound, and that blood-letting, so far from being beneficial, is even harmful; and the blood should be stopped at once. But this cannot happen under that practitioner who knows from what sort of body blood should be let. 18 It more often happens that the flow of blood continues as black as on the first day; although this be so, nevertheless, if enough has flowed out, blood-letting should be stopped, and always an end should be put to it before the patient faints, and the arm should be bandaged after superimposing a pad squeezed out of cold water, and the next day the vein is to be flicked open by the tip of the middle finger so that, its recent coalescence being undone, it may again let out blood. 19 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Whether it be on the first or on the second day that the blood, which has at first flowed out thick and black, begins to become red and translucent, a sufficient quantity has been withdrawn, and the rest of the blood is pure; and so at once the arm should be bandaged and kept so until the little scar is strong, and this, in a vein, becomes firm very quickly.

11 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Now there are two kinds of cups, one made of bronze, the other of horn. The bronze cup is open at one end, closed at the other; the horn one, likewise p167at one end open, has at the other a small hole. Into the bronze cup is put burning lint, and in this state the mouth is applied and pressed to the body until it adheres. 2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]The horn cup is applied as it is to the body, and when the air is withdrawn by the mouth through the small hole at the end, and after the hole has been closed by applying wax over it, the horn cup likewise adheres. Either form of cup may be made, not only of the above materials, but also of anything else suitable; when others are lacking, a small drinking-cup or porridge bowl with a narrowish mouth may be adapted conveniently for the purpose. 3 If the skin upon which the cup is to be stuck is cut beforehand with a scalpel, the cup extracts blood; when the skin is intact, wind.93 Therefore when it is some matter inside which is doing the harm, the former method of cupping should be employed, when it is flatulency, then the latter. Now the use of a cup is the rule for a disease, not of the body as a whole, but of some part, the sucking out of which suffices for the re-establishment of health. 4 And this same fact is a proof that with a scalpel, when a part is being relieved, blood must be let from that very part where the injury already exists; since unless it be to divert haemorrhage in that direction, nobody applies a cup to a part distant from the disease, but to that which is actually affected and has to be relieved. Further there may be need for cupping in chronic maladies, although already of somewhat long duration, if there is corrupted material or an unhealthy condition of wind; 5 in certain acute cases also, if the body ought to be depleted and at the same time the patient's strength does not admit of cutting a vein; and cupping, as it is a less severe remedy, so it is a safer p169one; nor is it ever dangerous, even if adopted in the midst of the attack of a fever, or even with food undigested. 6 Therefore, when blood-letting is needed, if cutting a vein is an instant danger, or if the mischief is still localised, recourse is to be had rather to cupping, not forgetting that whilst we recognize the absence of danger, its efficacy is thus the less, and it is impossible to remedy a severe malady unless by a remedy likewise severe.

12 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Now purging was promoted by the ancients in almost all diseases by various medicaments, and by frequent clysters; they administered either black hellebore root, or polypody fern root, or the copper scales which the Greeks call lepida chalkou, or the milky juice of seaside spurge, of which one drop on bread purges freely, or milk, whether from an ass or cow, or goat, to which a little salt was added, which they boiled, and having removed the solidified skin, they obliged their patients to drink the whey-like remainder. b But medicaments generally irritate the stomach; a motion when excessively liquid, or a clyster often repeated, weakens the patient. Never, therefore, in illness is a medicament which causes such a motion rightly given, unless when that malady is without fever, as when black hellebore root is given either to those with black bile and to those suffering from insanity with melancholy, or to those who have their sinews in some part paralysed. cBut in the presence of fevers, it suffices for the purpose of a purge to take such food and drink as both nourish and at the same time soften the belly; and there are sorts of illness in which purgation by milk is suitable.

2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Still, for the most part the bowel preferably is to be clystered; the practice was limited by Asclepiades p171though still kept, but I see that in our time it is usually neglected. But the limitation which he seems to have adopted is most fitting: that this remedy should not be tried often, and yet we should not omit to use it once, or at most twice: bif the head is heavy; if the eyes are dim; if the disease is in the larger intestine, which the Greeks call colon; if there are pains in the lower belly or in the hips; if bilious fluid collects in the stomach, or even phlegm or other water-like humor forms there; if wind is passed with undue difficulty; if there is no spontaneous motion, and especially if the faeces remain inside although close to the anus, or if the patient who fails to pass anything perceives a foul odour in his breath, or if the motions have become corrupted; or if abstinence does not at once get rid of the fever; or if the patient's strength does not allow of blood-letting when it is needed, or the time for that measure has passed; or if previous to the malady the patient has been drinking freely; cor if a patient who has been purged repeatedly, whether that has been intentional or casual, has suddenly a suppression of motions. However, the following rules are to be observed: that the clyster is not to be administered before the third day, nor whilst there is any undigested food; nor in a case of weakness due to exhaustion by a long illness; nor to a patient who has daily a sufficient motion, nor to one whose stools are liquid; nor during the acme of the paroxysm of a fever, for what is then injected is retained in the bowel and mounting up into the head brings about a much graver danger. dOn the day too before the clyster the patient ought to fast, in order to fit himself for such a treatment, and on the actual day, some hours p173beforehand, he should drink warm water to moisten his upper parts; there should then be introduced into the bowel simply water when we are content with a gentle remedy, or hydromel as one a little stronger; or as a soothing enema a decoction of fenugreek, or of pearl barley, or of mallow, eor as an astringent clyster a decoction of vervains, but a drastic one is sea-water or ordinary water with salt added; and the better in both instances for boiling. A clyster is made more drastic by the addition of olive oil, or soda, or honey: the more drastic the clyster, the more it extracts, but the less easily it is borne. The fluid injected should be neither cold nor hot, lest either way it should do harm. Following upon the injection the patient ought to keep in bed as long as he can, and not give way to his first desire to defaecate; then go to stool only when he must. fIn this way generally when the material is extracted, and the upper parts relieved, the disease itself is mollified. But when the patient has become exhausted owing to forced calls to stool, he ought for a while to keep quiet; and lest his strength fail, he should certainly take food that day, but whether it should be abundant or scanty, should be regulated according to the strength of the paroxysm anticipated, or the absence of such apprehension.

13 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Again, a vomit, as it is often quite a necessity for one who in health is bilious, so is it also in those diseases which bile has occasioned. It is the more necessary, therefore, for all who are troubled by shivering and trembling before fevers, for all suffering from cholera,94 even for all suffering from insanity accompanied by a kind of hilarity,95 and also for those afflicted by epilepsy. But if the disease is an acute one, p175as in the case of cholera, 2 if there is fever, during the shivering fits, then the sharper medicaments are out of place, as mentioned above in relation to purgations, and for the purpose of a vomit it is sufficient to take the emetics which I have prescribed to be taken by those in health.96 But when there are chronic and violent diseases without fever, such as epilepsy and insanity, white hellebore root97 should also be used. 3 But it is not right to give it either in winter or in summer; the spring is the best time, and autumn tolerably good. Whoever is going to administer it ought to take care beforehand that the body of the prospective recipient is rendered more humid. This should be recognized, that all such medicaments given as a drink do not always benefit the sick, and are always harmful to those in health.

14 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Now concerning rubbing, Asclepiades as if he were the inventor of the practice has treated it in his volume, entitled "Common aids," at such great length, that, though making mention only of three such aids, namely, Rubbing, Water-drinking, and Rocking, yet he has taken up the greatest part with the first-named subject. Now on such matters recent writers ought to have credit where they have made discoveries, or where they have rightly followed others; yet we must not omit to attribute to their true authors teaching found among the more ancient writers. 2 And it cannot be disputed that Asclepiades has taught when and how rubbing should be practised, with a wider application, and in a clearer way, although he has discovered nothing which had not been comprised in a few words by that most ancient writer Hippocrates, who said that rubbing, if strenuous, hardens the body, if gentle, p177relaxes; if much, it diminishes, if moderate, fills out.98 It follows, therefore, that in the following cases rubbing should be employed, when either a feeble body has to be toned up, or one indurated has to be softened, or a harmful superfluity is to be dispersed, or a thin and infirm body has to be nourished. 3 Yet when examined with attention (although this no longer concerns the medical man) the various species of rubbing may be easily recognized as all dependent on causing one thing, depletion. For an object is toned up when that is removed, which, by its presence was the cause of the laxness; and is softened when that which has been producing induration is abstracted; and it is filled up, not by the rubbing itself, but by the nutriment, which subsequently penetrates by some sort of dispersal to the very skin itself after it has become relaxed.99 4 The cause of the different results lies in the degree.

Now there is a great difference between anointing and rubbing. For it is desirable that even in acute and recent diseases the body should be anointed and then gently stroked, but only during remissions and before food. But prolonged rubbing is unsuitable in acute and increasing troubles, unless it be in madness to procure sleep. 5 Yet a prolonged illness and one declining from its primary vehemence loves this aid. I am quite aware that some say that the need for any aid is during the increase of diseases, not when diseases are tending to end of themselves. But this is not the case. For a disorder, even although it will end of itself, may be expelled yet more speedily by adopting the aid. 6 An aid is necessary on two accounts, both that health may be regained at the earliest possible p179moment, and that what remains of the disease may not again become exacerbated from however slight a cause. Possibly the disease may have become less grave than it had been, yet is not completely got rid of, but some remnants of it persist, which the application of a remedy disperses. 7 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] But while rubbing is rightly applied after a disorder has been lessened, yet it should never be applied whilst a fever is increasing: but if possible after the fever has entirely left the body, or if not, at least when it has remitted. Sometimes, moreover, rubbing should be applied to the body all over, as when a thin man ought to put on flesh; sometimes to a part only, either because weakness of the limb actually rubbed demands it, or that of some other part. 8 For both prolonged headaches100 are relieved by rubbing of the head, although not at the height of the pain, and any partially paralysed limb is strengthened by itself being rubbed. Much more often, however, some other part is to be rubbed than that which is the seat of the pain; and especially when we want to withdraw material from the head or trunk, and therefore rub the arms and legs. 9 Neither should we listen to those who would fix numerically how many times a patient is to be stroked; for that is to be regulated by his strength; and if he is very infirm fifty strokes may possibly be enough, if more robust possibly two hundred may be made; then an intermediate number according to his strength. Hence it is that the hand is to be passed even fewer times over a woman than over a man, fewer over a child or old man, than over a young adult. 10 Finally, if particular limbs are rubbed, many strokes are required p181and forcible rubbing; both because the body cannot be as a whole quickly rendered weak through a part, and it is necessary that as much as possible of the diseased matter should be dispersed, whether our aim is to relieve the limb actually rubbed, or through it another limb. When, however, general bodily weakness requires that the rubbing should be applied all over, it should be shorter and more gentle, just to the extent of softening the skin, so that the body may be more easily capable of forming new material from food recently consumed. 11 As I have stated above (II.6.7), a patient is already in a bad way, when the exterior of the body is cold, whilst his interior is hot and there is thirst. But even then rubbing is the only remedy; if it draws the heat outwards into the skin, it makes possible an opportunity for other treatment.

15 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Rocking101 also is very suitable for chronic maladies which are already abating; it is also of service both for those who are now entirely free from fever, but cannot as yet themselves take exercise, and also for those in whom persist sluggish remnants of maladies, not otherwise to be got rid of. Asclepiades has stated that use is to be made of rocking even for dispersal of a recent and severe fever, especially an ardent fever. 2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]But that gives rise to danger; an attack of that sort is better sustained by keeping quiet. If anyone, however, wants to give it a trial, let him try it when the tongue is not furred, when there is no swelling, no induration, no pain, either in the viscera or head or about the heart. And on the whole a body in pain should never be rocked, whether the pain be general or local, except, however, when sinews alone are in p183pain, and never during the rise of a fever, but only during its remission. 3 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]But there are many sorts of rocking, and they are to be regulated both by the patient's strength and by his resources, lest either a weak patient undergo overmuch depletion, or a poor man come short. The gentlest rocking is that on board ship either in harbour or in a river, more severe is that aboard ship on the high seas, or in a litter,102 even severer still in a carriage:b but each of these can either be intensified or mitigated. 4 Failing any of the above, the bed should be so slung103 as to be swayed; if not even that, at any rate a rocker104 should be put under its foot so that the bed may be moved from side to side by hand.

And this sort of exercise of the lighter kinds suits the infirm,c the stronger kinds again those who have already become free from fever for several days, or those who, whilst feeling the commencement of grave disorders, as yet are free from fever (which happens in the case both of phthisis and of stomach disease, and of dropsy, also, at times, of jaundice), or when certain diseases such as epilepsy and madness persist without fever, for however long. 5 In which affections also those kinds of exercises are necessary, which we have included in the passage where we prescribed what healthy, yet not strong, men should carry out.105

16 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Now Abstinence is of two kinds, in one of which the patient takes nothing at all, in the other only what he must. The beginnings of diseases require at first hunger and thirst, the actual diseases then moderation, so that nothing but what is expedient, and not too much of that, may be consumed; for it is not at all proper to have surfeit at once after a fast. p185But if this be not good even in healthy bodies, when some necessity has imposed fasting, how much worse it is in a sick body! 2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]To a sufferer nothing is more advantageous than a timely abstinence. Among us intemperate men with regard to their food themselves . . . the times are left to the doctors;106 again others make a present of the times to their medical men, but reserve to themselves as to quantity. They think that they are generous, when they leave them to decide as to all else, and keep free as to the kind of food; as if it were a question of what may be yielded to the doctor, not what may be good for the patient, who suffers grievous harm, as often as he transgresses in what he consumes, whether as to the time of the meal, its quantity or its quality.

17 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Sweating also is elicited in two ways, either by dry heat, or by the bath. The dry is the heat of hot sand, of the Laconian sweating-room,107 and of the dry oven,108 and of some natural sweating places, where hot vapour exhaling from the ground is confined within a building, as we have it in the myrtle groves above Baiae. Besides these it is also derived from the sun and through exercise. These treatments are useful whenever humor is doing harm inside, and has to be dispersed. And also some diseases of sinews are best treated thus. 2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]But the other treatments may suit the infirm: sun and exercise only the more robust, who must, however, be free from fever, whether only at the commencement p187of a disease, or when actually in the grasp of a grave malady. But care must be taken that none of the above are tried either during fever or with food undigested. Now the bath109 is of double service; for at one time after fevers have been dissipated, it forms for a convalescent the preliminary to a fuller diet and stronger wine; at another time it actually takes off the fever; and it is generally adopted, when it is expedient to relax the skin and draw out corrupt humor and change the bodily habit. 3 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]The ancients used it rather timidly, Asclepiades more boldly. There is indeed nothing to be apprehended from its use, if it be timely; before the proper time it does harm. A patient who has become free from fever can safely be bathed,110 as soon as there has been no paroxysm for one whole day, on the next day after the time for a paroxysm. But where the fever has a regular periodicity so that it recurs every third or fourth day, when there has not been a recurrence, the bath is safe. 4 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Even whilst fevers are persisting, if they are slow and mild, and have lasted a long while, this treatment may properly be tried, so long as the parts below the ribs are neither indurated nor swollen, the tongue not furred, there is no pain in the trunk or head, and the fever is not then on the increase. And in those fevers which have a definite periodicity, there are two opportunities for the bath, one before the shivering, the other after the fever has ended: 5 but in the case of those who have been the subjects for a long while of slow and slight fever, the time for the bath is when the paroxysm has wholly remitted, or if that does not occur, at any rate when it has mitigated, and the p189patient's body has already become as sound as it possibly can in this sort of complaint. A weakly patient who is about to go to the bath should avoid exposing himself to cold beforehand. 6 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]On arriving111 at the bath, he should sit for a while to try whether his temples become tightened, and whether any sweat arises: if the former happens without the latter, for that day the bath is unsuitable, and he should be anointed lightly and carried home, and cold is to be avoided in every possible way and abstinence practised. 7 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]But if the temples are unaffected, and sweating starts there first, and then elsewhere, his face is to be fomented with hot water; then he should go down into the hot bath, where it is to be noted whether there is shrivelling of the skin at the first touch of hot water, which can hardly happen when the indications noted above have been attended to properly: it is, however, a sure sign of the bath being injurious. Whether he should be anointed before entering, or after the hot bath, should be decided from the degree of his convalescence. 8 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Generally, however, unless it has been definitely prescribed that it is to be done afterwards, when the sweating begins the body should be slightly anointed, and then he is to get into the hot water. And whilst in it also regard should be had to his strength; he ought not to be kept in the bath until he faints from the heat, but be taken out earlier and carefully wrapped up so that no cold reaches him, and so that he may sweat there also before taking anything. 9 There are hot foments: millet, salt, or sand, any of which is heated, and put into a linen cloth: when less heat is required the linen cloth may be used alone, but p191if greater heat, firebrands are extinguished, wrapped up in rags, and so put round him. Further, leathern bottles are to beº filled with hot oil, or hot water is poured into earthenware vessels, called from their shape "lentils"; and salt is put into a linen bag, and dipped into very hot water, 10 then laid upon the limb to be fomented.112 . . . and two broad-ended cautery irons are heated near the fire, and one of them is dipped into that salt, and water is lightly sprinkled upon the iron held over the part. When the iron begins to cool, it is put back into the fire, and the second iron made use of in the same way as the first, turn and turn about: during the procedure a hot brine drips down, which is beneficial for sinews contracted by disease of any kind. The common effect of all these measures is to disperse whatever is oppressing the parts over the heart, or strangling the throat, or harming some limb. It will be stated under particular maladies when use is to be made of each (III, IV).

18 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] After having spoken of those things which benefit by depleting, we come to those which nourish, namely food and drink. Now these are of general assistance not only in diseases of all kinds but in preserving health as well; and an acquaintance with the properties of all is of importance, in the first place that those in health may know how to make use of them, then, as we follow on to the treatment of diseases (III, IV), we can state the species of aliments to be consumed, without the necessity every time of naming them singly.113

2 So then it should be known that all pulses, and all bread-stuffs made from grain, form the strongest p193kind of food (I call strongest that which has most nourishment). To the same class of further belong: all domesticated quadruped animals; all large game such as the wild she-goat, deer, wild boar, wild ass; all large birds, such as the goose and peacock and crane; all sea monsters,d among which is the whale and such like; also honey and cheese. Hence it is not wonderful that pastry made of grain, lard, honey and cheese is very strong food.

3 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Among food materials of the middle class ought to be reckoned: of pot-herbs, those of which the roots or bulbs are eaten; of quadrupeds, the hare; birds of all kinds from the smallest up to the flamingo; likewise all fish which do not bear salting or are salted whole.

The weakest of food materials are: all vegetable stalks and whatever forms on a stalk, such as the gourd and cucumber and caper, all orchard fruits, olives, snails, and likewise shellfish.

4 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]But although these are so divided, nevertheless even those of the same species admit of great differentiation, one thing being stronger or weaker than another: whilst there is more nutriment in bread than in anything else, wheat is a stronger food than millet, and that again than barley; and of wheat the strongest is siligo, next simila, then the meal from which nothing is extracted, which the Greeks call autopuros; weaker is bread made from pollen, weakest the common grey bread.e1

5 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Among pulses, bean and lentils are stronger food than peas. Of vegetables the turnip and navew and all bulbs, among which I include the onion also and garlic, are stronger than the parsnip, or that which is specially called a root.114 p195Also cabbage and beet and leek are stronger than lettuce or gourd or asparagus. 6 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]But of fruit growing on twigs, grapes, figs, nuts, dates are stronger than orchard fruit properly so‑called; and of these last, the juicy are stronger than the mealy.115

Likewise of those birds, which belong to the middle class, those which rely more on their feet are stronger food than those which rely more on their wings; and of those birds which depend on flight, the larger birds yield stronger food than the smaller, such as the fig-eater and thrush. And those also which pass their time in the water yield a weaker food than those which have no knowledge of swimming.

7 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Among food from domesticated quadrupeds pork is the weakest, beef the strongest.116 And so also of game, the larger the animal the stronger the food it yields.

The fish most in use belong to the middle class; the strongest are, however, those from which salted preparations can be made, such as the mackerel; next come those which, although more tender, are nevertheless firm, such as the gilthead, gurnard, sea bream, eyefish, then the flat fish, and after these still softer, the bass and mullets, and after these all rock fish.

8 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Not only is there differentiation in the classes of nutriments, but also as much in the actual species of nutriment; which is due both to age and part of the animal and to soil and to climate and to habit. For every four-footed animal yields less nutriment while it is a suckling, likewise a chicken in a coop, the more tender it is; also a half-grown fish, which has not filled out to its full p197size. Then likewise in the same pig, trotters, chaps, ears or brain, in a lamb or kid the whole head, also the pettitoes, are somewhat less nutritious than other parts, and so can be placed in the middle class. 9 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]In birds, the neck and wings are rightly counted as weak nutriment. As regards soil, grain is also more nutritious grown in hilly117 than in flat districts; fish living among rocks are less nutritious than those in sand, and these again less than those in mud. Hence it is that the same classes of fish from a pond or lake or river are heavier, and those which live in deep water are lighter food than those which live in shallows. Every wild animal is a lighter food than the same species domesticated, and the product of a damp climate is lighter than that of a dry one. Again, all kinds of fat meat have more nutriment than lean, 10 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]fresh meat than salted, recently killed than stale. Then the same meat is more nourishing stewed than roasted, more so roasted than boiled. A hard-boiled egg is a very substantial material, a soft cooker or raw egg very light. And while all bread-stuffs are among the most solid, yet some kinds of grain after being soaked, such as spelt, rice, pearl barley, or the gruel or porridge made out of these, and also bread soaked in water, can be reckoned among the weakest of food.

11 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Of drinks too the strongest class are: whatever can be made from grain, likewise milk, mead, must boiled down, raisin wine, wine either sweet or heady or still fermenting or of great age. But vinegar, and that wine which is a few years old, whether dry or rich, are intermediate in quality; and therefore to weak patients nothing of the other class p199should be given. Water is of all the weakest; and drink from grain is the more nutritious, according as the grain itself is nutritious; wine coming from a good soil is more nutritious than from a poor one, that from a temperate climate more nutritious than from an extreme one, whether too wet or too dry, whether excessively cold or hot. 12 Mead, the more honey it contains, must the more it is boiled down, raisin wine the drier the grapes - are the stronger. Rain water is the lightest, then spring water, next water from a river, than from a well, after that from snow or ice; heavier still is water from a lake, the heaviest from a marsh. The recognition of water118 is as easy as it is necessary for those who want to know its nature. For by weighing, the lightness of water becomes evident, and of water of equal weight, that is the better, which most quickly heats or cools, also in which pulse is most quickly cooked. 13 It is generally the case too that the more substantial the material, the less readily it is digested, but once digested it nourishes the more. Thus the quality of the food administered should be in accordance with the patient's strength, and the quantity in accordance with its quality. For weak patients, therefore, there is needed the lightest food; food of the middle class best sustains those moderately strong, and for the robust the strongest is the fittest. Finally, of the lightest foods more can be taken; it is rather with the strongest food that moderation should be observed.

19 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] The foregoing are not the only differentiations; but as well some materials have good juices, p201others bad, what the Greeks call euchylous119 and kakochylous; some are bland, others acrid; some render our phlegm thicker, others thinner; some agree with the stomach, others are alien; also some cause flatulence, others are free from that; some warm, others cool; 2 some readily turn sour in the stomach, others do not readily decompose inside; some move the bowels, others check motions; some excite urination, others retard it; some promote sleep, others excite the senses. All these, then, should be known because one suits one body or constitution, one another.

20 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Of good juice are: wheat, siligo, spelt, rice, starch,120 frumenty, pearl barley gruel, milk, soft cheese, all sorts of game, all birds of the middle class, also the larger birds named above; fish intermediate between the soft and hard, such as mullet and bass; spring lettuce, nettle-tops, mallow, gourd, raw egg, purslane, snails, dates; 2 orchard fruit which is neither bitter nor sour; wine sweet or mild, raisin wine, must boiled down; olives preserved either in wine or must; sow's womb, pig's chaps and trotters, all fatty or glutinous meat, and the liver of all animals.

21 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Of bad juice are: millet, panic, barley, pulse; very lean meat from domesticated animals and all salted meat; all pickled fish, fish sauce, old cheese; skirret, radish, turnip, navew, bulbs; cabbage and even more its sprouts, asparagus, beet, cucumber, leek, rocket, cress, thyme, catmint, savory, hyssop, rue, dill, fennel, cummin, anise, sorrel, mustard, p203garlic, onion; spleens, kidneys, chitterlings; orchard fruit when sour or bitter; vinegar, everything acrid, sour, bitter, oily; also rock fish, and all fish of the very soft kind, or on the other hand those which are very hard and strong-flavoured, mostly such as live in ponds, lakes and muddy rivers, and which have become excessively large.

22 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] The following are bland materials: broth, porridge, pancake, starch, pearl barley gruel, fat and glutinous meat, generally all that belong to domesticated animals, particularly, however, the trotters and titbits of pigs, the pettitoes and heads of kids, calves, and lambs, and the brains of all animals; likewise all bulbs properly so‑called, milk, must boiled down, raisin wine and pine kernels. 2 The following are acrid: everything especially harsh, everything sour, everything salt, and even honey, and the better it is the more it is so. Likewise garlic, onion, rocket, rue, cress, cucumber, beet, cabbage, asparagus, mustard, radish, endive, basil, lettuce and most pot-herbs.

23 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Now the following make phlegm thicker: raw eggs, spelt, rice, starch, pearl barley gruel, milk, bulbs, and generally all glutinous substances. Phlegm is rendered thinner by: all salted and acrid and acid materials.

24 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] But best suited to the stomach are: whatever is harsh, even what is sour, and that which has been sprinkled moderately with salt; so also unleavened bread, and spelt or rice or pearl barley which has been soaked; birds and game of all kinds, and both of these whether roasted or boiled; 2 among domesticated animals, beef; of other meat the lean rather than the fat; the trotters, chaps, p205ears, and the sterile womb of a pig; among pot-herbs, endive, lettuce, parsnip, cooked gourd, skirret; among orchard fruit, the cherry, mulberry, service fruit, the mealy pear from Crustumeria, or the Mevian;f also keeping-pears, Tarentine or Signian, the round or Scandian apple or that of Ameria or the quince or pomegranate, raisins preserved in jars; 3 soft egg, dates, pine kernels, white olives preserved in strong brine, or the same steeped in vinegar, or black olives which have been well ripened on the tree, or which have been preserved in raisin wine, or in boiled-down must; dry wine is allowable even although it may have become harsh, also that doctored with resin; hard-fibred fish of the intermediate class, oysters, scallops, the shellfish murex and purpura,121 snails; food and drink either very cold or very hot; wormwood.

25 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] But on the other hand materials alien to the stomach are: all things tepid, all things salted, all things stewed, all things over-sweetened, all things fatty, broth, leavened bread, and likewise that made from either millet or barley, pot-herb roots, and pot-herbs eaten with oil or fish sauce, honey, mead, must boiled down, raisin wine, milk, cheese of all kinds, fresh grapes, figs both green and dry, pulse of all sorts, and whatever causes flatulence; 2 likewise thyme, catmint, savory, hyssop, cress, sorrel, charlock, walnuts. But it can be understood from the above that what has good juice does not necessarily agree with the stomach, and that whatever agrees with the stomach has not necessarily good juice.

26 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Now flatulence is produced by: almost all food which is leguminous, fatty, sweet, everything p207stewed, must, and also that wine which has not as yet matured; among pot-herbs, garlic, onion, cabbage, and all roots except skirret and parsnip; 2 bulbs, figs even when dried but especially when green, fresh grapes, all nuts except pine kernels, milk, cheese of all kinds; lastly anything eaten half-cooked. The least flatulence comes from what is got by hunting and birding, from fish, orchard fruit, olives, or shellfish, from eggs whether cooked soft or raw, from old wine. Fennel and anise in particular even relieve flatulence.

27 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Again the heating foods are: pepper, salt, all stewed meat, garlic, onion, dried figs, pickled fish, wine, and the stronger this is, the more heating it is. Cooling foods are: pot-herbs the stalks of which are eaten uncooked, such as endive and lettuce, and also coriander, cucumber, cooked gourds, beet, mulberries, cherries, sour apples, mealy pears, boiled meat, and in particular vinegar, whether taken with food or as a drink.

28 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Foods that readily decompose inside are: leavened bread, and any sort other than that made of wheat, flour, milk, honey, and therefore also all things made with milk and all pastry, soft fish, oysters, vegetables, cheese both new and old, meat fat or tender, sweet wine, mead, must boiled down, raisin wine; finally everything stewed or over-sweetened or over-thin. 2 But the following decompose the least within: unleavened bread, birds, especially those with harder flesh, hard fish, not only for instance the gilthead or the sea bream, but also the squid, lobster and octopus; likewise beef and hard meat of all kinds; and the same is better if lean or salted; all pickled fish, p209snails, the shellfish, murex purpura; and wine which is harsh or resinated.

29 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Again, the bowels are moved by: leavened bread, and especially if it is the greye2 wheaten or barley bread, cabbage if lightly cooked, lettuce, dill, cress, basil, nettle-tops, purslane, radish, caper, garlic, onion, mallow, sorrel, beet, asparagus, gourds, cherries, mulberries, raisins preserved in jars, all ripe fruit, a fig even dried, but especially a green one, fresh grapes; 2 fat small birds, snails, fish sauce, pickled fish, oysters, giant mussels, sea-urchins, sea-mussels, almost all shellfish, especially the soup made from them, rock fish and all soft fish, cuttlefish ink; any meat eaten when fat, either stewed or boiled, waterfowl, uncooked honey, milk, all things made with milk, mead, wine sweet or salted, soft water; all food sweetened, tepid, fatty, boiled, stewed, salted or watery.

30 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] On the contrary the bowels are confined: by bread made from siligo or simila flour, especially when unleavened, and particularly so when toasted, and this property is even increased by baking twice, porridge either from spelt or panic or millet, as well as gruel from the same, and especially if these have been parched beforehand; lentil porridge to which beet or endive or chicory or plantaing has been added, and especially when these have been previously toasted, or endive by itself, or roasted with plantain, or chicory, the smaller pot-herbs, cabbage twice boiled; 2 eggs rendered hard, especially by poaching; small birds, the blackbird and wood-pigeons especially when cooked in diluted vinegar, cranes, all birds which run rather than fly; the hare, wild she-goat, the liver of animals which yield suet, p211particularly the ox, and suet itself; cheese which has become rather strong in taste, either from age or because of that change which we note in cheese from across the sea, or, if it is new, after it has been cooked in honey or mead; 3 also cooked honey, unripe pears, service fruit, especially those called torminalia,122 quinces and pomegranates, olives either white or over-ripe, myrtleberries, dates, the purpura and murex, wine resinated or harsh, and that undiluted, vinegar, mead which has been heated, also must boiled down, raisin wine, water tepid or very cold, hard water (that is, which decomposes late), hence principally rain water; everything hard, harsh, rough, grilled, and in the case of the same meat the flesh roasted rather than boiled.

31 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] The following increase the urine: garden herbs of good odour, as parsley, rue, dill, basil, mint, hyssop, anise, coriander, cress, rocket, fennel; and besides these asparagus, capers, catmint, thyme, savory, charlock, parsnip, especially growing wild, radish, skirret, onion; of game especially the hare; thin wine, pepper both round and long, mustard, wormwood, pine kernels.

32 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] For producing sleep the following are good: poppy, lettuce, and mostly the summer kinds in which the stalk is very milky, the mulberry, the leek. For exciting the senses: catmint, thyme, savory, hyssop, and especially pennyroyal, rue and onion.

33 1   [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] For drawing out123 the material of the disease p213certainly many things can be used, but as they are mostly composed of foreign medicaments and are more useful in other affections than in those relieved by the dietetic regimen, I will defer their consideration for the present (V. Proem., 1, 2): but I will mention here those which are at hand, and are suitable to the diseases of which I am about to speak (III, IV), since they blister the body and thus extract from it the material of disease. Now those which have this faculty are the seeds of rocket, cress, radish, and most of all mustard. The same faculty exists in salt and figs.

2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Those which gently both repress and mollify at the same time are greasy wool to which has been added oil with vinegar or wine, crushed dates, bran boiled in salt water or vinegar.

But those which simultaneously repress and cool are pellitory, which the Greeks call parthenion or perdeikion, thyme, pennyroyal, basil, the blood-herb which the Greeks call polygonon, purslane, poppy-leaf, vine-tendril, coriander, hyocyamusº-leaves, moss, skirret, parsley, solanum, which the Greeks call strychnos, cabbage-leaves, endive, plantain, fennel-seed; 3 crushed pears and apples and especially quinces, lentils; cold water, especially rain water, wine and vinegar, and everything soaked in these, whether bread or meal or sponge or ashes, or greasy wool or even lint; Cimolian chalk,124 gypsum; oil perfumed with quince, myrtle, rose; unripe olive oil; vervains, the leaves crushed along with their young twigs, 4 of which sort are the olive, cypress, myrtle, mastic, tamarisk, privet, rose, bramble, laurel, ivy, and pomegranate.

Those which repress without cooling are cooked p215quinces, pomegranate rind, hot water in which the vervains enumerated above have been boiled, powdered wine lees or myrtle leaves, bitter almonds.

5 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]But those which are heating are poultices made of meal, whether of wheat or spelt or barley or bitter vetches or darnel or millet or panic or lentil or bean or lupin or linseed or fenugreek, when one of these has been boiled and applied hot. All forms of meal poultices, however, are rendered more efficacious by cooking in mead instead of in water. Besides there are: cyprus or iris oil, marrow, cat's fat, olive oil, especially if it is old, and there has been added to the oil salt, soda, black cummin, pepper, cinquefoil.

6 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam]Generally those which are powerful to repress inflammation, and cool, harden the tissues; those which are heating, disperse inflammation and soften, and this last property belongs especially to plasters of linseed or fenugreek seeds.

But as regards all these medicaments, whether used as simples or in mixtures, their uses by medical men vary, so that it is clear that each man follows his own ideas rather than what he has found to be true by actual fact.


The Editor's Notes:

1 Cf. chap. 2 ff.

2 See below: and I.3.1, 34‑39; III.4.7; 7.1.B; VII.7.4.D; 26.2.

3 Some words have fallen out here. See critical note.

4 All the diseases mentioned in this and the following sections are described in detail in Book IV.

5 Abscessus, ἀπόστημα, is not our 'abscess,' but the inflammatory condition, 'congestion,' which precedes it; (cf.  II.7.26, and Hippocrates, I.LIII); this may resolve, or go on to suppuration and abscess.

6 Celsus included under cancri foul and gangrenous ulcerations, now distinguished from cancer.

7 στραγγουρία, from στράγξ, a drop, and οὔρον, urine. See further, VII.26.

8 II.7.6; 8.17, 34. IV.20. Cf. Hipp. IV.136 (Aph. IV.11).

9 λειεντερία, λεῖος, smooth, and ἔντερον, intestine.

10 § 13.

11 ἄφθα, thrush (from ἄπτω). Cf. Hipp. IV.130 (Aph. III.29).

12 ἀκροχορδών, a pedunculated wart (hanging by a cord — χορδή). Cf. Hipp. IV.132 (Aph. III.26).

13 Book II, Prooem. 1.

14 Celsus uses praecordia to mean, (1) the lower chest in front of the heart; (2) the region over the diaphragm; (3) the upper abdomen below the ribs (hypochondria).

15 εἰλικρινής examined by the sun's light, tested and found genuine; and so pure, unmixed = Latin sincerus. This was used to denote the proper mingling of the four principles or elements (Proem. 14) to produce εὐκρασία, the equilibrium constituting the basis of health, which Celsus translated by (p101)integritas (soundness), III.3‑17. Galen uses the term ἀπυρεξία, absence of fever.

16 Hipp. II.22 (Prog. XI.17).

17 For phrenesis cf. II.1.15, III.18.2, 3; a form of insanity ('unsoundness') not connected with the brain by Celsus and his predecessors. Cf. Hippocrates IV.195. (Aph. VII.12).

18 Ἄκρητος, Hipp. IV.194, note 3. (Aph. VII.6.)

19 Cf. note a, p88.

20 Cf. Hipp. IV.115 (Aph. II.28), which Celsus seems to be translating here.

21 Hipp. IV.142. (Aph. IV.35.)

22 Celsus uses pestifer to translate the θανατώδης of Hippocrates, II.14.28 (Prog. IV, XIII), but he does not always give to it the meaning 'fatal.'

23 Cf. Hipp. II.26 (Prog. XII), ἐστ᾽ ἄν δὲ λεπτὸν ᾖ τὸ οὖρον καὶ πυρρον, ἄπεπτόν σημαίνει τὸ νόσημα εἶναι. According to (p113)Hippocrates it is the disease, not the urine, which is 'undigested.' Here cruditas may be the subject of maturescat.

24 In the corresponding passages of Hippocrates (Περὶ Ἐπικυήσιος, para. 10, Littré VIII.487 and Κωακαὶ προγνώσεις, para. 333, Littré V.687) reference is made to woman's longings in early pregnancy to eat charcoal and earth. The statement in Celsus as to earth eating is more general, and is supported by recent discoveries in Africa of primitive tribes who eat earth composed of organic remains of palaeozoic molluscs.

25 In the passage 'ubi pedes turgent . . . remediis solvuntur' Celsus is describing three conditions under the heading 'aqua inter cutem' or 'hydrops (dropsy).'

1. General or partial oedema, treated by small incisions above the ankles, cf. III.21.11‑13. Leukophlegmasia, III.21.2.

2. Ascites, treated by tapping, cf. VII.15.

3. Tympanitis, chronic peritonitis with effusion or dry (p119)dropsy, treated by topical applications, cf. III.21.9, 10, and Hipp. IV.136‑7 (Aph. IV.11).

26 Celsus is not describing gout as now meant, though podagra later came to denote this disease, see I.9.1; IV.31.22 and Appendix, p463.

27 Hipp. IV.38 (Prog. XVIII).

28 Defined, II.1.8; cf. also VII.26.1.

29 VII.26.2 et seq.

30 Cf. III.18.17, Hipp. IV.184 (Aph. VI.23).

31 Hipp. Prorrhetics II.35, 36.

32 Note b, p88.

33 For the ear, cf. VI.7. Hipp. II.46 (Prog. XXII).

34 IV.7, 10, 14.

35 II.1.8, p90; IV.22, 23.

36 I.2.3; III.21.3; IV.5.

37 Hipp. II.48 (Prog. XXIV), 4 et seq.

38 III.15, 16.

39 Hipp. II.18 (Prog. VII.39).

40 vomica, originally meaning the discharge from an abscess, came to be used of an abscess cavity (Greek ἀποσκήψις) especially in the lung. Celsus uses it both to describe abscess (p131)of the lung or liver and empyema (pus in the pleural cavity); cf. IV.13, 14, 15, and Hipp. II, 30‑34 (Prog. XV, XVI).

41 That is the side opposite to that where pain has first occurred.

42 Hipp. II.20. Prog. IX.18.

43 IV.15, cf. Hipp. IV.202 (Aph. VII.45).

44 Hipp. Prorrhetics, II.7.

45 III.21.

46 III.1.6, 21.7, 8.

47 IV.31, 32 and Appendix, p463.

48 II.8.29-III.23.

49 Cf. IV.26.

50 Cf. IV.22.

51 Hipp. Prorrhetics, II.41.

52 Hipp. IV.184 (Aph. VI.21).

53 IV.16.

54 Some words have fallen out here (see crit. note 1) probably to this effect: 'The following are the special (p141)signs in each kind of disease which indicate hope of recovery.'

55 From stone in the bladder, VII.26.2.

56 Hipp. II.30 ff. (Prog. XV.10) of which this and the next sentence is a paraphrase.

57 Contrasted with II.8.6, p134.

58 σύριγγες — Hipp. Prorrhetics, II.7.

59 Hipp. IV.190 (Aph. VII.51), II.10 (Prog. II.36).

60 p135 paras. 8 and 9.

61 Ascites. See further, III.21.3, 14; VII.15.

62 Epileptic and apoplectic. Hipp. Prorrhetics, II.9.

63 φλεγμονὴ γαστρός — Hipp. Prorrhetics, II.22.

64 Hipp. Prorrhetics, II.23 — ῥυπαρὰς καὶ ῥυτιδώδεας, and it has been questioned whether Celsus read λιπαράς, fatty, for (p149)ῥυπαράς, dirty — 'dirty and wrinkled' makes better medical sense.

65 Perniciosus here means, not fatal, but much the same as pestifer, noxious, II.6.10. See Cicero, Laws, II.5, multa perniciose, multa pestifera.

66 IV.23.

67 Translating Constantine's emendation (see critical note) the passage runs "disease of the smaller intestine arising from difficulty in passing urine, unless resolved by fever, kills, etc." See above para. 17, also II.1.8.

68 This refers to parts above the diaphragm. Hipp. II.14 (Prog. V.1).

69 Hipp. Prorrhetics, II.30.

70 Indicating an elimination of the material of diseases, cf. VI.2.2.

71 Cf. IV.29, p453. He is here describing osteoarthritis and sciatica.

72 Hipp. Prorrhetics, II.41.

73 Hepatic Disease; cf. IV.15, and Hipp. Prorrhetics, II.40.

74 Hipp. Prorrhetics, II.39.

75 'Nervus' was used by Celsus, as also later by Galen, for fibrous tissues and membranes, which were regarded as the vitally active parts; the soft material in the nervous system and in muscles was looked upon as a sort of padding, and named 'caro,' flesh. Hence, in translating, the term 'sinew' has to be employed to include 'tendon' and 'ligament' as well as nerves.

76 III.27, Hipp. IV.118 (Aph. II.42).

77 Hipp. Prorrhetics, II.41.

78 Hipp. IV.166, 168 (Aph. V.37, 39).

79 Chronic malaria of Mediterranean, cf. III.15, 16, pp283 ff.

80 Hipp. IV.118 (Aph. II.43).

81 Chs. 10‑33.

82 Books III and IV.

83 Chs. 19‑33.

84 Chs. 10‑17.

85 Ch. 33.

86 Hipp. IV.166, Aph. V.31.

87 Throughout this passage Celsus distinguishes the materies corporis from the materies morbi.

88 Para. 5.

89 Cf. IV.7, p380.

90 See p144, note d.

91 In the controversy as to whether blood should be let as near or as far as possible from the seat of the disease Celsus on the whole takes the former view but his attitude is not prejudiced.

92 e.g. in the arm, the basilic vein, the brachial artery, also the median nerve, and the tendons of the biceps and brachialis anticus muscles.

93 The dry cup produced a subcutaneous oedema, termed emphysema because supposed to consist partly of flatus, φύσα, derived from the pneuma. See note p9.

94 Cf. II.1.21, and also IV.18, cholera nostras. Celsus did not refer to Asiatic cholera.

95 ἱλαρότης, associated with yellow bile, note p8, and a symptom of mania, III.18.3 et seq.

96 I.3.22.

97 Hipp. IV.136 (Aph. IV.13).

98 Hipp.III.76 (Surgery, XVII).

99 Massage relieves the result of severe bruising by causing the disappearance of induration and discolouration; the skin becomes movable upon the underlying parts, and regains warmth and natural colours owing to the restored circulation of the blood.

100 IV.2.8.

101 Such as is used for babies; Greek σεισμός, cf. Plato, Laws, VII.789, C-E. Similar results were attained by horse-riding (equitatio) which Celsus prescribes for sufferers from looseness of the bowels (IV.26.5) and for convalescents (IV.32.1).

102 Seneca, Ep. Mor. LV. (L. C. L. vol. I, p364).

103 αἰώρα, a swing, or hammock.

104 ὑπόβαθρον Xenophon, Memorabilia, II.1.30.

105 Cf. I.2.6.

106 The text as it stands cannot be translated; for suggested emendations, see Critical Note.

107 Laconicum: first used by the Lacedaemonians, see Vitruv. V.10.

108 Clibanus, a small oven of burnt clay, which was heated like a bread-oven, into which the affected limb was put: see III.21.6, p314 note.

109 Note, p52.

110 Cf. III.3, et seq.

111 See note, p52.

112 Some words seem to have fallen out here: see critical note.

113 For a list of the foodstuffs given and the probable identification of those which are doubtful, see list of Alimenta, pp483 ff.

114 i.e. the radish (radicula).

115 24.2; 27.

116 Pork and bacon, tabooed by Asiatics, were the chief animal food of the Greeks, Romans and Celts; next, lamb and kid; there is no mention of mutton and very limited use of beef. See list of Alimenta, pp483 ff.

117 e.g. the spring wheat grown in south Italy, rich in gluten, makes macaroni, spaghetti and vermicelli.

118 i.e. the recognition of the amount of organic or inorganic contamination in it.

119 i.e. digestible and indigestible.

120 Wheat decorticated by soaking, a fine meal so called because it was not ground in a mill in the ordinary course, cf. Cato 87 (L. C. L. p89, note 2).

121 Murex brandaris and Purpura haemostoma, univalve molluscs, the chief sources of the purple dye, were extensively consumed.

122 'Good against the gripes.' Pyrus sorbus torminalis, an intestinal astringent for dysentery.

123 Then follows a list of local applications placed here rather (p211)than in Book V, because the materials were included under the heading of Ailments.

124 From Cimolus in the Cyclades.


Thayer's Notes:

a Ian Parkin, a careful reader of these pages — and a medical doctor — writes me that patients plucking at things, somewhat like monkeys grooming each other, are showing one of the classic signs of delirium, although apparently many doctors today fail to recognize it — and that hospitals foolish enough to use chenille bed covers soon find that those little tufts of pile get plucked to shreds by these patients.

b This was the consensus in Antiquity; Domitian, for example, is praised by Statius (Silv. IV.3) for abbreviating the torture of a carriage ride on the Via Appia — which was the finest and best maintained road Rome had.

c An amusing glimpse of what could happen to these delicate people, beneficiaries of the gentlest rocking therapy, is provided by Plutarch Moralia, 798D.

d A most extraordinary translation of the Latin beluas marinas, "(large) sea creatures".

e1 e2 This would be an interesting sidelight on Roman food; but "pollen" just picks up the Latin pollen, meaning "finely milled flour" (literally, "dust"); and "grey" is the addition of the translator, a sidelight on early‑20c bread, instead. The Latin merely reads cibarius panis, literally, "bread for food".

A more modern rendering of the passage is therefore: "and of wheat the strongest is siligo, next simila, then whole-wheat, which the Greeks call autopuros; weaker is bread made from cake flour, weakest is ordinary bread." Not "ordinary white bread", either: which would be a sidelight on 21c flours, chemically bleached; translation is not an easy art.

f So the Latin as given in the Loeb edition (Mevianum). That adjective, however, is otherwise unknown, and I strongly suspect that it should read Mevanianum: Mevanian, i.e., from Mevania in Umbria (today's Bevagna), where pears are still grown. The names of many of the other varieties of pear enumerated derive, as might be expected, from places in central Italy, the hinterland of Rome; even today, much of the garden produce to be found in large cities comes from not very far away of course, and the territory of Mevania lay on the Via Flaminia, the most important consular road in terms of supplying food to Rome.

g The low leafy plant of the temperate zone is meant — not the relative of the banana, which was almost certainly unknown to the Romans.


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Page updated: 28 Jun 09