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Hippocratic Writings

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  263 ratings  ·  18 reviews
It is impossible to be certain which, if any, of the works in the Hippocratic corpus were written by Hippocrates himself (c.430 BC). His fame was such that many Greek medical writings became attributed to him. What they have in common is not dogma but, rather, constructive debate between one another. They also share a concern with meticulous observation and an insistence o ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published November 24th 1983 by Penguin Classics (first published March 6th 1978)
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Nov 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read this book to understand the basis of our modern allopathic medicine (because Hippocrate is considered as the father of modern medicine), when the allopathic doctors were having troubles to treat my allergies.

It seemed to me that the only wisdom that the modern medicine has kept from this learned man is his sermon, which is used even today to swear in the doctors for their profession.

In any case, I really loved the chapters 'Regimens in acute diseases', 'The sacred Disease', 'Dreams', 'Th
Roy Lotz
Life is short, and Art long; the crisis fleeting; experience perilous, and decision difficult. The physician must not only be prepared to do what is right himself, but also to make the patient, the attendants, and externals cooperate.

It’s healthy, I think, to take a moment once in a while and reflect how different our lives would be without modern medicine. Allow me to start.

At this very moment, two pieces of glass sit suspended on frames before my eyes, bringing the world into focus. When
Jan 24, 2021 rated it liked it
This is a collection of texts from Greece at around 400 BC, mostly attributed to Hippocrates but not necessarily authored by him. At that time the consensus was that diseases were supernatural, caused by the gods, who had to be somehow appeased into providing the cure. Hippocrates thought that was all bullshit.

According to Hippocrates, all diseases had a natural cause. The doctor's job was to observe the patient, figure out the cause and apply the remedy. In his own words:

medicine is the complet
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
there is something oddly gratifying reading through records of people dying from a myriad of terrifying gross bloody diarrhea deaths and knowing that chances of said fate have dropped dramatically over the centuries. It is so morbidly detached from emotion at times. one of the most tolerable university reads i have had.
Dec 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Thankfully the Greeks’ fondness for philosophical blather didn’t preclude the rise of medicine as an empirical craft.
Zachary G. Augustine
The Hippocratics, famous for their Oath, were actually a very diverse and widespread group of traveling doctors that shared few common opinions. The unusually conservative Oath, in which doctors declare "not to cut, even for the stone", is probably a specific cult and not reflective of the greater part of the doctors of 6th century Greece. Indeed, the latter parts of the Hippocratic Writings include many contradictions to the oath which can be confusing without the proper historical context.

Jan 27, 2011 rated it liked it
This is a fairly interesting collection of medical treatises, procedures, essays, logs, and, what is most famous of all now, the Hippocratic oath. For two millenia, the writings collected here were the best the West had to offer in terms of medical knowledge. Among the highlights are an excellently written procedural manual on fractures, a speculative essay on how climate affects health (peoples in humid lands are deemed mentally sluggish), and the morbidly funny logs that track the health of pa ...more
Jairo Fraga
Sep 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Many insights on the beginning of medicine. Hippocratic "doctors" used to think that the environment (air, water, etc), season of the year and unbalance of "humours" caused or contributed to diseases.

Some interesting things were already pointed at that time, like "diet" and even the possibility of the patient lie about what he is eating. Hippocrates and other writers charged money or at least a possible increase for reputation by taking care of the sick, and the Oath, with it's subsequent evolut
Lauren Wright
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Comedy gold.
Oliver Luis
Jun 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Cómo dice a Demócrito, presa de la Melancolía, la terapia es de ignorantes, la normalidad la verdadera demencia y la locura comprendida de los sabios.
Sanjay Prabhakar
The long introductory essay by Lloyd is fairly good but a text like this should probably have footnotes.
Jan 13, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: roman-studies
Part of Roman studies program and I still can’t figure out why.
Dana Y
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Super interesting read.
Nov 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: medicine
Primum non nocere. Ars long, vita brevis. You will know these alleged sayings of Hippocrates of Cos. Oft called the Father of Modern Medicine, the ideas and works of Hippocrates held sway and were still taught until fairly recently, given their age. The Hippocratic Writings is a collection of chapters and essays from The Corpus, the Hippocratic School’s body of work. You will have of course heard of the oath, maybe you knew less of the content. Amongst other things it forbids abortions and estab ...more
Aug 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: antiquity, fall-2015
A fine start on the Hippocratic corpus -- think of this as a "greatest hits" volume; it doesn't at all cover the entire corpus, but it gives you the big picture of just how diverse this collection of writings is. The introduction is also aimed at a popular, educated audience and therefore serves an important function of helping to make sense of the materials (rather than assuming that the reader is already an expert in secondary scholarship concerning Hippocrates). ...more
Vera Marsova
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, classics, nonfiction
Life is short, art is long, opportunity fleeting, experiment dangerous, judgement difficult. Not only must the physician show himself prepared to do what is necessary; he must also secure the co:operation of the patient, the attendants, and of external circumstances.
- Hippocrates, Aphorisms I.1
Jan 15, 2009 rated it liked it
The text was fairly interesting, although outdated, it was the story behind the text that I really enjoyed. The progress of Greek thought from random folk cures to the slow creation of the basics of the scientific method and a real profession.

Not a must read, but a good choice if you are brushing up on the Ancient Greek world and the impact it had on Western Civilization.
Brittany Jackson
Feb 18, 2013 rated it liked it
I find it fascinating to think about how the Greeks looked at disease and the course modern medicine has followed.
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Hippocrates of Cos or Hippokrates of Kos (ca. 460 BC – ca. 370 BC) was an ancient Greek physician of the Age of Pericles, and was considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine. He is referred to as the "father of medicine" in recognition of his lasting contributions to the field as the founder of the Hippocratic School of medicine. This intellectual school revolutionize ...more

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3 likes · 0 comments
“For if a man by magical arts and sacrifices will bring down the moon, and darken the sun, and induce storms, or fine weather, I should not believe that there was anything divine, but human, in these things, provided the power of the divine were overpowered by human knowledge and subjected to it.” 8 likes
“The selflessness and dedication shown by many Greek doctors can be seen not only in such works as the Epidemics, but also in, for example, Thucydides’ account of the plague at Athens (II, 47ff.) – where he notes the high incidence of mortality from the disease among the doctors who attempted to treat it.” 0 likes
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