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[84a] but whenever the substance which binds the flesh to the bones1 becomes diseased and no longer separates itself at once from them and from the sinews, so as to provide food for the bone and to serve as a bond between flesh and bone, but becomes rough and saline instead of being oily and smooth and viscid, owing to its being starved by a bad regimen,—then, every such substance, as it undergoes these affections, molders away beneath the flesh and the sinews [84b] and withdraws from the bones; while the flesh falls away with it from the roots and leaves the sinews bare and full of saline matter, and by falling back itself into the stream of the blood it augments the maladies previously described.

But although these bodily ailments are severe, still more grave are those which precede them, whenever the bone by reason of the density of the flesh fails to receive sufficient inspiration, and becoming heated because of its moldiness decays and does not admit its nutriment, but, on the contrary, falls back itself, [84c] as it crumbles, into its nutriment which then passes into flesh, and this flesh falling into, the blood causes all such maladies to be more violent than those previously described. And the most extreme case of all occurs whenever the substance of the marrow becomes diseased either from deficiency or from excess; for this results in the gravest of diseases and the most potent in causing death, inasmuch as the whole substance of the body, by the force of necessity, streams in the reverse direction.

A third class of diseases takes place, as we must conceive, in three ways, [84d] being due partly to air, partly to phlegm, and partly to bile. Whenever the lungs, which are the dispensers of air to the body, fail to keep their outlets clean through being blocked up with rheums, then the air, being unable to pass one way while entering by another way in more than its proper volume, causes the parts deprived of respiration to rot, but forces and distorts the vessels of the veins, and as it thus dissolves the body it is itself shut off within the center thereof which contains the midriff; and as a result of this [84e] countless diseases of a painful kind are produced, accompanied by much sweating. And often, when the flesh is disintegrated, air which is enclosed in the body and is unable to pass out brings about the same pangs as those caused by the air that enters from without; and these pangs are most severe when the air surrounds the sinews and the adjacent veins and by its swelling up strains backwards the tendons and the sinews attached to them; hence it is actually from this process of intense strain that these maladies have derived their names of “tetanus” and “opisthotonus.” Of these maladies the cure also is severe for what does most to relieve them is, in fact, an attack of fever.

1 Cf. 82 D.

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