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Delirium

The Hippocratic collection is rich in words meaning delirium of various kinds. It is probable, if not certain, that each of them had its own associations and its own shade of meaning, but these are now to a great extent lost. Only the broad outlines of the differences between them can be discerned by the modern reader. The words fall into two main classes :--

(1) Those in which the mental derangement of delirium is the dominant idea ; e.g. παραφέρομαι, παραφρονῶ (the word common in Prognostic), παρανοῶ, παρακρούω (the most common word in Epidemics I. and III.), παρακοπή, ἐκμαίνομαι, μανία.

(2) Those in which stress is laid upon delirious talk; e.g. λῆρος, παράληρος, παραληρῶ, παραλέγω, λόγοι πολλοί.

[p. lx] It is more difficult to say exactly which words in each class signify the greater degree of delirium. Of class (1) ἐκμαίνομαι is obviously the most vigorous word, meaning "wild raving," μανία comes next to it, and παρακοπή is apparently slightly stronger than the others. Of class (2) λῆρος or παράληρος seems to be the strongest, then παραλέγω, and finally λόγοι πολλοί.

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