previous next


Its succeeding history, a fact that is truly marvellous, remains enveloped in the densest night, down to the time of the Peloponnesian War;1 at which period it was restored to light by the agency of Hippocrates, a native of Cos, an island flourishing and powerful in the highest degree, and consecrated to Æsculapius. It being the practice for persons who had recovered from a disease to describe in the temple of that god the remedies to which they had owed their restoration to health, that others might derive benefit therefrom in a similar emergency; Hippocrates, it is said, copied out these prescriptions, and, as our fellow-countryman Varro will have it, after burning the temple to the ground,2 instituted that branch of medical practice which is known as "Clinics."3 There was no limit after this to the profits derived from the practice of medicine; for Prodicus,4 a native of Selymbria, one of his disciples, founded the branch of it known as "Iatraliptics,"5 and so discovered a means of enriching the very anointers even and the commonest drudges6 employed by the physicians.

1 Hippocrates is generally supposed to have been born B.C. 460.

2 In order to destroy the medical books and prescriptions there. The same story is told, with little variation, of Avicenna. Cnidos is also mentioned as the scene of this act of philosophical incendiarism.

3 "Clinice"—Chamber-physic, so called because the physician visited his patients ἐν κλίνη, "in bed."

4 It is supposed by most commentators that Pliny commits a mistake here, and that in reality he is alluding to Herodicus of Selymbria in Thrace, who was the tutor, and not the disciple, of Hippocrates. Prodicus of Selymbria does not appear to be known.

5 "Healing by ointments," or, as we should call it at the present day, "The Friction cure."

6 "Mediastinis."

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Latin (Karl Friedrich Theodor Mayhoff, 1906)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
460 BC (1)
hide References (8 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (6):
    • Harper's, Medicīna
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), IATRALIPTA
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), MEDICI´NA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), MASSI´LIA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), TARENTUM
    • Smith's Bio, A'ndreas
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: