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1 (Πόλυβος), one of the pupils of Hippocrates, who was also his son-in-law, and lived in the island of Cos, in the fourth century B. C.

Nothing is known of the events of his life, except that, with his brothers-in-law, Thessalus and Dracon, he was one of the founders of the ancient medical sect of the dogmatici) ; that he was sent abroad by Hippocrates, with his fellow-pupils, during the time of the plague, to assist different cities with his medical skill (Thessal. Orat. p. 843), and that he afterwards remained in his native country (Galen, Comment. in Hippocr. "De Nat. Hom." i. praef. vol. xv. p. 12). According to Galen (l.c.), he followed implicitly the opinions and mode of practice of Hippocrates; but the strict accuracy of this assertion has been doubted.


He has been supposed, both by ancient and modern critics, to be the author of several treatises in the Hippocratic collection. Choulant (Handb. der Bücherkunde für die Aeltere Medicin) specifies the following :-- Clemens Alexandrinus (Strom. vi. p. 290) attributes to him the treatise, Περὶ Ὀκταμήνον, De Octimestri Partu ; and Plutarch (De Philosoph. Plac. 5.18) quotes him as the author of that Περὶ Ἑπταμήνου, De Septimestri Partu.

Of these, however, M. Littré (Oeuvres d'Hippocr. vol. i. p. 345, &c.) considers that only the first, and perhaps the fourth, are to be attributed to Polybus [HIPPOCRATES, p. 487], although Galen says that the treatise De Natura Hominis was the work of Hippocrates himself (Comment. in Hippocr. "De Nat. Hon." i. praef. vol. xv. pp. 11, 12).

Polybus is several times mentioned by Galen, chiefly in connection with different works in the Hippocratic Collection (De Foet. Format. 100.1. vol. iv. p. 653, De Hippocr. et Plat. Deer. 6.3, vol. v. p. 529, De Diffic. Respir. 3.1, 13, vol. vii. pp. 891, 960, Comment. in Hippocr. "De Nat. Hom.." 2.19, vol. xv. p. 164, Comment. in Hippocr. "De Sal. Vict. Rat." praef. and 100.33, vol. xv. pp. 175, 223, Comment. in Hippocr. "De Humor." i. praef. vol. xvi. p. 3, Comment. in Hippocr. "Aphor." 6.1, vol. xviii. pt. i. p. 8).

His name also occurs in Celsus (De Med. 5.20.2, 26.23, 6.7.3, pp. 91, 100, 127), Caelius Aurelianus (De Morb. Acut. 3.9, 15, pp. 218, 227), and Pliny (H. N. xxxi. in fine).


A collection of the treatises attributed to Polybus was published in a Latin translation, 1544, 4to. Basil., per J. Oporinum; and in Italian by P. Lauro, 1545, 4to. Venice.

A Latin translation of the treatise De Salubri Victus Ratione, was published in a separate form by J. Placotomus (Bretschneider), 1561, 12mo. Antwerp, and is to be found appended to the Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum (in numerous editions), and to three or four other works.


1 * In the spurious oration attributed to Thessalus (ap. Hippocr. Opera, vol. iii. p. 843), and also in some Latin works, he is called Polybius, but this is probably a mistake.

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