Thales, the Milesian, who lived about A. M. 3330, has been regarded as the first who wrote on natural philosophy, which would seem to imply some acquaintance with medicine, and to Pherecydes of Scyros, his contemporary, has been attributed one of the books on Diet, to be found among the writings of Hippocrates. Pythagoras, by far the most celebrated of the ancient philosophers, according to Celsus, was the oldest of those who joined the study of medicine to that of physics. He lived about the sixtieth Olympiad, or nearly A. M. 3420. His science was universal to its then extent, and his disciples were scarcely inferior in their attainments. All, more or less, appear to have pursued physiology, and to have been more or less proficient in medical attainments. Empedocles, one of them, is said to have written on medicine not less than six thousand verses, and he was nearly contemporary with Hippocrates. Democritus, whose merits in comparative anatomy are attested by Hippocrates himself, was also his contemporary, and he wrote on the Nature of Man, which is the same title with one of the books ascribed to Hippocrates. He wrote also another on pestilential diseases, a third treatise on prognostics, a fourth on diet, a fifth on the causes of diseases, &c.,—and others on seeds, trees, fruits, and animals, and even one on the Stone. In short, the galaxy of science scarcely ever shone so resplendent by its cultivators than at this very point of time, when the illustrious Hippocrates began his career. Whatever then may have been the real value of the writings of Democritus, it is obvious they must have been a source of great advantage to the opening and observant genius of Hippocrates.—We may incidentally remark, that Columella quotes two books of Democritus, one on Agriculture, the other on Antipathies, in the latter of which he seems to have been the first to attach the powers of death and destruction to caterpillars and insects generally in our gardens, if a female in the menstrual period walks thrice around the borders, barefooted and dishevelled;—a ridiculous assertion, void of truth, but which is, perhaps, not even now altogether discredited.—Besides the above, Cælius Aurelianus speaks of two other books (Acut., lib. cap. 14-16, &c.) that passed under his name, but which he expresses doubts of;—one treated of convulsive diseases, the other of elephantiasis, in which bleeding is especially commended.
Yet sometimes they are so fused with other memories that a lot of the time spent in writing narrative is in the prewriting stage.When you write a narrative essay, you are telling a story.
The Basil edition (1549), contains merely the translation into Latin, of the Greek text of this work of Hippocrates. That of Venice, (8th, 1609,) has three commentaries of Galen thereon, translated by M. Alatinus, a Jewish physician, which supplies the want of the Basil edition, and which it acknowledges by saying, “Galeni commentaria desiderantur.” Having, however, pursued the order of arrangement in the edition of Basil, I have not adverted to these commentaries, farther than to notice where they may be found; and especially as I have in the abstract of Hippocrates’ writings given the translation of this book of his. I merely remark, that the first commentary is on the part that treats of the variation of the air, and diversity of situations, arising from the direction of the winds in different places; the second treats of the waters, their nature, and influence on the temperaments in different bodies, and according to their respective character; and the third, the salubrity or insalubrity of different seasons; and how the of the air and condition of the heavens influence the nature of the human body; and how it is affected by the influence of society, according to age, sex, temperament, and season, &c. A variety of other topics are incidentally treated of, some of which are of a singular character, connected with the Scythians and their habits of life, &c.