• Hippocratic Collection (450 - 350 B.C.)
• Physiologoi (Presocratics) - 550 - 350 B.C.)
• Keen observer and can describe certain conditions and treatment required
• When the physician makes a prognosis, this prepares him to find the appropriate
treatment which is based on experience
• Why does the disease develop the way we see it developing?
• What are the bodily processes that make the disease happen?
• From stool, urine, sputum, complexion and posture, might be able to diagnosis
what is happening inside the body.
• What are the constituents of the body? What is the body made of? These questions
were asked by the Presocratic philosophers. They worked a little before the Hip-
pocratic physicians but there is partly at overlap. They also asked these ques-
tions about the universe.
• Physician probably knew about their theories.
• Hippocratic Collection - 68 treates, they share common ideas.
◦ Body is made up of solid parts and fluid parts. The solid parts can be felt
through palpation and some are known through animal sacrifices.
◦ Fluid components - one knows what comes out of the body and the most
important part for life is breath, air and blood.
◦ Air is considered a fluid.
◦ Air is taken into the other part of the body into the chest.
◦ Thoracic cavity (upper cavity) and the abdomen is the lower cavity. The
abdomen consists of the lower part and upper part, the stomach and the
◦ If air is stopped for a short time, the body fails.
◦ Blood is also important - it is replenished by food. The stomach is hot and
cooks the food. It makes it weak and changes it into a stomach that can
be assimilated by the body. The substance is turned into blood after this.
◦ Coction/pepsis - in the stomach.
◦ What cannot be changed into blood is moved into the intestines and
passed out through the body as urine or stool.
◦ Hypothetical fluids inside the body - play a role mainly in disease; bile and
◦ Bile is thought to be hot and dry. Bile would mainly occur in the summer.
◦ Phlegm is related to mucous and thought to be cold and moist. Phlegm
would mainly occur in the winter.
◦ These two are together with blood. In some treatises, we find a system of
four fluids or humours; yellow bile, blood (warm and moist), water and
black bile. Black bile is supposed to be dry and cold.
◦ Bile, phlegm, blood and water - four fluids.
Passage #70, Page 35
• Bile and phlegm are the two pathogenic humours • Bile and phlegm are always in the body and under normal circumstances, are
mixed together with the blood. Under certain circumstances, they start to stand
out and change their character.
• Any change is considered dangerous. They become this way from food and drink
(external - might make the bile hotter or dryer or the phlegm cold and wet), heat
and cold. Either external or internal influences.
• Exercise is another external factor that might dry the inside of the body. It might