Classical Studies 2900 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Pus, Thoracic Cavity, Pre-Socratic Philosophy
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•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
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