Quotes about Hippocrates
17 Sourced Quotes
From the time when Guldberg and Waage gave quantitative form to the speculations of the physicist Berthollet, a clear conception of chemical equilibrium, in sharp contrast to an anthropomorphic theory of affinity dating back to Hippocrates and Barchausen, has yielded rich and abundant fruit.
But absolutely nothing remains of that one and only medicament of which Hippocrates makes mention (darkly and mystically, I admit) in several places, and still less are its operations understood, inasmuch as no one now searches with lynx-like eyes into the profound depths of true natural philosophy, to gain an accurate knowledge of its composition and its virtues.
When one turns to psychological models of mental illness, one finds that the psychodynamic model of human mind and of mental disease is also of considerable antiquity. Thus, Empedocles of Agrigentum (490-430 B. C.) from whom Hippocrates took the theory of four elements, stressed the importance of emotions of love and hate as the controlling agents of human behavior and of physiological functions.
By the time of Hippocrates of Chios the scope of Greek geometry was no longer even limited to the Elements; certain special problems were also attacked which were beyond the power of the geometry of the straight line and circle, and which were destined to play a great part in determining the direction taken by Greek geometry in its highest flights. The main problems in question were three: (1) the doubling of the cube, (2) the trisection of any angle, (3) the squaring of the circle; and from the time of Hippocrates onwards the investigation of these problems proceeded pari passu with the completion of the body of the Elements.
But the Quincunx of Heaven runs low, and 'tis time to close the five ports of knowledge. We are unwilling to spin out our awaking thoughts into the phantasms of sleep, which often continueth precogitations; making Cables of Cobwebbes and Wildernesses of handsome Groves. Beside Hippocrates hath spoke so little and the Oneirocriticall Masters, have left such frigid Interpretations from plants, that there is little encouragement to dream of Paradise it self. Nor will the sweetest delight of Gardens afford much comfort in sleep; wherein the dullness of that sense shakes hands with delectable odors; and though in the Bed of Cleopatra, can hardly with any delight raise up the ghost of a Rose.
The famous Greek physician Hippocrates administered musical treatments to his patients in 400 B.C. Although this type of treatment did not originate with him, it found in him an exponent of the highest order. With the increasing materialism of Western civilization, the major tenants of ancient musical therapy have been either forgotten or discarded.
The actual writers of Elements of whom we hear were the following. Leon, a little younger than Eudoxus, was the author of a collection of propositions more numerous and more serviceable than those collected by Hippocrates. Theudius of Magnesia, a contemporary of Menæchmus and Dinostratus, "put together the elements admirably, making many partial or limited propositions more general". Theudius's book was no doubt the geometrical text-book of the Academy and that used by Aristotle.
The trisection of an angle was effected by means of a curve discovered by Hippias of Elis, the sophist, a contemporary of Hippocrates as well as of Democritus and Socrates. The curve was called the quadratrix because it also served (in the hands, as we are told, of Dinostratus, brother of Menæchmus, and of Nicomedes) for squaring the circle. It was theoretically constructed as the locus of the point of intersection of two straight lines moving at uniform speeds and in the same time, one motion being angular and the other rectilinear.
Hippocrates himself is an example of the concurrent study of the two departments. On the one hand, he was the first of the Greeks who is known to have compiled a book of Elements. This book, we may be sure, contained in particular the most important propositions about the circle included in Euclid, Book III. But a much more important proposition is attributed to Hippocrates; he is said to have been the first to prove that circles are to one another as the squares on their diameters with the deduction that similar segments of circles are to one another as the squares on their bases. These propositions were used by him in his tract on the squaring of lunes, which was intended to lead up to the squaring of the circle. The latter problem is one which must have exercised practical geometers from time immemorial. Anaxagoras for instance is said to have worked at the problem while in prison.