For more than 2,000 years the great figure of Hippocrates, the father of medicine, has inspired the healing art. The works transmitted under his name have been copied and printed over and over again for more than 2,000 years. Medicine had progressed during that long period of time. The Hippocratic books were no longer textbooks. And yet the medical world still admired the keen sense of observation of the Hippocratic doctors, their sound judgement in evaluating symptoms of disease, their carefully balanced therapy.
As you know, all the authorities, both ancient and modern, who have investigated the genuineness of the works which have come down to us under the name of Hippocrates – the ‘Hippocratic Corpus’ – are agreed that a considerable portion of them are not the productions of the author himself. However, it is almost universally agreed that among the many Hippocratic writings, the ‘Aphorisms’ are genuine. They are also undoubtedly by far the most popular books; printed, translated, and commented upon endless times, they were the physician’s bible for many centuries. So noteworthy has been this anthology of medical truths that it served to add a new word, ‘aphorism’, to the English language.
Our edition of the book, the 1822 Coar translation, is particularly distinguished, we think, in that it gives each aphorism in its original Greek, as well as in Latin and English translation.