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date: 25 February 2021

Demetrius(21)locked

, of Apamea, Herophilean physician, 2nd cent. BCE?
  • Heinrich von Staden

Extract

Physician of the ‘school’ of *Herophilus. No Herophilean was more famous for his contributions to *pathology. In On Affections 1–12 and in Signs (or Semiotics) he discussed the symptoms and causes of numerous mental and physical disorders, including priapism, satyriasis, mania, hydrophobia, lethargy, cardiac disorders, phrenitis, dropsy, pneumonia, and pleurisy. Like Herophilus, he also had a strong interest in *gynaecology: he discussed the causes of difficult *childbirth (δυστοκία), inflammation of the uterus, and seven kinds of vaginal discharge. Displaying the scientific independence characteristic of the Herophilean school, he directly contradicted Herophilus by asserting that there are diseases peculiar to women. Therapeutics represent a further attested interest of Demetrius. Although also known from an anonymous papyrus, Demetrius is the only Herophilean whose views are transmitted mainly by Methodist sources (*Soranus, Caelius Aurelianus); this perhaps is an indication of the esteem in which his ‘practical’ contributions were held, also by non-Herophileans.

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