5th-cent. theories about sound fall into two groups. Most though not all non-Pythagorean Presocratics were concerned primarily with the process of hearing (see especially Theophr. Sens.; cf. also Hippocr. De victu 1. 8 and 15 on hearing and voice). The Pythagoreans opened a musical perspective, beginning from observed correspondences between pitch-relations and the relative lengths of pipes or strings. They showed that the correspondences hold quite generally, through demonstrations using other sound-sources (see e.g. DK 18. 12, 13; texts attributing ‘experiments’ to Pythagoras himself are unreliable). The resulting hypothesis that pitch itself is a quantitative variable prompted deeper enquiries, beginning in the 4th cent., into the physical nature of sound, its causes, transmission, and attributes, as well as the process of hearing.
The Greeks did not recognise acoustics as a separate science; the issues were studied in other contexts, mainly by philosophers interested in sense-perception, by biologists and medical writers, and above all by harmonic theorists.
In *Alexandria (1) and Constantinople. He wrote an extant medical encyclopaedia, called the Tetrabiblon from its division into four sections. Beginning with a summary of drug theory (see
J. T. Vallance
Agathinus (Claudius Agathinus) a Spartandoctor of the 1st cent. CE, associated with the medical sect of the *Pneumatists and by at least one ancient source with the establishment of an eclectic medical sect founded on Pneumatism with additional doctrines from medical Empiricism and *Methodism. He was a pupil of *Athenaeus (3) of Attaleia, and was linked with the Stoic philosopher L. *Annaeus Cornutus. He may have taught the physicians *Archigenes and *Herodotus (2). Fragments of his doctrines are reported by *Galen and *Oribasius, amongst others. He wrote influential works on pulsation (grudgingly praised by Galen, 8. 748 Kühn), on semi-tertian fevers, and on the use of hellebore; little is now known of their contents.
Appears in *Hyginus (3) (Fab.274) in a list of discoverers and inventors. She is described as an Athenian girl who lived at a time when there were no *midwives, because women and slaves were forbidden to learn medicine; this scenario matches no known historical period. Disguising herself as a man, Agnodice studied medicine under ‘a certain Herophilus’, and then practised medicine at Athens successfully, challenging the professional monopoly on the part of male doctors. Accused by her jealous rivals of seducing her patients, Agnodice demonstrated her innocence by performing the gesture of anasyrmos, lifting her tunic to expose her lower body. This revelation led to a charge of practising medicine unlawfully, but she was saved when the wives of the leading men lobbied the *Areopagus in her defence. Hyginus claims that Athenian law was then changed so that freeborn women could study medicine.
M. Stephen Spurr
Edward Courtney and R. A. Kaster
Albinus (2) writer on music, geometry, and dialectic, probably identical with Ceionius Rufius Albinus (PLRE 1 ‘Albinus’ 14), the consul of
Heinrich von Staden
Cecil Maurice Bowra, Eveline Krummen, and Christopher Pelling
J. T. Vallance
J. T. Vallance
An anonymous work, preserved in a manuscript of the 1st century