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date: 28 November 2020

Hippocrates(2)locked

, of Cos, physician
  • J. T. Vallance

Extract

Hippocrates (2) of *Cos, probably a contemporary of Socrates (469–399 bce), was the most famous physician of antiquity and one of the least known. The important early corpus of medical writings bears his name (see medicine, § 4), but many scholars insist that he cannot be confidently connected with any individual treatise, let alone with any specific doctrines. He remains for many a ‘name without a work’, in the words of Wilamowitz; and even in antiquity the nature of his personal contributions to medicine were the subject of speculation.All kinds of anecdotes and medical doctrines have been connected at different times to the name of Hippocrates. One influential ancient biographical tradition, represented by a Life of Hippocrates (attributed to *Soranus of Ephesus and probably a source for several much later commentators including the Byzantine scholar Johannes *Tzetzes), maintains that he was taught medicine by his father and by the gymnastic trainer Herodicus of Selymbria (see dietetics), and that he sat at the feet of the sophist *Gorgias(1) of Leontini, the eponym of *Plato (1)'s dialogue.

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