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On Ancient Medicine   



PART 11
But let us inquire what are the causes of these things which happened
to them. To him, then, who was accustomed to take only one meal in
the day, they happened because he did not wait the proper time, until
his bowels had completely derived benefit from and had digested the
articles taken at the preceding meal, and until his belly had become
soft, and got into a state of rest, but he gave it a new supply while
in a state of heat and fermentation, for such bellies digest much
more slowly, and require more rest and ease. And as to him who had
been accustomed to dinner, since, as soon as the body required food,
and when the former meal was consumed, and he wanted refreshment,
no new supply was furnished to it, he wastes and is consumed from
want of food. For all the symptoms which I describe as befalling to
this man I refer to want of food. And I also say that all men who,
when in a state of health, remain for two or three days without food,
experience the same unpleasant symptoms as those which I described
in the case of him who had omitted to take dinner.


PART 12
Wherefore, I say, that such constitutions as suffer quickly and strongly
from errors in diet, are weaker than others that do not; and that
a weak person is in a state very nearly approaching to one in disease;
but a person in disease is the weaker, and it is, therefore, more
likely that he should suffer if he encounters anything that is unseasonable.
It is difficult, seeing that there is no such accuracy in the Art,
to hit always upon what is most expedient, and yet many cases occur
in medicine which would require this accuracy, as we shall explain.
But on that account, I say, we ought not to reject the ancient Art,
as if it were not, and had not been properly founded, because it did
not attain accuracy in all things, but rather, since it is capable
of reaching to the greatest exactitude by reasoning, to receive it
and admire its discoveries, made from a state of great ignorance,
and as having been well and properly made, and not from chance.


PART 13
But I wish the discourse to revert to the new method of those who
prosecute their inquiries in the Art by hypothesis. For if hot, or
cold, or moist, or dry, be that which proves injurious to man, and
if the person who would treat him properly must apply cold to the
hot, hot to the cold, moist to the dry, and dry to the moist- let
me be presented with a man, not indeed one of a strong constitution,
but one of the weaker, and let him eat wheat, such as it is supplied
from the thrashing-floor, raw and unprepared, with raw meat, and let
him drink water. By using such a diet I know that he will suffer much
and severely, for he will experience pains, his body will become weak,
and his bowels deranged, and he will not subsist long. What remedy,
then, is to be provided for one so situated? Hot? or cold? or moist?
or dry? For it is clear that it must be one or other of these. For,
according to this principle, if it is one of the which is injuring
the patient, it is to be removed by its contrary. But the surest and
most obvious remedy is to change the diet which the person used, and
instead of wheat to give bread, and instead of raw flesh, boiled,
and to drink wine in addition to these; for by making these changes
it is impossible but that he must get better, unless completely disorganized
by time and diet. What, then, shall we say? whether that, as he suffered
from cold, these hot things being applied were of use to him, or the
contrary? I should think this question must prove a puzzler to whomsoever
it is put. For whether did he who prepared bread out of wheat remove
the hot, the cold, the moist, or the dry principle in it?- for the
bread is consigned both to fire and to water, and is wrought with
many things, each of which has its peculiar property and nature, some

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