Hippocrates examines a patient
Greek bas-relief

Christ heals a leper with the disciples (10th c. MS)









Praeceptiones, ed. by É. Littré Oeuvres Completes d’Hippocrate, vol. 9 (Paris: Baillie 1861 repr. Amsterdam: Hakkert 1962), pp. 250-272. TLG canon 627.51. tr. L. Dysinger, OSB


Ἢν δὲ καιρὸς εἴη χορηγίης ξένῳ τε ἐόντι καὶ ἀπορέοντι, μάλιστα ἐπαρκέειν τοῖσι τοιουτέοισιν· AND should an opportunity arise to serve someone who is a stranger and poor, render assistance to such [persons].

ἢν γὰρ παρῇ φιλανθρωπίη,

 πάρεστι καὶ φιλοτεχνίη.

For where there is love of humankind

        there is also love of  The Art

FOR some patients, although aware that their condition is dangerous, return to health through their contentment with the physician's kindness.

Ενιοι γὰρ νοσέοντες ᾐσθημένοι τὸ περὶ ἑωυτοὺς πάθος μὴ ἐὸν ἐν ἀσφαλείῃ, καὶ τῇ τοῦ ἰητροῦ ἐπιεικείῃ εὐδοκέοντες, μεταλλάσσονται ἐς ὑγιείην.̈

Articella, Oxford, 13th c. DeRicci NLM [78].) fol 32r




Hippocrates teaches Galen, medieval
MS illum.



De morbis popularibus († Epidemiae), ed. by É. Littré Oeuvres Completes d’Hippocrate, vol. 2 (Paris: Baillie 1840 repr. Amsterdam: Hakkert 1961). TLG canon 627.6. tr. L. Dysinger, OSB

Λέγειν τὰ προγενόμενα·

  γιγνώσκειν τὰ παρεόντα·

     προλέγειν τὰ ἐσόμενα·

μελετᾷν ταῦτα·

DECLARE [the patient's] past

DIAGNOSE [know] the [patient's] present

PROGNOSE [foretell] the future

Meditate on [practice] these things.

ἀσκέειν, περὶ τὰ νουσήματα, δύο,

In regard to disease strive f

or two things:


μὴ βλάπτειν.

(1) To HELP;

(2) or at least to DO NO HARM.

Η τέχνη διὰ τριῶν,

τὸ νούσημα, ὁ νοσέων, καὶ ὁ ἰητρός·

The Art is threefold:

The patient, the disease, and the physician

 ὁ ἰητρὸς, ὑπηρέτης τῆς τέχνης·

ὑπεναντιοῦσθαι τῷ νουσήματι τὸν νοσεῦντα μετὰ τοῦ ἰητροῦ χρή.

The physician is the servant of the art,

and the patient must cooperate with the physician in battling the disease.






 Christ the Good Shepherd
 3rd c. Vat Mus.


IGNATIUS of ANTIOCH  Letter to the Ephesians 7.2.

Εἷς ἰατρός ἐστιν, σαρκικός τε καὶ πνευματικός, γεννητὸς καὶ ἀγέννητος, ἐν σαρκὶ γενόμενος θεός, ἐν θανάτῳ ζωὴ ἀληθινή, καὶ ἐκ Μαρίας καὶ ἐκ θεοῦ, πρῶτον παθητὸς καὶ τότε ἀπαθής,Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν

ONE physician there is, both fleshly and spiritual, begotten and unbegotten, God become flesh, true life in death, both from Mary and from God; first subject to suffering then not subject to suffering - Jesus Christ our Lord.


ORIGEN of ALEXANDRIA, Contra Celsum, 3.61-62, SC 136, p. 142.

Χριστιανὸς [|] καλεῖ, ἵν' αὐτῶν καταδήσῃ ̧ τὰ τραύματα ς τῷ λόγῳ καὶ ἐπιχέῃ τῇ φλεγμαινούσῃ ἐν κακοῖς ψυχῇ τὰ ἀπὸ τοῦ λόγου φάρμακα, ἀνάλογον οἴνῳ καὶ ἐλαίῳ καὶ μαλάγματι καὶ τοῖς λοιποῖς ἀπὸ ἰατρικῆς ψυχῆς βοηθήμασιν

THE Christian […] calls [sinners] in order to bind up their ‘wounds’ with the Word and apply to [their] soul, festering in vices, drugs [taken] from the Word, analogous to wine and oil and emollients and the rest of the soul’s medicinal remedies

[...] Ἐπέμφθη οὖν θεὸς λόγος καθὸ μὲν ἰατρὸς τοῖς ἁμαρτωλοῖς, καθὸ δὲ διδάσκαλος θείων μυστηρίων τοῖς ἤδη καθαροῖς καὶ μηκέτι ἁμαρτάνουσιν. […] God the Word was indeed sent as a physician to sinners, but as a teacher of divine mysteries to those who are already pure and who no longer sin.


BASIL of CAESARIA Asceticon magnum (reg. fus.) 55, PG 31.1044.

ἡ ἰατρικὴ τέχνη εἰς τύπον τῆς κατὰ ψυχὴν θεραπείας τὴν ἀπόθεσιν τοῦ περισσοῦ, καὶ τὴν τοῦ λείποντος πρόσθεσιν ὑποτιθεμένη ὑπὸ τοῦ πᾶσαν ἡμῖν τὴν ζωὴν οἰκονομοῦντος Θεοῦ συγκεχώρηται

THE ART of medicine [has been granted us] as a pattern for the healing of the soul, to guide us in the removal of excess and in the augmentation of what is deficient: it has been granted us by the God who directs our whole life.




This Webpage was created for a workshop held at Saint Andrew's Abbey, Valyermo, California in 2001....x....  .