13 - Good Humor Men: the Hippocratics

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Early Greek medicine up until Hippocrates, and its relation to Pre-Socratic philosophers like Empedocles.



Further Reading

V. Nutton, Ancient Medicine (London 2004).

P. van der Eijk, Medicine and Philosophy in Classical Antiquity: Doctors and Philosophers on Nature, Soul, Health and Disease (Cambridge: 2005).


Lloyd G Abercrombie on 6 April 2017

Legend of Hippocrates and Asclepius

Hello Peter!

And greetings from Oslo!

In this episode you mention (around 7:00) the legend that Hippocrates acquired his knowledge about medicine from reading the walls of an asclepion. You wouldn't by chance have a reference for that handy, would you? I've come upon a similar story in a Coptic apocalypse from early Islamic Egypt and would like to point out the parallel in a paper I'm writing. 

By the way, we have a mutual friend in Jason Carter!

Best wishes,


In reply to by Lloyd G Abercrombie

Peter Adamson on 6 April 2017

Hippocrates legend

Hi there! I guess that I must have gotten this from the Kirk Raven and Schofield collection of Presocratic fragments, which has a section on the Hippocratic corpus.

Say hi to Jason for me!

Jordan on 17 November 2021

"For instance, Hippocratic…

"For instance, Hippocratic doctors already made extensive use of drugs."

Ooh... I see.

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