Hippocratic Oratory: The Poetics of Early Greek Medical Prose, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Hippocratic Oratory

The Poetics of Early Greek Medical Prose, 1st Edition

By James R. Cross


160 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781472474155
pub: 2017-11-03
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315611181
pub: 2017-11-06
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On Ancient Medicine, On the Art, On Breaths, On the Nature of Human Beings and On the Sacred Disease are among the most well-known and sophisticated works of the Hippocratic Collection. The authors of these treatises were seeking to find means to express their arguments that built on authoritative models of their predecessors. By examining the range of expressive resources used in their expository prose, James Cross demonstrates how oral tradition and written techniques, such as sound patterning, sign-posting and antithetical formulae, were deployed to help the writers develop a case. The book demonstrates that there were various layers of meaning and manners of communicating ideas which can be found in Hippocratic expository prose, and offers fresh insights into the oral debating culture and experiments in persuasion which characterise the ancient Greek world of the late fifth-century BCE.

Table of Contents

1. Hippocratic expository prose

2. Models of logos and medical oratory

3. Hippocratic epideixis and the orality of medical oratory

4. Gorgias, Heraclitus and the persuasive functions of sound in On Breaths

5. In the agon: the persuasive functions of antithesis in Hippocratic oratory




About the Author

James R. Cross is a Tutor in Classical Civilisation at University College London. He completed his PhD in Classics at King’s College London. His research focuses on connections between ancient medicine and literature.

About the Series

Medicine and the Body in Antiquity

Medicine and the Body in Antiquity is a series which fosters interdisciplinary research that broadens our understanding of past beliefs about the body and its care. The intention of the series is to use evidence drawn from diverse sources (textual, archaeological, epigraphic) in an interpretative manner to gain insights into the medical practices and beliefs of the ancient Mediterranean. The series approaches medical history from a broad thematic perspective that allows for collaboration between specialists from a wide range of disciplines outside ancient history and archaeology such as art history, religious studies, medicine, the natural sciences and music. The series will also aim to bring research on ancient medicine to the attention of scholars concerned with later periods. Ultimately this series provides a forum for scholars from a wide range of disciplines to explore ideas about the body and medicine beyond the confines of current scholarship.

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Dr Patty Baker at P.A.Baker-3@kent.ac.uk 

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Ancient / General