1st Edition

The 'Hippocratic' Corpus Content and Context

By Elizabeth Craik Copyright 2015
    344 Pages
    by Routledge

    344 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Hippocratic Corpus comprises some sixty medical works of varying length, style and content. Collectively, this is the largest surviving body of early Greek prose. As such, it is an invaluable resource for scholars and students not only of ancient medicine but also of Greek life in general.

    Hippocrates lived in the age of Socrates and most of the treatises seem to originate in the classical period. There is, however, no consensus on Hippocratic attribution. The ‘Hippocratic’ Corpus examines the works individually under the broad headings: 

    • content - each work is summarised for the reader
    • comment - the substance and style of each work is discussed
    • context is provided not just in relation to the corpus as a whole but also to the work’s wider relevance.

    Whereas the scholar or student approaching, say, Euripides or Herodotus has a wealth of books available to provide introduction and orientation, no such study has existed for the Hippocratic Corpus. As The ‘Hippocratic’ Corpus has a substantial introduction, and as each work is summarised for the reader, it facilitates use and exploration of an important body of evidence by all interested in Greek medicine and society.

    Elizabeth Craik is Honorary Professor at University of St Andrews and Visiting Professor at University of Newcastle, UK.

    I  Origin and Development of Greek Medicine
    1. Aspects of the art of medicine
    2. Intellectual context
    3. Hippocrates and the ‘Hippocratic’ Corpus
    II  Principles and Methods
    1. Grouping and approaching the ‘Hippocratic’ works
    2. Reading and interpreting the ‘Hippocratic’ works

    The ‘Hippocratic’ Works

    Diversity, Authorship and Tradition



    Index of Authors and Texts

    General Index


    Elizabeth Craik

    "Craik’s glossary is praiseworthy for the way that it connects Greek terms consistently with English equivalents, when such translation contributes to clarity of concept. The ‘Hippocratic’ Corpus: Content and Context is a much-needed text, and Craik achieves her goal of providing simultaneously a general introduction and a reference work. This concise and comprehensive book is a useful tool both for those interested in learning more about the ‘Hippocratic’ Corpus and its component parts, and for scholars investigating research questions." - by Katherine D. van Schaik, Harvard University, BMCR


    "[T]his is a fine book by a senior scholar who has a long history of engaging with these texts, as both editor and interpreter. It contains material very useful to those who regularly work with ancient Greek medical texts but it is also written to provide sufficient background for those coming to these texts for the first time." - Jennifer Clarke Kosak, Bowdoin College, Aestimatio