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HIPPOCRATES:

Greek physician; born in Cos 460 B.C.; died at Larissa in Thessaly about 360 B.C. He studied medicine under Herodicus of Selymbria and under his father, Heraclides, and philosophy under Gorgias of Leontini and Democritus of Abdera. He undertook many travels, and lived for a long time in the island of Thasos and in Thessaly.

Hippocrates' influence and reputation in the Middle Ages among the learned Moslems and Jews increased as his works became better known by translation. He is the only Greek author that has received in Hebrew sources the honorific epithet "the Pious" (). Maimonides ("Shemonah Peraḳim," i., beginning) calls him "head of the physicians" ( ). The Arabs gave to his name the forms "Abuḳrat" and "Buḳrat." Jewish authors rendering his works from Arabic translations, quote his name in these forms; when rendering from Latin translations they use the forms "Ippoḳrat" and "Ippoḳras."

The influence of Hippocrates' medical principles upon the treatment of diseases among the Jews must have been very deep, as may be learned from their profound study of his works.

Of his writings the "Aphorisms" ('Aφορισμοί) were most studied by the Jews. They transcribed the Arabic translation of Ḥunain b. Isḥaḳ, ("Kitab al-Fuṣul") in Hebrew characters (Vatican MS. No. 426), and also paraphrased and translated the work into Hebrew under the title "Peraḳim" (Neubauer, "Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS." No. 2245). The Latin translation of Constantinus Africanus was likewise rendered into Hebrew by Hillel ben Samuel (thirteenth century) in Italy (Vat. MS. No. 368, 50; Paris MS. No. 1111): and this Hebrew translation, again, was commented on by Moses de Rieti (born in 1388; Steinschneider, "Cat. Berlin," Nos. 62, 68; Parma, De Rossi. MS. No. 1185; Amsterdam MS. No. 4052). Judah ben Samuel Shalom composed in Hebrew (about 1450) a commentary on the "Aphorisms" for his pupil Raphael b. David ha-Kohen of Lunel (Florence MS. No. 88; Paris MS. No. 1113; Vienna MS. No. 133).

Hippocrates' "Prognostics" (Προγνωστικόν) were likewise translated from the Arabic into Hebrew with the title "Haḳdamat ha-Yedi'ah" (Leyden MS. No. 2, 3; Paris MS. No. 1106, 12; Parma, De Rossi, MS. No. 565), and paraphrased in Hebrew under the title "Ḥidot we-Hashgaḥot" (1197-99), of which work many manuscripts are in existence.

Moreover, his "On Regimen in Acute Diseases" (Περὶ Διαίτησ Ὀξέων) was translated into Hebrew (probably from the Arabic) by Nathan ha-Meati (finished in Rome, 1282) under the title "Hanhagat ha-Ḥolayim ha-ḥaddiyim" (Leyden MS. No. 2, 18).

The same Nathan ha-Meati translated Hippocrates' "On Airs, Waters, and Places" (Περὶ, Ἀέρων ϒδάτων, καὶ τόπων) into Hebrew with the title "Sefer ba-Awwerim uba-Zemannim weha-Memot weha-Araẓot," probably from the Arabic too (Leyden MS. No. 2, 10; Paris MS. No. 1106, 3).

Bibliography:
  • Ersch and Gruber, Encyc. ii. 7;
  • Encyc. Brit. s.v.;
  • Steinschneider, Hebr. Uebers. §§ 416 et seq.
J. M. Sc.
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