Chapter

The ὄγκοι in Action

J. T. Vallance

in The Lost Theory of Asclepiades of Bithynia

Published in print October 1990 | ISBN: 9780198242482
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680489 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198242482.003.0004
The ὄγκοι in Action

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Asclepiades’ theory was quite spectacularly speculative. Health was nothing but the free, balanced movement of the fluids within the body, an ‘equilibrium of corpuscles and pores’, as Galen states. The ancient witnesses suggest that every detail of Asclepiades’ pathology could be subordinated to the principle that a disturbance of the movement of corpuscles causes some kind of dysnfuction. Caelius is by far the most copious source for the workings of Asclepiades’ pathology, that is why there is not much information available as Caelius sport a lively contempt for theory. Overall, all diseases, whether characterised by impaction or dissolution, could be explained ultimately in terms of the propensity of the αναρμοι ογκοι to shatter and then to reconstitute themselves in different sizes later on.

Keywords: Asclepiades; balanced movement; equilibrium; corpuscles; disturbance; dysfunction; Caelius; impaction; dissolution

Chapter.  11405 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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