must have coloured the notion of πέψις as generally
held. It is true that we read little about innate
heat in the Hippocratic collection, but that is an
accident, and it certainly was thought to have a
powerful influence upon the bodily functions.
A disease was supposed to result when the equilibrium
of the humours, from some "exciting cause"
or other (πρόφασις), was disturbed, and then nature,
that is the constitution of the individual (φύς1ις),
made every effort she could through coction to
restore the necessary κρᾶσις.
The battle between nature and the disease was
decided on the day that coction actually took place
or failed to take place. The result was recovery,
partial or complete, aggravation of the disease, or
death. The crisis (κρίσις) is "the determination of
the disease as it were by a judicial verdict."
|See Dr. E. T. Withington, Classical Review, May-June
1920, p. 65. There is a good definition of κρίσις in Affections
VIII. (Littré VI. 216) : κρίνεσθαι δέ ἐς1τιν ἐν ταῖς νούσοις,
ὅταν αὔξωνται αἱ νοῦς1οι ἢ ματαίνωνται ἢ μεταπίπτωσιν ἐς ἕτερον
νόσημα ἢ τελεντῶσιν.|
After a crisis there might, or might not, be a
relapse (ὑποστροφή), which would be followed in due
course by another crisis.
The crisis, if favourable, was accompanied by the
expulsion of the residue remaining after coction
and κρᾶσις of the humours had occurred. This expulsion