De Medicina

De Medicina
By Celsus
Edited by: W. G. Spencer (trans.)

Cambridge, Massachusetts Harvard University Press 1971 (Republication of the 1935 edition).

Digital Hippocrates Collection Table of Contents

Celsus On Medicine

Book I

Book II

Book III

Book IV

Book V

Book VI

Book VII


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 [p. 295]

Book VII


The third part of the Art of Medicine is that which cures by the hand, as I have already said, and indeed it is common knowledge. It does not omit medicaments and regulated diets, but does most by hand. The effects of this treatment are more obvious than any other kind; inasmuch as in diseases since luck helps much, and the same things are often salutary, often of no use at all, it may be doubted whether recovery has been due to medicine or a sound body or good luck. Besides, in cases where we depend chiefly upon medicaments, although an improvement is clear enough, yet it is often clear that recovery is sought in vain with them and gained without them: this can be seen for instance in treating the eyes, which after being worried by doctors for a long time sometimes get well without them. But in that part of medicine which cures by hand, it is obvious that all improvement comes chiefly from this, even if it be assisted somewhat in other ways. This branch, although very ancient, was more practised by Hippocrates, the father of all medical art, than by his forerunners. Later it was separated from the rest of medicine, and began to have its own professors; in Egypt it grew especially by the influence of Philoxenus, who wrote a careful and comprehensive work on it in