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ON THE NATURAL FACULTIES Book I
[p. 105]rarefied part [of the air],"
cf. p. 87, note 3
and when it was impossible without incurring the greatest derision to say that this superfluity [i.e. the urine] is generated by the kidneys as is bile by the canals in the liver- he, then, I say, clearly lied when he swore that the urine does not reach the kidneys, and maintained
that it passes, in the form of vapour, straight from the region of the vena cava,
κοίλην : the usual reading is λοιλίαν, which would make it "from the region of the alimentary canal." cf. p. 118, note 1.
to collect in the bladder.
Like slaves, then, caught in the act of stealing, these two are quite bewildered, and while the one says nothing, the other indulges in shameless lying.
Now such of the younger men as have dignified themselves with the names of these two authorities by taking the appellations "Erasistrateans" or "Asclepiadeans" are like the Davi and Getae-
the slaves introduced by the excellent Menander into his comedies. As these slaves held that they had done nothing fine unless they had cheated their master three times, so also the men I am discussing have taken their time over the construction of impudent sophisms, the one party striving to prevent the lies of Asclepiades from ever being refuted, and the other saying stupidly what Erasistratus had the sense to keep silence about.
But enough about the Asclepiadeans. The Erasistrateans, in attempting to say how the kidneys let the urine through, will do anything or suffer anything