IT is with considerable misgiving that I have
included this work as a kind of appendix to the first
volume of the Hippocratic collection. In the first
place there is not yet available the material necessary
for a really satisfactory restoration of the text.
Furthermore, the editors have generally neglected
it. Littré reserved it for his ninth and last volume
of text and translation, and by the time he reached
it even his untiring energy was beginning to flag ;
his edition is hasty, erratic and in places unintelligible.
Ermerins gives over the task in despair, and
leaves whole chapters untranslated.
In spite of all these things I have determined to
include Precepts, because it illustrates so well the
characteristics of many parts of the Hippocratic
collection, and the problems that face both editors
and translators. It forms also a complete contrast
to the nucleus of Hippocratic writings composing
the rest of the first volume.
(1) Like Humours and Nutriment, it is obscure to a
(2) It is, like so many Hippocratic works, a cento.
Beginning and end are quite unconnected with
the main portion of the book, and the main
portion itself is a series of rather disconnected