early authorship, we need conclude no more than
that Chrysippus knew the originals from which the
compilation was made--indeed he must have been
well acquainted with the Epicurean original of
Chapters I and II. There is nothing in the evidence
to prevent our taking Precepts to be a cento from
good sources made by a late writer not perfectly
familiar with Greek. Somehow it became incorporated
in a collection of Hippocratic writings,
probably a little-known one, as none of the ancient
" lists " of Hippocratic works includes Precepts.
There was no generally accepted canon, and a work
of unknown or uncertain authorship might easily
find its way into the Hippocratic collection in one
or other of the great libraries.
Although linguistic difficulties obscure the details,
the reader will be interested in the picture of medical
practice in antiquity. The " late-learner " covering
up his mistakes in a flood of medical jargon will
suggest the doctors of Moliére. The public lectures,
with quotations from poetry, are the exact counterpart
of modern advertisements of patent medicines.
MSS. AND EDITIONS.
Precepts is found in several of the Paris manuscripts
and in M.
There have been so far as I
no separate editions and no translations into English.
|There is no good apparatus criticus. I have tried
infer from Littré's " vulgate " and Ermerins' text what is
the reading of the majority of the manuscripts, and it is
generally this reading which I denote by " MSS." Only
more careful examination of the actual manuscripts can
show how far I am justified in so doing.