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[p. 169]in the veins? Are we to pay attention merely to the evacuation of this humour, and not to its genesis? As though it were not far better to prevent its excessive development from
the beginning than to give ourselves all the trouble of expelling it!
Prevention better than cure.
And it is a strange thing to be entirely unaware as to whether its genesis is to be looked on as taking place in the body, or whether it comes from without and is contained in the food. For, if it was right to raise this problem, why should we not make investigations concerning the blood as well- whether it takes its origin in the body, or is distributed through the food as is maintained by those who postulate homoeomeries?
e.g.Anaxagoras; cf. p. 7, note 5; p. 20, note 3.
Assuredly it would be much more useful to investigate what kinds of food are suited, and what kinds unsuited, to the process of blood-production
rather than to enquire into what articles of diet are easily mastered by the activity of the stomach, and what resist and contend with it. For the choice of the latter bears reference merely to digestion, while that of the former is of importance in regard to the generation of useful blood. For it is not equally important whether the aliment be imperfectly chylified
cf.p. 174, note 4.
in the stomach or whether it fail to be turned into useful blood. Why is Erasistratus not ashamed to distinguish all the various kinds of digestive failure and all the occasions which give rise to them, whilst in reference to the errors of blood-production he does not utter a single word-
nay, not a syllable? Now, there is certainly to be found in the veins both thick and thin blood; in some people it is redder, in others yellower, in some blacker, in others more of the nature of phlegm. And one who realizes that it