Democritus: Science, The Arts, and the Care of the Soul by Brancacci, A. (ed.), Morel, P.-M.

By Brancacci, A. (ed.), Morel, P.-M.

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From the testimonies we have there are no indications that Democritus offered significant contributions to the determination of the nature of illnesses and their cures (for instance he is mentioned in the Anonymus Londinensis for an anecdote, cf. 1, not for his medical contributions, and his role in the pseudo-Hippocratic letters has little to do with medicine in the strict sense). g. the rather generic testimony of Celsus, De medicina I, prooemium, 7–8, is treated in this way, cf. 40 The case of agriculture is different.

It is of relevance for the interpretation of a poet like Homer, for Aristotle, in a discussion devoted to the topic of diction (lexis), testifies that the sophist blamed this poet for using the form of expression for a command when he intended to make a prayer (cf. Poetics 19, 1456b13–18 = 80 A 29). It 39 For a detailed discussion of these contributions by him, in addition to Brancacci’s contribution, one can refer to Fronmüller (1901). 40 walter leszl may be the case, however, that Democritus was more concerned with distinctions having a greater aesthetic significance.

Coming back to the alternative title mentioned above: On Flesh (Περ σαρκ ς), one cannot see what sense can be given to the Greek substantive sarx if not that of ‘body’ (it seems that it is taken in this sense by Plato in Timaeus 61c, and by Empedocles, fr. 98, v. 5). The title itself can hardly be Democritean, for, on the basis of the evidence we have, Democritus used, to indicate the body, the word σκ νος and perhaps also σ μα but not this other word. If this alternative title throws light on the contents of a work entitled On the Nature of Man, one has to conclude that it concentrated on the description of the body, and thus had to be complemented by further works (those indicated by the titles On the Intellect and On the Senses) concerning the soul.

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