Soul-Doctors: Libraries, Songs and Philosophers

Diodorus Siculus, 1.49

“Right next to this we find the sacred library [of Alexandria] on which is inscribed “The Healer of the Soul”; and next-door to it are the statues of the gods of Egypt….”

ἑξῆς δ’ ὑπάρχειν τὴν ἱερὰν βιβλιοθήκην, ἐφ’ ἧς ἐπιγεγράφθαι Ψυχῆς ἰατρεῖον, συνεχεῖς δὲ ταύτῃ τῶν κατ’ Αἴγυπτον θεῶν ἁπάντων εἰκόνας,

Pin. Nem. 4.1-8

“When the struggles have been decided,
The best doctor is happiness;
And songs, the Muses’ wise daughters,
Enchant whomever they touch.
Warm water does not make the limbs as soft
As the praise that sounds with the lyre.
Speech far outlives deeds,
Whatever words with the Graces’ help
The tongue draws from a deep mind.”

Α′ ῎Αριστος εὐφροσύνα πόνων κεκριμένων
ἰατρός· αἱ δὲ σοφαί
Μοισᾶν θύγατρες ἀοιδαὶ θέλξαν νιν ἁπτόμεναι.
οὐδὲ θερμὸν ὕδωρ τόσον γε μαλθακὰ τεύχει
γυῖα, τόσσον εὐλογία φόρμιγγι συνάορος.
ῥῆμα δ᾽ ἑργμάτων χρονιώτερον βιοτεύει,
ὅ τι κε σὺν Χαρίτων τύχᾳ
γλῶσσα φρενὸς ἐξέλοι βαθείας.

Iliad 11.514

“A doctor is worth many other men”

ἰατρὸς γὰρ ἀνὴρ πολλῶν ἀντάξιος ἄλλων.

Galen, Why A Doctor Must Also be A Philosopher

“What reason remains for a doctor not to be a philosopher if he should acquire the art worthy of Hippocrates? In order to uncover the nature of the body, the differences of diseases, and correct signs for treatment, he must train in logical theory; in order to work diligently in the practice of these things, he must dismiss money, develop prudence— He requires a portion of every type of philosophy, logic, physics, ethics. For there to be no danger of him committing any injustice, he must despise money and develop temperance—avoiding all those actions which men dare wrongly because they are persuaded by avarice or because they are enchanted by pleasure.

In this way, a doctor will be sure to have other virtues too, for they all are connected to one another. It is not possible to possess only one but not acquire any other since they follow each other intimately as if they are bound by a single string. And if philosophy is necessary to doctors for their education from the beginning and to the end of their practice, then it is clear that whoever is a real doctor must also be a philosopher.”

τί δὴ οὖν ἔτι λείπεται πρὸς τὸ μὴ <οὐκ> εἶναι φιλόσοφον τὸν ἰατρόν,ὃς ἂν ῾Ιπποκράτους ἀξίως ἀσκήσῃ τὴν τέχνην; εἰ γάρ, ἵνα μὲν ἐξεύρῃ φύσιν σώματος καὶ νοσημάτων διαφορὰς καὶ ἰαμάτων ἐνδείξεις, ἐν τῇ λογικῇ θεωρίᾳ γεγυμνάσθαι προσήκει, ἵνα δὲ φιλοπόνως τῇ τούτων ἀσκήσει παραμένῃ, χρημάτων τε καταφρονεῖν καὶ σωφροσύνην ἀσκεῖν, πάντα δὴ τῆς φιλοσοφίας ἔχει τὰ μέρη, τό τε λογικὸν καὶ | τὸ φυσικὸν καὶ τὸ ἠθικόν. οὐ γὰρ δὴ δέος γε, μὴ χρημάτων καταφρονῶν καὶ σωφροσύνην ἀσκῶν ἄδικόν τι πράξῃ· πάντα γάρ, ἃ τολμῶσιν ἀδίκως ἅνθρωποι, φιλοχρηματίας ἀναπειθούσης ἢ γοητευούσης ἡδονῆς πράττουσιν. οὕτω δὲ καὶ τὰς ἄλλας ἀρετὰς ἀναγκαῖον ἔχειν αὐτόν·
σύμπασαι γὰρ ἀλλήλαις ἕπονται καὶ οὐχ οἷόν τε μίαν ἡντινοῦν λαβόντι μὴ οὐχὶ καὶ τὰς ἄλλας ἁπάσας εὐθὺς ἀκολουθούσας ἔχειν ὥσπερ ἐκ μιᾶς μηρίνθου δεδεμένας. καὶ μὴν εἴ γε πρὸς τὴν ἐξ ἀρχῆς μάθησιν καὶ πρὸς τὴν ἐφεξῆς ἄσκησιν ἀναγκαία τοῖς ἰατροῖς ἐστιν ἡ φιλοσοφία, δῆλον ὡς, ὅστις ἂν ἰατρὸς ᾖ, πάντως οὗτός ἐστι καὶ φιλόσοφος.

Remains of Library of Celsus at Ephesus

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