Loss of Speech Is Not Melancholy

from Galen, In Hippocratis Aphorismo

‘We call dumb [akratê] the tongue which is unstable because it cannot articulate the voice clearly or which is immoveable and paralyzed in every way. And some part of the body which is paralyzed is called apoplectic.

I do not know what the reason is that people say that these things are melancholic. For the sorts of things are rightly the signs of melancholy, which indeed all of the Greeks together agree, are fear or despair which lasts for a long time, this sort of thing is melancholic. Otherwise we say that melancholic maladies also include sores and boils, both rough and itchy, dark and white.

But loss of control of the tongue does not seem to be believed to be one of any of these kinds of afflictions nor of that called melancholy by everyone, just as apoplexy is not of this kind.”

 ᾿Ακρατῆ μὲν ὀνομάζει γλῶσσαν ἤτοι τὴν ἀστήρικτον ὡς μὴ διαθροῦσαν ἀκριβῶς τὴν φωνὴν ἢ τὴν ἀκίνητόν τε καὶ παραλελυμένην παντάπασιν. ἀπόπληκτον δέ τι τοῦ σώματος τὸ παραλελυμένον. διὰ τί δὲ ἐξαίφνης γινόμενα ταῦτα μελαγχολικὰ ὑπάρχειν φησὶν οὐκ οἶδα. μελαγχολίας μὲν γὰρ, ἣν δὴ καὶ συνήθως ἅπαντες ῞Ελληνες ὁμολογοῦσιν, ὀρθῶς εἴρηται πρὸς αὐτοῦ τὰ τοιαῦτα γνωρίσματα, ἢν φόβος ἢ δυσθυμία πολὺν χρόνον ἔχουσα διατελέῃ, μελαγχολικὸν τὸ τοιοῦτον. ἄλλως δὲ μελαγχολικὰ λέγομεν εἶναι πάθη τούς τε καρκίνους καὶ τοὺς ἰλέφαντας, ἔτι τε λέπρας καὶ ψώρας καὶ μέλανας ἀλφούς. ἀλλ’ οὐδὲ τῶν τοιούτων παθῶν τινος οὔτε τῆς ὑπὸ πάντων ὀνομαζομένης μελαγχολίας ὁρᾶται προηγουμένη γλώσσης ἀκράτεια, καθά-περ οὐδὲ μορίου τινὸς ἀποπληξία.

 

2 responses

  1. Pingback: Madness or Strength of Spirit? « SENTENTIAE ANTIQUAE

  2. Pingback: Searching For the Land of Truth Inside Oneself « SENTENTIAE ANTIQUAE

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