The Lost Theory of Asclepiades of Bithynia

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byJ. T. Vallance

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An ancient doctor who advocated the therapeutic benefits of wine and passive exercise was bound to be successful. However, Asclepiades of Bithynia did far more than reform much of traditional Hippocratic therapeutic practice; he devised an extraordinary physical theory which he used to explainall biological phenomena in uniformly simple terms. His work laid the theoretical basis for the anti-theoretical medical sect called Methodism. For his trouble he was despised by his intellectual progeny and, more importantly perhaps, by Galen. None of his work survives intact, but copious ancienttestimonia relating to him allow us to reconstruct many details of the theory. His ideas offer us a fascinating glimpse of how Hellenistic philosophy and medicine interacted, and provide an introduction to one of the most intriguing doctrinal disputes in Greek science.

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An ancient doctor who advocated the therapeutic benefits of wine and passive exercise was bound to be successful. However, Asclepiades of Bithynia did far more than reform much of traditional Hippocratic therapeutic practice; he devised an extraordinary physical theory which he used to explainall biological phenomena in uniformly simpl...

J. T. Vallance is at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.

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Format:HardcoverPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198242484

ISBN - 13:9780198242482

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`Vallance introduces this careful investigation into the theory of Asclepiades of Bithynia as `a philosophical detective story'. Like all the best works of that genre, it is very tightly argued, but written with a light touch.'The Classical Review