The Prognostics and Prorrhetics of Hippocrates; translated from the original Greek: with large annotations, critical and explanatory: to which is prefixed a short account of the life of Hippocrates: by John Moffat, M.D. translator of Aretæus.
London: Printed by T. Bensley; for C. Elliot,... .1788
8vo, pp. (iii)–xx, 292. Lacking the half-title, otherwise a good copy. Modern half calf antique.
First edition of this translation; the Prognostics had previously appeared in English in Clifton’s translation of 1734. The Prognostics is one of the most important of the Hippocratic writings, and the first book of the Prorrhetics is the oldest. “The dignity of the Greek physician was based more upon his supposed ability to predict clinical and epidemiological happenings than upon his power to control them. To this end, Hippocrates instituted, for the first time, a careful, systematic and thorough-going examination of the patient’s condition, including the facial appearance, pulse, temperature, respiration, excreta, sputum, localized pains, and movements of the body... He introduced the doctrines of the four humors (humoral pathology), coction of food in the stomach, healing by first intention; and divided diseases into acute and chronic, endemic and epidemic” (Garrison, pp. 96–97).