It is impossible to be certain which, if any, of the works in the Hippocratic corpus were written by Hippocrates himself (c.430 BC). His fame was such that many Greek medical writings became attributed to him. What they have in common is not dogma but, rather, constructive debate between one another. They also share a concern with meticulous observation and an insistence on physical, not supernatural, causation of illness. The writers were the pioneers of rational medicine; their ideas, dominant for centuries, still reveal to us the ideal of ethical practice, as well as the origins not just of Western medicine but of scientific method.
This excellent selection of Hippocratic treatises shows the range of writing and thought. Some are technical works on embryology, surgery or anatomy; others are addressed to a lay audience; all are informed with the spirit of inquiry. G.E.R. Lloyd's authoritative introduction puts them into their contemporary context and assesses their later influence.