Update
Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD REFERENCE (www.oxfordreference.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single entry from a reference work in OR for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 04 March 2024

Hippocrates c.460–357 bc
Greek physician 

  1. Life is short, the art long.
    often quoted as ‘Ars longa, vita brevis’, after Seneca's rendering in De Brevitate Vitae sect. 1
    Aphorisms sect. 1, para. 1 (tr. W. H. S. Jones); see Chaucer
  2. Extreme remedies are most appropriate for extreme diseases.
    Aphorisms sect. 1, para. 6 (tr. W. H. S. Jones)
  3. When two pains occur together, but not in the same place, the more violent obscures the other.
    Aphorisms sect 2, no 46
  4. As to diseases, make a habit of two things—to help, or at least to do no harm.
    Epidemics
  5. I swear by Apollo the physician, by Asclepius, by Health, by Panacea and by all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will carry out, according to my ability and judgement, this oath and this indenture.
    The Hippocratic Oath (tr. W. H. S. Jones)
  6. I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgement, but never with a view to injury or wrong-doing. Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course.
    The Hippocratic Oath (tr. W. H. S. Jones)
  7. I will not use the knife, not even, verily, on sufferers from stone but I will give place to such as are craftsmen therein.
    The Hippocratic Oath (tr. W. H. S. Jones)
  8. And whatsoever I shall see or hear in the course of my profession, as well as outside my profession in my intercourse with men, if it be what should not be published abroad, I will never divulge holding such things to be holy secrets.
    The Hippocratic Oath
  9. Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.
    Precepts ch. 1 (tr. W. H. S. Jones, 1923)
  10. An insolent reply from a polite person is a bad sign.
    Prorrhetic