Author: Hippocrates  | Date: 400 BC


1. The changes of the season mostly engender diseases, and in the seasons great changes either of heat or of cold, and the rest agreeably to the same rule.

2. Of natures (temperaments?), some are well- or ill-adapted for summer, and some for winter.

3. Of diseases and ages, certain of them are well- or ill-adapted to different seasons, places, and kinds of diet.

4. In the seasons, when during the same day there is at one time heat and at another time cold, the diseases of autumn may be expected.

5. South winds induce dullness of hearing, dimness of visions, heaviness of the head, torpor, and languor; when these prevail, such symptoms occur in diseases. But if the north wind prevail, coughs, affections of the throat, hardness of the bowels, dysuria attended with rigors, and pains of the sides and breast occur. When this wind prevails, all such symptoms may be expected in diseases.

6. When summer is like spring, much sweating may be expected in fevers.

7. Acute diseases occur in droughts; and if the summer be particularly such, according to the constitution which it has given to the year, for the most part such diseases maybe expected.

8. In seasons which are regular, and furnish the productions of the season at the seasonable time, the diseases are regular, and come readily to a crisis; but in inconstant seasons, the diseases are irregular, and come to a crisis with difficulty.

9. In autumn, diseases are most acute, and most mortal, on the whole. The spring is most healthy, and least mortal.

10. Autumn is a bad season for persons in consumption.

11. With regard to the seasons, if the winter be of a dry and northerly character, and the spring rainy and southerly, in summer there will necessarily be acute fevers, ophthalmies, and dysenteries, especially in women, and in men of a humid temperament.

12. If the but the spring dry and northerly, women whose term of delivery should be in spring, have abortions from any slight cause; and those who reach their full time, bring forth children who are feeble, and diseased, so that they either die presently, or, if they live, are puny and unhealthy. Other people are subject to dysenteries and ophthalmies, and old men to catarrhs, which quickly cut them off.

13. If the summer be dry and northerly and the autumn rainy and southerly, headaches occur in winter, with coughs, hoarsenesses, coryzae, and in some cases consumptions.

14. But if the autumn be northerly and dry, it agrees well with persons of a humid temperament, and with women; but others will be subject to dry ophthalmies, acute fevers, coryzae, and in some cases melancholy.

15. Of the constitutions of the year, the dry, upon the whole, are more healthy than the rainy, and attended with less mortality.

16. The diseases which occur most frequently in rainy seasons are, protracted fevers, fluxes of the bowels, mortifications, epilepsies, apoplexies, and quinsies; and in dry, consumptive diseases, ophthalmies, arthritic diseases, stranguries, and dysenteries.

17. With regard to the states of the weather which continue but for a day, that which is northerly, braces the body, giving it tone, agility, and color, improves the sense of hearing, dries up the bowels, pinches the eyes, and aggravates any previous pain which may have been seated in the chest. But the southerly relaxes the body, and renders it humid, brings on dullness of hearing, heaviness of the head, and vertigo, impairs the movements of the eyes and the whole body, and renders the alvine discharges watery.

18. With regard to the seasons, in spring and in the commencement of summer, children and those next to them in age are most comfortable, and enjoy best health; in summer and during a certain portion of autumn, old people; during the remainder of the autumn and in winter, those of the intermediate ages.

19. All diseases occur at all seasons of the year, but certain of them are more apt to occur and be exacerbated at certain seasons.

20. The diseases of spring are, maniacal, melancholic, and epileptic disorders, bloody flux, quinsy, coryza, hoarseness, cough, leprosy, lichen alphos, exanthemata mostly ending in ulcerations, tubercles, and arthritic diseases.

21. Of summer, certain of these, and continued, ardent, and tertian fevers, most especially vomiting, diarrhoea, ophthalmy, pains of the ears, ulcerations of the mouth, mortifications of the privy parts, and the sudamina.

22. Of autumn, most of the summer, quartan, and irregular fevers, enlarged spleen, dropsy, phthisis, strangury, lientery, dysentery, sciatica, quinsy, asthma, ileus, epilepsy, maniacal and melancholic disorders.

23. Of winter, pleurisy, pneumonia, coryza, hoarseness, cough, pains of the chest, pains of the ribs and loins, headache, vertigo, and apoplexy.

24. In the different ages the following complaints occur: to little and new-born children, aphthae, vomiting, coughs, sleeplessness, frights inflammation of the navel, watery discharges from the ears.

25. At the approach of dentition, pruritus of the gums, fevers, convulsions, diarrhoea, especially when cutting the canine teeth, and in those who are particularly fat, and have constipated bowels.

26. To persons somewhat older, affections of the tonsils, incurvation of the spine at the vertebra next the occiput, asthma, calculus, round worms, ascarides, acrochordon, satyriasmus, struma, and other tubercles (phymata), but especially the aforesaid.

27. To persons of a more advanced age, and now on the verge of manhood, the most of these diseases, and, moreover, more chronic fevers, and epistaxis.

28. Young people for the most part have a crisis in their complaints, some in forty days, some in seven months, some in seven years, some at the approach to puberty; and such complaints of children as remain, and do not pass away about puberty, or in females about the commencement of menstruation, usually become chronic.

29. To persons past boyhood, haemoptysis, phthisis, acute fevers, epilepsy, and other diseases, but especially the aforementioned.

30. To persons beyond that age, asthma, pleurisy, pneumonia, lethargy, phrenitis, ardent fevers, chronic diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery, lientery, hemorrhoids.

31. To old people dyspnoea, catarrhs accompanied with coughs, dysuria, pains of the joints, nephritis, vertigo, apoplexy, cachexia, pruritus of the whole body, insomnolency, defluxions of the bowels, of the eyes, and of the nose, dimness of sight, cataract (glaucoma), and dullness of hearing.


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Chicago: Hippocrates, "Section III," Aphorisms, trans. Francis Adams Original Sources, accessed December 4, 2023, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=1GU3ZHC3DV71PGA.

MLA: Hippocrates. "Section III." Aphorisms, translted by Francis Adams, Original Sources. 4 Dec. 2023. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=1GU3ZHC3DV71PGA.

Harvard: Hippocrates, 'Section III' in Aphorisms, trans. . Original Sources, retrieved 4 December 2023, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=1GU3ZHC3DV71PGA.