De Octimestri Partu and Pathology of the Last Trimester of Pregnancy

Luciana Rita Angeletti


The Hippocratic Treatise De Octimestri Partu has been transmitted in two separate parts, regarding deliveries at the seventh month and eight month, respectively. The thesis is that fetuses delivered after the seven month of pregnancy survive, whereas after eight month not. The explanation given that during the eight month sickness of the moher damages the fetus, so that he cannot survive suffering of delivery. The analysis of the text evidences that two different terms, e.g. --- and ---, have been used the first one associated to pathological events, the second to suffering for delivery. The unfavourable prognosis for the disease of the eighth month is due to a sickness of the mother during the 6th quarantine: terms used put forth the opinion that the disease is due to hemodynamic changes. Epidemiological research on the current pathology of the last trimester of pregnancy shows a performance of cesarean section ranging between 18% (national average) and 90% ( eclampsia in main hospitals). The only deadly condition which occurs during the eight month seem to be gravidic hypertension or mild preeclampsia, conditions which do not allow the fetus to reach the ninth month when cesarean section was not available. Thus, the disease of the eight month described in the Hippocratic treatise seems to be mild preeclampsia, i.e. gravidic hypertension.


Key words: Hippocratic obstetrics - Pregnancy- Eight month - Preeclampsia 

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