Law and Nature in the Hippocratic Treatise "De Aere"

Mario Vegetti


The treatise can be considered as one of the first and most important writings of the ancient ethnology. Its most out-standing character consists in an interrelated analysis of the influence both of natural environment and of the politi-cal and social conditions on pathology and on the different ways of life. If the natural and climatic aspects of the human habitat play a basic role in determining the health conditions as well as the psychic characters of different populations, it is also true that the political institutions can counteract on these environmental factors. In particular, freedom and de-mocracy may improve the moral and intellectual attitudes of men, while dispotic forms of power make them unwilling to fight and to exercise autonomous judgement. The psychological and intellectual superiority of the Greeks should be traced back to their democratic institutions, that could apply to other people as well. 

Key words: Greek medicine - Rules - Nature - De Aere 

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