Hippocrates (5th century BCE)

Ancient Medicine. In: Littré MPE (1839). Oeuvres complètes d’Hippocrate, vol 1. Traduction nouvelle avec le texte grec en regard, collationé sur les manuscrits et toutes les éditions; accompagnée d’une introduction, de commentaries medicaux, de variants et de notes philologiques; suivie d’ une table générale des matières. Paris: J-B Bailliere, p 572.
More than two millennia ago, the Greek physician Hippocrates stressed that a competent researcher must ensure that his starting point is knowledge of what has already been discovered.

Key passage(s)



“… full discovery will be made, if the inquirer be competent, conduct his researches with knowledge of the discoveries already made, and make them his starting-point; but anyone who, casting aside and rejecting all these means, attempts to conduct research in any other way or after another fashion, and asserts that he has found out anything, is and has been, the victim of deception.”

Translation by Eleni Tsiompanou

Whole article


 Hippocrates (460 BC-377 BC)




The editors are grateful to:

The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and the Wellcome Trust for making available the portraits of Hippocrates (460 BC-377 BC).