G. J. Toomer and Alexander Jones
Ernst Badian and T. W. Potter
G. J. Toomer and Serafina Cuomo
J. T. Vallance
Many ancient medical authorities believed that therapeutic medicine had its origins in the gradual discovery of connections between health and the regulation of one's day-to-day life (δίαιτα). A group of treatises in the Hippocratic corpus (see
Hippocratic dietetic strategy involved the doctor with the healthy as much as the sick. Certain activities were known to be risky, and were thus to be discouraged—too much sex, drinking, reading, inactivity, massage, and so on. Doctors were encouraged to observe with great care all the factors, both internal and external, which might influence the body for good or ill.
Paul Cartledge and Robert Sallares
Empiricists were a self-identified medical sect of the Hellenistic and Imperial periods who shared a common experiential methodology about the purpose and practice of medicine. Denigrating unobservable causes and experimental medicine, they espoused a sceptical, passive approach to accumulated observations about the body and the natural world. Since few Empiricist texts survive, historical knowledge depends largely on the medical doxographies of later ancient physicians who were not Empiricists. Doxographies report that Empiricists practiced a controlled experiential medicine based on personal observation, written reports from previous physicians, and analogical reasoning from known to unfamiliar conditions. The importance of chance and memory to their medical practice along with a willingness to compare themselves to tradesmen of lesser status distinguished their philosophical medicine from other ancient medical sects.