Dictes Ypocras

Transcription by: Nathan Spohn & Taylor Moore

Unfortunately images of these texts cannot be reproduced.  Please find the original copies of the four versions of the text by following these links: 1477, 1480, 1489, 1528.


Ypocras’s section from Dictes and Sayeings of the Philosophres.  Collated version tracking the differences between the four editions of this text (1477, 1480, 1489, 1528).


yPocras was disciple to Esculapius the second whiche descended of blode Royall + And he was the first fynder of the art of phisike + whiche he she wed and taught to his childrenn and commaunded it shulde not be lerned to eny Straungers but oonely from the fadre to the sone  And so the saide science to rest in them And commannded that they shulde dwelle in the middel habitacion of grece in + iij + Isles + And ypocras rested in the Ile of Thau And in the + ij + other Isles the studye was lost in his dayes The oppinion of the first + Esculapius + was that phisyke shuld be vsed onely by experience for it was neuer founde but onely therby + and so was it vsid + M + CCCC(1)    1489: M + iiij C +  yer after til that another phisicien came callid Methious whoos opynion was that experience withoute Reason + was a dan gerous thing(2)    1480: adan gerous(3)    1489, 1528: dangerous + And so thy vsed these + ij + opynious + vij honderd (4)    1489: C yeer + till another phisicien cam called Bramardos + whiche dispraised thexperience + sayng that to many errours grewe therby and that in occupying phisike aman ought to vse reason onely Not withstanding he hadde + iij(5)    1528: tyrdedisciples whiche helde after him + iij + diuers opinions The on vsed experience onely + The other reason onely The + iij subtil craftes and enchantementis + and soo these + iij + weyes were vsid + vij + C + yere till that plato cam / whiche taught diligentely the seyngis of his predecessours in hys science / and shewed that experience onely was dangerous and reason onely cowde not be sufficient and tooke the bookes aswele of subtil crafte / and enchauntement as thoos of onely reason / and brent them all / but thoos that were of reason and experience to gider he reteyned and kept hem and commaunded that they shuld be vsed / and after his deth he lefte the crafte to + v + of his disciples The + fyrst + to ordeigne phisike to the body The + ij+ to boxe(6)    1480,1528: bore and to lete blode  The iij + to hele woundes The + iiij + to hele seke eyen The + v + to knytte and hele broken bones And after this came Escu lapius(7)    1489, 1528: Esculapins the + ij + which taught diligentely the diuerse opinions And in especial thoos of plato / whiche he vsed and toke for most true and resonable  And he left after hym + thse disciples that is to sey / Ypocras and + ij + other whiche dyed and so rested that science and crafte onely in him + than rested ypocras alone parfight in vertues in his dayes vsing reason / The whiche ypocras seeyng the crafte of physike in weye of perdicion because alle his felawes were dede + and that he was left onely in the Isle of thau + Thought that he wold for the moost prouffyt that the craft therof were she   wed + ande taught not onely to his children and kynnesmen + But generally to alle that were apt to lerne it And dampned in that science dyuers thinges and added to certayn compylacions in breue wordes + And commaunded hys + ij + sones that were maystres of sciences that they shuld shewe It generally + for he sayd It was more couenable / It shulde be taught to straungers able and apt to the lore / than to his owne kynnesmen not disposed to lerne +   And as he ordeigned was don and Is vsid to this daye / and in hys lyff he shewed hit to dyuers straungers and made hem expert therin / taking promisse of them to it further / It happed that a kyng of perse called de four sent vnto the kyng of thysle of Thau called pylate prayng him to sende him ypocras / and he wolde yiue hym / C kyntawes(8)    1528: kyntalles of golde / and than was the lande of grece deuided in many kyngdoms / of the whiche somme gaf truage to the kyng of perse / And so dyd that of Thau / The whiche bade ypocras go to the saide kyng of perse / for to hele certayn pestilences that were than in his Royaume / Seyeng If he went not / It myght be to grete a danger to the Isle seeing the sayd pylate was not of power to resiste the saide kyng of perse / The whiche ypocras ansuerd that he wolde neuer goo to hele the ennemyes of grece + Also thenhabitaunties of the townes where he duelled in + said they hadde leuer deye than ypocras shulde departe from them + The saide ypocras was + Cxlvj + yere after Nabugodonosor + he made diuers bookis of phisik of the whiche + xxx + be hadde and of thoos xij + the most be studyed by ordre Other bookis be also hadde of  Galyens makyng + The said ypocras was of littel stature grete heded + croke backed + moche studyeng and of littell langage + and moche lokyng downn to the erthe / holding in his honde a flabotomye of munycion for latyng blood or a grene braunche proufficable(9)    1528: profytable to the eyen / he leuyd four score + vj yeres wherof he employed + xvii + in studye / and the remenaunt in excercising of his connyngis + And here foloweth dyuerse of his seyngis Pouertie in furete is better than richesse in fere And said that the lyf is thought short / the peyne is thought longe / experience harde to comme bye, and Iugement daungerous And said the helth is not to be slowithfull in goode excercises not to fil hys body with wynes and metes + And saide it is better to amynusshe that hurteth than to encresse that helpeth And said / the herte is tourmented by + ij + passions / that is to saye with sorowe and thought of sorowe cometh the dremes and the fantesyes /   and of thought cometh the wakyngis and vnrestis / and sorowe is a passion of thynges past /   and thought is fere of thynges to come   And said + that saule is lost / that setteth hys entent vpon wordely thynges + that is to sey in couetise   And said he that wol the lif of his saule lete hym mortifie hit and / yeue it payne in thys world   And said ther   may wele be loue bitwene + ij + wysemen + but not bitwene + ij + foles + al be it that their foolyes bee equall + for wyt goth by ordre and may concorde in one sentence + but in folye is noo due ordonnaunce and therfore may they neuer concorde in loue And sayde + Aman ought not to swere + but yt is so / or it is not so   And saide holde you content with that + that ought suffise you + and so ye shall not haue no gruggyng + the lesse grugge ye haue + the more ye fle fro ma   lice and wikkedenesse withdrawe you also from synne(10)      1480: and is synne + seke thende of vertues and goodenesses And saide + He that wol be fre let him not coueyte that thinge / that he may not haue / for and he do he is bounde therto + and therfore yf thou wilt haue that thou desirest desire that thou mayest ha   ue +    It was asked of him a question of euyl and vile thinges + To the whiche he ansuerd noo thing + They asked him wherfore he spake not + He sayde that silence was the answere of suche questions And sayde + Thys worlde is to noo creature perpetuel + therfore then let noon differ or delay to doo goode thinges as longe as he may + And namely that + that he sholde wynne goode renomme therby   And sayde He that knoweth not trouth is rather lyke not to do it / than he that is enfourmed and taught ther to   And sayde / Science is like a rote of a Tree / and operacion is like the braunches + and science is like a thing engendryng + And operacion is like a thing engendred And saide + Take a litil of science at ones + so that thou maist kepe it and lerne more + For yf thou wylt take more at ones than thy wytte may suffise thou mayest lightely forgete all

Annotations   [ + ]

1.    1489: M + iiij C
2.    1480: adan gerous
3.    1489, 1528: dangerous
4.    1489: C
5.    1528: tyrde
6.    1480,1528: bore
7.    1489, 1528: Esculapins
8.    1528: kyntalles
9.    1528: profytable
10.      1480: and is synne