First English edition of the Nuremberg chronicle: being the Liber chronicarum of Dr. Hartmann Schedel…

Hippocrates, a son of Heraclides (Eraclidis), as Galen (Galienus) in the first (book of his commentary) of (Hippocrates') Regimen of Acute Diseases (though some say that he was a son of Asclepius), and a disciple of Pythagorus (Pitagore), a prince among all physicians, born in the island of Cos (Choo), was highly renowned at this time. He brought back to light the study of medicine that was lost for a long time, and which lay hidden for five hundred years after the death of Aesculapius. He greatly disdained all sensual pleasures. And (as Saint Jerome writes) he bound all his disciples by an oath of secrecy, to modesty in dress, and to good morals. He was (so they say) small of body and well built; had a large head and was slow of movement. He was a man of many ideas, slow of speech, and slender fare. He lived ninety-five years. His teaching was this: He who would be free should not desire that which he may not have. He who would have what he desires should not wish to have that which he may not have. He who would live here in peace should become like one who is invited to a feast, and who is thankful for all that is placed before him, and does not grumble because of the lack of anything.[Hippocrates was the most celebrated physician of antiquity. He was born on the island of Cos about 460 BCE. He belonged to the family of Aesclepiadae, and was the son of Heraclides, who was also a physician. His mother's name was Phaenarete, who was said to be descended from Hercules. He was instructed in medical science by his father and by Herodicus. He wrote, taught, and practiced his profession at home; traveled in different parts of Greece. He is said to have died at Larissa in Thessaly, about 357, at the age of 104. He had two sons and a son-in-law, all of whom followed his profession, and who are supposed to have been the authors of some of the works in the Hippocratic collection. This is all we know of the life of Hippocrates, but much has been added by way of stories, clearly fabulous. Thus he is said to have stopped the plague at Athens by burning fires throughout the city, by suspending chaplets of flowers, and by the use of an antidote. The writings that have come down to us under the name of Hippocrates were composed by several different persons, and are of very different merit. They are more than 60 in number, but of these only a few may be by his hand as opposed to those written later by members of his school. The ancient physicians wrote numerous commentaries on the works in the Hippocratic collection. Of these the most valuable are the commentaries of Galen. Hippocrates divided the causes of diseases into two principal classes; one comprehending the influence of seasons, climates, water, situation, etc., and the other the influence of food, exercise, etc. He considered that while heat and cold, moisture and dryness succeeded each other throughout the year, the human body underwent certain analogous changes, which influenced the diseases of the period. He supposed that the four fluids or humors of the body (blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile) are the primary seat of the disease; that health is the result of the due combination (Greek crasis = ‘mixing') of these and that, when this combination was disturbed, disease was the consequence; that, in the course of a disorder that was proceeding favorably, these humors underwent a certain change in quality, which was the sign of returning health as preparing the way for the expulsion of the morbid matter (Greek crisis); and that these morbid matters (crises) had a tendency to occur at stated intervals, which were for this reason called "critical dyas." Hippocrates apparently had much experience and knew how to turn it to best account; and the number of moral reflections and sayings that we meet with in his writings, some of which (as, for example, "Life is short, but the Art (of Medicine) is long") have acquired a sort of proverbial notoriety (especially in their somewhat incorrectly understood Latin translations; e.g., Vita brevis, ars longa = ‘Life is short, Art long'). The Hippocratic Oath, which in modified form is still taken by medical students when they become doctors, is another of his lasting legacies. ]

Zeno, an Attic philosopher from Cyprus, the Greek city, with many Phoenicians as neighbors, was the son of Napseus (or, as others say, of Demeus). Apollonius of Tyre[Apollonius of Tyre was a Stoic philosopher who lived in the reign of Ptolemy Auletes. He wrote a history of Stoic philosophy from the time of Zeno.] said that he was lean of body, straight in build, and had dark skin. His limbs were swollen, weak and sickly. For this reason Chrysippus called him an Egyptian palm. Therefore he shunned many meals. He enjoyed fresh figs grown in the sun. He was a disciple of Crates (Cratis), Stilpo (Stilpionis), and Xenocrates. Together with Cytheus[No such person exists, as far as we know. Perhaps ‘Cytheum' is a garbled remembrance of his hometown, Citium.] the philosopher he was a teacher of the Stoic school. They said that the greatest possession is that which is honorable; for nothing will prevent such a person from living righteously and in virtue. Zeno was considered so worthy by the Athenians that the keys of the city were entrusted to him. And they honored him with a golden crown and a bronze statue. His fellow-citizens did likewise. He had many excellent students, particularly Antigonus, to whom he wrote letters from time to time. To a talkative youth he said, We have two ears and but one mouth so that we may hear much and say little. He died at 90 years of age, in good health and without affliction.[Zeno, a native of Citium in Cyprus, was the founder of Stoic philosophy. He began to study philosophy at an early age. According to some he was rich, according to others poor; but whichever is right, his moderation and contentment became proverbial. He studied under Stilpo of the Megaric school; also under Cronus, Philo, Zenocrates and Polemo. Zeno studied philosophy for 20 years, and after having developed his peculiar philosophic system, he opened his school in a certain porch (Stoa Poecile ‘The Painted Stoa') in Athens, which at an earlier time was a meeting place of poets. From this place his disciples were called Stoics. Antigonus Gonatus, king of Macedonia, was an admirer of Zeno. The Athenians placed the greatest confidence in him, depositing with him the keys to their fortress, as the most trustworthy man. The date of his birth and death are unknown. He is said to have still been alive in 260 BCE and to have died at the age of 98 years.]

Socrates, the highly renowned Athenian philosopher, of the village of Alopece, was the son of Sophroniscus and Phaenarete (Phanarete), his father being a sculptor, his mother a midwife. As some say, he was at first an attendant upon Anaxagoras, and later of Archelaus.[Archelaus was a philosopher, probably a native of Athens, though others say he was born at Miletus. He flourished about 450 BCE. His philosophic system is remarkable as forming a point of transition from the older to the newer form of philosophy in Greece.] He was the master of Plato. He was the first to discover the art of ethics, and he flourished at this time. As Cicero writes, he called the art of wisdom down from heaven, and set it down in the cities, and brought it into the houses. He urged the investigation of good and evil, of morals and life. Therefore (as Solinus states) he was not esteemed the wisest man by the opinion of the people alone, but also by the oracle of Apollo. He was an alert, extraordinary and excellent orator who first opened the field of public speaking with Aeschinus (Eschino), his disciple, as Favorinus states. To obtain wisdom, he traveled even when old, through the most distant regions of the earth. And although he was the most wise, he made no pretentions to knowledge. Therefore he often said (a thing which Jerome often said to Paulinus), This one thing I know, that I know nothing. Socrates was also a man of marvelous chastity, righteousness, and other virtues. In his seal was written (as it is said) A man's friend is his wisdom; but a man's enemy is his stupidity. Among many others of his teachings was this: Manage a strange business in such a way that you do not forget your own. As you wish to appear, so should you be. Finally he was accused of laughing at the oaks, dogs, and roebucks that the Greeks worshipped as gods. For this he was put to death with a dose of poison. But after his death the Athenians repented, and they set up a golden image of him in the temple in his memory.[Socrates, the celebrated Athenian philosopher, was born c. 470 BCE in the Attic deme of Apolece, near Athens. In his youth he was said to have followed the profession of his father, attaining some proficiency as a sculptor. He was robust and possessed great endurance. He went barefoot at all seasons of the year and wore the same homely clothing, no matter what the season. He was very ugly looking, having a flat nose, thick lips, and prominent eyes like a satyr or Silenus. He filled no political office until 406, when he was a member of the senate of Five Hundred. He was man of great moral courage. Much of his life was devoted exclusively to teaching, to the neglect of more material things. Yet he never opened a school nor delivered a lecture; but everywhere, in the market place, the workshop, etc., he sought opportunities for awakening people of all ages to moral consciousness and self knowledge. He fought pretensions and conceit of knowledge in order to pave the way for correct knowledge. He incurred the bitter hatred of the mentally proud, to whom he therefore appeared an intolerable bore. He was persecuted and finally impeached for corrupting the youth and despising the tutelary deities of the State, and for putting new ones in their places. He was found guilty and condemned to death. He drank the cup of hemlock that was given to him, and died with composure and cheerfulness in his seventieth year (399 BCE). His friends and followers, who included Xenophon and Plato, wrote many works about him. Because of them (especially the latter), Socrates is, after Jesus, remembered today as perhaps the most important figure from antiquity (at least in the Western world), and can be said to be (unknown to himself) the beginning of various philosophical schools of thought through his various students/disciples (e.g., Plato, Antisthenes), and their students/disciples (e.g., Aristotle, Diogenes).]

Isocrates, by birth a Greek, was a celebrated orator and disciple of Gorgias. He was an excellent teacher of many natural philosophers, as Macrobius says. And so Quintilian says that he was well versed in many branches of oratory, and better practiced in debate than war. He was a follower of all lovers of good oratory, short on invention, devoted to things honorable, and so industriously labored in the collecting and assembling of literature that he became careless. Among other works he wrote a book in which he says: You should so behave toward your parents as you would have your children behave toward you. You should hold your word more sacred than your possessions. He lived 94 years.

Isocrates (436-338 BCE), an Attic orator, was the son of Theodorus, a successful manufacturer of musical instruments. He received the best education that Athens could provide. He took no part in public life, for which he was unfitted in physique as well as temperament, and he withdrew to Chios. He had already started teaching rhetoric, having lost his fortune in the tumult of the Peloponnesian Wars. He returned at about the time of the restoration of the democracy in 403. For the next ten years he continued to write occasional speeches for the law courts. He himself despised this branch of his work. His real vocation was teaching, and at about 392 he founded his famous school near the Lyceum, where for the rest of his life he may be said to have had the Greek-speaking world from the Black Sea to Sicily for his pupils. There is a tradition that at the panegyric contest on the death of Mausolus of Caria in 351, there was not a competitor who had not been trained by Isocrates. In the meanwhile he was also active as a publicist.

Isocrates amassed considerable wealth in his profession, and fulfilled the usual public services of the rich man at Athens. His political views were in accord with the prevailing tendency of Greek political thought at the time. Whatever may be thought of his political tenets, there is no doubt of his place in the history of literature. He was regarded by the Greeks as representing the smooth or florid school of prose style. His real eminence consists in the fact that by giving an artistic finish to the literary branch of rhetoric, he set a standard in form and rhythm for prose style. This is his legacy to Cicero, and through him to the modern literature of Europe. His extant works consist of 21 speeches or discourses and 9 letters.

Thucydides, a Greek historian, and a certain very serious man, also (lived) at this time, as Eusebius states. And Quintilian adds: He is dense and concise and always hastening forward.[This sentence, from Quintilian's (10.73), is not in the German edition of the .] Thucydides, and later also Herodotus, were taught to speak in Latin by Lorenzo Valla (Laurentius Vallensis).[Lorenzo Valla (Laurentius Vallensis; 1407-1457), was a celebrated (and controversial) Italian humanist, philosopher, and literary critic. Pope Nicholas V (r. 1447-1455) commissioned him to translate the historians Thucydides and Herodotus (Schedel's fanciful way of putting it—"were taught to speak in Latin"—is one of his best phrases in all the ).] Their works are still held in great esteem.[Thucydides, historian of the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BCE), was born near Athens about 460 BCE. He was one of those who suffered from the terrible plague at Athens, and one of the few who recovered. An aristocrat and military officer, he commanded an Athenian squadron of seven ships at Thasos (424), when he failed to relieve the city of Amphipolis from the brilliant Spartan general Brasidas; and, condemned (unfairly) after this event as a traitor, took refuge in exile, and retired to his Thracian estates. He lived in exile twenty years, and probably returned to Athens in 404. He must have died soon after 400. Thucydides was, in certain ways, the first modern, ‘critical' historian. He removes the element of religion from his work, and focuses primarily on the militaristic, economic, sociological, and psychological aspects of the events of his day. The speeches that he puts into the mouths of the various political figures at the time are masterpieces of philosophical thought and sophistic rhetoric (often at the same time). Together with Herodotus, his predecessor of only a few years, he mapped out the limits of the field of history and historiography (adding also his special interests and talents in the field of political science).]