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1184 = Trismegistos 60175 = LDAB 1291


Four Pseudo-Hippocratean letters (Brussels, Musées Royaux E 6010 Vo). Papyrus fragment (22,5x32,2cm) which belonged to a volumen and is inscribed on both sides. The recto of the papyrus exhibits a poll-tax register, datable either to the late first century BC or the early first century AD (= P.Oxy. IX 1210 ). On the verso, one complete, broad column with 33 lines can be read that has an upper margin of 2,5cm, a lower margin between 4,5 and 6,5cm, a left margin of 2,5cm and a right margin of 8cm (not including the marginal note). Furthermore, in the Greek text iota mutum is often irregularly written out (e.g. Ep. 4a ll. 8-9; Ep. 5 l. 6), original ι is written as ει (e.g. Ep. 3 l. 5; 8; Ep. 4 l. 6) and ει is simplified to ι (e.g. Ep. 3 l. 2; Ep. 4 l. 2; Ep. 6a ll. 1-2). These features point to epistolary conventions for papyri which differ from the medieval tradition and explain the great variety of variants. The papyrus conveys different versions of the Pseuo-Hippocratean letters 3, 4, 4a, 5 and 6a (ed. Smith) which are separated by ekthesis of the beginning line and paragraphoi between the individual letters. Ep. 3 was shortened at the end, the ordinary termination being appended as an adscript. Ep. 4 appears twice, on the one hand as a compressed version of the long form, on the other hand in a short form without the introductory salutation ( Ep. 4a) added in the right margin and separated from the main body of letter 4 with a curved line. Between letters 4 and 5 ( Ep. 4 ll. 7-9) three editorial lines appear which do not occur elsewhere. Of Ep. 5 the papyrus only transmits the shorter form with certain variations and Ep. 6a is a letter to Gorgias which occurs nowhere else, but has striking coincidences of phraseology with Ep. 6 adressed to Demetrius. All the letters transmitted in this papyrus deal with Hippocrates' invitation to Persia by the great king which he self-confidently refuses. The papyrus was written by a large and clear cursive hand with a frequent tendency to ligatures. The hand of the alterations and additions is probably not to be distinguished from that of the rest of the text and at any rate contemporary. Because of these features, the papyrus can be dated to the first half of the first century AD and therefore constitutes the oldest MS authority for the Pseudo-Hippocratean letters.

((This papyrus has been digitally edited by Marcel Moser as part of the Project "DIGMEDTEXT - Online Humanities Scholarship: A Digital Medical Library based on Ancient Texts" (ERC-AdG-2013, Grant Agreement no. 339828) funded by the European Research Council at the University of Parma (Principal Investigator: Prof. Isabella Andorlini). The digital edition is mostly based on the previous editions (Hunt, P.Oxy. IX 1184 (1912); Andorlini-Roselli, CPF 1.2.1 18 16 (2008), 150-157)))

DCLP transcription: 60175 [xml]

letter 3
Βασιλεὺς βασιλέων μέγας Ἀρταξέρξης
Ὑστάνῃ Ἑλλησπόντου ἐπάρχῳ χαίριν(*).
Ἱπποκράτους ἰητροῦ Κῴου ἀπὸ ⟦δὲ⟧ Ἀσ-
κληπιοῦ γεγονότος καὶ εἰς(*) ἐμὲ \τέχνης/ κλέ-
5ος ἀφεῖκται(*). δὸς οὖν αὐτῶι(*) χρυσὸν καὶ
ἄργυρον ὁπόσον ἂν(*) βούληται, καὶ τἄλλα
χύδην ὧν ἂν(*) σπανίζῃ, καὶ πέμπε πρὸς
ἡμέας. ἔσται γὰρ ἰσότειμος(*) Περσέων
τοῖς ἀρίστοις· \καὶ εἴ τις ἄλλος ⟦ἀγαθὸς φίλον⟧ ἀνὴρ τῶν κατ' Εὐρώπην [⁦ -ca.?- ⁩] (added at right: ἀγαθός, φίλον̣ [⁦ -ca.?- ⁩] οἴκῳ βασιλέω̣[ς⁦ -ca.?- ⁩])/ δίδου οὖν μὴ φειδόμε-
10νος ὄλβου.
letter 4
Ὑ[σ]τάνης Ἱπποκράτει ἰητρῶι(*) \Κώωι̣(*)/ Ἀσκλη-
πι\αδέω̣[ν ὄ]ντι ἐγγόνωι/(*) χαίριν(*) καὶ ὑγιαίνιν(*).
Βασιλεὺς σοῦ χρῄζων ἔπεμψεν(*) πρὸς ἡ-
μέας διδοὺς χρυσὸν καὶ ἄργυρον ὁπόσον
15ἂν(*) βούλει καὶ τἄλλα χύδην ὧν ἂν(*)
σπανίζῃς. σὺ οὖν παραγείνου(*) συντόμως.
Ὁ δὲ γενναῖος τηρήσας τὸ τῆς τέχνης ἀξίω-
μα καὶ τὸ πρὸς τοὺς Ἕλληνας φιλόστοργον
ἀντεφώνησεν γράψας τὸν τρόπον τοῦτον.
letter 4a
12a,mdἣν ἔπεμψεν
13a,mdβασιλεὺ̣[ς] ἐπισ
14a,mdτολὴ̣ν̣ σοῦ
15a,mdχρῄζων πέ
15b,mdπομφά σοι,
16a,mdἵνα κατὰ τά-
17a,mdχος ἐς βασι-
18a,mdλέα πέμ-
letter 5
20 Ἱπποκράτης ἰητρὸς ἀπὸ γένους Ἀσκληπιαδέ-
ων Ὑστάνει Ἑλλησπόντου ἐπάρχῳ χ(αίρειν).
πέμπε ἐς βασιλέα ὡς τάχος, ὅτι καὶ προσ-
φορῇ καὶ ἐσθῆτι καὶ οἰκήσει καὶ πάσῃ τῇ
ἐς βίον ἀρκεύσῃ(*) οὐσίῃ χρέομαι, καὶ Περ-
25σέων ὄλβωι(*) οὐ θέλωι(*) ἐπαύρεσθαι, οὐδὲ παύ-
ειν βαρβάρους ἀνθρώπους νούσων ἐκθροὺς(*)
ἐόντας Ἑλλήνων.
letter 6a
Ἱπποκράτης Γοργίᾳ τῷ φιλτάτῳ πλεῖστα χαίριν(*)
καὶ ὑγιαίνιν(*). Βασιλεὺς ὁ Περσέων μετα-
30πέμψασθαι ἡμέας ἐβουλήθη ἐπὶ χρυσῶι(*)
τε καὶ ἀργύρωι(*) πανπλήθει(*) ἀγνοῶν ὅτι
λόγο̣ς(*) ἐμὸς σοφίῃ κεχρημένος χρυσ̣οῦ
μέζονα δύναμιν ἔχει.


^ 3.2. l. χαίρειν
^ 3.4. l. ἐς
^ 3.5. l. ἀφῖκται
^ 3.5. l. αὐτῷ
^ 3.6. ἐὰν ed. pr.
^ 3.7. ἐὰν ed. pr.
^ 3.8. l. ἰσότιμος
^ 4.11. l. ἰητρῷ
^ 4.11. l. Κώῳ
^ 4.11-12. corr. ex ⟦ἀπὸ δὲ⟧ Ἀσκλη|πι⟦οῦ γεγονότο̣\ι̣/ς⟧
^ 4.12. l. χαίρειν
^ 4.12. l. ὑγιαίνειν
^ 4.13. l. ἔπεμψε
^ 4.15. ἐὰν ed. pr.
^ 4.16. l. παραγίνου
^ 4a.18a,md-18b,md. l. πέμ|ψω
^ 5.24. l. ἀρκεούσῃ
^ 5.25. l. ὄλβῳ
^ 5.25. l. θέλω
^ 5.26. l. ἐχθροὺς
^ 6a.28. l. χαίρειν
^ 6a.29. l. ὑγιαίνειν
^ 6a.30. l. χρυσῷ
^ 6a.31. l. ἀργύρῳ
^ 6a.31. l. παμπλήθει
^ 6a.32. λογσο ed. pr.

Editorial History; All History; (detailed)

Creative Commons License © Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.


  • Ep.3.4.

    The papyrus and MS υ transmit εἰς, whereas the rest of the tradition has ἐς. Maybe it is right to regularize this preposition at this point, since it also appears in Ep. 5 l. 3 in the form of ἐς.

  • Ep.3.5-6.

    Only the papyrus adds καὶ ἄργυρον, while the other MSS just have χρυσὸν or χρυσίον.

  • Ep.3.7.

    While the other MSS convey the indicative σπανίζει, the papyrus reads the modal particle ἂν (in the form of ἐάν) and σπανίζῃ.

  • Ep.3.9.

    The interlinear insertion brings the papyrus into agreement with the ordinary text for for the third letter, except that τίθεσο (b, MVU, ε and Suda) or ποιοῦ (E) has been left out after βασιλέως, ἐστιν is missing in combination with τις ἄλλος and τῶν is an addition of the papyrus. Furthermore διδοῦ οὖν only occurs in this instance.

  • Ep.3.10.

    Like in P. Berl. 7094 the sentence ἄνδρας γὰρ εὑρεῖν δυναμένους τι κατὰ συμβουλίην οὐ ῥήιδιον is omitted. Only the papyrus, however, also omits the closing formula ἔρρωσο.

  • Ep.4.2.

    ἐγγόνωι is only found in the papyrus, wheras the rest of the tradition conveys ἀπογόνῳ. Moreover, καὶ ὑγιαίνιν is a singular addition of the papyrus.

  • Ep.4.3-6.

    The main body of the fourth letter preserved on the papyrus is very compressed and exhibits a lot of omissions compared to the MS-tradition (b MVU).

  • Ep.4.7-9.

    These three lines are only conveyed by the papyrus and don't belong to the letter. They're rather a sort of editorial comment.

  • Ep.4a.6.

    The rest of the tradition for the short form of letter 4 has γράψον οὖν πρὸς ταῦτα (ταύτην) before ἵνα.

  • Ep.5.1.

    Only the papyrus reads ἀπὸ γένους Ἀσκληπιαδέων.

  • Ep.5.2.

    The rest of the tradition transmits ὑπάρχῳ in different positions.

  • Ep.5.6.

    The other MSS have the genitive ὄλβου here which is the grammatically correct version and they transmit μοι θέμις instead of θέλωι.

  • Ep.6a.1-6.

    The text of the regular letter 6 whose phraseology is reflected here goes as follows: Ἱπποκράτης Δημετρίῳ ὑγιαίνειν. Βασιλεὺς Περσέων ἡμέας μεταπέμπεται, οὐκ εἰδὼς ὅτι λόγος ἐμοὶ σοφίης χρυσοῦ πλέον δύναται. Ἔρρωσο.