An ancient doctor who advocated the therapeutic benefits of wine and passive exercise was bound to be successful. However, Asclepiades of Bithynia did far more than reform much of traditional Hippocratic therapeutic practice; he devised an extraordinary physical theory which he used to explain all biological phenomena in uniformly simple terms. His work laid the theoretical basis for the anti-theoretical medical sect called Methodism. For his trouble he was
despised by his intellectual progeny and, more importantly perhaps, by Galen. None of his work survives intact, but copious ancient testimonia relating to him allow us to reconstruct many details of the theory. His ideas offer us a fascinating glimpse of how Hellenistic philosophy and medicine interacted,
and provide an introduction to one of the most intriguing doctrinal disputes in Greek science.
`an important milestone in the history of both ancient medicine and ancient philosophy.'
John Scarborough, Times Literary Supplement
`Every generation of classical scholars that passes adds a growing list of interpretations to the finite body of primary material. Vallance is no exception: although he does his best to ease the burden with a light touch in his use of English, he does not shirk the details. His book becomes another that must be read on the topic of the relationship between Greek medicine and Greek philosophy.'
Times Higher Education Supplement
`Where the medical context can guide us to new understandings of Asclepiades, Vallance points the way.'
Bryn Mawr Classical Review
`Vallance introduces this careful investigation into the theory of Asclepiades of Bithynia as `a philosophical detective story'. Like all the best works of that genre, it is very tightly argued, but written with a light touch.'
The Classical Review
Introduction; What were the anarmoi onkoi; Void?; The onkoi in action; Before and after; Asclepiades; Bibliography; Index.