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Horizontal Transmission in the Hippocratic Tradition

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The problem of intertextuality in the Hippocratic Corpus is addressed, with particular reference to Prorrhetic 1 and Coan Prognoses, which have blocks of prognostic material in common and which replicate passages of Epidemics. The relation between medical prognosis and religious divination is discussed. It is discovered that identical aphoristic wording is accompanied and probably safeguarded by metrical patterns, and argued that the compilers were amalgamating early sources of traditional wisdom, possibly from shrines in Thessaly, with later 'scientific' material. The term horizontal transmission, borrowed from textual criticism, describes the complex process of interpenetration seen in the Hippocratic tradition.


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