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Headword: Akrôn
Adler number: alpha,1026
Translated headword: Akron, Acron
Vetting Status: high
Of Akragas;[1] physician, son of Xenon; he taught at Athens contemporaneously with Empedocles;[2] so he is older than Hippocrates. He wrote On Medicine in the Doric dialect, and On Nutrition of the Healthy in one book. This man is also one of those who diagnosed certain respirations.
It was against him that Empedocles made a mocking epigram: "'the lofty physician Akron of Akragas, son of a lofty father, the lofty crag of his most lofty fatherland hides.' But some cite the second verse thus: 'a lofty tomb of the most lofty peak holds.' Some attribute this to Simonides.[3]
Greek Original:
Akrôn: Akragantinos, iatros, huios Xenônos, esophisteusen en tais Athênais hama Empedoklei: estin oun presbuteros Hippokratous. egrapse Peri iatrikês Dôridi dialektôi, Peri trophês hugieinôn biblion a#. esti de kai houtos tôn tina pneumata sêmeiôsamenôn. eis touton epoiêsen Empedoklês tôthastikon epigramma: akron iatron Akrôn', Akragantinon, patros akrou, kruptei krêmnos akros patridos akrotatês. tines de ton deuteron stichon houtô propherontai: akrotatês koruphês tumbos akros katechei. touto tines Simônidou phasin einai.
According to Plutarch (On Isis and Osiris 383C-D), Akron stopped the plague at Athens in 430 BCE by setting a great fire to purify the air. The same accomplishment is elsewhere attributed to Hippocrates. Pinault (below) shows that the story is probably fictional. Nevertheless, the idea that epidemics had been or could be stopped by fires entered the Roman and Byzantine medical tradition (Galen, Aetius, Oribasius). See also epsilon 1136. The empiricists considered Akron the founder of their school of medicine (ps.-Galen 14.638). See Pinault 44-60.
[1] In Sicily; present-day Agrigento.
[2] Also from Acragas. See generally epsilon 1002, epsilon 1003.
[3] Diogenes Laertius 8.65 (from his Life of Empedocles).
J. R. Pinault, Hippocratic Lives and Legends, Studies in Ancient Medicine 4, Leiden 1992.
Keywords: biography; chronology; dialects, grammar, and etymology; geography; historiography; history; medicine; philosophy; poetry; science and technology
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 27 May 2000@16:45:04.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added notes; cosmetics) on 16 February 2001@11:28:19.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 18 December 2009@15:09:33.
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 1 February 2012@08:43:53.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 23 May 2015@10:07:15.
Catharine Roth (cross-reference) on 19 February 2017@01:59:09.


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