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Headword: Ἰάκωβος
Adler number: iota,13
Translated headword: Iacobos, Jacob
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
A physician. He derived his lineage from Damascus. Reaching the greatest precision in science he was accomplished not only in diagnosing diseases but also in curing them, [working] carefully and competently, [having learned] both from reading and from experience. Thus he attained the first place in medical reputation among the physicians of his time, and was even compared with the ancients, and surpassed many of them. As if having a godlike power he was loved and venerated by those who besought him. He was so confident in himself and in judgment by his own methods that if, going to a sick person and diagnosing by the symptoms, he declared that the patient was likely to live, everyone became hopeful that health would ensue; but if not, that death [would follow]. And noone ever was deceived in his expectation. He himself said that the best physician should either despair of the disease or by touching at once change the patient for the better, and leave him in a tolerable condition. Otherwise he should not depart before [sc. this happened]. He relieved nearly everyone from their troublesome afflictions immediately or a little later. For this reason the others[1] used to call Jacob "savior", as formerly they also [called] Asklepios.[2] But the physicians always used to slander and revile him, as not being any kind of physician but a holy man beloved of the gods; and they were not mistaken. For the man was gentle and truly favored by the god. If it is right to use the expression of the philosopher, he thought that Jacob's soul was Asclepiadian, and his nature Apollonian. In addition he took loving care of his pursuit, which particularly tends to associate all practitioners and attach them to the overseers of the art. Thus Pheidias too[3] [was said] to do his work under divine inspiration, thus also Zeuxis[4] portrayed his statues.
Greek Original:
Ἰάκωβος, ἰατρός. ἀπὸ Δαμασκοῦ εἷλκε τὸ γένος καὶ ἐς τὸ ἀκριβέστατον ἀναβὰς τῆς ἐπιστήμης τέλειος ἦν, οὐ διαγινώσκων μόνον τὰς νόσους, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἰώμενος, ὁμοῦ μὲν κατὰ τὸν λόγον, ὁμοῦ δὲ κατὰ τὴν πεῖραν, ἐπιμελῶς τε καὶ ἱκανῶς: ὥστε τὰ πρωτεῖα τῆς ἰατρικῆς εὐκλείας ἀπενέγκασθαι τῶν καθ' ἑαυτὸν ἰατρῶν, παραβάλλεσθαι δὲ ἤδη πρὸς τοὺς ἀρχαίους, ὑπερβάλλειν δὲ αὐτῶν τούς γε πλείους: οἷα δὲ ἔχοντα δύναμιν ἰσόθεον ἀγαπᾶσθαι καὶ προσκυνεῖσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν δεομένων: οὕτω δὲ θαρρεῖν ἐφ' ἑαυτῷ καὶ ἐπὶ τῇ κρίσει τῶν οἰκείων μεθόδων, ὥστε εἰ ἀπελθὼν πρὸς τὸν ἄρρωστον καὶ τοῖς σημείοις τὸ νόσημα διαγνοὺς ἀπεφήνατο βιώσιμον εἶναι τὸν ἄνθρωπον, εὐέλπιδας γίνεσθαι πάντας, ὡς ὑγείας ἐσομένης: εἰ δὲ μὴ ὡς τελευτῆς: καὶ μηδένα πώποτε τῶν ἐλπίδων διαψευσθῆναι. ἔλεγε δὲ ὁ αὐτός, χρῆναι τὸν ἄριστον ἰατρὸν ἤτοι ἀπογνῶναι τῆς νόσου ἢ ἁψάμενον εὐθὺς εἰς ῥᾷον μεταβαλεῖν τὸν νοσοῦντα καὶ ἔχοντα μετριώτερον ἀπολείπειν: ἄλλως δὲ μὴ ἀποστῆναι πρότερον. πάντας δὲ ὡς εἰπεῖν ἀπήλλαττε τῶν ἐνοχλούντων παθῶν παραυτίκα ἢ μικρὸν ὕστερον. διόπερ οἱ μὲν ἄλλοι σωτῆρα τὸν Ἰάκωβον ἀπεκάλουν, οἷά ποτε καὶ τὸν Ἀσκληπιόν: οἱ δὲ ἰατροὶ διέβαλλον ἀεὶ καὶ ἐλοιδόρουν, ὡς οἷόν τινα οὐκ ἰατρόν, ἀλλὰ θεοφιλῆ τινα καὶ ἱερόν: καὶ οὐκ ἐψεύδοντο. ἦν γὰρ ἐπιεικὴς ὁ ἀνὴρ καὶ θεῷ τῷ ὄντι κεχαρισμένος. εἰ δὲ δεῖ τὸ τοῦ φιλοσόφου εἰπεῖν, Ἀσκληπιαδικὴν ᾤετο τὴν τοῦ Ἰακώβου ψυχὴν καὶ κατὰ φύσιν Παιώνειον: προσεῖναι δὲ καὶ τὴν ἐρωτικὴν τοῦ ἐπιτηδεύματος ἐπιμέλειαν, ἣ μάλιστα φιλεῖ τοὺς τεχνίτας ἑκάστους οἰκειοῦν καὶ προσάγειν τοῖς ἐφόροις τῆς τέχνης. οὕτω καὶ Φειδίαν ἐνθουσιῶντα δημιουργεῖν, οὕτω καὶ Ζεῦξιν εἰκάζειν τὰ ἀγάλματα.
Notes:
Damascius, Life of Isidore fr.190 Zintzen (120 Asmus); cf. Photius Bibliotheca p. 344a 5ff. See also iota 12.
[1] sc. other than doctors, as explained below.
[2] For Asklepios see generally under alpha 4173.
[3] Pheidias: phi 246.
[4] Zeuxis: zeta 38.
Keywords: art history; biography; ethics; geography; medicine; philosophy; religion; science and technology
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 7 July 2006@12:08:23.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 9 July 2006@04:25:57.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 8 January 2013@04:19:54.

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