Sabinus & Co.

The fragments of Sabinus and his ‘disciples’ were recently collected, edited, and translated by Tommaso Raiola, Sabini medici eivsqve discipvlorvm fragmenta (Rome: 2018).

Sabinus was probably active in the late 1st/early 2nd Century CE, given that he was the teacher of Stratonicus (one of Galen’s former teachers). As noted by Raiola (p. 17), our testimony is essentially limited to Sabinus’ activity as a commentator on the Hippocratic Corpus. From this, we can deduce that he or his circle wrote commentaries on: Aphorisms; Airs, Waters, and Places; Epidemics 1-3 & 6; and On the Nature of Man.

I have not personally reviewed the work in its entirety, though I’ll note a few things that I noticed. Raiola’s critical apparatus is quite meticulous and seems well done. For example, in fr. 29d (=Palladius,​​ Comm.Epid.VI​​ 2.80.9-19 Dietz), Raiola (line 4) corrects Dietz’ φύσαι to​​ φῦσαι. In fr. 40 (=Galen, Comm.Epid.VI 5.26, 304.13-305.3 Wenkebach-Pfaff), Raiola (line 6) makes a plausible suggestion where Wenkebach-Pfaff (line 20) marked a crux: οἷον ἀπο<πληξίας> ποδάγρας κτλ. instead of οἷον †ἀπο ποδάγρας κτλ. Raiola does not explicitly give this reason for the conjecture, but apoplēxia appears in or near discussions of podagra, arthritis, and nephritis elsewhere in medical literature (e.g. Diocles of Carystus fr. 183a van der Eijk; Pseudo-Galen, Def.Med. 19.387 K).

Raiola also takes account of the Arabic tradition of Galen’s commentary on Epid. 6 wherever noted by Wenkebach-Pfaff. But one looks forward to the forthcoming re-edition of the Arabic tradition by Vagelpohl, which will likely shed new light on the Sabinus fragments contained therein and render Pfaff’s translations outdated.