Ancient Greek physician depicted on an aryballos (Louvre Museum)

A Neoplatonic Philosopher/ Doctor of 1st cAD, Philotas of Amphissa, practiced Medicine at Delphi at the end of his life [i.e. end of 1st cBC], as an inscription found at Delphi suggests.

He was the inventor of a paradox, the “Philotas’ paradox”: “For someone who suffers from a kind of fever, we should provide cold liquids. Yet, everyone who suffers from a fever, suffers “from a kind of fever”. Should we conclude then, that we should provide cold liquids to EVERYONE who suffers from fever”? Of course, this is a type of “false paradox”, that is issued to prevent theoretical medicines from obscuring the issues of medical practice…

Philotas was the favourite medicine doctor of Antyllus, son of Roman General Antonius, and lived in Alexandreia at the prosperous times of Antonius and Cleopatra. He gives an impressive description of Antonius’ cuisine, that produced, day and night, literally, tons of rare food, 99% of which never reached the plate of the royal couple and ended up as waste, so that it could be dispensible at any time, at Antonius’ request…

These meals bring an air of luxurious banquets, similar to the ones’ of Hellenistic Alexandreia, city of the poets…


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