Constantine the African

On Leprosy

Introduction by Courtney Roby

Constantine the African says: “It behooves the doctor to investigate the putrefaction of stomach fluids which originate from the four humors when its substance comes out singly or in multiple parts. Moreover the putrefaction is caused either from the corruption of the sperm of a male or the seed of a female, or from the corruption of the air or of foods and drink. For from these corrupted humors a disease is born which is accustomed to be named leprosy; investigation of this disease is difficult and laborious in its beginning. Moreover, after it goes out into the open this sickness is difficult to cure. Therefore when we said that this is produced from the four humors, let us begin from the corruption of blood, which seems to be somehow nobler. Therefore if leprosy is caused from corruption of the blood, it is indicated by redness and a hot ulcer and the blood is broken down into putrefaction.”

Original Latin