This bust offers a classical depiction of Hippocrates, with his chest and shoulders left undraped. This piece contrasts with the two identical busts of Hippocrates which are also found in the College's collection. Whilst all three are of a classical style this bust differs in its lack of drapery alongside its more unrestrained depiction of Hippocrates' hair and facial features, which are deeply lined.

A full statue of Hippocrates is also found on the principle façade of the College, visible from Queen Street. As well as this Hippocrates appears in a front facing portrait in the frieze in the Great Hall.

Hippocrates (c.460 - 370 B.C.E)

Hippocrates was a Greek physician and the originator of what is now called Hippocratic medicine.  In his lifetime he was renowned as a teacher and his younger contemporary Plato makes reference to this in the Asclepiad. Hippocrates is also strongly associated with the Corpus Hippocraticum, a collection of writings which date approximately from the fifth to the third century B.C.E.. Whilst the authorship of this work was traditionally attributed to Hippocrates this is now a matter of scholarly debate as the authorship appears to have changed over the period of its composition. However, it is now certain that two of the works are known to have been written by Polybus, Hippocrates’ son-in-law. The collection is significant because it established medicine as a practice separate from philosophy and religion. Also significant from a medical-historical perspective are the observations and arguments which the texts make about diseases, medical problems and other factors effecting health. Also set out in this corpus was the theory of the four humours (blood, phlegm, yellow and black bile) and the idea that perfect health was achieved by balancing these, usually through the pursuit of a specific diet and regimen. Furthermore, laid out in the introduction is the Hippocratic Oath which formed the basis of the ethical model to be followed by medical professionals.

The first recorded books in the College’s library were donated by Sir Robert Sibbald in the late seventeenth century and amongst these works was ‘Hippocrates in Greek’.