[The Hippocratic Oath: how many covenants, how many oaths?].Medizinhist J. 2005; 40(3-4):247-73.MJ
This study focuses on the ancient text of the Hippocratic Oath. Ancient authors refer to various oaths in the context of medical practice, but none of these closely resemble the Hippocratic Oath. The text of the Hippocratic Oath contains several contractual clauses, which clearly reflect a strictly structured community within an institutionalized professional framework. Comparison with the epigraphic and papyrological tradition suggests placing the text in the Hellenistic-Roman period. In particular, investigation of the oldest remaining ancient textual witness, the POxy XXXI 2547 of the third century A.D., reveals Christian influences in the use of language. This indicates a stage of development of the Hippocratic Oath in which the latter existed within a Christian context. The article concludes that, as early as the third century A.D., Christian influences played an equally significant role in the transmission of the Oath as pagan influences.