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the famous Alexandrian library robbed us of the fruits of the Alexandrian researches. But the destruction which overtook the works of the Alexandrians did not await the principles discovered by them. On the authority of Galen we may refer the most important system of early medicine to Philinus, an immediate disciple of Herophilus. Hippocrates did not confine himself to observation, but, impelled by the activity of his enquiring mind, sought to assign causes and invent theories. This laid the foundation of dogmatism, and
the - Hippocratic physicians, discarding observation completely, studied disease by the light of pure reason.
The result was a speedy lapse into insane and fruitless speculation. To counteract this pernicious tendency, Philinus, instructed by the example of Herophilus, strongly urged the necessity of a return to observation and clinical studies, ridiculing the mystical doctrines of the dogmatists. His efforts were eminently successful, for soon he found himself surrounded by a brilliant host of observers, who severely condemned the dogmatic doctrines, and established the system of empiricism. Many names of remarkable empiricists have been handed down to us, the most celebrated being Heraclides of Tarentum, the first to introduce opium into practice.*
In the system of the empiricists we discover the germ of the modern inductive method, and therefore feel no surprise that it should have led to many valuable discoveries. Its chief contributions, however, were in the materia medica, for so thoroughly had it set itself in opposition to the dogmatic system, that it abstained from deep pathological studies for fear of running into speculation. The empiricists, therefore, confined themselves almost entirely to the testing of various remedies in the different diseases and conditions of the system, and little came from their labors except a knowledge of the efficacy and mode of administration of certain drugs. But had not even such a practical result flowed from the empiric theories, yet incalculable benefit followed the changed direction of the medical mind, from enquiries into essential and inscrutable causes to the real and the tangible. The other systems of medicine which grew up in the East were more or less connected with the superstitious religions of the time, or had their origin in the mystical systems of philosophy of Anaxagoras, Zeno, and Pythagoras. Proceeding to the West, we find the cultivation of medicine little attended to by the people of Italy, and Pliny assures us that the Roman people had been without a physician during a period of six hundred years.
* Galen, De subfigurat. Empir., Cup. U.t.
There were several temples consecrated to numerous deities, whose intervention was all the people could depend upon, even in the severest epidemics. Thus Tomasini * gives an inscription taken from a votive tablet dedicated to the goddess who presided over fevers :
“Febri divæ febri
Filio male affecto P." Macrobius mentions a goddess called Ossifyga, who presided over the growth of the bones, and the goddess Carna, who took charge of the thorax and abdomen. It is by many supposed that the slaves of wealthy Roman masters were the first to practise the healing art at Rome, and for this reason the profession was for a long time held in disrepute. About one hundred years before the Christian era, Asclepeiades came to Rome, and having failed as a teacher of rhetoric turned his attention to medicine. From the little we know of his mode of practice we can imagine him to have been the pink of impostors, for he rendered himself great by decrying the works of his predecessors, and by working alternately on the fears and ignorance of the Romans. Yet from Celsus we learn that he first introduced the distinction between chronic and acute diseases, and thus greatly contributed to the advancement of the science. He also introduced the antiphlogistic regime, pushing it to an extreme degree. Herein, however, his immediate successor and disciple Themison, of Saodicea, greatly outshone him, having often reduced his unhappy patients to the verge of starvation. His successes may be estimated by the line of Juvenal,
“ Quot Themison wgros autumno occiderat uno." This Themison founded a system called by him Methodism, which seemed to combine the practical tendency of empiricism with that proneness to speculate which marked the system of the dogmatists. But the wide compass of questions which it undertook to solve, without any well-defined
* In Grov. Thesaur. Roman Antiquit , vol. xii., p. 867. + Macrob. Saturnal., lib. 1, p. 12, 3 ed. Ald.
method of proceeding, at once took from it all individuality as a system. After the time of Themison the study and practice of medicine spread very rapidly in Rome, and soon it became customary for physicians to visit their patients accompanied by their pupils. To such a practice the following epigramme of Martial would seem to point :
“ Languebam ; sed tu comitatus protinus ad me
Venisti, centum, Symmache, discipulis
The methodic school, though no longer preserving its identity further than the name, gave many other celebrated men to Rome. We may mention Soranus and Calius Aurelianus, the former a native of Ephesus, the latter an African by birth. This Calius Aurelianus wrote a work on the cause, progress, and treatment of disease, which is considered one of the most valuable that has been handed down to us from antiquity, and though bearing the stamp of the iron age in its style, it contains most accurate and graphic descriptions of disease. In the time of the Emperor Trajan lived Rufus, a man to whom medical science is greatly indebted, and whose anatomical discoveries are verified by the latest dissections. Though he did not use his scalpel on the human subject, he found sufficient in the brain and viscera of apes and other animals to build up a system of analogical anatomy. His works have been edited in England by Clinch, and are frequently quoted by modern writers on medicine.
At this epoch appeared the elder Pliny, who collected in his Historia Mundi all the systems which had been broached from Hippocrates down, and though his own studies did not tend in that direction, yet he has interwoven in his history of medicine many original reflections and set forth many views, all which bespeak the profound mind of the great naturalist. Few names of importance meet us from Pliny to Galen, though the number of enquirers had commenced to multiply exceedingly. Galen revived the practice of Hippocrates, which had fallen into desuetude, and set himself ardently to work to restore the principles and teachings of the great Coan Physician. His splendid talents and untiring assiduity soon enabled him to outstrip his master, and established him as the first authority in medical matters, a position be held undisputed claim to till the commencement
of the sixteenth century. Of him Cabanis says : “Dissatisfied with what his masters taught him as incontrovertible truths, and as the immutable principles of the art, he read Hippocrates' works, and was struck, as it were, with a new light. In comparing them with nature his astonishment and admiration redoubled ; and Hippocrates and Nature thenceforth became the only preceptors to whose instructions he would listen.” It was not, however, in the same field with Hippocrates that Galen distinguished himself, for he did not turn his attention, like Hippocrates, to the study of disease by the bedside, but devoted himself to anatomy and physiology, anu it was in the former branch especially that his authority was paramount. Indeed, so deeply rooted was the reverence with which all regarded the authority of Galen, that nerves, muscles, and blood-vessels which he had stated to exist were accepted on his authority alone, though against the repeated evidence of experience. His name had become as infallible authority in medicine as that of Aristotle in philosophy, and there was no appeal from the ipse dixit of the master. Once, however, that unshackled minds began to question this authority his name lost its influence and prestige, for it was found that he had stated many things on insufficient grounds, and had drawn conclusions too hastily. With Galen departed the greatness ofearly medicine, for though many, especially among the Greeks, still labored in the walks of science, they were little more than mere compilers, and medicine began to feel the retrograde influence which marked the approaching downfall of the Roman Empire. From this period to the revival of science in the
of Dante we have but confused and unsatisfactory accounts of medical progress. Indeed, it would seem, from the downfall of the Roman Empire to the revival in the thirteenth century medicine had passed into the hands of a class of nien who had in view their own interest solely, and made the healing art the handmaid of barbarity and superstition. The most cruel and absurd remedies were used, many of which at once violated decency and inflicted extraordinary suffering on poor patients. We will mention hoplochrysma, or anointing the instrument which inflicted a wound; the healing of scrofulous sores by the touch of royalty ; the entrails of toads used for the cure of certain diseases; and the sympathetic powder, which, if applied to the blood-stained garments of a wounded person, had the reputed virtue of healing the wound, though the sufferer were at a distance. In the East, however, the same retarding canses not being at work, medicine found many warm and successful prosecutors. But a provision in the religious code of the Mohammedans, by which human dissection is forbidden, debarred Eastern physicians from the richest source of medical knowledge, and though their descriptions of maladies are very truthful, and their list of simples and remedies very full, they failed to create a system, or advance one well-sustained theory. The intellectual activity which characterized the close of the thirteenth century extended itself to medicine, and the first effort made was to disenthral science from the dominion of superstition and charlatanism. Men now began to labor for the truth, and not to be affrighted if their intellect inclined them to approve what did not strictly conform to the square and compass of Aristotelian logic. The inductive method began to be practised, and this, like the method of the Alexandrian physicians, pointed to dissection as the key to medical science. Accordingly we find the first modern dissection of the human subject made by an Italian physician, Mondini de Luzzi, towards the close of the thirteenth century. The results, however, were not followed up very zealously, for public prejudice and short-sighted legislation placed an insurmountable barrier between the student of nature and the means of extending his enquiries. A period of stagnation therefore followed, and though the causes which were silently effecting radical and permanent changes in the tone of the European
mind were influencing medicine as well as other sciences, yet, not eliciting the same attention as religion and social and political sciences, the latter made but little progress.
Vesalius, a distinguished physician of the sixteenth century, resumed the labors of Mondini, and laid the foundation of our present anatomical knowledge. The character of this man entitles him to more than a passing mention here, for his virtues impart additional weight to his labors and discoveries. Wedded by religious bent to an ascetic and retired life, practising the noblest precepts of morality, he hesitated not to revive human dissections, former attempts at which, as in the case of Mondini, had provoked general disapproval and the censure of the authorities. Vesalius, however, strong in the conviction of right, defied the anger of the populace, and in the presence of the crucifix, with eyes uplifted to heaven, imploring the divine blessing