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MEDICINE


125


MEDICINE


"El-KanAn" (Canon Medicina}), written in a brilliant Basilius in Ca;sarea (370), those of the Roman Lady- style and treating all branches of medical science, soon Fabiola in Rome and Ostia (400), that of St. Samson supplanted in the West the works of the Greeks and, adjoining the church of St. Sofia in Constantinople in until the time of the Humanists, served as the most the sixth century, the foundling asylum of Archbishop important textbook for physicians; but in Arabian Datheus of Milan in 7S7, and many others. In 1198 Spain his fame was small. One of his chief rivals was Pope Innocent III rebuilt the pilgrims' shelter, which Abu-Merwan Abtl el-JIalik ben Abul-Ala Zohr ben had been founded in 726 by a British king, but had Abd el-Malik Ibn Zohr (Avenzoar, 111.3-62) from the been repeatedly destroyed bv fire. He turned it into neighbourhood of Seville. His friend, the philosopher a refuge for travellers and a hospital, and entrusted it and physician Abul-Welid Muhannned ben Ahmed to the Brothers of the Holy Ghost established by Guy Ibn Roshd el-Maliki (Averroes, 1126-9S), of Cordova, de Montpellier. Mention must also be made here of is regarded as the complement of Avicenna. His the religious orders of knights and the houses for lepers book was also popular in the West and bears the title of later times. The great hospitals of the Arabs in "Kitabel-Kolijjat" (CoUiget). WiththedecHneof Ara- BschondLsapor and Bagdad were built after Christian bianrulebegan the decay of medicine. In the Orient models. The celebrated ecclesiastical writer Tertul- this decline began after the fall of Bagdad in 1256, lian (born a. d. 160) possessed a wide knowledge of and in Spain after the capture of Cordo\a in 1236, tlie medicine, which, following the custom of his time, he decay becoming complete after the loss of Granada in calls a "sister of philosophy". Clement of Alexan- 1492. The predominance of .\ral>ian medicine, which dria, al)Out the middle of the century, lays down valu- lasted scarcely three centuries, seriously delayed tlie able hygienic laws in his "Pa^dagogus". Lactantius developnient of our science. A brief survey of this in the fourth century speaks in his work "De Opificio

Dei" about the structure of the hu- man body. One of the most learned Eriests of his time, St. Isidore of _ eville (d. 6.36), treats of medicine in the fourth book of his "Origines S. Etymologia;". St. Benedict of Nursia (4S0) made it a duty for the brothers of his order to study the sciences, and among them medicine, a.s aids to the exercise of hospitality. Cassiodorus gave his monks direct instructions in the study of medicine. Bertliarius, Abbot of Monte Cas- sino in the ninth century, was fa- mous as a physician. Walafrid Strabo (d. 849), Abbot of Reichenau, the oldest medical writer on German soil, describes in a poem (Hortulus) the value of native medicinal plants, and also the method of teaching medicine in monasteries. We must mention, furthermore, the " Phy- sica", a description of drugs from maceutics. We are indeljted to them for a whole the three kingdoms of nature, written by St. Hil- series of simple and compound drugs of oriental and degarde (1099-1179), abbess of a monastery near Indian origin, previously unknown, and also for the Bingen-on-the-Rhine. The curative properties of min- polypharmacy of later times. Until the discovery erals are described by Marbodus of Angers, Bishop of America the Venetian drug-trade was controlled of Reunes (d. 1123), in his " Lapidarius". by Arabian dealers. How diligently medicine was studied in the monas-

Christianitv's Shake in the Development op teries is shown by the numerous manuscripts (many Medical Science. — As long as the cruel persecution still unedited) in the old cathedral libraries, and by of the Church lasted throughout the Roman Empire, those which were taken from the suppressed monas- it was impossiljle for Christians to take direct part in teries and are now to be found in the national libraries the development of medical science. But provision of various countries. Priests who possessed a knowl- had been made for medical aid within the community, edge of medicine served as physicians-in-ordinary to because the priest, like the raljlji of small Jewish com- princes as late as the fifteenth century, although they munities in the late Middle Ages, was also a physician, were forbidden to practise surgery by the Fourth This is clear fromthe story of the two brothers, Sts. Synod of the Lateran (1213). Thus, Master Gerhard, Casmas and Damian, who studied medicine in Syria parish-priest in Felling, who founded the Hospital of and were martyred under Diocletian. The exercise of the Holy Ghost at Vienna (1211), was physician-in- practical charity under the direction of deacons of the ordmary to Duke Leopold VI of Austria, and Sigls- churches gave rLse to systematic nursing and hospitals, mund Albicus, who afterward became Archliishop of In recent times it has, indeed, been alleged tliat the Prague (1411), held the same office at the court of existenceof hospitals among the Buddhi.sts, even in the King Wenzel of Bohemia (1391-1411). From this third, century Ijefore Christ, and their existence in time, we constantly meet with priests possessing a ancient Mexico at the time of its discovery is demon- knowledge of medicine and writing on medical sul> stratile, and that hospitals had their origin in general jects. The popes, the most important patrons of all philanthropy; but nobody denies that the nursing of the sciences, were friendly also to the development of the sick, especially during epidemics, had never before medicine. That they ever at any time forbade the been so widespread, so well organized, so self-sacrific- practice of anatomical investigation is a fable. Pope ing as in the early C!hristian communities. Christianity Boniface VIII in 1299-1300 forbade the practice then tended the sick and devised and executed exten- prevalent of boiling the corpses of noble persons who sive schemes for the care of deserted children (found- liad died abroad, in order that their bones might be lings, orphans), of the feelile and infirm, of those out of more conveniently transported to the distant ance.s- work, and of pilgrims. The era of persecution ended, tral tomb. This prohibitory rule had reference only we find large alms-houses and hospitals like that of St. to cases of death in Christitiii countries, while in the


period shows that the Arabs bent in slavish reverence before the works of Aristotle and Galen without ex- amining them critically. No other Greek physician obtained such a hold on the Arabs as Galen, whose system, perfect in form, pleased them just as that of Aristotle pleased them in philosophy. Nowhere did dia- lectics play a greater part in medi- cine than among the Arabs and their later followers in the West. Inde- pendent investigation in the fields of exact science, anatomy, and phys- iology was forbidden by the laws of the Koran. Symptomatology (semiotics) at the bedside, especially prognosis based on the pulse and the state of the urine, were devel- oped by them with an equally ex- aggerated and fruitless subtlety. Much, and perhaps the only credit due to them is in the field of phar-


WiLLiAM Harvey (1578-1557)