Page:EB1911 - Volume 02.djvu/218

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206
APOTHEOSIS

without such licence. But the act expressly exempted from prosecution all persons who were then in actual practice, and it distinctly excluded from its operation all persons pursuing the calling of chemists and druggists. It was also provided that the act should in no way interfere with the rights or privileges of the English universities, or of the English College of Surgeons or the College of Physicians; and indeed a clause imposed severe penalties on any apothecaries who should refuse to compound and dispense medicines on the order of a physician, legally qualified to act as such. It is therefore clear that the act contemplated the creation of a class of practitioners who, while having the right to practise medicine, should assist and co-operate with the physicians and surgeons.

Before this act came into operation the education of the medical practitioners of England and Wales was entirely optional on their own part, and although many of them possessed degrees or licences from the universities or colleges, the greater number possessed no such qualification, and many of them were wholly illiterate and uneducated. The court of examiners of the Apothecaries’ Society, being empowered to enforce the acquisition of a sufficient medical education upon its future licentiates, specified from time to time the courses of lectures or terms of hospital practice to be attended by medical students before their examination, and in the progress of years regular schools of medicine were organized throughout England.

As it was found that, notwithstanding the stringent regulations as to medical acquirements, the candidates were in many instances deficient in preliminary education, the court of examiners instituted, about the year 1850, a preliminary examination in arts as a necessary and indispensable prerequisite to the medical curriculum, and this provision has been so expanded that, at the present day, all medical students in the United Kingdom are compelled to pass a preliminary examination in arts, unless they hold a university degree. An act of parliament, passed in 1858, and known as the Medical Act, made very little alteration in the powers exercised by the Apothecaries’ Society, and indeed it confirmed and in some degree amplified them, for whereas by the act of 1815, the licentiates of the society were authorized to practise as such only in England and Wales, the new measure gave them the same right in Scotland and Ireland. The Medical Act 1886 extended the qualifications necessary for registration under the medical acts, by making it necessary to pass a qualifying examination in medicine, surgery and midwifery. (See Medical Education.)

An act, passed in 1874, related exclusively to the Apothecaries’ Society, and is termed the Apothecaries’ Act Amendment Act. By this measure some provisions of the act of 1815, which had become obsolete or unsuitable, were repealed, and powers were given to the society to unite or co-operate with other medical licensing bodies in granting licences to practise. The act of 1815 had made it compulsory on all candidates for a licence to have served an apprenticeship of five years to an apothecary, and although by the interpretation of the court of examiners of the society this term really included the whole period of medical study, yet the regulation was felt as a grievance by many members of the medical profession. It was accordingly repealed, and no apprenticeship is now necessary. The restriction of the choice of examiners to the members of the society was also repealed, and the society was given the power (which it did not before possess) to strike off from the list of its licentiates the names of disreputable persons. The act of 1874 also specified that the society was not deprived of any right or obligation they may have to admit women to examination, and to enter their names on the list of licentiates if they acquit themselves satisfactorily.

The Apothecaries’ Society is governed by a master, two wardens and twenty-two assistants. The members are divided into three grades, yeomanry or freemen, the livery, and the court. Women are not, however, admitted to the freedom. The hall of the society, situated in Water Lane, London, and covering about three-quarters of an acre, was acquired in 1633. It was destroyed by the great fire, but was rebuilt about ten years later and enlarged in 1786. This is the only property possessed by the society. In 1673, the society established a botanic and physic garden at Chelsea, and in 1722 Sir Hans Sloane, who had become the ground owner, gave it to the society on the condition of presenting annually to the Royal Society fifty dried specimens of plants till the number should reach 2000. This condition was fulfilled in 1774. Owing to the heavy cost of maintenance and other reasons, the “physic garden” was handed over in 1902, with the consent of the Charity Commissioners, to a committee of management, to be maintained in the interests of botanical study and research.

See C. R. B. Barrett, The History of the Society of Apothecaries of London (1905).

APOTHEOSIS (Gr. ἀποθεοῦν, to make a god, to deify), literally deification. The term properly implies a clear polytheistic conception of gods in contrast with men, while it recognizes that some men cross the dividing line. It is characteristic of polytheism to blur that line in several ways. Thus the ancient Greek religion was especially disposed to belief in heroes and demigods. Founders of cities, and even of colonies, received worship; the former are, generally speaking, mythical personages and, in strictness, heroes. But the worship after death of historical persons, such as Lycurgus, or worship of the living as true deities, e.g. Lysander and Philip II. of Macedon, occurred sporadically even before Alexander's conquests brought Greek life into contact with oriental traditions. It was inevitable, too, that ancient monarchies should enlist polytheistic conceptions of divine or half-divine men in support of the dynasties; “Seu deos regesve canit deorum Sanguinem”, Horace (Odes, iv. 2, Il. 12, 13) writes of Pindar; though the reference is to myths, yet the phrase is significant. In the East all such traits are exaggerated, a result perhaps rather of the statecraft than of the religions of Egypt and Persia. Whatever part vanity or the flattery of courtiers may have played with others, or with Alexander, it is significant that the dynasties of Alexander's various successors all claim divine honours of some sort (see Ptolemies, Seleucid Dynasty, &c.). Theocritus (Idyll 17) hails Ptolemy Philadelphus as a demigod, and speaks of his father as seated among the gods along with Alexander. Ancestor worship, or reverence for the dead, was a third factor. It may work even in Cicero's determination that his daughter should enjoy “ἀποθεωσις”—as he writes to Atticus—or receive the “honour” of consecratio (fragment of his De Consolatione). Lastly, we need not speak of mere sycophancy. Yet it was common; Verres was worshipped before he was impeached!

The Romans had, up to the end of the Republic, accepted only one official apotheosis; the god Quirinus, whatever his original meaning, having been identified with Romulus. But the emperor Augustus carried on the tradition of ancient statecraft by having Julius Caesar recognized as a god (divus Julius), the first of a new class of deities proper (divi). The tradition was steadily followed and was extended to some ladies of the imperial family and even to imperial favourites. Worship of an emperor during his lifetime, except as the worship of his genius, was, save in the cases of Caligula and Domitian, confined to the provinces. Apotheosis after his death, being in the hands of the senate, did not at once cease, even when Christianity was officially adopted. The Latin term is consecratio, which of course has a variety of senses, including simple burial. (Inscription in G. Boissier, La Religion romaine; Renier, Inscriptions d'Algiers, 2510.) The Greek term Apotheosis, probably a coinage of the Hellenistic epoch, becomes more nearly technical for the deification of dead emperors. But it is still used simply for the erection of tombs (clearly so in some Greek inscriptions, Corpus Inscript. Graec. 2831, 2832, quoted in Pauly-Wissowa, s.v. Apotheosis). Possibly there is a trace of ancestor worship even here; but the two usages have diverged. The squib of the philosopher Seneca on the memory of Claudius (d. A.D. 54), Apocolocyntosis (“pumpkinification”), is evidence that, as early as Seneca's lifetime, apotheosis was in use for the recognition of a departed emperor as a god. It also indicates how much contempt might be associated with this pretended worship. The people, says