Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/421

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much information direct, during Alexander and his successor's invasion of India, but from the Egyptians subsequently, and they owed their knowledge to some mysterious nation of the Bast, India no doubt. But our indebtedness to India can be more directly traced somewhat later. When Bagdad, under the Caliphs after the destruction of Alexandria, became the great seat of learning, medicine was cultivated with much diligence and success. Hindoo Physicians were invited to settle in Arabia, and the works of Charaka, Sasruta and the treatise called Nidana were translated and studied by the Arabians in the days of Harun aud Mansur, A.D. 773. With the great wave of Mussul- man conquest which spread along the shores of the Mediterranean, Medicine and Mathematics were brought by the Arabians to Spain and found a congenial home in the Saracenic Colleges of the Iberian Peninsula. The Arabians were not only great Physicians, but famous alchemists, and to their teachings we owe the founda- tions of those sciences which have now grown to the fair dimensions of Modern Medicine and Chemistry."^ They seem, however, to have neglected Anatomy, and were more particularly famous for the introduction of numerous Oriental remedies. Rhubarb, Tamarinds, Cassia, Senna, Camphor and various other gums, which, as they are entirely the products of Asia, fully attest that their knowledge of remedial measures came from the East.

And what is this art of Medicine, for the study of which your ancestors in far off times were so famous? Which your heroes and your gods cultivated so assiduously, but you deem beneath your notice? It is, I think, one of the fairest and most entrancing of the pursuits which can occupy man's time. The sciences allied to Medicine — Anatomy, Physiology, Chemistry and Botany — are of endless interest and beauty, and for this reason, that the laws which they disclose are the laws of Nature ; and the crowning studies of Medicine and Surgery, which they lead up to, are they not equally interesting ? They bring comfort and assistance, after restored health and strength, to suffering thousands of our fellow-crea- tures ; and the laws of one, if properly understood and applied, are capable of saving whole nations from epidemics more devastating far than the most fatal wars. Jenner's discovery of vaccination alone, has saved more lives than even the victories of G-enghis Khan, aye twenty Genghis Khans, have deprived the world of ; and chloroform has assuaged more pain than perhaps

  • It has been said, *' Whilst the Byzantines obliterated science in Theology,

the Saracens illuminated it by Medicine." (Draper.)