Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 39.djvu/12

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such examples as the woman "bound by Satan," the rebuke of the fever, the casting out of the devil which was dumb, the healing of the person whom "the devil of ttimes casteth into the fire"—of which case one of the greatest modern physicians remarks that never was there a truer description of epilepsy and various other examples, show this same inevitable mode of thought as a refracting medium through which the teachings and doings of the Great Physician were revealed to future generations.

The civilization of Greece alone appears to have been wholly or nearly free from this idea of the agency of demons in producing bodily ills; hence, Greece was the first of the ancient nations, and indeed the only one, so far as we know, in which a scientific idea of medicine was evolved. Five hundred years before Christ, in the great bloom period of thought, the period of Æschylus, Phidias, Pericles, Socrates, and Plato, Hippocrates appeared, and his is one of the greatest names in all history. Quietly but thoroughly he broke away from the old tradition, developed scientific thought, and laid the foundations of medical science upon experience, observation, and reason so deeply and broadly that his teaching remains to this hour among the most precious possessions of our race.

His thought was passed on to the School of Alexandria, and there medical science was developed yet further, especially by such men as Herophilus and Erasistratus. Under their lead studies in human anatomy began by dissection; the old prejudice which had weighed so long upon the human race, preventing that method of anatomical investigation without which there can be no real results, was cast aside apparently forever.[1]

But with the coming in of Christianity a great new chain of events was set in motion which modified most profoundly the further evolution of medical science. The influence of Christi-

  1. For extended statements regarding medicine in Egypt, Judea, and Eastern nations generally, see Sprengel, Histoire de la Médecine, earlier volumes; and for more succinct accounts, Baas, Geschichte der Medicin, pp. 15–29; also Isensee; also Frédault, Histoire de la Médecine, chap. i. For the effort in Egyptian medicine to deal with demons and witches, see Heinrich Brugsch, Die Aegyptologie, Leipsie, 1891, p. 77; and for references to the Papyrus Ebers, etc., pp. 155, 407, and following. For the derivation of priestly medicine in Egypt, see Baas, p. 22. For the fame of Egyptian medicine at Rome, see Sharpe, History of Egypt, vol. ii, pp. 151 and 184. On the cheapness and commonness of miracles of healing in antiquity, see Sharpe, quoting St. Jerome, vol. ii, pp. 137, 191. As to the freedom of ancient Greece from the idea of demoniacal intervention in disease, see Lecky, History of European Morals, vol. i, p. 404 and note. For the evolution of medicine before and after Hippocrates, see Sprengel, p. 1283 and following. For a good summing up of the work of Hippocrates, see Baas, p. 201. For the necessary passage of medicine in its early stages under priestly control, see Cabanis, The Revolutions of Medical Science, London, 1806, chap. ii. On Jewish ideas regarding demons, and their relation to sickness, see Toy, Judaism and Christianity, Boston, 1891, pp. 108 et seq. For Herophilus, Erasistratus, and the School of Alexandria, see Sprengel, vol. i, pp. 433, 434 et seq.