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PHYSICIANS
The GREEKS traced the origin of the healing art to a deified son of the healing god Apollo and a pupil of the sage centaur Chiron; viz. Asclepius, whose sons Podalirius and Machaon, in Homeric poetry, act before Troy both as warriors and as surgeons. The temples of Asclepius, distinguished for their healthy situation on headlands and lofty hills, in the midst of groves and near medicinal springs, were much resorted to as sanatoria, especially those at Epidauros, Cnidus, and Cos, and were for centuries the chief seats of the gradual development of leechcraft. The priests, who styled themselves Asclepiadoe, i.e. descendants of Asclepius, made use of memoranda on the treatment of patients, contained partly in the votive tablets which these hung up in the temple, and partly in the temple chronicles. Thus in course of time they collected a varied stock of experimental maxims, which were handed down from father to son. Some of the Asclepiadae practised their art singly, as travelling physicians, but were bound by oath to teach it to Asclepiadae alone. At the same time there were not wanting physicians who, standing outside of that close corporation, practised medicine independently as a means of living; but they were less highly regarded than the Asclepiadae, and never achieved a higher standing till the healing art had burst its narrow limits and had expanded into a free science. This was brought about mainly by the influence of philosophy, which, beginning with Pythagoras, himself a proficient in the art, and continuing chiefly under Empedocles and Democritus, drew medicine within the range of her researches. Into literature the healing art was introduced by HIPPOCRATES, an Asclepiad of Cos, born about 460 B.C., who combined the hereditary wisdom of his race with the spirit of speculative philosophy. Besides physicians who were paid for their trouble by their respective patients, we find as early as the 6th century, at Athens chiefly, but in other places too, public physicians appointed and remunerated by the State. Some went to their patients' houses, others had rooms where they were consulted by their patients. They often kept assistants, both free and slaves; and they manufactured their own medicines. The style of living adopted by many physicians points to respectable incomes: Democedes, a public physician at Athens in the 6th century, had a salary of 100 minae (about £333). At Alexandria, thanks to the munificence of the Ptolemies, medicine made considerable progress, chiefly through ERASISTRAUTUS and HEROPHILUS, the two men who knew most about human anatomy. A pupil of the latter, PHILINUS of Cos (about 250), in opposition to the Dogmatic school set up by the sons of Hipocrates and dominated by philosophic theories, founded an Empirical school, which relied solely on tradition and on individual experience. In 219 B.C., when a member of that school, the Peloponnesian ARCHAGATHUS, set up a surgery in a booth (taberna) assigned him by the Senate, and was admitted to the citizenship, the Greek art of healing gained a footing among the ROMANS. Yet the physician practising for pay did not enjoy the same consideration as in Greece; Roman citizens fought shy of a profession which, respectable as it might be, was left almost entirely in the hands of foreigners, freedmen, and slaves. Romans of rank usually kept a freedman or slave as family doctor, libertus (or servus) medicus. A considerable part was played at Rome by Cicero's friend ASCLEPIADES of Prusa, whose system, mainly directed to practical skill, received its theoretic justification from the school of Methodici founded by THEMISON of Laodicea (about 63 B.C.). When Caesar had granted the citizenship to foreign physicians as well as teachers, not only did the former flock in large numbers to Rome from Greece, Egypt, and the East, but many natives adopted the medical profession, as CELSUS in the reign of Tiberius, whose treatise, De Medicina must be regarded as the chief contribution made to the science by the Romans. To the physicians at Rome, of whose receipts a notion may be formed from the statement that a certain Stertinius had an income of £6,500 from his town practice, Augustus granted immunity from all public duties, a privilege afterwards extended to the provinces. As soon as the Empire was fully established, physicians with a fixed salary began to be appointed at the court, in the army, for the gladiators, and in the service of various communities. Antoninus Pius, in the 2nd century A.D., arranged, for the province of Asia in the first instance, that physicians should be appointed by the town authorities, five in small towns, seven in those of moderate size, and ten in capitals; they were to be remunerated by the town, exempt from all burdens, and free to carry on a private practice besides. There was no real supervision of physicians on the part of the State, and the various schools and nationalities were at perfect liberty to practise. Under the Empire the art began to divide, into separate branches, and in large towns, especially Rome, the several specialties had their representatives. Thus, in addition to doctors for internal cares, the medici proper, there were surgeons (chirurgi or vulnerarii), oculists, dentists, aurists; physicians male or female, for diseases of women; also for ruptures, fistula, etc.; further iatroliptoe, probably at first mere assistants who rubbed in the embrocations, etc., afterwards a species of doctors. The physicians at Rome, as in Greece, supplied their own medicines, and turned them to profit by crying up the dearest drugs, of which they kept the secret, as the best. The medicines were provided with a label setting forth the name of the remedy and that of its inventor, the complaints it was good for and directions for use. We get a fair notion of these labels from the dies used by Roman oculists to mark the names of their eye-salve on the boxes in which they were sold; a good many of these have been preserved. [C. I. Grotefend, Die Stampe der rom. Augenarzte; there are several in the British Museum, together with two very small inscribed vases such as were used to contain the eye-salves.] The chief authority for the materia medica of those times is the work of DIOSCORIDES of the let Century A.D. About the same time the school of Methodici, whose principal representative was SORANUS (about 110), was confronted by a New Dogmatic school, otherwise called the Pneumatic school, founded by the Cilician ATHENAeUS. To the Electic school, founded towards the end of the lot century by AGATHINUS of Sparta, belongs more especially the Cappadocian writer ARETAeUS. The most renowned of the later physicians is GALEN (Galenos) in the 2nd century, who in his numerous writings embraced the whole range of the medical knowledge of antiquity. Medicine made no further progress in ancient times. Of the encyclopaedic works of OREIBASIUS and AETIUS (at the end of the 4th century and beginning of the 6th), the value lies in their extracts from older writings. Among the Romans SCRIBONIUS LARGUS (in the middle of the 1st century) and SERENUS SAMMONICUS (at the beginning of the 3rd) wrote on Remedies, the latter in verse. We have, lastly, to Mention CELIUS AURELIANUS, the translator of works by Soranus (in the 5th century), and VEGETIUS, the author of a detailed book on veterinary science (in the 4th century).
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