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TRANSLATED, AND IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE AUTHOR REVISED AND ENLARGED,
H. E. HANDERSON, M. A., M. D.
J. H. VAIL & CO.,
21 Astor Place and 142 Eighth Street.
Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1889, BY H. E. HANDERSON, in the office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.
BOSTON MEDICAL LIBRARY
FRANCIS A. COUNTWAY
The history of medicine, of all the branches of that art, is the one to which least attention is devoted by physicians; and yet its study not only possesses great scientific value, but likewise includes an important germ of practical information.
To attain both the objects thus indicated, by bringing to the notice of his colleagues, the practitioners of medicine, the history of their department and their profession, was the original design of the author in the publication of the present work. For those who are interested solely in literary aims his book was not written, and accordingly he has omitted extended bibliographical notices, preferring to refer the reader for these to the larger manuals on this subject. His plan has been to consider first the genetic side of the subject, introducing for this purpose a sketch of even prehistoric medicine, and next to set forth the history of the medical profession in considerable detail. In both departments he has striven to present the subject in such a manner as should awaken and maintain the. interest of the reader. Whether he has failed in his purpose or fallen behind the aims which he had set before him it is not for him to decide. No man is perfect; neither is any book. But in so weighty an undertaking as the publication of a work on general history the author hopes for that indulgence which may be claimed, indeed, by every man who has done his work honestly, according to the measure of his strength, and who seeks to appear no greater than he really is.
Of course, for most of the facts recorded in the present work the author is indebted to others. Still he has everywhere preserved the right of independent examination and judgment as to who, among the often conflicting authorities, seems, on the whole, the most reliable. Many things, however, he has proved by reference to the original authorities, and thus made them, as it were, his own. The conception of the history of medicine as a branch of the general history of civilization, a large portion of the history of the profession and his account of the most ancient and most recent developments of medical art, he believes he may also justly claim as original.
That the book has found so conscientious a collaborator, to whom it is indebted for considerable amplification particularly in the sections on English and American medicine, with which he was, of course, better acquainted than the author - and numerous corrections, is an advantage which no one can better appreciate than the author himself.
The latter trusts that the constellations of the West may prove propitious to his work and enable it to serve the cause for which it pleads.
JOH. HERMANN BASS.
WORMS ON THE RHINE, MARCH, 1889.
1. In order to economize space the bibliography of the author's original German edition has been omitted,