« ForrigeFortsæt »
request he undertook a journey to Delphos, and received from that oracle the memorable response, that hereafter the oracles are mute. He subsequently officiated as quæstor of Constantinople; and in the capacity of physician accompanied Julian into Persia; where, after the disastrous defeat of the imperial forces, he watched over the wounded emperor in his dying hours. Banished by the successors of Julian, he spent many years in exile; and among the barbarians, by the exercise of his talents he rose to celebrity, and was held in the highest reverence.
He was subsequently recalled, and restored to rank and honor; and he is said to have survived till towards the middle of the fifth century. Familiar with the literature of his profession from the earliest ages, he undertook, at the request of Julian, the labor of compiling from his predecessors every thing of value,-a labor which he accomplished in a work of seventy, or seventy-two books. In the arrangement of this immense work, he treated first of the articles of diet and medicine from the vegetable and animal kingdoms, of the different modes of
preparing these, and of their pharmaceutical administration. He next directed his attention to the nature and anatomical construction of the human frame, deriving some portion of his materials from his own dissections of monkeys and other animals. He then proceeds to the rules of health; and next, to the study of diseases in general, diagnosis, prognosis, to the circumstances and symptoms proper to individual diseases, and finally to the treatment.
Of the whole of this encyclopedic performance we still possess, the first fifteen books, two other books, usually considered the twenty-fourth and twentyfifth, certain fragments preserved in the collections of Nicetas, and other fragments on bandaging, and on surgical apparatus for the treatment of fractures and luxations. In the distribution of his several subjects, each chapter is headed with the name of the author from whom it has been abridged or taken verbatim. And so cautious is he in making these acknowledgments that what he has not thus accredited to others we may presume to have been derived from his own experience: many such chapters are scattered through the work. Among the authors quoted by him are Hippocrates, Diocles of Charystus, Ctesias, Xenocrates, Archigenes, Menemachus, Sabinus, Deuches, Ruffus, Philotimus, the surgeon Herodotus, Antyllus, Philagrius, Plistonicus, Athenæus, Agathinus, Possidonius, Zopyrus,-not to mention Galen, upon whom he draws continually,and numerous minor authors. After completing this collection, he prepared a synopsis of it in nine books, which he dedicated to his son, and which appears to have been intended simply as a syllabus for students. This smaller work is preserved entire. There is still a third production, entitled Euporista, dedicated to Eunapius, as well as certain commentaries on Hippocrates, which some writers have attributed to Oribasius ; but the ablest critics ascribe these to other authors of much inferior merit. Among the most important portions of the collection which are presumed to be original, are the
rules which he lays down for the practice of gymnastic exercise, his observations on the physical and moral education of children and youth, something in physiology, symptomatology, and general therapeutics, on the use of enemata, and on the abstraction of blood. He alludes, on the authority of Galen, to the partial or bent fracture of the long bones of children, a fact which appears to have escaped M. Malgaigne; who, in his history of surgery, has accredited the first description of this accident to Lanfranc, a surgeon of the thirteenth century.*
Hospitals and other Medical Institutions of Christianity.
Before the ultimate overthrow of the pagan institutions, while Christianity was hardly yet in the ascendant, the prelates and clergy were gradually acquiring the control of all that related to the physical and social welfare of their people. The religious and moral instruction of their flocks constituted but a portion of their duties. To them was also assigned the care of the orphan, the widow, the friendless, the needy, and the suffering; a duty which they sometimes performed in person, sometimes through the agency of special officers of the church, or of the Benedictine and other monks. This custom appears to have originated with the local organization of the churches in the time of the apostles. It was still in use up to the period of the Decian persecution, A. D., 250; soon after which, we find Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, charging Novatus, one of his presbyters, with the crime of appropriating to his own use the property which had been entrusted to him for the benefit of the poor and destitute of that diocese.* As yet, however, we have no notice of buildings set apart by the church for charitable uses ; nor is there reason to believe that any such existed either before or during the protracted periods of persecution, nor at any time prior to the accession of Constantine, who ruled from A. D. 306 till 337, and under whom Christianity first became the religion of the state.
* Coccius, e Collectione Nicetæ, p. 135. Malgaigne, Introduction, Euvres d'Ambroise Paré.
The edict of this emperor for the closure of the Asclepions, as well as the other remaining temples of pagan worship, led at once to the establishment of hospitals and other charitable, institutions under the auspices of the church. Constantine himself took an active part in providing the clergy with funds and every requisite for extending the institutions of the newly adopted religion of the empire ;t and his mother, Helena, devoted all her energies to the founding of churches and benevolent institutions at Constantinople, as well as at Jerusalem and other places. The example set by this devout and influential woman was followed by those of her own sex, who had the means at their command in every part of the empire. During the succeeding reign, by order of Gallus Cæsar, the
* See Introduction to Ecclesiastical History of Socrates. Bohn's edition,
+ Eusebius, book x., chapter vi., and elsewhere.
elder brother of Julian, the groves of Daphne in the neighborhood of Antioch, once sacred to Apollo, were, in A. D. 357, dedicated to the church.* And, notwithstanding the subsequent opposition of Julian to this measure, the grounds within which had formerly stood the magnificent temple of Apollo Daphnæus, were occupied by an hospital for the sick.t
Again, the emperor Valens presented the most beautiful lands in the neighborhood of Cæsarea to Archbishop Basil, for the benefit of the poor whose bodies were affected with disease, as being those who there stood most in need of assistance. And as early as A. D. 373, Basil had already organized at Cæsarea an immense hospital called the Basilides, which Gregory Nazianzen thought worthy to be reckoned among the wonders of the world, so numerous were the poor and sick that came thither, and so admirable were the care and order with which they were served. The charge of the suffering within the walls of these new institutions, was not at first assigned to humble hands. The most illustrious ladies of the empire participated in these offices of mercy. At Constantinople, the empress, Flacilla, wife of the elder Theodosius, A. D. 380, was watching with solicitude over all those whose bodies were mutilated, or who had lost
* Select Works of the Emperor Julian, Duncombe's translation, London, 1784. Vol. i. p. 247, note.
+ Evagrius, Ecclesiastical History, book iv., chapter xxxv.
§ Ullman, Ecclesiastical History of the Fourth Century. See Westminster Rev., Oct. 1851, American edition, p. 66.