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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1856, by
JOHN WATSON, M. D.,
In the Clerk’s ‘Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.
P R E F A CE.
In the preparation of the following discourse, I have endeavored to trace the origin and progress of medicine among the ancients in as succinct a manner as possible
as possible consistent with perspicuity; and at the same time to omit nothing of importance or interest in relation to the subject.
Though small, the work is the result of no inconsiderable research; much of which might have been spared, had I been disposed to rely simply on the historians. But as my investigations were undertaken for my own gratification, I have, as far as leisure and opportunity would permit, drawn the facts and opinions here embodied, from the earliest authorities.
But while resorting to the ancients, I am not indisposed to acknowledge the assistance I have received from modern and recent writers. Without the learned researches of Le Clerc, Freind, Schulze, and Sprengel, much that has since appeared on the history of medicine might never
have seen the light. The works of these authors, as well as of Barchusen, Gælicke, Hamilton, and Renouard; the “Bibliotheca Scriptorum Medicor
1; um” of Mangetus, the seven volumes of Biographie Médicale from the “ Dictionnaire des Sciences Médicales ;" the able articles on medical history by Bostock in the “Cyclopædia of Practical Medicine,” and by Rage Delorme in the “Dictionnaire de Médecine,” not to speak of the medical articles in the several dictionaries of classical biography,–I have consulted on all occasions.
My researches have been further expedited by Stanley's, Tennemann's, and Ritter's Histories of Philosophy, by Taylor's account of the Ancient Mysteries, by Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History, Therwell's Greece, Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Sharpe's History of Egypt, Guizot's Cours d'Histoire, and by the Oxford Tables of Chronology. The recent translations from the Greek classics published by Mr. Bohn and others, I have put under extensive contribution, particularly the works of Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Plato, Aristotle, Diogenes Laërtius, Plutarch, Athenæus, and the writings of the emperor Julian, as well as the ecclesiastical histories of Eusebius, Socrates, Theodoret, and Evagrius.
The medical writers of antiquity, from Hippocrates to Paulus Ægineta, with one or two insignifi
cant exceptions, so far as they have yet appeared in print, as well as the other works of reference already mentioned, I have in my own library. From these ancient writers, and their respective commentators, I have drawn without restraint. Among the commentators to whom I am most indebted are, Ackermann, in Kuhn's editions of Hippocrates and Galen; M. Littré, in his recent and elaborate Introduction to his French version of Hippocrates; Mr. Adams, in his English versions of Hippocrates and Paulus Ægineta; Greive, in his introduction to Celsus ; Conrad Amman, in his preface to Cælius Aurelianus; the numerous commentators whose names are associated with the “Medicina Artis Principes post Hippocratem et Galenum," published under the auspices of Henric. Stephanus; and Coccius, in the “Græcorum Chirurgici Libri e collectione Nicetæ.” Much also bearing upon the profession I have drawn from Aristotle's treatise "De Animali. bus ;" from Vitruvius' “ De Architectura ;" from the agricultural treatises of Cato, Varro, Columella, and Palladius; from the “Mulo-medicina” of Vegetius; from Apicius, “ De Opsoniis ;” and from the writings of the elder Pliny.
For all that relates to the laws and usages of the Roman Empire in regard to the profession, I have drawn from the “Corpus Juris Civilis ” of Justinian, excepting one or two enactments from the Theodosian Code which I have taken on other authority.
Led on by the attractive nature of the study, I have extended my researches beyond the period of Greek and Roman antiquity; and have on hand the materials for a somewhat similar account of the
pro. fession among the Arabs of the East and West, among the Byzantine and Latin schools, and the monastic medical institutions of the middle ages; which I hope on some favorable occasion also to present to the New York Academy of Medicine, to whom the present work is most respectfully inscribed.