Billeder på siden

may be disposed thoughtlessly to deride it, received a most remarkable. confirmation from the observations of the celebrated anatomists, the Wenzels. The following account of their opinions I extract from Dr. Copland's Dictionary of Practical Medicine: "The WENZELS in their numerous dissections, directed attention to the state of the pituitary and pineal glands. These able pathologists found the pituitary glands and infundibulum variously altered in color, consistence, size, and structure, in nearly all the cases of epilepsy they examined. Alterations in the sphenoid bone and pituitary gland have been found also by Geeding, Newman, Sims, and myself." (See under Epilepsy, § 48.')

Before concluding, I have a few additional remarks to make on the question whether or not the present treatise be the production of Hippocrates himself. I am aware that many learned critics, such as Gruner and Ackerman, looking to the difference of style and matter between it, and the genuine works of Hippocrates, such as the Prognostics and Aphorisms, have not hesitated to decide that it must be the production of an entirely different mind. But why should it appear incredible that the great master of Grecian medicine should have devoted his leisure hours to the study of the transcendental philosophy then in so high repute, and that he should have displayed the versatility of his genius in the manner he handles the new subject of his research? I have stated in the short biography I have given of him at the commencement of this work, that he was familiarly acquainted with Democritus of Abdera, and it is well known that he visited Athens at the time when Socrates had diverted the minds of his countrymen from verbal disputations to the cultivation of a sound and masculine philosophy. When we reflect how narrow the field of intellectual research then was, compared with what it has now become, it need not appear at all remarkable that the enlarged mind of our author should have ventured to grapple with all those great questions in physical and mental philosophy, which the sages of his time were attempting to solve. Galen, in fact, on many occasions, pronounces Hippocrates to have been a great philosopher, as well as a great physician; and that there is no incompatibility in the two characters is apparent from examples of very recent date. My lamented friend, Dr. Abercrombie, not only wrote elaborate works on Pathology and the Practice of Medicine, but also published treatises on Moral and Intellectual Philosophy. Haller was not only a great physician and physiologist, but also a highly popular poet. Why then should it appear incredible that Hippocrates should have displayed as wide a grasp of mind as a Haller or an Abercrombie? I know that the opinion is now pretty generally propagated, that a medical man ought to be exclusively occupied with professional pursuits, and have no

'See further, Syder's edition of Sir Astley Cooper's Lectures, p. 20

leisure to devote to the cultivation of elegant literature, and it is not unusual to hear of a physician's being run down by the craftsmen of our art, as a person who, it is inferred, must be deficient in a practical acquaintance with medicine, because it is admitted that he has made respectable acquirements in the liberal sciences, and in philosophy. Such members of the medical profession (or, I should rather say, craft), though they can find no time to devote to Homer or Aristotle, to Milton or Kant, find plenty of leisure to frequent all the haunts of fashionable resort, and as Galen somewhere says of his professional contemporaries, when the rich and the noble do not want them in the sick chamber, they are always ready to attend them in the ball or the banquet room. But is such a waste of intellectual existence indispensably necessary, in order to attain success in the practice of our profession? And might not a man become a useful and respectable member of it, by discharging the duties of his profession actively when called upon, and then retiring to the study of the liberal arts and sciences? I shall conclude this Argument and my present task, by quoting the memorable words in which Cicero apologizes for his having spent a certain portion of his time in the cultivation of elegant literature, and of philosophy, leaving the reader to apply the same in the case of Hippocrates, and, I may be permitted to add, in that of the humble Editor of the present volume, who trusts he shall not be set down as an idle and unprofitable practitioner of the Art, because he has found leisure amidst the turmoil and distraction of a professional life, to communicate to his countrymen the important opinions contained in the genuine remains of The Coan Sage:-" Ego vero fateor me his studiis esse deditum; ceteros pudeat, siqui ita se literis abdiderunt, ut nihil possint ex his neque ad communem ferre fructum, neque in adspectum, lucemque proferre. Quare quis tandem me reprehendat, aut quis mihi jure succenseat si, quantûm ceteris ad suas res obeundas, quantum ad festos dies ludorum celebrandos, quantum ad alias voluptates, et ad ipsam requiem animi et corporis conceditur temporum; quantum alii tribuunt tempestivis conviviis; quantum denique aleæ, quantum pilæ, tantum mihi egomet ad hæc studia recolenda sumsero?"1


It is thus with regard to the disease called Sacred: it appears to me to be nowise more divine nor more sacred than other diseases, but has a natural cause from which it originates like other affections. Men regard its nature and cause as divine from ignorance and wonder, because it is

1 Pro Archia Poëta.

not at all like to other diseases. And this notion of its divinity is kept up by their inability to comprehend it, and the simplicity of the mode by which it is cured, for men are freed from it by purifications and incantaBut if it is reckoned divine because it is wonderful, instead of one there are many diseases which would be sacred; for, as I will show, there are others no less wonderful and prodigious, which nobody imagines to be sacred. The quotidian, tertian, and quartan fevers, seem to me no less sacred and divine in their origin than this disease, although they are not reckoned so wonderful. And I see men become mad and demented from no manifest cause, and at the same time doing many things out of place; and I have known many persons in sleep groaning and crying out, some in a state of suffocation, some jumping up and fleeing out of doors, and deprived of their reason until they awaken, and afterward becoming well and rational as before, although they be pale and weak; and this will happen not once but frequently.' And there are many and various things of the like kind, which it would be tedious to state particularly. And they who first referred this disease to the gods, appear to me to have been just such persons as the conjurors, purificators, mountebanks, and charlatans now are, who give themselves out for being excessively religious, and as knowing more than other people. Such persons, then, using the divinity as a pretext and screen of their own inability to afford any assistance, have given out that the disease is sacred, adding suitable reasons for this opinion, they have instituted a mode of treatment which is safe for themselves, namely, by applying purifications and incantations, and enforcing abstinence from baths and many articles of food which are unwholesome to men in diseases. Of sea substances, the sur-mullet,' the blacktail, the mullet,' and the eel; for these are the fishes most to be guarded against. And of fleshes, those of the goat, the stag, the sow, and the dog: for these are the kinds of flesh which are aptest to disorder the bowels. Of fowls, the cock, the turtle," and the bustard," and such others as are reckoned to be particularly strong. And of potherbs, mint, garlic, and onions for what is acrid does not agree with a weak person. And they forbid to have a black robe, because black is expressive of death; and to sleep on a goat's skin, or to wear it, and to put one foot upon another, or one hand upon another; for all these things are held to be hinderances to the cure. All these they enjoin with reference to its divinity, as if


1 Our author in this place evidently alludes to nightmare and somnambulism. Namely, the Mullus barbatus. See under тpiyan, in the Appendix to Dunbar's Greek Lexicon.


Namely, the Sparus melanurus. See under peλávovpoç, in the above cited


4 Namely, the Mugil cephalus.

5 Namely, the Columba turtur.

See under KƐOTрeç, as above.

See under pvyún, as above.

6 Namely, the Otis tarda. See under briç, as above.

possessed of more knowledge, and announcing beforehand other pretents, so that if the person should recover, theirs would be the honor and credit; and if he should die, they would have a certain defense, as if the gods, and not they, were to blame, seeing they had administered nothing either to eat or drink as medicines, nor had overheated him with baths, so as to prove the cause of what had happened. But I am of opinion that (if this were true) none of the Libyans, who live in the interior, would be free from this disease, since they all sleep on goats' skins, and live upon goats' flesh; neither have they couch, robe, nor shoe that is not made of goat's skin, for they have no other herds but goats and oxen. But if these things, when administered in food, aggravate the disease, and if it be cured by abstinence from them, then is God not the cause at all; nor will purifications be of any avail, but it is the food which is beneficial and prejudicial, and the influence of the divinity vanishes. Thus, then, they who attempt to cure these diseases in this way, appear to me neither to reckon them sacred nor divine. For when they are removed by such purifications, and this method of cure, what is to prevent them from being brought upon. men and induced by other devices similar to these?1 So that the cause is no longer divine, but human. For whoever is able, by purifications and conjurations, to drive away such an affection, will be able, by other practices, to excite it; and, according to this view, its divine nature is entirely done away with. By such sayings and doings, they profess to be possessed of superior knowledge, and deceive mankind by enjoining lustrations and purifications upon them, while their discourse turns upon the divinity and the godhead. And yet it would appear to me that their discourse savors not of piety, as they suppose, but rather of impiety, and as if there were no gods, and that what they hold to be holy and divine, were impious and unholy. This I will now explain. For, if they profess to know how to bring down the moon, and darken the sun, and induce storms and fine weather, and rains and droughts, and make the sea and land unproductive, and so forth, whether they arrogate this power as be

1 I cannot but think that the proper reading is, ἐπιγίγνεσθαι, and not ἀπογίγνεσθαι. Agreeably to this reading, the meaning is more clear.


The term in the original (daμóvrov) is of dubious meaning. In the works of earlier Greek authors, it and daipur are generally put in a good sense; but in Christian times they are almost always taken in a bad sense, and applied to evil spirits. Hence demoniacs were held to be persons possessed with evil spirits or devils. In this light, I need scarcely remark, they are universally represented in the New Testament. That the persons there described as being possessed with impure spirits were the same as the demoniacs of the Greeks, and that they were epileptics and maniacs, cannot admit of the very slightest doubt. It will be seen below that our author understands the popular belief to be, that the bodies of such persons were possessed by demons, who, he argues, must be good beings and not bad. The earlier Christians, however, held that all the gods of the heathens were demons in a bad sense, that is to say, devils.

ing derived from mysteries or any other knowledge or consideration, they appear to me to practice impiety, and either to fancy that there are no gods, or, if there are, that they have no ability to ward off any of the greatest evils. How, then, are they not enemies to the gods? For if a man by magical arts and sacrifices will bring down the moon,' and darken the sun, and induce storms, or fine weather, I should not believe that there was anything divine, but human, in these things, provided the power of the divine were overpowered by human knowledge and subjected to it. But perhaps it will be said, these things are not so, but, men being in want of the means of life, invent many and various things, and devise many contrivances for all other things, and for this disease, in every phase of the disease, assigning the cause to a god. Nor do they remember the same things once, but frequently." For, if they imitate a goat, or grind their teeth, or if their right side be convulsed, they say that the mother of the gods is the cause. But if they speak in a sharper and more intense tone, they resemble this state to a horse, and say that Posidon (Neptune) is the cause. Or if any excrement be passed, which is often the case, owing to the violence of the disease, the appellation of Enodius (Hecate ?) is adhibited; or, if it be passed in smaller and denser masses, like bird's, it is said to be from Apollo Nomius. But if foam be emitted by the mouth, and the patient kick with his feet, Ares (Mars) gets the blame. But terrors which happen during the night, and fevers, and delirium, and jumpings out of bed, and frightful apparitions, and fleeing away,—all these they hold to be the plots of Hecate, and the invasions of the Heroes, and use purifications and incantations, and, as appears to me, make the divinity to be most wicked and most impious. For they purify those laboring under this disease, with the same sorts of blood and the other means that are used in the case of those who are stained with crimes, and of malefactors, or who have been enchanted by men, or who have done any wicked act; who ought to do the very reverse, namely, sacrifice and pray, and, bringing gifts to the temples, supplicate the gods. But now they do none of these things, but purify; and some of the purifications they conceal in the earth, and some they throw into the sea, and some they carry to the mountains where no one can touch or tread upon them. But these they ought to take to the temples and present to the god, if a This was supposed to be a very common exploit of the ancient witches, Hence Virgil says,

"Carmina vel cælo possunt deducere lunam.”

And Tibullus, in like manner:

"Hanc ego de cælo ducentem sidera vidi." (El. i., 2.)

And in similar terms Horace says,

"et polo

Deripere lunam vocibus possum meis." (Epod. xvii.)

? The text appears to be corrupt; at least the meaning is very equivocal.

VOL. II.-22.


« ForrigeFortsæt »