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number and ability of its writers'; in the advancement of its teachers in anatomy, physiology, materia medica, therapeutics, hygiene, pathology; in the study of nature, and in the philosophy of medicine,one of the most active periods in the whole history of our art. As such, it is more worthy of notice, from the fact that the native Romans were never seriously devoted to the cultivation of the sciences. But, quick discoverers of the useful, they knew how to improve upon the suggestions or discoveries of the Greeks. Their immense cloaca, for the drainage of the city, their public baths, their care in the selection of sites for new towns, villas, and private residences, their improvements in architecture, and the domestic arrangement of their dwellings, as set forth by Vitruvius and others, are sufficient to show that the lectures of their Grecian masters on the rules of health, had been properly appreciated, and the information thus diffused amongst them, turned to good account. But these improvements in the arts of civil life, were of comparatively short continuance; so that Galen, who flourished during the reigns of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus, and as late as Septimus Severus, was the last, as he is also acknowledged to have been by far the most distinguished, of the medical teachers of the Roman school. But before alluding further to this great master of our art, we must for a moment return to the provincial institutions.



AMONG the Greek writers not strictly of the Roman school, who flourished during the epoch at present under consideration, were Dioscorides of Anazarba, Ruffus of Ephesus, Aretaus of Cappadocia, and Marcellus of Sida.

Mr. Sharpe, the able historian of Egypt, makes Dioscorides the physician of Cleopatra. But Galen speaks of him as a recent writer; and from his own works* it is evident he must have lived as late as the reign of Claudius. He was probably educated at Alexandria, which still retained some share of its early celebrity. He subsequently traveled extensively in Europe and Asia, and for a part of his life was occupied as an army surgeon. His great work on the Materia Medica, the only complete treatise of the sort that had hitherto appeared, was the result of much personal inquiry and experience; and the portions of it not thus acquired, were drawn as he informs us, from the most reliable sources. Galen speaks highly of his accuracy; and, as an au

*Pedanii Dioscoridis Anazarbei de Materia Medica libri quinque, &c. Lipsia, 1829-30; 2 vols., Kuhn's edition.

thority, his name is hardly yet obsolete among the writers on the matèria mediea. Besides this able treatise in five books, he has left a work on poisons. To him is also ascribed another work in two books, entitled Euporista, which is dedicated to Andromachus of Crete, physician to the emperor Nero. This latter work was, in all probability, by another hand. Whoever may have been its author, he has grouped his remedies according to their therapeutic actions, and their application to particular ailments.

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Ruffus of Ephesus was the author of a treatise on anatomy, a short essay on diseases of the urinary organs, and a fragment on the use of purgatives, all of which are still extant.* His treatise on the Materia Medica, written in verse, has perished. His anatomical work is the only portion of his writings worthy of special notice, and this is of some value as showing the condition of anatomical science immediately before the time of Galen. His descriptions are mostly taken from his own observations. He alludes to the dissection of the human body as a practice permitted in a previous and more liberal age, and regrets the necessity of confining his own investigations to apes and other animals most resembling man. He speaks of the commissure of the optic nerves, of the arteries as containing blood, of the heart as the source of animal heat, of life, and of the arterial pulse. According to some writers,

* Ruffi Ephesii Medici, de Appellationibus Partium Corporis Humani libri iii.; Tractus de Vesicæ ac Renum Affectibus, et Fragmenta de Medicamentis Purgantibus,-Medica Artis Principes. Venetiis, 1567.

Ruffus, too, was physician to Cleopatra; but more reliable authorities place him as late as the reign of Trajan.

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Aretaus of Cappadocia* appears to have been educated at Alexandria, or at least to have resided in Egypt. For, in treating of cynanche, a disease of which he has furnished an admirable description, he dwells upon the climate and modes of living there, as more likely to give rise to this disease than the climate or modes of life in Colosyria. The period at which he wrote is uncertain. Some have placed him prior to the reign of Augustus, and others after the time of Galen. There has been as much discrepancy among critics concerning the sect to which he belonged, as concerning his place of residence or the period at which he flourished. Aretæus is one of the most original and elegant writers of antiquity. For truth and accuracy of description, some have even placed him above Hippocrates. There is perhaps no modern writer to whom he can be more aptly compared than Heberden. He appears to have written at that period of life when the mind, tempered and enriched by ample experience, is more disposed to rely upon personal observation than on the teaching of the schools, and to pay little regard to theories unsupported by the revelations of nature. Starting with a thorough acquaintance with the science of his day, taking Hippocrates as his model, and repudiating all futile speculations, he details the simple results

Aretei Cappadocis Opera Omnia (Kuhn's edition), Lipsiæ, 1828.

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of his own experience, in a systematic treatise of eight books on the history and treatment of acute and chronic diseases, and in a manner so striking and appropriate as rarely to have been excelled. His descriptions of marasmus, of phthisis, of angina, of asthma, and of mania,, are frequently referred to as true to nature, and of poetic finish. Yet, he himself acknowledges his inability to paint to his own satisfaction, the ever-varying shades of disease; and advises every young physician to study for himself, and not to trust for all his knowledge to the commentaries of his instructors. In his practice he employs but few remedies, and never the monstrous compositions so much in vogue among the Romans. He makes frequent use of evacuants. Emetics, purgatives, and venesection, are his main agents in the management of acute diseases; in these also relying much on regimen, and on cooling and refreshing drinks. But in the management of chronic diseases, his practice is more diversified. His surgical is in keeping with his medical ability. He was the first, so far as I remember, to use the trephine for the cure of epilepsy. He employs catheterism in mechanical obstructions of the urethra, resulting from vesical calculus; for the removal of the stone, he recommends perineal section, by an incision immediately below the scrotum, and extending inward to the neck of the bladder until the urine and calculus escape. He employs the actual cautery for opening hepatic abscess, and cauterizes the scalp in certain diseases of the head. Besides his treatise on acute and chronic diseases, of

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