« ForrigeFortsæt »
mentary studies, the two brothers, Gregory and Cæsarius, departed on the same day from their father's house; the one to complete his philosophical course at Athens, still the principal seat of Grecian arts; and the other, to pursue his medical studies at Alexandria. After a residence of five years at the latter city, Cæsarius commenced practice, and rose to great distinction at his native place, Nazianzus, a town of Cappadocia. But on the removal of his brother to Byzantium, he was induced to follow him. Under the patronage of Constans, Cæsarius soon rose to the senatorial rank, and was appointed Archiater, or physician to the emperor. In the enjoyment of an ample patrimony, he practiced his profession gratuitously, and with great renown. Julian, who had formerly been a fellow-student with Gregory, at Athens, and who succeeded to the throne, A. D. 363, desirous of the services of Casarius, urged his return to the ancient religion of the state; and notwithstanding the refusal of Cæsarius, he persisted in retaining him at the imperial court. But overcome by the solicitations of his brother, he at length retired to his native place, where he spent the remainder of his days. Whatever he may have written on medicine is lost, though some of his theological writings are still extant.* His brother, the bishop, lived to pronounce his funeral oration. The touching eloquence of this discourse, even at the present day, fills the reader with emotion.+ Need
* Mosheim's Institutes. Harper's edition, N. Y. 1845, p. 249, note. t See Extracts from Gregory Nazianzen in the Cours de Literature Grecque, par M. Planche. Paris, 1828, tome vii. p. 176-287.
I speak, says this prelate, of his great acquirements! need I speak of his skill in medicine, particularly in that admirable department of the art which enabled him to recognize the complexion, temperament, and principle of diseases, and thereby to arrest their: ¦ progress, or nip them in the bud! Who is so unaware of his talents, so unjust towards him, as to dispute his claim to the highest place in his profession! Who might not be satisfied to rank in excellence even next beneath him! In proof of his abilities, I appeal both to the East and West; to those of every region among whom his talents have been exerted.
What may have been the character of the medical institutions of the empire at this period, Gregory has not undertaken to inform us, but the rivalry of which he speaks, between the literary institutions of Athens, might lead us to suppose that the same spirit may have shown itself at Alexandria. There prevailed, as we are told by him, in most of the young students at Athens, a complete sophistic furor. They all canvassed for their master; for it was not the custom to attend different lecturers at the same time; but each one, as a rule, attached himself to one teacher. The poor students, especially, lent themselves to this business of recruiting, since they got exemption from class payment, or even some degree of remuneration, if they succeeded in bringing to their respective sophists a good supply of newcomers. An unprejudiced youth could scarcely set his foot on Attic ground without being already claimed by the adherents of a party; they wrangled,..
they struggled, they threw themselves around him; and it might easily happen that a young, man was torn quite away from the teacher whom he had come to attend. The whole of Greece was drawn into this partizanship of the students for their favorite sophists, so that this recruiting was carried on in the streets and harbors of other cities also. Nor were the literary disputes and altercations of the different schools among themselves, less animated; indeed, they seldom concluded without coming to blows.*
Oribasius, of whom we have next to speak, was a native of Pergamus, or, as some assert, of Sardis. He received his professional education under Zeno of Cyprus, the most distinguished professor of the fourth century, who taught first at Sardis, and afterwards at Alexandria. If Cæsarius was the earliest of the Christian, so Oribasius was among the latest of the pagan medical writers. He ranked with the philosophers of the times, and his influence was such that Julian was principally indebted to him for his accession to the throne. Early commended to Julian by his talents, by similarity of tastes, and by their common devotion to the ancient religion and institutions of the nation, he became his intimate companion, and was one of the four friends who were permitted to accompany him into Gaul. At his
* Gregory Nazianzen as cited in Ullmann's Ecclesiastical History. See Westminster Review, Oct. 1851.
† Oribasii Sardiani Medici longe exellentissimi Opera, tribus tomis digesta, Joanne Baptista Rosario interprete, in the collection of Stephanus; also in Coccius, e Collectione Niceta.
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 arrange
ment 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