Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

by the Romans, and established by law throughout the empire. By a decree of Antoninus Pius,* the number of Archiatri, or state physicians, was limited in the metropolitan cities to ten; in cities of the second class, or those provided with a forum or hall of justice, to seven; and in the smaller cities, to five. At Rome their number was equal to the wards of the city.f . They were chosen by the people of the municipalities in which they officiated, and they ranked among themselves according to seniority of appointment. By an edict of Severus, they drew their salary from the public treasury of their respective municipalities; and in return for this, they were required to attend diligently to the business of education, and to prescribe for the poor gratuitously. But such citizens

. as were able to pay for their services, and stipulated to do so, could be obliged to pay, at the close of the

, attendance, provided the stipulation had not been exacted from the patient while insane, or under unreasonable alarm.

In most of the Roman laws relating to the Archiatri, they are associated with the professors of rhetoric, philosophy, and the liberal arts; and in common with these, they and their families enjoyed certain privileges and immunities, not usually conferred on other citizens. They were exempt from all painful and disaġreeable employments; their property was not subject to taxation; they were not required to provide accommodation for the soldiery or officers of justice; they could not be summarily brought before a magistrate; and if insulted or aggrieved, they enjoyed ready and efficient means of redress in the courts of law.* Such of them as were engaged in teaching, were more liberally paid than those who devoted their whole time to practice.t The term of their election and appointment to office, was limited only by their ability or disposition to perform their duties. If negligent of these, their salary was withheld, and they were subject to deposition from office. I

* Digest, lib. xxvii., tit. i., cap. vi., § 2. + Cod. Theod. lib. xiii., tit. iii., 1. 8., as cited by Sprengel, vol. ii., p. 164. † Digest, lib. 1., tit. ix., l. 1.

§ Codex, lib., X., tit. lii., § 10. :| Digest, lib. 1., ţit, ix., 1. 4, 8 2.

Codex, lib. x., tit., lii., § 9.

In the larger cities the Archiatri were associated together' as a college. They were intrusted not only with the business of teaching, but also with that of inquiring into the merits of all applicants for occupation in the profession, and of certifying to the qualifications of each applicant before the Decuriones or magistrates, by whom the license was conferred.] "The private practitioner, applying for a vacant seat among the Archiatri, was required to have studied and practiced under some reputable member of their order, and to have been regularly examined and licensed. And after having first obtained the suffrages of the public to the vacant seat, he had, by a decree of Valens and Valentinian,

[ocr errors]

* Codex, lib x., tit., lii. & 11. Digest, lib. xxvii., tit. i., cap. vi., SS 1, 5, 8, and tit. xiii. 1. 1.

+ Digest, lib. l., tit. xiii., 8 1.

. Ibid. lib. xxvii., tit. i. cap. vi., $$ 4 and 6. g Ibid. § 2.

| 'Ibid. lib. l., tit. ix.

still to undergo a further ordeal, and receive the consent of at least seven of the members of the college before taking his seat amongst them.*

The physicians of the imperial household, and such as were intrusted with the health of the chiefmagistrate, were also styled Archiatri, t a title which was first enjoyed under Nero, by Andromachus of Crete, but, perhaps, first: regularly recognized by Domitian. These court-physicians or Archiatri-Palatini, during the reign of Constantine rose to greater dignity than the Archiatri Populares, or those of the municipalities. But they were occasionally willing to sacrifice their position at the court, in order to obtain the more lucrative office of the municipal institution. Among the Archiatri-Palatini there were also different grades; as counts of the first and of the second order, and other higher dignities. During the reign of Julian these titles of honor were created in great number, and sought after with avidity. Some of the court physicians subsequent to this reign, enjoyed the dignity of Proconsul, others that of Duke, &c. "They ranked among the principal officers of State, and some of them, as Oribasius and Cæsarius, were on terms of intimacy with the emperors.

Army physicians, when absent on duty, and private practitioners not of the constituted number, if regularly educated and licensed by the magistrate, were entitled to certain immunities in common with other members of the liberal professions. I Receiv

* Codex, lib. x., tit. lii., § 10.
#. Codex, lib. x. tit.. ii. & 1, 88 5, 6.

+ Codex, lib. xii. tit. xi. xii.

a

ing no public appointment, they trusted to individual patronage for occupation, and had the right of claiming a fair return for their services. Privileges of the same kind were also granted to the obstetrix,* but were withheld from specialists, from medical evil-doers, from the necromancers, exorcists, the religious medical enthusiasts called Perabolani, and the numerous other pretenders who rose up among the people, especially among the Christian portion of them, before the final overthrow of the pagan institutions.t

But if this new order of Christian practitioners received no favor from the law, the spirit that impelled them was one in which the great mass of the community was eagerly participating. Scoffed at and ridiculed at first, they were at length in the ascendant; and they multiplied in proportion to the spread of Christianity. After Justinian had sequestrated the salary of the Pagan teachers for the purpose of building churches, and expelled the few remaining philosophers from their long respected abode in the Academy of Plato,f these unedncated practitioners may be said to have nearly supplanted the regularly inducted' members of the profession. In the Latin portion of the empire, the debasement of learning was even more rapid and complete than with the Greeks. Yet the schools continued to linger here long after the inroad of the Gothic nations. Theodoric the Goth even attempted the restoration of learning in the West; and his successor, Athalaric, restored to the professors at Rome the salaries that had been long withheld from them. He also enriched the schools of Milan, Pavia, and other cities; and Justinian on again acquiring the dominion of the West, confirmed the edict of the Gothic emperor. So that learning may be said to have held some semblance to its ancient rank, up to the final subjugation of Italy by the Lombards.

* Digest, lib. 1. tit. xiii. § 2.

+ Corpus Juris Civilis. Julii Pauli Recept. Sentent. lib. v. tit. xxiii. $ 7. Notes to Digest, lib. 1. tit. xiii. § 3, and Codex, lib xii. tit. viii. & 1.

# Novellæ, collect. ix. tit. xv. 132.

But though the ancient educational institutions, after the advent of Christianity as a political power, were by degrees discountenanced and forsaken, yet the laws in regard to them were never formally abrogated. Many of them, under the patronage at first of the Bishops, and afterwards of the Benedictine monks, were converted into Christian schools. Some of them in the Eastern portion of the empire, now under the sway of the Saracens, served as starting points for the progress of knowledge, and especially of medical knowledge, among the Arabs. In many of the cities and municipalities of which the Western portion of the empire consisted, and into which it was finally dissolved, traces of the ancient system of medical education and police continued visible throughout the whole of the middle ages; and in connection with other fragments of Roman law not yet laid aside, played no unimportant part in the early development of modern science and civilization.

* Aliæ Aliquot Constitutiones Justiniani, capitula xxii, pp. 237. Elzevir edition.

« ForrigeFortsæt »