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treating of it apart, as a distinct department of practical knowledge. Pliny,* after Varro, supposes that he was the first to institute clinical instruction,} "hanc quæ Clinica vocatur," that he was led to this after the burning of the temple of Cos, and that the materials of his course were supplied mainly by the votive tablets which had been there accumulating. But his claim to our respect rests on higher ground.
The great among mankind are not merely those who set the first examples. Examples are often the result of accident; and the best of them, in a prac tical point of view, rarely the result of forethought. He who detects the rising spirit of the age, who first gives expression and embodiment, or the power of progress and endurance, to the wisdom, feelings, aspirations, customs, or hitherto undivulged opinions of his times, is even more worthy of regard than the innovator. Such a man was Hippocrates. He lived in an age of progress. The earliest historians, the earliest and ablest dramatists, the profoundest philosophers, the wisest legislators, the ablest generals, the greatest architects, painters, and sculptors of Greece, were all men of the same epoch. And while other arts and sciences were thus springing into life, and rising at once to maturity, it is not surprising that some man of genius should appear in the ranks of medicine, to give to its principles form and utterance. This man was Hippocrates.
He was not, then, the inventor of the healing art,, nor of the modes of teaching it. He was not the
Hist. Nat. Lib. xxix., cap.
first to write upon it. But familiar with its traditionary lore, with the science and philosophy of his day, and with the practical details of his profession in all its bearings, he was the first to combine such knowledge in systematic form, and to give to it a scientific value; yet not so clearly scientific, as to be sufficient of itself, in the form in which he left it, and independent of oral comment or practical illustration, to qualify the aspirant who would avail himself of it alone, for the proper exercise of his calling. "The more I become familiar with the Hippocratic books," says M. Littré,* "the more I am convinced that they were prepared with reference to the accompaniment of oral instruction, without. which even the clearest of them are both obscure and incomplete."
Yet these books opened to the learned much that had hitherto been taught in full only to the initiated, and paved the way for the more exact and rational study of medicine as a liberal art. The loss of respect for the mysteries of the temples was afterwards in proportion to the general diffusion of correct knowledge. The schools of Cnidos and Cos had now entered upon the cultivation of medicine as a science; and with them were associated not only the family descendants of this great man, but also most of the distinguished names in the profession between the days of Hippocrates and the founding of the Alexandrian Museum.
Among the writings attributed to Hippocrates, it
Euvres d'Hippocrat, tome iv. p. 625.
is difficult to determine what portion was written by himself, and what by his immediate disciples. On this point the critics have never been able to agree. By Erotian and Galen many works were accepted as his which the moderns are disposed to refer to other writers. Foës,* to whom we are indebted for a most careful Latin version of the whole collection, was willing to accept as genuine all works pronounced to be such by the ancients; but the later critics have not so readily deferred to ancient authority.
According to Mercuriali,+ not more than fourteen treatises out of the whole collection were published by Hippocrates himself. Five others, according to the same critic, may have been left by him unfinished, to be completed either by his son-in-law and successor, Polybius, by his sons Thessalus and' Draco, by his grandson Hippocrates, or by other members of his family. A third portion, including about twenty-two treatises, though perhaps not even begun by Hippocrates, is in strict accordance with his doctrines, and is believed by Mercuriali to have emanated from the immediate descendants of Hippocrates or other disciples of the school of Cos. The remaining portion of the collection, according to the same authority, consists of spurious writings, and of such as contain opinions not in accordance with the doctrines of Hippocrates, though published as his.
* Magni Hippocratis Opera omnia quæ extant, in sectiones octo ex Erotiani mente distributa, nunc recens Latina interpretatione et annotationibus illustrata, Anutio Fasio auctore. 2 vols. fol. Frankfort, 1595. See Schulze, p. 215.
Other distributions of these works have since been made, by Haller, Gruner, Schulze, Ackermann, Grimm, Sprengel, Link, Peterson, and other writers.
M. Littré, after a most careful and searching examination of the whole collection, distributes the various works composing it into eleven classes, placing in class first the thirteen treatises which are believed to be from the pep of Hippocrates. These are, 1st, the book on Ancient Medicine; 2d, the Prognostics; 3d, the Aphorisms; 4th, the Epidemics, first and third books; 5th, Regimen in Acute Diseases; 6th, on Air, Water, and Places; 7th, on Articulations; 8th, on Fractures; 9th, the Mochlicus, or Instrument for reducing Luxations, &c.; 10th, the Physician's Office; 11th, Injuries of the Head; 12th, the Oath; 13th, the Law.
The works of the second class he attributes to Polybius. These are, the book on the Nature of Man, and that on Regimen for Persons in Health. In the third class he includes two books which he believes to be more ancient than the genuine writings. These are the Coan Prænotions and the first book of Prorrhetics. In class fourth, he places certain works which he cannot on undisputed authority assign to Hippocrates, but which may have emanated from his school. These are the treatises on Ulcers, on Fistulæ and Hæmorrhoids, on Pneuma, on the Sacred Disease, on the Places in Man, on Art, on Regimen and Dreams, on Affections, on Internal Affections; on Diseases, first, second, and third:
*Loco citato, chap. xii.
books; on the Seventh Month Foetus, on the Eighth Month Foetus. In the fifth class he includes such, works as appear to be merely collections of notes, or extracts from other of the genuine writings: these are the second, fourth, fifth; sixth, and seventh books on Epidemics; the book on Humors, that on the use of Liquids, and perhaps the Physician's Office, which is also mentioned in the first class.
In class sixth he places several books by some unknown author, who must have written earlier than Aristotle, and whose writings form a special series in the collection. These are the treatises on Generation, on the Nature of the Infant, Diseases-fourth book, the Diseases of Women, the Diseases of Young Women, on Unfruitful Women. In class seventh he places the treatise on Superfotation which,' on the authority of Aristotle, he is disposed to ascribe to Leophantes. His eighth class is made up of works which appear to have been written about the time of Aristotle and Praxagoras; and which he considers to have been of this epoch, either because they make allusion to the pulse; or because, in accordance with the teaching of Aristotle, they refer the origin of the blood-vessels to the heart; or because, by Erotian, Galen, or other of the ancient critics, they have been pronounced to be more recent. than the time of Hippocrates. These are treatises or fragments on the Heart, on Aliment, on Fleshes, on the Weeks, the second book on Prorrhetics, on the Glands, and an extract from the compilation on the Nature of Bone.
In class ninth he places several small treatises,