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physiological researches excited the indignation of the populace to such an extent as to require the strong arm of arbitrary power for his protection. He traced most diseases to the humors. In practice he resorted to active treatment, after the manner on Hippocrates. He was a voluminous. writer in various departments of medicine, treating, among other subjects, on the obstetric art. He was the first to write commentaries on Hippocrates. Professor Marx, who has attempted to collect from Galen and others, all that remains of his produc-tions, ascribes to him works bearing the following titles: De Causis, Anatomia, Disquisitiones de Pulsu, Curationes, Commentarius in Hippocratis
Prognostica," Commentarius in Hippocratis "Aphorismos," Explicationes Dictionum Exoletarium Hippocratis, De Oculis, Dietetica. To which may be added, on the authority of Soranus, the two following:-Contra Opiniones Vulgares, and De Arte Obstetricia.*
Erasistratust was a native of the Isle of Chios, He had pursued philosophy under Theophrastus, and medicine under Chrysippus; and before coming to Alexandria, had distinguished himself by discovering the secret ailment of young Antiochus, son of Seleucus, from observing the acceleration of the patient's pulse during the presence of Stratinice, of whom he was enamored. Like his associate,
* De Herophili Celeberrimi Medici Vita, Scriptis atque in Medicina Meritis By Professor Marx. See British and Foreign Medical Review, vol. xv. p. 110.
† Galen and Celsus, as above.
Erasistratus wrote extensively, and made discoveries in anatomy and physiology. He was familiar with the general distribution of the blood-vessels. He described the anatomical structure of the heart, and like Aristotle, made this organ the source both of the veins and arteries. He held also, in common with Aristotle, that the arteries in health are filled with pneuma, or air, which they receive from the atmosphere in the process of respiration, and that the passage of blood into them from the veins, is the usual cause of disease. He was familiar with the functions of the nerves; and as we are told by Ruffus, he divided them into nerves of motion and nerves of sensation. He was acquainted with the use of the catheter, and was probably the inventor of that instrument. He paid no regard to the Hippocratic doctrine of the humors, or of the four elements. He attributed all fevers to inflammation. The inflammation leading to dropsy, he placed in the liver and spleen. The animal spirits he seated in the brain; the vital, in the heart. He rejected venesection, the use of drastic purgatives, and most other active medicines; he treated diseases almost exclusively by diet and regimen, and was among the first to systematize gymnastics, or what would now be called hygiene, as a department of the healing art. Galen speaks of him as an accomplished anatomist, but charges him with want of skill as a a physician. After commencing his anatomical and physiological researches, he may have been too much involved in these to attend to the minute details of practice.. He held medicine to be a conjec
tural science. He was opposed to the sage of Cos on many points; was said to have been envious of his reputation, and to have mentioned him as rarely as possible in his writings.
During this period the art of medicine was usually divided into three parts; the Dietetic, the Pharmaceutic, and the Chirurgical. The most illustrious professors of that branch which related to diet, endeavoring to extend their views, called in the assistance of natural philosophy, being persuaded that without this, medicine would be a weak and imperfect science. After these came Serapion, the first of all to maintain that the rational method of studying disease was foreign to the art; for a knowledge of which he trusted wholly to experience. In his steps followed Apollonius and Glaucias, and some time after Heraclides of Tarentium. And thus dietetics had its two parties,-one set of physicians, rationalistic and pursuing theories; the other, following experience alone.
The pharmaceutic branch, though not rejected entirely by Erasistratus and his followers, was more particularly extolled by Herophilus and other rationalists, who resorted to medicine in all diseases, and some of whom wrote extensively upon the materia medica. Among the earliest of these were Zeno, Andreas, and Apollonius surnamed Mus, and several others who treated of medicines incidentally. Among the less conspicuous writers in this department was Pamphilius, in the reign of Ptolemy
Philometor, the author of a treatise on herbs; of which he speaks in alphabetical order, treating of their agricultural as well as of their medicinal uses. Compiling from Hermes Ægyptiacus, the great medical authority of the early Egyptians, he dwells upon the use of charms, amulets, and incantations for increasing the power of herbs. Nicander, who flourished in the same reign, and spent part of his days at Pergamus, wrote in verse a treatise on poisons and the bites and stings of venomous animals.
Among the surgical writers of this school, were several able professors, particularly Philoxenus, who treated of this branch fully; and with great accuracy, in several volumes. Gorgias also, and Sostratus, the two Herons, the two Apollonii, and Ammonius Alexandrinus, were all improvers in this department. Ammonius was the inventor of an instrument for the crushing of stone in the bladder, where the stone was too large to be extracted in the ordinary way. Apollonius of Cittium, who lived in the time of Ptolemy Auletes the father of Cleopatra, was the author of a work on the diseases of the joints, which, though never printed, is said to be still extant. Philotimus, Nileus, and Heraclides of Tarentum, coinciding with Hippocrates and Dioles, declare that they had perfectly succeeded in reducing luxations at the hip joint, a fact which others had called in question. Andreas, Nymphodorus, and Protarchus, as well as some of those already mentioned, were inventors of machines for reducing dislocations; diagrams of which are still
extant in several of the older systems of surgery, as well as in Galen and Oribasius.
Among the later writers of this school who preceded Galen, and whose works have descended to modern times, were Dioscorides of Anazarba, Ruffus of Ephesus, and probably also Aretaus of Cappadocia. But of these we shall have again occasion to speak, in connection with their contemporaries of the Roman 'school.
The business of teaching, at Alexandria, was never wholly confined to the professors. In medicine, as in other departments of science, there were independent instructors. Beyond the schools, the student of medicine appears to have had access to the temple of Serapis,* which served in part as an asylum and place of refuge for the sick, and was used as such in the same way as the Asclepions in other parts of Greece. Nor were the devices of the priests here less politic than at the more ancient temples of Esculapius.
As Vespasian was one day walking through the streets of Alexandria a man with a diseased eye threw himself at his feet, begging to be cured, and declaring he had been told by Serapis that his sight would be restored if the emperor would but spit upon his eyelids. Soon afterwards another who had lost the use of his hand, preferred the same petition; having been told by Serapis that the emperor might heal him by trampling him under his feet.
Le Clerc (Histoire de la Médicine, liv. i. chap. xx. p. 66-7, on the authority of Tacitus, Elian and other writers), cites several instances to show that the sick resorted for relief to the temple of Serapis.