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its steady advancement to the present time; and begins with the term physic as follows:
The Greek physike, and the Latin physica were used originally to designate natural science, but insomuch as medicine was soon recognised as a branch of natural science, the word physic came to be used for its designation and the title physician to be applied to him who practised the healing art. There exists a record to that effect in the decrees of the Council of Tours held in the year 1163. But even before that time physical science was understood to comprise such knowledge of the human body as to enable the physician to guard its health and cure its diseases. To designate the physician, the Greeks had used originally the word iatros,* healer; and the Latins, from mederi, to heal, had derived medicus, healer; and the Latin races of to-day preserve the parent form, as the Italian and Spanish médico, and the French médecin. The word physician is now used chiefly by English speaking people. In England, the vague, indefinite, incorrect. term practitioner is applied to any physician, but more particularly to him who practises both medicine and surgery; sometimes qualifying it with the adjective general. The French term praticien, with médecin prefixed was anglicised practician without the prefix medical; while practicianer was also employed as were physicianer, musicianer, and other kindred forms. The word was
* According to Sextus the empiric, iatros comes from ios, arrow or dart.-Histoire de la Chirurgie. Dugardin. p. 3, foot
afterward spelled practicioner from which probably arose the final corruption practitioner. It is hoped that the American physician will no longer suffer himself to be called "practitioner" or even practician, for he is a practiser of physic, and for brevity a physician.
In very early times there was no system of physic; each sufferer, like the beasts of the fields, using such means of cure as instinct dictated or, afterward, as were suggested by another sufferer who had derived benefit from certain remedial agents, an account of which he was required to deposit in some public place or temple. This was the early custom in Assyria, Egypt, and Greece. As votive tablets and other like documents accumulated in the temples they were suitably arranged, revised, and transcribed by the priests to whom only they became accessible and who consulted the work, which was known as the "sacred book," to find the remedies applicable to the cases of disease under their observation. Such, in Greece, was the practice until the great reformer Hippocrates came to the front and finally etablished a sound system of medicine; bequeathing to the world such an imperishable record of his greatness in the science and literature of the healing art. Notwithstanding the Hippocratic school, the priests, who had a powerful hold on public credulity, would not relinquish the practice of healing diseases in their crude way and, for a long time, continued to be the medical advisers of the majority of the Greek people. In Egypt, none but the priests were permitted to minister to the sick and, says Herodotus,
there was one specially devoted to the treatment of each kind of disease. There then was the birth of specialism. Among the early Israelites the prophets, priests, and Levites were the only physicians. This ancient custom of combining the offices of physician and priest was adopted by the Christian clergy and prevailed, with but few exceptions, until the middle of the eighteenth century.
Although the school of medicine of Salernum, celebrated by the many learned members of the clergy who there were taught and then taught the medicine of the Arabs as well as that of the Hippocratic school, had existed since the eighth century, as did the school of law of Bologna and of theology of Paris,* and although the great colleges of Oxford and Cambridge in England, were founded late in the ninth century, it was really during the thirteenth century that the greatest impulse was given, not only to the congregation of scholars under the title of University but to poetry, to song, to church music, to architecture, to art, to literature, to physical, mental, and sensual culture, and to medicine. It was through those flourishing scholars then that occurred the great revival of general learning which had so sadly fallen after Tarsus, Athens, Rome, and Alexandria had ceased to be intellectual centers. The vast debt due to those devoted schoolmen by modern thinkers remains uncancelled notwithstanding the tacit acknowledgment that learning
*The University of Paris was originally started toward the end of the eighth century through the influence of Alcuinus who became one of its first professors.
is generally developed and extended by the scrupulous study of the contributions of laborers of the past. As the immense progress of science in the nineteenth century depended largely on the preparatory labors of the eighteenth century, so, doubtless, will the accomplishments of the nineteenth greatly stimulate further advancement in the twentieth century, and this last on the acts of succeeding ages in medicine and in all other branches of science and art.
In the twelfth century priests were forbidden to practice surgery, that is to say, to use the knife and shed human blood, or to use the actual cautery, and even to study medicine. But during the crusades, and when leprosy was imported to western Europe, the lepers' hospitals were attended entirely by monks. There came two more prohibitions in the twelfth century, and a fourth in the latter part of the thirteenth century, under the pontificate of Boniface VIII. The law of celibacy imposed, in France, upon physicians, was abrogated, in 1452, through the influence of Cardinal d'Etouteville. This should have placed medicine entirely in the hands of the laity. It did not, however, for the clergy continued to practice medicine. The final decree, prohibiting priests from practising medicine or surgery, was promulgated, in the middle of the eighteenth century, during the pontificate of Benedict XIV.
The term medicine or rather its equivalent, was applied to the art of healing wounds long before internal diseases were understood. Machaon and Podalyrius were highly
prized at the siege of Troy both for their feats of arms and for their skill in the treatment of wounds; they were iatroi, healers, as well as warriors. The word chirurgery xapovpyía, relating to manual operations upon the human body was not in use until the time of Herophilus 307 B.C. (Celsus). A few centuries ago the word surgeon was employed to designate the "barber-surgeon" and so distinguish him from the educated healer who was styled "Master in Chirurgery." In France, as early as the beginning of the fourteenth century, no barber-surgeon was permitted to exercise his calling which was to shave men's faces, cup, bleed, administer glysters, and perform other minor and menial operations, until he had been examined by a Board of Masters in Chirurgery or Maitres-Myres.*
* As the student may find, in some old books, the word mire or myre, it is well that he should understand the meaning anciently given thereto. In olden times the masters in chirurgery were designated mires or myres, as some writers have supposed, from Robert Le Myre, an eminent surgeon of Paris, sworn in the guild by Jean Pitard who had established the College of Chirurgery during the thirteenth century. This Le Myre was in such high repute among the people on account of his personal qualities and surgical skill that, at length myre came to be the popular designation of every accomplished surgeon. Finally the official title of myre was given by the Faculty to all sworn surgeons, as Maîtres-Myres. Surgery had then become almost hereditary in the family of Le Myre, as medicine was in that of the Asclepiades, and as lithotomy was in the Colot family. Other writers derived Myre from myrrhe signifying perfume, but the differing orthography of these words dismisses the supposition that myre was derived from myrrh. There are also those who made myre come from the Arabic emyr, or from the old French myr taken from the Latin myrus, because the marvelous of the healing art caused the médecins-chirurgiens to be regarded as men of high merit, of high status or occupation-hommes de