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sive exercise, and the use of wine. The novelty and attractive character of his practice rendered him popular, and secured to him lucrative occupation, from which he accumulated a princely fortune. Adopting the atomic philosophy of Epicurus, he attributed all diseases to obstruction of the primary atoms in their passage through the invisible pores; and the restoration of these atoms to their equable relation to the pores, so as to move without embarrassment, he made the principal indication in his. treatment. This theory was afterwards more fully · elaborated by his successors, in whose hands it was expanded into the distinctive doctrine of the Methodic sect.
The merits of Asclepiades as a reformer, have been differently estimated by different writers, some looking upon him as little more than a successful charlatan, others as a philosophical physician. Apuleius Madaurensis declares him superior to all other physicians, Hippocrates only excepted.* len charges him with many absurdities,† and with having but little knowledge of the great fathers of the profession, whom he affected to ridicule; for he had characterized even the writings of Hippocrates as a meditation upon the dead. But Celsus, his more moderate defender, declares he was the first after Heraclides of Tarentum, to effect important improvements in the healing art; and yet admits that he assumed as his own, the use of friction as a
*Florida, cap. xix.
† Vol. ii. p. 165, and elsewhere in numerous places.
therapeutic agent, to which he had no claim, inasmuch as it had been in use since the time of Hippocrates; adding, however, that Asclepiades had treated of this more fully and clearly than any former writer. To him we owe the aphoristic phrase, “Tuto, cito, ut jucunde," or, as given by Celsus, "Asclepiades officium esse medici dicit, ut tuto, ut celeriter, ut jucunde curet." He was the first to announce the doctrine of the self-limitation of disease, asserting that the principal cure for a fever was the disease itself. He wrote on ulcers, and on acute and chronic diseases. He recommended tracheotomy in threatened suffocation. His claim to
our respect appears to lie in his rejection of the complex, violent, and perturbing remedies in use before his day, and substituting for them such as were simple and grateful to the sick; and in looking upon his art as useful only so far as it served to alleviate actual suffering, or to administer consolation to his patients. Remarkable for independence of judgment, and for a certain elevation of character, he would have the presence of the physician a source of pleasure and encouragement to the patient rather than of foreboding and mistrust, and the physician himself to perform the double function of curing disease as became a skillful and compassionate practitioner, and of cheering and amusing the sick as became a friend. He settled at Rome in the time of Pompey, about 63 years before the birth of Christ; and he is said to have been killed by a fall from a ladder in his extreme old age.
* Cassius, Cælius Aurelianus, and Galen, vol. xiv. p. 274, Kuhn's edition.
Antonius Musa, who was so highly honored by Augustus and the Roman Senate, is spoken of as an able and judicious writer. According to Pliny* he owed his first success to having recommended to Augustus the use of lettuce, which his former attendant, Camilius, had prohibited. He was an advocate for the cold bath as a means of restringing the pores; a practice which at this time appears to have been considered an innovation; and the cure of Augustus, according to Suetonius,t was effected by substituting cold instead of warm applications. A small treatise attributed to him, and dedicated to Marcus Agrippa, the son-in-law of Augustus, is still extant. It is entitled "De Herba Vetonica," and, in the short space of eight octavo pages, treats of this plant in its application to forty-seven different ailments. This little work is in Latin, although its author, like most of the physicians of the time, was probably a Greek. His brother was highly esteemed by Juba II., king of Numidia, who was himself a man of great learning, and the author of the first Greek history of Rome; and who, on discovering a new medicinal plant near Mount Atlas, named it after this physician; and it is still known by the name first assigned to it, the Euphorbia.§.
Cassius, of whom Celsus speaks as recently dead, and as the most ingenious physician of his age, must
Nat. Hist. lib. xix. cap. xxxviii.
† Suetonius, Octav. August., cap. lxxxiii.
Liber Antonii Musa de Herba Vetonica, et liber Apuleii de Medicamentibus Herbarum. Per Gabrielem Humelbergium, Basilea, 8vo. 1536. § Pliny, Nat. Hist. lib. xxv. cap. xxxviii.
have been among the early followers of Asclepiades. Though an admirer of the doctrines of this refor-mer, he was an independent observer, wedded to no exclusive hypothesis. In his practice, he inquired not merely whether the pores are bound or loose, but rather, what is the exciting cause of disWhen called to a patient in a fever and suffering excessive thirst from free indulgence in wine, he ordered him to drink plentifully of cold water; which, by weakening the force of the wine, induced sleep and perspiration, and in this way dissipated the disease. He was the author of a small work entitled "Medical Problems," which is still preserved, and is highly deserving of perusal, as. illustrating the style of medical logic at this epoch.
This interesting treatise consists of eighty-four distinct problems, with their solutions, all briefly handled, and most of them relating to the history and treatment of disease. In the first of these problems the author asks, why are round ulcers the most difficult to cure; and, in reply, cites the mathematical reason of Herophilus and his followers, as well as that of Asclepiades,; who, as we here learn, had taught that ulcers of this shape may be induced to heal by approximating their edges so as to change their shape, or by incising their edges with a scalpel. And in the fortieth problem we learn that Asclepiades was the author of a distinct work on ulcers.
In problem sixth, Cassius inquires; why are per
* Cassii Medici Questiones. et Problemata, Adriano Junio Homano, interprete. Medicine Artis Principes. Venetiis, folio, 1567.
sons with disease of the liver, spleen, or lungs, most disposed to lie on the affected side. His answer is based on anatomical reasoning, and is the same that would be given at the present day. His problems relating to diseases and injuries of the head, évince considerable anatomical and physiological acquirements.
In problem fortieth, he asks why parts around the seat of injury on a limb, may remain unaffected, whilst those remote from it are apt to suf fer; as the groin, for example, after injury of the foot; the glands of the neck after wounds of the head; or axillary buboes after ulcerations of the hand. In resolving this inquiry, he differs from Asclepiades, and attributes the remote affection to the influence of the nerves; which, says he, are of all the organs the most disposed to participate in the diseases of the members with which they act in concert. In the next problem he asks why injury of the meninges on one side of the head, is followed by paralysis on the opposite side of the body; and, in reply, refers to the anatomy of the nerves, which, says he, derive their origin from the base of the brain, where those of the two sides decussate, so that those from the right side of the base pass into the left sinus of the head, and vice versa. the forty-third, he asks why papulæ arise from a burn on a living, and not on a dead surface; and his reply is, that in dead bodies the spirits are extinct, whilst in the living, they are moving about and universally disseminated. In the fifty-sixth, he asks, why infants suffer most severely from fever; and tells us that in them there is a superabundance