Age of foundation of the history of medicine
Extending from the origin of society to the end of the second century of the christian era.
After the theory of coction and crisis, that which prevails the most in the Hippocratic books, is the doctrine of the four elements, or the four elementary qualities, heat, cold, dryness and moisture, and the four cardinal humors, blood, bile, atrabile and phlegm. This doctrine was supposed to be an invention of the father of Greek medicine. Such is the opinion of all the commentators and historiographers, among others Galen, who extended and perfected it in his manner, and it reigned, exclusively, after him. The theory of four elements and four humors, harmonizes very well with
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The clinic does not form a particular branch of medical science ; it embraces all, and makes the application of them at the bedside - it constitutes the highest degree of medical teaching. There, the master unites, constantly, example to precept - practice to theory. Nothing is better calculated to mature the experience of young men, than those lessons which are given at the bedside of the sick, when he who has charge of the patients, unites profound instruction with great probity ; and by this last term we comprehend, with a modern professor, candor, frankness, justice, humanity, and disinterestedness. M. Bouillaud insists, justly,
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The theory which prevails the most universally in the Hippocratic works, is that of coction and crisis. It is met with at every step, sometimes isolated, sometimes combined with others ; but especially is it united to the system of four elements and four humors. It forms an integral part and is the most characteristic trait of the ancient Dogmatism, and it is retained even in our time, while all its cotemporaneous doctrines have been abandoned.
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If there are occasions, when the aid of medical knowledge is palpably necessary and efficacious, they present themselves especially in the practice of obstetrics. There, often, the life of one or two individuals, in perfect health, depends on a manoeuver, more or less skillful, or an indication, more or less well fulfilled. Beside, the duty of the accoucheur, or sage-femme, is not limited to watching and giving
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Now, after having considered the state of Medicine under the Asclepiadae, in the isle of Cos, in an exclusively practical manner, and, in some sort, material also, it remains for us to examine it in a theoretical point of view to seek the invisible bond that unites all parts of their doctrines, and connects them to a common principle, as the branches of the same tree.
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The following is a list of the books of the Hippocratic collection, that treat of external nosography and therapeutics, according to the translation of Gardeil:
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I will terminate this succinct review of the Hippocratic collection, by the examination of a work which was intended as a recapitulation of all that is set forth in the others. I mean the collection of Aphorisms, in seven of his books. No medical work of antiquity has had a more colossal reputation
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Neither Hippocrates nor his descendants ever dissected the human body ; the religious respect that was had for the dead in all Greece, prevented it. We, therefore, find in their writings some generalities, merely, on the form, volume, and respective positions of the principal viscera. Osteology, only, is treated there with sufficient exactness, and this fact is explained by a tradition, which says that the Asclepiadae, of Cos, kept in their school a human skeleton, for the instruction of their pupils. They had been able moreover to
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