Comprising the period of time which extends from the foundation of the Alexandrian library, some 320 years B. C., to the death of Galen in the year 200 of the christian era.
The chief of the dynasty of the Lagides, Ptolomy Soter, was not contented with collecting, at a great expense, an enormous quantity of books ; he felt also the necessity of having order and choice in his collection. To effect this, he called around him men, the most renowned for their erudition, and gave them residences near the library, and created a revenue for their maintenance. Some were charged with the classification, collation and annotation of the manuscripts; and the copies that underwent this labor of revisal were
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It was truly a royal idea, and worthy of the successors of Alexander, that of collecting together all the intellectual riches of the universe, and placing them at the disposal of studious men, who were desirous to use them for their improvement, and the advancement of science.
In order to conceive all the grandeur and munificence of such a creation, it is necessary to recall under what circumstance it was
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We have seen, that after bringing together all the fragments the Hippocratic writers have transmitted to us, relative to the structure of the human body, it would be impossible to compose from them a regular or complete treatise on anatomy ; for, with the exception of the skeleton, they possessed very limited and imperfect notions of any organic apparatus. They confounded, under a common name, the
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