MEDICINE. The earliest records of the practice of medicine are extremely obscure. Among the Jews it appears to have been entirely confined to the priests, and the whole art seems to have consisted in the prevention of contagion by isolation and cleanliness, and the admin istration of a few uncertain remedies. The Egyptians, according to the account of llerodotus, must have made some little progress; purging medicines and emetics were well known to them and much used ; and such was the subdivision of labour, that there were physi cians for every separate complaint, some for the eyes, others for the head, others for the teeth, others for the abdominal parts, and others for diseases which did not manifest themselves by outward visible symptoms. (Herod., II. 81.) It appears however that in the time of Darius the DOD of Ilystaspes, the Greeks possessed at least more skill than the Egyptians. (Hared., iii. 129.) The Checks 'probably derived their knowledge of medicine, with that of many other arta, from Egypt, whence Chiron, the Centaur of their fables, is said to have first intro duced it among them. like pupil sEsculapius [dEsentArius, in Moo. Div.) so much improved the art, that he was deified; and Machaon and Podalirius, his eons, accompanied the Grecian army to the siege of Troy. From circumstances mentioned in the Iliad,' it would appear that their practice was almost entirely confined to the treatment of wounds, and that charms and incantations formed a considerable portion of the means which they employed. The descendants of Alsculapius were for many years:the chief practitioners of medicine : they were called Aselepladre, and were the priests of the temples erected in honour of their progenitor, to which the sick were accustomed to resort for advice and the application of remedies.
In the 6th century before the Christian era, medicine, with other sciences, began to be more philosophically studied in Greece, and among the first of those who devoted much of their time to the in vestigation of the structure and functions of the animal body was Pythagoras. His pupils Dernocritus and Heraclitua appear also to have added considerably to the knowledge both of anatomy and of practical medicine, and their contemporary Herodicus first introduced the practice of gsannastie exercises, which afterwards formed so large a part of medical treatment. (Gratsresstes.] But the most remark able man in the history of medicine in Greece was Hippocrates, one of the Ascicpiadre, who was born at Cos (where one of the chief temples was erected), B.C. 460, and was the pupil of Heraclitus and lierodiens.
[HIPPOCRATES, in Moo. Div.] The improvements which he made in medicine (and many of which are detailed in the article referred to) were so considerable, that for many centuries his successors appear to have been content to follow him in reverential imitation. Illss sons, Thessalus and Draw, and his son-in-law Polybius, were the most renowned of his descendants, and they are generally regarded as the founders of the medical sect or school which was called the Hippo cratean or Dogmatic sect.
The establishment of the Alexandrian school of philosophy forms the next most important epoch. The science of medicine was assiduously cultivated, and the human body was first dissected in Alexandria by Erasistratus and Herophilus. (lIenorntturs, In Btoo. Div.] The former was the pupil of Chrysippu.s, a violent opponent of the Hippo cratio school, and a bold innovator in medicine, with whom probably originated the schism in consequence of which, for some centuries, every physician ranged himself in one of two meta, the Dogmatists and the Empiries. The Dogmatists held that disease could not be securely treated, except on the foundation of a knowledge of the healthy struc ture and actions of the body, and of the influence of remedies and the effects of disease upon it ; while the Einpiries maintained that such knowledge was not only unnecessary, but unattainable, and that simple experience should be the only guide to practice. The progress :of the science was greatly arrested by the observation of facts being neglected in the ardour with which each party argued its own cause, and the dispute only seemed to cease with tho introduc tion of a new sect. • During the early periods of the Roman empire medicine seems to have been little cultivated, and, according to Pliny (axis. I), Rome was for 600 years without professed physicians, though not entirely 'without medical knowledge. The first individual of any eminence who practised medicine in Rome was Asclepiades of Bithynia [ASCLEPIADES, in Moo. Div.], who lived in the century before the commencement of the Christian era ; but lie does not appear to have advanced the know ledge of the science. He was succeeded by hip pupil Themison, the founder of a sect called Methodies, who held doctrines nearly inter mediate between those of the Dogmatists and of the Empirics. A large majority of succeeding physicians attached themselves to this sect, and among them were Soranus and Aurelianua, whose writings are the principal that remain of this period.