Front Page Titles (by Subject) XIV.: INTRODUCTIO VEL MEDICUS. - The Writings of Hippocrates and Galen
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XIV.: INTRODUCTIO VEL MEDICUS. - Hippocrates, The Writings of Hippocrates and Galen 
The Writings of Hippocrates and Galen. Epitomised from the Original Latin translations, by John Redman Coxe (Philadelphia: Lindsay and Blakiston, 1846).
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INTRODUCTIO VEL MEDICUS.
introduction to medicine, or the physician.
This book has by some been ascribed to Herodotus, and this seems the opinion of the editor of the Junta edition. In either case, it is of great antiquity, and tends to fix the doctrines of the times. The Venice edition divides this book into nineteen chapters; that of Frobinius, into thirty. Why so, is not explained, nor is it probably of any consequence.a The whole is of sufficient interest to command attention, whoever be its author. A preface to it adverts to the manner in which medicine was discovered, and a detail is given of many of the nursery tales, and original fables on this point. Esculapius is reputed as its inventor; and the Asclepiades, (his successors,) especially Hippocrates, are mentioned as having first taught the principles of rational medicine. The author proceeds next to treat of the principles of medicine, which he regards as threefold, viz., inventive, constitutive, and traditionary or interpretative. He next mentions the three principal sects, viz., the Logicians or Rationalists, the Empirics, and Methodists, with remarks on each of them, and some account of their respective leaders. Of the Rational sect, he considers Hippocrates to be the author and the chief; then Diocles, Praxagoras, Herophilus, Calcedonius, Erasistratus, Mnesitheus, Asclepiades, and Prusias. Of the Empirics, Philinus stands foremost, as being the first who separated from the former; then Serapion, the two Apollonii, father and son; Antiochenes, Menodotus, and Sextus. Of the Methodists, Themison led the way, quitting the phalanx of the Rationalists, and followed by Thessalus, Mnaseas, Dionysius, Proclus, and Antipater. Some differed from all the preceding, and by their seceding from them gave rise to various minor sects, as the Synthetic, Eclectic, &c. An inquiry is then entered into, whether medicine is an art; and the opinions of the different sects, on the subject, are pointed out. Next we are presented with an enumeration of the parts or divisions, and the definition of medicine. Its division is into five parts, viz.: 1. The contemplation or consideration of natural things, constituting physiology. 2. A consideration of the affections, and of a knowledge of their causes, giving rise to pathology and ætiology. 3. The rationale of preserving health, or hygiene. 4. Of the observance of signs or symptoms, or semeiotics. 5. Of the mode of cure, or therapeutics. After some remarks on each of these in particular, the author considers the propriety, or necessity, of this quintuple division; then takes a view concisely of the human elements, as laid down by Hippocrates and other philosophers; some of whom enumerate four, viz., fire, air, earth, and water. Some reckon only three, a humid, dry, and aerial element, (answering to the continentia, contenta, and impetum facientia, of later writers;) the first consisting of the solids, as bones, nerves, arteries, veins, &c. The second are the fluids, that are conveyed by vessels to every part of the body. The third consist of spirits, considered by the ancients as twofold, animal and natural. Erasistratus considered three species of vessels, arteries, veins, and nerves, (omitting humours and spirits,) as the beginning, and the elements of the whole body: and Athenæus maintained, that fire, air, water, and earth, were not themselves the four primary elements; but he had great respect to their qualities, of hot, cold, dry, and moist. These and many other views of ancient philosophy respecting the elements, are noticed by Galen, which need not be here mentioned. This part is succeeded by the names of the external parts of the body, their division and etymologies; the internal parts and etymologies in like manner; and here we find various parts called by names altogether different from those to which those names are now applied. Thus stomachus, implied the œsophagus, and not the organ of digestion, as now. An enumeration of others is here unnecessary, but it is pretty fully detailed by Galen. The fluids are next adverted to, and some functions and diseases. Six species of intermittents are mentioned. Diseases are divided into febrile and non-febrile, acute and chronic; and their mode of treatment is concisely noticed. Then, a concise description of acute diseases and their treatment is given; next, of the chronic in like manner. Remedial measures are then referred to, as being internal or external. The internal are divided under twelve genera, deduced either from the affection itself or from the seat of the disease. The external are placed under eleven divisions. All this is followed up by a long chapter on the diseases of the eyes; these, by a notice of various cutaneous affections; and the remainder of the book embraces surgery and its various indications, &c., fractures, luxations, &c. This book, though replete with matter, is however very concise; and is yet deserving of attention.
[a ]Such variations in the divisions are very frequent in the two editions.