where tradition and philological investigation placed the cradle of the human race. But, in a condensed article such as this, there
are important reasons which dictate the choice of another starting point. Modern medical science rests upon a Greek foundation, and
whatever other civilized peoples may have accomplished in this field lies outside our inquiry. It is certain that the Greeks brought
much with them from their original home, and also that they learned a great deal from their intercourse with other civilized countries,
especially Egypt and India; but the Greek mind assimilated knowledge in such a fashion that its origin can rarely be recognized.
Mythical, Homeric, and pre-Hippocratic times
Greek medical science, like that of all civilized peoples, shows in the beginning a purely theurgical character. Apollo is regarded as
the founder of medical science, and, in post-Homeric times, his son Æsculapius (in Homer, a Thessalian prince) is represented, as the
deity whose office it is to bring about man's restoration to health by means of healing oracles. His oldest place of worship was at Tricca
in Thessaly. The temples of Æsculapius, of which those at Epidaurus and Cos are the best known, were situated in a healthy neighbourhood.
The sick pilgrims went thither that, after a long preparation of prayer, fasting and ablutions, they might, through of mediation of the
priests, receive in their dreams the healing oracles. This kind of medical science already shows a rational basis, for the priests interpreted
the dreams and prescribed a suitable treatment, in most cases purely dietetic. Important records of sicknesses were made and left as votive-tablets
in the temples. Side by side with the priestly caste, and perhaps out of it there arose the order of temple physicians, who, as supposed descendants
of the... [continues]
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