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gard to which our documents are comparatively scanty, and during which the disturbed conditions made medical developments impossible, and anything more than the preservation of the old authors out of the question. The torch of medical illumination lighted at the great Greek fires passes from people to people, never quenched, though often burning low because of unfavorable conditions, but sometimes with new fuel added to its flame by the contributions of genius. The early Christians took it up and kept it lighted, and, with the Jewish physicians, carried it through the troublous times of the end of the old order, and then passed it on for a while to the Arabs. Then, when favorable conditions had developed again, Christian schools and scholars gave it the opportunity to burn brightly for several centuries at the end of the Middle Ages. This medieval age is probably the most difficult period of medical history to understand properly, but it is worth while taking the trouble to follow out the thread of medical tradition from the Greeks to the Renaissance medical writers, who practically begin modern medicine for us. It is easy to understand that Christianity's influence on medicine, instead of hampering, was most favorable. The Founder of Christianity Himself had gone about healing the sick, and care for the ailing became a prominent feature of Christian work. One of the Evangelists, St. Luke, was a physician. It was the custom a generation ago, and even later, when the Higher Criticism became popular, to impugn the tradition as to St. Luke having been a physician, but this has all been undone, and Harnack's recent book, "Luke the Physician," makes it very clear that not only the Third Gospel, but also the Acts, could only have been written by a man thoroughly familiar with the Greek medical terms of his time, and who had surely had the advantage of a training in the medical sciences at Alexandria. This makes such an important link in medical traditions that a special chapter has been devoted to it in the Appendix.
Very early in Christianity care for the ailing poor was taken up, and hospitals in our modern sense of the term became common in Christian communities. There had been military hospitals before this, and places where those who could afford to pay for service were kept during illness. Our modern city hospital, however, is a Christian institution. Besides, deformed and ailing children were cared for and homes for foundlings were established. Before Christianity the power even of life and death of the parents over their children was recognized, and deformed or ailing children, or those that for some reason were not wanted, were exposed until they died. Christianity put an end to this, and in two classes of institutions, the hospitals and the asylums, abundant opportunity for observation of illness was afforded. Just as soon as Christianity came to be free to establish its institutions publicly, hospitals became very common. The Emperor Julian, usually known as the Apostate, who hoped to re-establish the old Roman Olympian religion, wrote to Oribasius, one of the great physicians of this time, who was also an important official of his household, that these Christians had established everywhere hospitals in which not only their own people, but also those who were not Christians, were received and cared for, and that it would be idle to hope to counteract the influence of Christianity until corresponding institutions could be erected by the government.
From the very beginning, or, at least, just as soon as reasonable freedom from persecution gave opportunity for study, Christian interest in the medical sciences began to manifest itself. Nemesius, for instance, a Bishop of Edessa in Syria, wrote toward the end of the fourth century a little work in Greek on the nature of man, which is a striking illustration of this. Nemesius was what in modern times would be called a philosopher, that is, a speculative thinker and writer, with regard to man's nature, rather than a physical scientist. He was convinced, however, that true philosophy ought to be based on a complete knowledge of man, body and soul, and that the anatomy of his body ought to be a fundamental principle. It is in this little volume that some enthusiastic students have found a description that is to them at least much more than a hint of knowledge of the circulation of the blood. Hyrtl doubts that the passage in question should be made to signify as much as has been suggested, but the occurrence of any even distant reference to such a subject at this time shows that, far from there being neglect of physical scientific questions, men were thinking seriously about them.
Just as soon as Christianity brought in a more peaceful state of affairs and had so influenced the mass of the people that its place in the intellectual life could be felt, there comes a period of cultural development represented in philosophy by the Fathers of the Church, and during which we have a series of important contributors to medical literature. The first of these was Aetius, whose career and works are treated more fully in the chapter on "Great Physicians in Early Christian Times." He was followed by Alexander of Tralles, probably a Christian, for his brother was the architect of Santa Sophia, and by Paul of iEgina, with regard to whom we know only what is contained in his medical writings, but whose contemporaries were nearly all Christians. Their books are valuable to us, partly because they contain quotations from great Greek writers on medicine, not always otherwise available, but also because they were men who evidently knew the subject of medicine broadly and thoroughly, made observations for themselves, and controlled what they learned from the Greek forefathers in medicine by their own experience. Just at the beginning of the Middle Ages, then, under the fostering care of Christianity there is a period of considerable importance in the history of medical literature. It is one of the best proofs that we have not only that Christianity did not hamper medical development, but that, directly and indirectly, by the place that it gave to the care of the ailing in life as well as the encouragement afforded to the intellectual life, it favored medical study and writing.
A very interesting chapter in the story of the early Christian physician is to be found in what we know of the existence of women physicians in the fourth and fifth centuries. Theodosia, the mother of St. Procopius the martyr, was, according to Carptzovius, looked upon as an excellent physician in Rome in the early part of the fourth century. She suffered martyrdom under Diocletian. There was also a Nicerata who practised at Constantinople under the Emperor Arcadius. It is said that to her St. John Chrysostom owed the cure of a serious illness. From the very beginning Christian women acted as nurses, and deaconesses were put in charge of hospitals. Fabiola, at Rome, is the foundress of the first important hospital in that city. The story of these early Christian women physicians has been touched upon in the chapter on " Medieval Women Physicians," as an introduction to this interesting feature of Salernitan medical education.
During the early Christian centuries much was owed to the genius and the devotion to medicine of distinguished Jewish physicians. Their sacred and rabbinical writers always concerned themselves closely with medicine, and both the Old Testament and the Talmud must be considered as containing chapters important for the medical history of the periods in which they were written. At all times the Jews have been distinguished for their knowledge of medicine, and all during the Middle Ages they are to be found prominent as physicians. They were among the teachers of the Arabs in the East and of the Moors in Spain. They were probably among the first professors at Salerno as well as at Montpellier. Many prominent rulers and ecclesiastics selected Jewish physicians. Some of these made distinct contributions to medicine, and a number of them deserve a place in any account of medi