About three hundred years before the Christian era, the Ptolemies founded a medical school in Alexandria, Egypt. The most famous Of the professors were erasistratus and herophilus, who dissected the bodies Of criminals Obtained from government. They Opposed bleeding and violent remedies, trusting more to nature than to art. Herophilus paid particular attention to the action Of the heart, and was the first to give anything like an accurate description Of the various kinds Of pulse, though Praxagoras Of cos, the last Of the Asclepiadae, had before Observed the relation which exists between the pulse and the general condition of the system. From that time to the present the pulse has been, as it were, the guide for determining the character, ex tent, and probable cause Of the disease af?icting the patient, and the description Of treatment required to produce a change for the better. I, however, derive great assistance from the temperament, age, sex, etc.
We pass over the days Of the Dogmatics and Empirics, the Pneu matics, and other sects of medical practitioners (who, though they em ployed herbal remedies as a general rule, were strangely given to the promulgations Of theories and doctrines utterly at variance with the most ordinary ratiocinations Of Philosophy and Reason), until we come to the period when galen first made his appearance, at the request of the Emperor aurelius. Galen was a native of Pergamos, born a.d. 130, having traveled much and written largely on Subjects directly or indirectly connected with medicine before settling himself at Rome. He was entirely independent in his Opinions, paid very little respect to authority, and so great was his learning and wisdom, and rare skill in medicine, that he came to be regarded by many as an Oracle. Thoroughly educated in all the schools Of philosophy, he selected from them all except the Epicurean, which he totally rejected. His treatment Of disease was principally by Herbal remedies. From Galen have sprung the sect that is now generally known as Eclectics, who do not confine remedies exclusively to the herbal practice, but employ many Of the mineral substances upon which the Allopathic and Homoeopathic sys tems of medicine Of the present day are based.