A Treatise on the Eclectic Southern Practice of Medicine Page: 12 of 724
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Of the Dietetics and Pharmaceutics, two other rival sects, one
word is all we can pause to say. The former professed to cure
all diseases by particular regulations of diet, and the latter relied
exclusively upon the action of drugs.
All of the different theories of which I have hitherto spoken
were in vogue when Galen appeared, to throw new light, order,
system and sound philosophy into the science of medicine, which
undoubtedly owes him much. But he was not free from.the in-
fluence we are condemning and allowed himself to be swerved
by his own peculiar theories. He insisted on the existence of
three gases or spirits, which, he contended, exerted a peculiar
influence upon the organs in which they were located; that the
natural spirit had its abode in the liver, the vital in the heart,
and the animal in the brain. Still adhering to the notion of the
four elements and four humours of ,Iippocrates, and believing
the fluids to be the seat of all diseases, he yet contrived to em-
barrass that doctrine by so many minute subdivisions and fan-
tastic. combinations as to deprive it of the only merit it had--
its simplicity. Wedded to his theories, and like the Dogmatists
forcing his treatment to conform to his system, he closed his
eyes to * variety of facts and phenomena which were daily sur-
rounding him, and which it is to be regretted so great a mind
did not notice, record and transmit to posterity.
Between the times of Hippocrates and Galen the Alexandrian
school had grown up, which, under the patronage of the Ptole-
mies, had drawn together the professors and students of medi-
cine from all the then known countries, and formed a kind of
university from which much might have been expected. But
after the death of Galen, all such hopes were disappointed.
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Massie, J. Cam. A Treatise on the Eclectic Southern Practice of Medicine, book, 1854; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143817/m1/12/: accessed January 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.