The Ancient Library

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II. cassianus bassus,* surnamed Scholasticus, was in all probability the compiler of the Geoponica (reonroj/i/ca), or work on agriculture, which is usually ascribed to the Emperor Constantine Porphyrogennetus. Cassi-anus Bassus appears to have compiled it by the command of this emper­or, who has thus obtained the honor of the work. Of Bassus we know nothing, save that he lived at Constantinople, and had been born at Mara-tonymum, probably a place in Bithynia. The work itself, which is still extant, consists of twenty books, and is compiled from various authors, whose names are always given. Bassus has contributed only two short extracts of his own, namely, chapters five and thirty-six of the fifth book. The various subjects treated of in the Geoponica will best appear from the contents of the different books, which are as follows: 1. Of the at­mosphere, and of the rising and setting of the stars. 2. Of general matters appertaining to agriculture, and of the different kinds of corn. 3. Of the various agricultural duties suitable to each month. 4 and 5. Of the cultivation of the vine. 6-8. Of the making of wine. 9. Of the cultivation of the olive and the making of oil. 10-12. Of horticulture. 13. Of the animals and insects injurious to plants. 14. Of pigeons and other birds. 15. Of natural sympathies and antipathies, and of the man­agement of hees. 16. Of horses, asses, and camels. 17. Of the breed­ing of cattle. 18. Of the breeding of sheep. 19. Of dogs, hares, deer, pigs, and of salting meat. 20. Of fishes.

The best edition of the Geoponica is that by Nicjas, Leipzig, 1781, 4 vols. (in one) 8vo.



I. medical science made very little progress during this long period. Alexandrea continued to be the seat of the theory of the art, while Rome and Constantinople furnished to those who exercised it an extended prac­tice and enlarged experience. The science of medicine, however, could hardly be said to exist in its true character, requiring, as it always does, a scrupulous observation of nature, and a philosophic spirit to pursue such investigations, both of which were in a great measure checked by the superstition which exercised so powerful an influence during the greater part of the period under review.

II. If, therefore, during this long interval of comparative darkness, there existed any follower of the medical art who had raised himself above the ordinary level, in place of extending the circle of human knowl­edge by new discoveries, he contented himself with commenting on the works of Galen, and of other medical writers anterior to him. Such phy­sicians formed what was called the School of Galen. The principles which they followed were derived in part from the Dogmatic, in part from the Methodic and Empiric sects ; for, in imitation of some of the philosophers

1 Smith, Diet. Biogr., s. v. 2 Scholl, Hist. Lit. Gr., vol. vii., p. 247.

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