The Ancient Library

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editors' preface

Dr. Taylor's volume on " Greek Biology and Medicine " is the third to appear in the new Library, " Our Debt to Greece and Rome." The author has drawn his sketch in such a way as to make clear the influence of ancient biological and medical theories and of the ancient medical practice upon our intellectual life, to-day, giving frequent allusions to that influence as it affected distinguished biologists and men of medicine during the intervening centuries. This is part of the larger plan of the Library as a whole to show in some detail the vitality of the ancient thought and to make more articulate the significance it pos­sesses for us. We all too unconsciously ac­cept a heritage — scientific, intellectual, spir­itual — which lies at the very core of our being and is the real hope of an orderly future.

This book takes no formal account of the famous Pompeian medical instruments, and only further study of the Ebers papyrus and in particular of the Edwin Smith papyrus may lead to a new estimate of the progress of medicine in ancient Egypt; but we are not yet in a position to estimate the truth contained in these venerable documents. And, for us, Greece still stands as the pioneer in a science [ix]

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