The Ancient Library
 

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PREFACE

we gain a useful point of view from which to consider the pregnant thoughts and researches of the Greeks regarding the nature of animals and plants, and their wise practice of the heal­ing art. We may profit by the spirit in which they made their investigations and applied a system of therapeutics, scientifically based.

Our correlated modern sciences which are called biological because they treat of living organisms, have pushed their researches and discoveries far beyond the achievements of the Greeks. They are not a graft upon a Greek stem: they have arisen through the direct study of nature, not from the old Greek books. Thus they have shown a Greek spirit. It is in this modern renewal of a scientific mind, rather than in any specific borrowings from the ancient stock, that we should seek to recognize what Greece has been and still may be for us.

So with medicine. The reign of Galen ended some centuries ago. But modern medicine, in spite of its vastly increased knowledge, has never ceased to hark back, and often very con­sciously, to the principles of Hippocrates. With a larger knowledge than his own, it rightly reverences the great Greek, and treads [xiv]

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