The Ancient Library

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works which have survived, as the direct vehicles of the ancient heritage; and such, above all, are the works of the Hippocratics, of Aristotle and of Galen. Hence we pass by many men, brave and good, with but slight mention. Our present task is to trace the currents of medicine and its supporting sciences through the later Greek and best Roman periods till they are gathered up into the en­cyclopaedic system of Galen in the latter part of the second century after Christ.62

In the third century before Christ, Alex­andria presented such facilities and incentives for study and investigation as had never be­fore been brought together. The first Ptolemies formed a great library covering all subjects of study, and established zoological parks and botanical gardens. Their munificence enabled scholars and men of science to pursue their studies; and mathematics, astronomy and physics flourished, as well as history, philology, and poetry. There were hospitals for the treat­ment and observation of diseases, and for per­haps a century human bodies were methodi­cally dissected. Possibly the Egyptian custom of opening the body for embalming had dis­pelled the Greek aversion to mutilation of the


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