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GREEK BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE
hypotheses concerning man and his diseases. It was not without its lasting influence; one may perhaps regard Erasistratus as its final great descendant. But, fortunately, the Hip-pocratic principles triumphed at the time, and appear to have remained dominant during those earlier periods when occupation with theory would have warped and checked the progress of the healing art.
Between the time of Hippocrates and the year 130 a.d., when Galen saw the light, well-nigh six centuries had passed. Long and well-husbanded experience had improved medicine and surgery. The knowledge of the human body had been greatly added to, and the passing theories as to the nature and causes of disease had not seriously obstructed a continuous improvement in the treatment of disease and bodily injuries. Rather, one may think that the rivalry of the different schools, composed of the nominal adherents of different theories, had prevented dogmatism and narrowness in practice.
Galen flourished in the second half of the
second century a.d., dying in the year 201.
Greek or Greco-Roman faculties of observation
were becoming less vigorous and the atmos-