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MASISTRAT0S.

tr-ius Poliorcetes, and she had already borne him one child. (Plut. Demetr. c. 38 ; Appian, de Rebus Syr. c. 59.) Antiochus fell violently in love with his mother-in-law, but did not disclose his passion, and chose rather to pine away in si­lence. The physicians were quite unable to disco­ver the cause and nature of his disease, and Era-sistratus himself was at a loss at first, till, finding nothing amiss about his body, he began to suspect that it must be his mind which was diseased, and that he might perhaps be in love. This conjecture was confirmed when he observed his skin to be hotter, his colour to be heightened, and his pulse quickened, whenever Stratonice came near him, while none of these symptoms occurred on any other occasion; and accordingly he told Seleucus that his son's disease was incurable, for that he was in love, and that it was impossible that his passion could be gratified; The king wondered what the difficulty could be, and asked who the lady was. " My wife," replied Erasistratus; upon which Seleucus began to persuade him to give her up to his son. The physician asked him if he would do so himself if it were his wife that the prince was in love with. The king protested that he would most gladly; upon which Erasistratus told him that it was indeed his own wife who had inspired his passion, and that he chose rather to die than to disclose his secret. Seleucus was as good as his word, and not only gave up Stratonice, but also resigned to his son several provinces of his empire. This celebrated story is told with more or less variation by many ancient authors, (Appian, de Rebus Syr. c. 59—61; Galen, dePrae-not. ad Epig. c. 6. vol. xiv. p. 630; Julian, Miso-pbg. p. 347, ed. Spanheim; Lucian, de Syria Dea, §•§ 17, 18; Plin. H. N. xxix. 3; Pint. De­metr. c. 38 ; Suidas, s. v. 'Epcuriffrp.; Jo. Tzetz. Chil. vii. Hist. 118 ; Valer. Max. v. 7), and a similar anecdote has been told of Hippocrates (So-ranus, Vita Hippocr. in Hippocr. Opera, vol. iii. p. 852), Galen (de Praenot. ad Epig. c. 6. vol. xiv. p. 630), Avicenna (see Biogr. Diet, of the Usef. Knowl. Soc.), and (if the names be not fictitious) Panacius (Aristaen.. Epist. i. 13) and Acestinus. (Heliod. Aetfiiop. iv. 7. p. 171.) If this is the anecdote referred to by Pliny (/. c.), as is pro­bably the case, Erasistratus is said to have re­ceived one hundred talents for being the means of restoring the prince to health, which (supposing the Attic standard to be meant, and to be equal to 243/. 15s.) would amount to 24,375£.—one of the largest medical fees upon record.

Very little more is known of the personal his­tory of Erasistratus: he lived for some time at Alexandria, which was at that time beginning to be a celebrated medical school, and gave up practice in his old age, that he might pursue his anatomical studies without interruption. (Galen, de Hippocr. et Plat. Deer. vii. 3, vol. v. p. 602.) He prosecuted his experiments and researches in this branch of medical science with great success, and with such ardour that he is said to have dissected criminals alive. (Gels, de Medic. \. praef. p. 6.) He appears to have died in Asia Minor, as Suidas mentions that he was buried by mount Mycale in Ionia. The exact date of his death is not known, but he probably lived to a good old age, as, according to Eusebius, he was alive b. c. 258, about forty years after the marriage of Antiochus and Stratonice. He had

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EBASISTRATUS."

numerous pupils and followers, and a medical school-bearing his name continued to exist at Smyrna in Ionia nearly till the time of Strabo, about the be^ ginning of the Christian era. (Strab. xii. 8, sub fin.) The following are the names of the most celebrated physicians belonging to the sect founded by him : Apoemantes (Galen, de Vena.e Sect. adv. Erasistr* c. 2, vol. xi. p. 151), Apollonius Memphites, Apol-lophanes (Gael. Aurel. de Morb.Acut. ii. 33, p. 150) Artemidoras, Charidemus, Chrysippus, Heraclides, Hermogenes, Hicesius, Martialis, Menodorus, Ptolemaeus, Strato, Xenophon. He wrote several works on anatomy, practical medicine, and phar­macy, of which only the titles remain, together with a great number of short fragments preserv­ed by Galen, Caelius Aurelianus, and other an­cient writers : these, however, are sufficient to enable us to form a tolerably correct idea of his opinions both as a physician and an anatomist. It is in the latter character that he is most cele­brated, and perhaps there is no one of the ancient physicians that did more to promote that branch of medical science. He appears to have been very near the discovery of the circulation of the blood, for in a passage preserved by Galen (de Usu Part. vi. 12, vol. iii. p. 465) he expresses himself as follows :—"The vein * arises from the part where the arteries, that are distributed to the whole body, have their origin, and penetrates to the sanguineous [or rigM] ventricle [of the heart] ; and the artery [or pulmonary vein} arises from the part where the veins have their origin, and penetrates to the pneumatic [or left] ventricle of the heart." The description is not very clear, but seems to shew that he supposed the venous and arterial systems to be more intimately connected than was generally believed; which is confirmed by another passage in which he is said to have differed from the other ancient anatomists, who supposed the veins to arise from the liver, and the arteries from the heart, and to have contended that the heart was the origin both of the veins and the arteries. (Galen, de Hip-pocr. et Plat. Deer. vi. 6, vol. v. p. 552.) With these ideas, it can have been only his belief that the arteries contained air, and not blood, that hin­dered his anticipating Harvey's celebrated disco­very. The tricuspid valves of the heart are gene­rally said to have derived their name from Erasis­tratus; but this appears to be an oversight, as Galen attributes it not to him, but to one of his followers. (De Hippocr. et Plat. Deer. vi. 6, vol. v. p. 548.) He appears to have paid particular atten­tion to the anatomy of the brain, and in a passage out of one of his works preserved by Galen (ibid. vii. 3, vol. v. p. 603) speaks as if he had himself dis­sected a human brain. Galen says (ibid. p. 602) that before Erasistratus had more closely examined into the origin of the nerves, he imagined that they arose from the dura mater and not from the substance of the brain; and that it was not till he was advanced in life that he satisfied himself by actual inspection that such was not the case. According to Rufus Ephesius, he divided the nerves into those of sen­sation and those of motion, of which the former he considered to be hollow and to arise from the mem­branes of the brain, the latter from the substance of

*• He is speaking of the pulmonary artery, which received the name 0Ae^ dprrjpic&o'rjs from Herophilus. See Ruf. Ephes. de AppelL Part. Corp- Hum. p. 42. ,

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