Hellenism in Ancient India

By Gauranga Nath Banerjee | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII
MEDICINE

SECTION I
The Development of the Science of Medicine in India--Conflicting views regarding the Age of Hindu Medicine.

In every country individuals are found to use their best endeavours to discover the means of alleviating pain and of curing diseases. In Europe especially, the different countries are so connected together as to enable the physicians to profit by the discovery of his neighbours and the historians to trace the progress of the sciences among the various races of mankind from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, and from the time when Medicine emerged from the obscurity of ancient fables to the present age. During this long period, we know the individuals, and the people who have added to the medical knowledge, and we can prove that all these systems have a common source, being originally derived from the family of Hippocrates. Those distinguished benefactors of mankind first explained the nature and treatment of diseases, and reduced to theory the various phenomena of the human body. The Grecian philosophers were inspired at first by the Egyptian sages, who appear to have obtained much of their knowledge from the first-hand study of the human anatomy and physiology. After her institutions had been destroyed by the sword of the conquerors Egypt became the seat of Grecian learning, which was afterwards transferred to the East, and under the fostering care of the Caliphs of Baghdad, Medicine was cultivated with diligence and success. It received a still further impetus from the East, and thus improved, it was conveyed by the Muhammedan conquerors into Spain. From thence it was communicated to other parts of Europe where it has exercised

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