The high points in civilization which have produced the best in all the arts naturally were the times of greatest achievement in medicine and surgery. If we were to pick out one age and people which shone the brightest in this respect, it would be Greece in the fifth century, and, if one man were to be selected, he would be Hippocrates.
The next age of importance is probably the eleventh and twelfth centuries when the Arabian school flourished, the most prominent member of which was Avicenna.
In the fourteenth century we come to another high point which is brought to our knowledge by the writings of Guy de Chauliac.
Again, in the sixteenth century, Ambroise Pare seems to tower above the others of his time.
The most striking fact encountered in such a study as this is that many of our supposedly modern inventions and methods-some of which bear names of doctors of the nineteenth or twentieth centuries-were discovered and practised 2,000 or 3,000 years ago.
A distinguished scholar once said: 'Whenever I get a new idea I look up and see which Greek author had expressed it best.'
(C) 1937 All Rights Reserved.The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.