Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 281 pages of information about Valere Aude.
were due to a combination of these morbid predispositions, together with injurious external influences, and thus explained all symptoms and all diseases.  He found a name for every phenomenon and a solution for every problem.  And though it was precisely in this characteristic that he abandoned scientific methods and practical utility, it was also this quality that gained for him his popularity and prominence in the medical world.

However, his reputation grew slowly.  His opinions were in opposition to those of other physicians of his time.  In the succeeding generation he won esteem as a philosopher, and it was only gradually that his system was accepted implicitly.  It enjoyed great, though not exclusive predominance until the fall of Roman civilization.”

Thomas Sydenham, (1624-1689) was well acquainted with the works of the ancient physicians and had a fair knowledge of chemistry.  Whether he had any knowledge of anatomy is not definitely known.  He advocated the actual study of disease in an impartial manner, discarding all hypothesis.  He repeatedly referred to Hippocrates in his medical methods, and he has quite deservedly been styled the English Hippocrates.  He placed great stress on the ‘natural history of disease,’ just as did his Greek master, and likewise attached great importance to ‘epidemic constitution,’ that is, the influence of weather and other natural causes on the process of disease.  He believed in the healing power of nature to an even greater degree than did Hippocrates.  He claimed that disease was nothing more than an effort on the part of nature to restore the health of the patient by the elimination of the morbific matter.

The reform of practical medicine was effected by men who advocated the rejection of all hypothesis and the impartial study of natural processes, as shown in health and disease.  Sydenham showed that these natural processes could be studied and dealt with without being explained, and, by laying stress on facts and disregarding explanations, he introduced a method in medicine far more fruitful than any discoveries.  Though the dogmatic spirit continued to live for a long time, the reign of standard authority had passed.”

Boerhaave. In the latter part of the seventeenth century a physician arose (1668-1738) who was destined to become far more prominent in the medical world than any of the English physicians of the age of Queen Anne, though he differed but little from them in his way of thinking.  This was Hermann Boerhaave.  For many years he was professor of medicine at Leyden, and excelled in influence and reputation not only his greatest forerunners, Montanus of Padua and Sylvius of Leyden, but probably every subsequent teacher.  The Hospital of Leyden became the centre of medical influence in Europe.  Many of the leading English physicians of the 18th century studied there.  Boerhaave’s method of teaching was transplanted to Vienna through one of his pupils, Gerard Van Swieten, and thus the noted Vienna school of medicine was founded.

Follow Us on Facebook