Part 5 out of 5
physicians. There is, however, another side to the picture. His
knowledge of anatomy was certainly very considerable, but many of
his deductions and theories as to the functions of organs, the
cause of diseases, and his methods of treating them, would be
recognized as absurd by a modern school-boy of average
intelligence. His greatness must be judged in comparison with
ancient, not with modern, scientists. He maintained, for example,
that respiration and the pulse-beat were for one and the same
purpose--that of the reception of air into the arteries of the
body. To him the act of breathing was for the purpose of
admitting air into the lungs, whence it found its way into the
heart, and from there was distributed throughout the body by
means of the arteries. The skin also played an important part in
supplying the body with air, the pores absorbing the air and
distributing it through the arteries. But, as we know that he was
aware of the fact that the arteries also contained blood, he must
have believed that these vessels contained a mixture of the two.
Modern anatomists know that the heart is divided into two
approximately equal parts by an impermeable septum of tough
fibres. Yet, Galen, who dissected the hearts of a vast number of
the lower animals according to his own account, maintained that
this septum was permeable, and that the air, entering one side of
the heart from the lungs, passed through it into the opposite
side and was then transferred to the arteries.
He was equally at fault, although perhaps more excusably so, in
his explanation of the action of the nerves. He had rightly
pointed out that nerves were merely connections between the brain
and spinal-cord and distant muscles and organs, and had
recognized that there were two kinds of nerves, but his
explanation of the action of these nerves was that "nervous
spirits" were carried to the cavities of the brain by
blood-vessels, and from there transmitted through the body along
In the human skull, overlying the nasal cavity, there are two
thin plates of bone perforated with numerous small apertures.
These apertures allow the passage of numerous nerve-filaments
which extend from a group of cells in the brain to the delicate
membranes in the nasal cavity. These perforations in the bone,
therefore, are simply to allow the passage of the nerves. But
Galen gave a very different explanation. He believed that impure
"animal spirits" were carried to the cavities of the brain by the
arteries in the neck and from there were sifted out through these
perforated bones, and so expelled from the body.
He had observed that the skin played an important part in cooling
the body, but he seems to have believed that the heart was
equally active in overheating it. The skin, therefore, absorbed
air for the purpose of "cooling the heart," and this cooling
process was aided by the brain, whose secretions aided also in
the cooling process. The heart itself was the seat of courage;
the brain the seat of the rational soul; and the liver the seat
The greatness of Galen's teachings lay in his knowledge of
anatomy of the organs; his weakness was in his interpretations of
their functions. Unfortunately, succeeding generations of
physicians for something like a thousand years rejected the
former but clung to the latter, so that the advances he had made
were completely overshadowed by the mistakes of his teachings.
XI. A RETROSPECTIVE GLANCE AT CLASSICAL SCIENCE
It is a favorite tenet of the modern historian that history is a
continuous stream. The contention has fullest warrant. Sharp
lines of demarcation are an evidence of man's analytical
propensity rather than the work of nature. Nevertheless it would
be absurd to deny that the stream of history presents an
ever-varying current. There are times when it seems to rush
rapidly on; times when it spreads out into a broad--seemingly
static--current; times when its catastrophic changes remind us of
nothing but a gigantic cataract. Rapids and whirlpools, broad
estuaries and tumultuous cataracts are indeed part of the same
stream, but they are parts that vary one from another in their
salient features in such a way as to force the mind to classify
them as things apart and give them individual names.
So it is with the stream of history; however strongly we insist
on its continuity we are none the less forced to recognize its
periodicity. It may not be desirable to fix on specific dates as
turning-points to the extent that our predecessors were wont to
do. We may not, for example, be disposed to admit that the Roman
Empire came to any such cataclysmic finish as the year 476 A.D.,
when cited in connection with the overthrow of the last Roman
Empire of the West, might seem to indicate. But, on the other
hand, no student of the period can fail to realize that a great
change came over the aspect of the historical stream towards the
close of the Roman epoch.
The span from Thales to Galen has compassed about eight hundred
years--let us say thirty generations. Throughout this period
there is scarcely a generation that has not produced great
scientific thinkers--men who have put their mark upon the
progress of civilization; but we shall see, as we look forward
for a corresponding period, that the ensuing thirty generations
produced scarcely a single scientific thinker of the first rank.
Eight hundred years of intellectual activity --thirty generations
of greatness; then eight hundred years of stasis--thirty
generations of mediocrity; such seems to be the record as viewed
in perspective. Doubtless it seemed far different to the
contemporary observer; it is only in reasonable perspective that
any scene can be viewed fairly. But for us, looking back without
prejudice across the stage of years, it seems indisputable that a
great epoch came to a close at about the time when the barbarian
nations of Europe began to sweep down into Greece and Italy. We
are forced to feel that we have reached the limits of progress of
what historians are pleased to call the ancient world. For about
eight hundred years Greek thought has been dominant, but in the
ensuing period it is to play a quite subordinate part, except in
so far as it influences the thought of an alien race. As we leave
this classical epoch, then, we may well recapitulate in brief its
triumphs. A few words will suffice to summarize a story the
details of which have made up our recent chapters.
In the field of cosmology, Greek genius has demonstrated that the
earth is spheroidal, that the moon is earthlike in structure and
much smaller than our globe, and that the sun is vastly larger
and many times more distant than the moon. The actual size of the
earth and the angle of its axis with the ecliptic have been
measured with approximate accuracy. It has been shown that the
sun and moon present inequalities of motion which may be
theoretically explained by supposing that the earth is not
situated precisely at the centre of their orbits. A system of
eccentrics and epicycles has been elaborated which serves to
explain the apparent motions of the heavenly bodies in a manner
that may be called scientific even though it is based, as we now
know, upon a false hypothesis. The true hypothesis, which places
the sun at the centre of the planetary system and postulates the
orbital and axial motions of our earth in explanation of the
motions of the heavenly bodies, has been put forward and ardently
championed, but, unfortunately, is not accepted by the dominant
thinkers at the close of our epoch. In this regard, therefore, a
vast revolutionary work remains for the thinkers of a later
period. Moreover, such observations as the precession of the
equinoxes and the moon's evection are as yet unexplained, and
measurements of the earth's size, and of the sun's size and
distance, are so crude and imperfect as to be in one case only an
approximation, and in the other an absurdly inadequate
suggestion. But with all these defects, the total achievement of
the Greek astronomers is stupendous. To have clearly grasped the
idea that the earth is round is in itself an achievement that
marks off the classical from the Oriental period as by a great
In the physical sciences we have seen at least the beginnings of
great things. Dynamics and hydrostatics may now, for the first
time, claim a place among the sciences. Geometry has been
perfected and trigonometry has made a sure beginning. The
conception that there are four elementary substances, earth,
water, air, and fire, may not appear a secure foundation for
chemistry, yet it marks at least an attempt in the right
direction. Similarly, the conception that all matter is made up
of indivisible particles and that these have adjusted themselves
and are perhaps held in place by a whirling motion, while it is
scarcely more than a scientific dream, is, after all, a dream of
In the field of biological science progress has not been so
marked, yet the elaborate garnering of facts regarding anatomy,
physiology, and the zoological sciences is at least a valuable
preparation for the generalizations of a later time.
If with a map before us we glance at the portion of the globe
which was known to the workers of the period now in question,
bearing in mind at the same time what we have learned as to the
seat of labors of the various great scientific thinkers from
Thales to Galen, we cannot fail to be struck with a rather
startling fact, intimations of which have been given from time to
time--the fact, namely, that most of the great Greek thinkers did
not live in Greece itself. As our eye falls upon Asia Minor and
its outlying islands, we reflect that here were born such men as
Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Heraclitus, Pythagoras,
Anaxagoras, Socrates, Aristarchus, Hipparchus, Eudoxus,
Philolaus, and Galen. From the northern shores of the aegean came
Lucippus, Democritus, and Aristotle. Italy, off to the west, is
the home of Pythagoras and Xenophanes in their later years, and
of Parmenides and Empedocles, Zeno, and Archimedes. Northern
Africa can claim, by birth or by adoption, such names as Euclid,
Apollonius of Perga, Herophilus, Erasistratus, Aristippus,
Eratosthenes, Ctesibius, Hero, Strabo, and Ptolemy. This is but
running over the list of great men whose discoveries have claimed
our attention. Were we to extend the list to include a host of
workers of the second rank, we should but emphasize the same
All along we are speaking of Greeks, or, as they call themselves,
Hellenes, and we mean by these words the people whose home was a
small jagged peninsula jutting into the Mediterranean at the
southeastern extremity of Europe. We think of this peninsula as
the home of Greek culture, yet of all the great thinkers we have
just named, not one was born on this peninsula, and perhaps not
one in five ever set foot upon it. In point of fact, one Greek
thinker of the very first rank, and one only, was born in Greece
proper; that one, however, was Plato, perhaps the greatest of
them all. With this one brilliant exception (and even he was born
of parents who came from the provinces), all the great thinkers
of Greece had their origin at the circumference rather than the
centre of the empire. And if we reflect that this circumference
of the Greek world was in the nature of the case the widely
circling region in which the Greek came in contact with other
nations, we shall see at once that there could be no more
striking illustration in all history than that furnished us here
of the value of racial mingling as a stimulus to intellectual
But there is one other feature of the matter that must not be
overlooked. Racial mingling gives vitality, but to produce the
best effect the mingling must be that of races all of which are
at a relatively high plane of civilization. In Asia Minor the
Greek mingled with the Semite, who had the heritage of centuries
of culture; and in Italy with the Umbrians, Oscans, and
Etruscans, who, little as we know of their antecedents, have left
us monuments to testify to their high development. The chief
reason why the racial mingling of a later day did not avail at
once to give new life to Roman thought was that the races which
swept down from the north were barbarians. It was no more
possible that they should spring to the heights of classical
culture than it would, for example, be possible in two or three
generations to produce a racer from a stock of draught horses.
Evolution does not proceed by such vaults as this would imply.
Celt, Goth, Hun, and Slav must undergo progressive development
for many generations before the population of northern Europe can
catch step with the classical Greek and prepare to march forward.
That, perhaps, is one reason why we come to a period of stasis or
retrogression when the time of classical activity is over. But,
at best, it is only one reason of several.
The influence of the barbarian nations will claim further
attention as we proceed. But now, for the moment, we must turn
our eyes in the other direction and give attention to certain
phases of Greek and of Oriental thought which were destined to
play a most important part in the development of the Western
mind--a more important part, indeed, in the early mediaeval
period than that played by those important inductions of science
which have chiefly claimed our attention in recent chapters. The
subject in question is the old familiar one of false inductions
or pseudoscience. In dealing with the early development of
thought and with Oriental science, we had occasion to emphasize
the fact that such false inductions led everywhere to the
prevalence of superstition. In dealing with Greek science, we
have largely ignored this subject, confining attention chiefly to
the progressive phases of thought; but it must not be inferred
from this that Greek science, with all its secure inductions, was
entirely free from superstition. On the contrary, the most casual
acquaintance with Greek literature would suffice to show the
incorrectness of such a supposition. True, the great thinkers of
Greece were probably freer from this thraldom. of false
inductions than any of their predecessors. Even at a very early
day such men as Xenophanes, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, and Plato
attained to a singularly rationalistic conception of the
We saw that "the father of medicine," Hippocrates, banished
demonology and conceived disease as due to natural causes. At a
slightly later day the sophists challenged all knowledge, and
Pyrrhonism became a synonym for scepticism in recognition of the
leadership of a master doubter. The entire school of Alexandrians
must have been relatively free from superstition, else they could
not have reasoned with such effective logicality from their
observations of nature. It is almost inconceivable that men like
Euclid and Archimedes, and Aristarchus and Eratosthenes, and
Hipparchus and Hero, could have been the victims of such
illusions regarding occult forces of nature as were constantly
postulated by Oriental science. Herophilus and Erasistratus and
Galen would hardly have pursued their anatomical studies with
equanimity had they believed that ghostly apparitions watched
over living and dead alike, and exercised at will a malign
Doubtless the Egyptian of the period considered the work, of the
Ptolemaic anatomists an unspeakable profanation, and, indeed, it
was nothing less than revolutionary--so revolutionary that it
could not be sustained in subsequent generations. We have seen
that the great Galen, at Rome, five centuries after the time of
Herophilus, was prohibited from dissecting the human subject. The
fact speaks volumes for the attitude of the Roman mind towards
science. Vast audiences made up of every stratum of society
thronged the amphitheatre, and watched exultingly while man slew
his fellow-man in single or in multiple combat. Shouts of
frenzied joy burst from a hundred thousand throats when the
death-stroke was given to a new victim. The bodies of the slain,
by scores, even by hundreds, were dragged ruthlessly from the
arena and hurled into a ditch as contemptuously as if pity were
yet unborn and human life the merest bauble. Yet the same eyes
that witnessed these scenes with ecstatic approval would have
been averted in pious horror had an anatomist dared to approach
one of the mutilated bodies with the scalpel of science. It was
sport to see the blade of the gladiator enter the quivering,
living flesh of his fellow-gladiator; it was joy to see the warm
blood spurt forth from the writhing victim while he still lived;
but it were sacrilegious to approach that body with the knife of
the anatomist, once it had ceased to pulsate with life. Life
itself was held utterly in contempt, but about the realm of death
hovered the threatening ghosts of superstition. And such, be it
understood, was the attitude of the Roman populace in the early
and the most brilliant epoch of the empire, before the Western
world came under the influence of that Oriental philosophy which
was presently to encompass it.
In this regard the Alexandrian world was, as just intimated, far
more advanced than the Roman, yet even there we must suppose that
the leaders of thought were widely at variance with the popular
conceptions. A few illustrations, drawn from Greek literature at
various ages, will suggest the popular attitude. In the first
instance, consider the poems of Homer and of Hesiod. For these
writers, and doubtless for the vast majority of their readers,
not merely of their own but of many subsequent generations, the
world is peopled with a multitude of invisible apparitions,
which, under title of gods, are held to dominate the affairs of
man. It is sometimes difficult to discriminate as to where the
Greek imagination drew the line between fact and allegory; nor
need we attempt to analyse the early poetic narratives to this
end. It will better serve our present purpose to cite three or
four instances which illustrate the tangibility of beliefs based
upon pseudo-scientific inductions.
Let us cite, for example, the account which Herodotus gives us of
the actions of the Greeks at Plataea, when their army confronted
the remnant of the army of Xerxes, in the year 479 B.C. Here we
see each side hesitating to attack the other, merely because the
oracle had declared that whichever side struck the first blow
would lose the conflict. Even after the Persian soldiers, who
seemingly were a jot less superstitious or a shade more impatient
than their opponents, had begun the attack, we are told that the
Greeks dared not respond at first, though they were falling
before the javelins of the enemy, because, forsooth, the entrails
of a fowl did not present an auspicious appearance. And these
were Greeks of the same generation with Empedocles and Anaxagoras
and aeschylus; of the same epoch with Pericles and Sophocles and
Euripides and Phidias. Such was the scientific status of the
average mind--nay, of the best minds--with here and there a rare
exception, in the golden age of Grecian culture.
Were we to follow down the pages of Greek history, we should but
repeat the same story over and over. We should, for example, see
Alexander the Great balked at the banks of the Hyphasis, and
forced to turn back because of inauspicious auguries based as
before upon the dissection of a fowl. Alexander himself, to be
sure, would have scorned the augury; had he been the prey of such
petty superstitions he would never have conquered Asia. We know
how he compelled the oracle at Delphi to yield to his wishes; how
he cut the Gordian knot; how he made his dominating personality
felt at the temple of Ammon in Egypt. We know, in a word, that he
yielded to superstitions only in so far as they served his
purpose. Left to his own devices, he would not have consulted an
oracle at the banks of the Hyphasis; or, consulting, would have
forced from the oracle a favorable answer. But his subordinates
were mutinous and he had no choice. Suffice it for our present
purpose that the oracle was consulted, and that its answer turned
the conqueror back.
One or two instances from Roman history may complete the picture.
Passing over all those mythical narratives which virtually
constitute the early history of Rome, as preserved to us by such
historians as Livy and Dionysius, we find so logical an historian
as Tacitus recording a miraculous achievement of Vespasian
without adverse comment. "During the months when Vespasian was
waiting at Alexandria for the periodical season of the summer
winds, and a safe navigation, many miracles occurred by which the
favor of Heaven and a sort of bias in the powers above towards
Vespasian were manifested." Tacitus then describes in detail the
cure of various maladies by the emperor, and relates that the
emperor on visiting a temple was met there, in the spirit, by a
prominent Egyptian who was proved to be at the same time some
eighty miles distant from Alexandria.
It must be admitted that Tacitus, in relating that Vespasian
caused the blind to see and the lame to walk, qualifies his
narrative by asserting that "persons who are present attest the
truth of the transaction when there is nothing to be gained by
falsehood." Nor must we overlook the fact that a similar belief
in the power of royalty has persisted almost to our own day. But
no such savor of scepticism attaches to a narrative which Dion
Cassius gives us of an incident in the life of Marcus
Aurelius--an incident that has become famous as the episode of
The Thundering Legion. Xiphilinus has preserved the account of
Dion, adding certain picturesque interpretations of his own. The
original narrative, as cited, asserts that during one of the
northern campaigns of Marcus Aurelius, the emperor and his army
were surrounded by the hostile Quadi, who had every advantage of
position and who presently ceased hostilities in the hope that
heat and thirst would deliver their adversaries into their hands
without the trouble of further fighting. "Now," says Dion, "while
the Romans, unable either to combat or to retreat, and reduced to
the last extremity by wounds, fatigue, heat, and thirst, were
standing helplessly at their posts, clouds suddenly gathered in
great number and rain descended in floods--certainly not without
divine intervention, since the Egyptian Maege Arnulphis, who was
with Marcus Antoninus, is said to have invoked several genii by
the aerial mercury by enchantment, and thus through them had
brought down rain."
Here, it will be observed, a supernatural explanation is given of
a natural phenomenon. But the narrator does not stop with this.
If we are to accept the account of Xiphilinus, Dion brings
forward some striking proofs of divine interference. Xiphilinus
gives these proofs in the following remarkable paragraph:
"Dion adds that when the rain began to fall every soldier lifted
his head towards heaven to receive the water in his mouth; but
afterwards others hold out their shields or their helmets to
catch the water for themselves and for their horses. Being set
upon by the barbarians . . . while occupied in drinking, they
would have been seriously incommoded had not heavy hail and
numerous thunderbolts thrown consternation into the ranks of the
enemy. Fire and water were seen to mingle as they left the
heavens. The fire, however, did not reach the Romans, but if it
did by chance touch one of them it was immediately extinguished,
while at the same time the rain, instead of comforting the
barbarians, seemed merely to excite like oil the fire with which
they were being consumed. Some barbarians inflicted wounds upon
themselves as though their blood had power to extinguish flames,
while many rushed over to the side of the Romans, hoping that
there water might save them."
We cannot better complete these illustrations of pagan credulity
than by adding the comment of Xiphilinus himself. That writer was
a Christian, living some generations later than Dion. He never
thought of questioning the facts, but he felt that Dion's
interpretation of these facts must not go unchallenged. As he
interprets the matter, it was no pagan magician that wrought the
miracle. He even inclines to the belief that Dion himself was
aware that Christian interference, and not that of an Egyptian,
saved the day. "Dion knew," he declares, "that there existed a
legion called The Thundering Legion, which name was given it for
no other reason than for what came to pass in this war," and that
this legion was composed of soldiers from Militene who were all
professed Christians. "During the battle," continues Xiphilinus,
"the chief of the Pretonians , had set at Marcus Antoninus, who
was in great perplexity at the turn events were taking,
representing to him that there was nothing the people called
Christians could not obtain by their prayers, and that among his
forces was a troop composed wholly of followers of that religion.
Rejoiced at this news, Marcus Antoninus demanded of these
soldiers that they should pray to their god, who granted their
petition on the instant, sent lightning among the enemy and
consoled the Romans with rain. Struck by this wonderful success,
the emperor honored the Christians in an edict and named their
legion The Thundering. It is even asserted that a letter existed
by Marcus Antoninus on this subject. The pagans well knew that
the company was called The Thunderers, having attested the fact
themselves, but they revealed nothing of the occasion on which
the leader received the name."
Peculiar interest attaches to this narrative as illustrating both
credulousness as to matters of fact and pseudo-scientific
explanation of alleged facts. The modern interpreter may suppose
that a violent thunderstorm came up during the course of a battle
between the Romans and the so-called barbarians, and that owing
to the local character of the storm, or a chance discharge of
lightning, the barbarians suffered more than their opponents. We
may well question whether the philosophical emperor himself put
any other interpretation than this upon the incident. But, on the
other hand, we need not doubt that the major part of his soldiers
would very readily accept such an explanation as that given by
Dion Cassius, just as most readers of a few centuries later would
accept the explanation of Xiphilinus. It is well to bear this
thought in mind in considering the static period of science upon
which we are entering. We shall perhaps best understand this
period, and its seeming retrogressions, if we suppose that the
average man of the Middle Ages was no more credulous, no more
superstitious, than the average Roman of an earlier period or
than the average Greek; though the precise complexion of his
credulity had changed under the influence of Oriental ideas, as
we have just seen illustrated by the narrative of Xiphilinus.
REFERENCE LIST, NOTES, AND BIBLIOGRAPHIES
CHAPTER I. PREHISTORIC SCIENCE
Length of the Prehistoric Period.--It is of course quite
impossible to reduce the prehistoric period to any definite
number of years. There are, however, numerous bits of evidence
that enable an anthropologist to make rough estimates as to the
relative lengths of the different periods into which prehistoric
time is divided. Gabriel de Mortillet, one of the most
industrious students of prehistoric archaeology, ventured to give
a tentative estimate as to the numbers of years involved in each
period. He of course claimed for this nothing more than the value
of a scientific guess. It is, however, a guess based on a very
careful study of all data at present available. Mortillet divides
the prehistoric period, as a whole, into four epochs. The first
of these is the preglacial, which he estimates as comprising
seventy-eight thousand years; the second is the glacial, covering
one hundred thousand years; then follows what he terms the
Solutreen, which numbers eleven thousand years; and, finally, the
Magdalenien, comprising thirty-three thousand years. This gives,
for the prehistoric period proper, a term of about two hundred
and twenty-two thousand years. Add to this perhaps twelve
thousand years ushering in the civilization of Egypt, and the six
thousand years of stable, sure chronology of the historical
period, and we have something like two hundred and thirty
thousand or two hundred and forty thousand years as the age of
"These figures," says Mortillet, "are certainly not exaggerated.
It is even probable that they are below the truth. Constantly new
discoveries are being made that tend to remove farther back the
date of man's appearance." We see, then, according to this
estimate, that about a quarter of a million years have elapsed
since man evolved to a state that could properly be called human.
This guess is as good as another, and it may advantageously be
kept in mind, as it will enable us all along to understand better
than we might otherwise be able to do the tremendous force of
certain prejudices and preconceptions which recent man inherited
from his prehistoric ancestor. Ideas which had passed current as
unquestioned truths for one hundred thousand years or so are not
easily cast aside.
In going back, in imagination, to the beginning of the
prehistoric period, we must of course reflect, in accordance with
modern ideas on the subject, that there was no year, no
millennium even, when it could be said expressly: "This being was
hitherto a primate, he is now a man." The transition period must
have been enormously long, and the changes from generation to
generation, even from century to century, must have been very
slight. In speaking of the extent of the age of man this must be
borne in mind: it must be recalled that, even if the period were
not vague for other reasons, the vagueness of its beginning must
make it indeterminate.
Bibliographical Notes.--A great mass of literature has been
produced in recent years dealing with various phases of the
history of prehistoric man. No single work known to the writer
deals comprehensively with the scientific attainments of early
man; indeed, the subject is usually ignored, except where
practical phases of the mechanical arts are in question. But of
course any attempt to consider the condition of primitive man
talies into account, by inference at least, his knowledge and
attainments. Therefore, most works on anthropology, ethnology,
and primitive culture may be expected to throw some light on our
present subject. Works dealing with the social and mental
conditions of existing savages are also of importance, since it
is now an accepted belief that the ancestors of civilized races
evolved along similar lines and passed through corresponding
stages of nascent culture. Herbert Spencer's Descriptive
Sociology presents an unequalled mass of facts regarding existing
primitive races, but, unfortunately, its inartistic method of
arrangement makes it repellent to the general reader. E. B.
Tyler's Primitive Culture and Anthropology; Lord Avebury's
Prehistoric Times, The Origin of Civilization, and The Primitive
Condition of Man; W. Boyd Dawkin's Cave-Hunting and Early Man in
Britain; and Edward Clodd's Childhood of the World and Story of
Primitive Man are deservedly popular. Paul Topinard's Elements
d'Anthropologie Generale is one of the best-known and most
comprehensive French works on the technical phases of
anthropology; but Mortillet's Le Prehistorique has a more popular
interest, owing to its chapters on primitive industries, though
this work also contains much that is rather technical. Among
periodicals, the Revue de l'Ecole d'Anthropologie de Paris,
published by the professors, treats of all phases of
anthropology, and the American Anthropologist, edited by F. W.
Hodge for the American Anthropological Association, and intended
as "a medium of communication between students of all branches of
anthropology," contains much that is of interest from the present
stand-point. The last-named journal devotes a good deal of space
to Indian languages.
CHAPTER II. EGYPTIAN SCIENCE
1 (p. 34). Sir J. Norman Lockyer, The Dawn of Astronomy; a study
of the temple worship and mythology of the ancient Egyptians,
2 (p. 43). G. Maspero, Histoire Ancie-nne des Peuples de l'Orient
Classique, Paris, 1895. Translated as (1) The Dawn of
Civilization, (2) The Struggle of the Nations, (3) The Passing of
the Empires, 3 vols., London and New York, 1894-1900. Professor
Maspero is one of the most famous of living Orientalists. His
most important special studies have to do with Egyptology, but
his writings cover the entire field of Oriental antiquity. He is
a notable stylist, and his works are at once readable and
3 (p. 44). Adolf Erman, Life in Ancient Egypt, London, 1894, p.
352. (Translated from the original German work entitled Aegypten
und aegyptisches Leben in Alterthum, Tilbigen, 1887.) An
altogether admirable work, full of interest for the general
reader, though based on the most erudite studies.
4 (p. 47). Erman, op. cit., pp. 356, 357.
5 (p. 48). Erman, op. cit., p. 357. The work on Egyptian medicine
here referred to is Georg Ebers' edition of an Egyptian document
discovered by the explorer whose name it bears. It remains the
most important source of our knowledge of Egyptian medicine. As
mentioned in the text, this document dates from the eighteenth
dynasty--that is to say, from about the fifteenth or sixteenth
century, B.C., a relatively late period of Egyptian history.
6 (p. 49). Erman, op. cit., p. 357.
7 (p. 50). The History of Herodotus, pp. 85-90. There are
numerous translations of the famous work of the "father of
history," one of the most recent and authoritative being that of
G. C. Macaulay, M.A., in two volumes, Macmillan & Co., London and
New York, 1890.
8 (p. 50). The Historical Library of Diodorus the Sicilian,
London, 1700. This most famous of ancient world histories is
difficult to obtain in an English version. The most recently
published translation known to the writer is that of G. Booth,
9 (p. 51). Erman, op. cit., p. 357.
10 (p. 52). The Papyrus Rhind is a sort of mathematical hand-book
of the ancient Egyptians; it was made in the time of the Hyksos
Kings (about 2000 B.C.), but is a copy of an older book. It is
now preserved in the British Museum.
The most accessible recent sources of information as to the
social conditions of the ancient Egyptians are the works of
Maspero and Erman, above mentioned; and the various publications
of W. M. Flinders Petrie, The Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh,
London, 1883; Tanis I., London, 1885; Tanis H., Nebesheh, and
Defe-nnel, London, 1887; Ten Years' Diggings, London, 1892; Syria
and Egypt from the Tel-el-Amar-na Letters, London, 1898, etc. The
various works of Professor Petrie, recording his explorations
from year to year, give the fullest available insight into
CHAPTER III. SCIENCE OF BABYLONIA AND ASSYRIA
1 (p. 57). The Medes. Some difference of opinion exists among
historians as to the exact ethnic relations of the conquerors;
the precise date of the fall of Nineveh is also in doubt.
2 (p. 57). Darius. The familiar Hebrew narrative ascribes the
first Persian conquest of Babylon to Darius, but inscriptions of
Cyrus and of Nabonidus, the Babylonian king, make it certain that
Cyrus was the real conqueror. These inscriptions are preserved on
cylinders of baked clay, of the type made familiar by the
excavation of the past fifty years, and they are invaluable
3 (p. 58). Berosus. The fragments of Berosus have been translated
by L. P. Cory, and included in his Ancient Fragments of
Phenician, Chaldean, Egyptian, and Other Writers, London, 1826,
second edition, 1832.
4 (p. 58). Chaldean learning. Recent writers reserve the name
Chaldean for the later period of Babylonian history-- the time
when the Greeks came in contact with the Mesopotamians--in
contradistinction to the earlier periods which are revealed to us
by the archaeological records.
5 (p. 59) King Sargon of Agade. The date given for this early
king must not be accepted as absolute; but it is probably
6 (p. 59). Nippur. See the account of the early expeditions as
recorded by the director, Dr. John P. Peters, Nippur, or
explorations and adventures, etc., New York and London, 1897.
7 (p. 62). Fritz Hommel, Geschichte Babyloniens und Assyriens,
8 (p. 63). R. Campbell Thompson, Reports of the Magicians and
Astrologers of Nineveh and Babylon, London, 1900, p. xix.
9 (p. 64). George Smith, The Assyrian Canon, p. 21.
10 (p. 64). Thompson, op. cit., p. xix.
11 (p. 65). Thompson, op. cit., p. 2.
12 (p. 67). Thompson, op. cit., p. xvi.
13 (p. 68). Sextus Empiricus, author of Adversus Mathematicos,
lived about 200 A.D.
14 (p. 68). R. Campbell Thompson, op. cit., p. xxiv.
15 (p. 72). Records of the Past (editor, Samuel Birch), Vol.
III., p. 139.
16 (p. 72). Ibid., Vol. V., p. 16.
17 (p. 72). Quoted in Records of the Past, Vol. III., p. 143,
from the Translations of the Society of Biblical Archeology, vol.
II., p. 58.
18 (p. 73). Records of the Past, vol. L, p. 131.
19 (p. 73). Ibid., vol. V., p. 171.
20 (p. 74). Ibid., vol. V., p. 169.
21 (p. 74). Joachim Menant, La Bibliotheque du Palais de Ninive,
22 (p. 76). Code of Khamurabi. This famous inscription is on a
block of black diorite nearly eight feet in height. It was
discovered at Susa by the French expedition under M. de Morgan,
in December, 1902. We quote the translation given in The
Historians' History of the World, edited by Henry Smith Williams,
London and New York, 1904, Vol. I, p. 510.
23 (p. 77). The Historical Library of Diodorus Siculus, p. 519.
24 (p. 82). George S. Goodspeed, Ph.D., History of the
Babylonians and Assyrians, New York, 1902.
25 (p. 82). George Rawlinson, Great Oriental Monarchies, (second
edition, London, 1871), Vol. III., pp. 75 ff.
Of the books mentioned above, that of Hommel is particularly full
in reference to culture development; Goodspeed's small volume
gives an excellent condensed account; the original documents as
translated in the various volumes of Records of the Past are full
of interest; and Menant's little book is altogether admirable.
The work of excavation is still going on in old Babylonia, and
newly discovered texts add from time to time to our knowledge,
but A. H. Layard's Nineveh and its Remains (London, 1849) still
has importance as a record of the most important early
discoveries. The general histories of Antiquity of Duncker,
Lenormant, Maspero, and Meyer give full treatment of Babylonian
and Assyrian development. Special histories of Babylonia and
Assyria, in addition to these named above, are Tiele's
Babylonisch-Assyrische Geschichte (Zwei Tiele, Gotha, 1886-1888);
Winckler's Geschichte Babyloniens und Assyriens (Berlin,
1885-1888), and Rogers' History of Babylonia and Assyria, New
York and London, 1900, the last of which, however, deals almost
exclusively with political history. Certain phases of science,
particularly with reference to chronology and cosmology, are
treated by Edward Meyer (Geschichte des Alterthum, Vol. I.,
Stuttgart, 1884), and by P. Jensen (Die Kosmologie der
Babylonier, Strassburg, 1890), but no comprehensive specific
treatment of the subject in its entirety has yet been attempted.
CHAPTER IV. THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ALPHABET
1 (p. 87). Vicomte E. de Rouge, Memoire sur l'Origine Egyptienne
de l'Alphabet Phinicien, Paris, 1874.
2 (p. 88). See the various publications of Mr. Arthur Evans.
3 (p. 80). Aztec and Maya writing. These pictographs are still in
the main undecipherable, and opinions differ as to the exact
stage of development which they represent.
4 (p. 90). E. A. Wallace Budge's First Steps in Egyptian, London,
1895, is an excellent elementary work on the Egyptian writing.
Professor Erman's Egyptian Grammar, London, 1894, is the work of
perhaps the foremost living Egyptologist.
5 (P. 93). Extant examples of Babylonian and Assyrian writing
give opportunity to compare earlier and later systems, so the
fact of evolution from the pictorial to the phonetic system rests
on something more than mere theory.
6 (p. 96). Friedrich Delitzsch, Assyrischc Lesestucke mit
grammatischen Tabellen und vollstdndigem Glossar einfiihrung in
die assyrische und babylonische Keilschrift-litteratur bis hinauf
zu Hammurabi, Leipzig, 1900.
7 (p. 97). It does not appear that the Babylonians thcmselves
ever gave up the old system of writing, so long as they retained
8 (p. 101). See Isaac Taylor's History of the Alphabet; an
Account of the origin and Development of Letters, new edition, 2
vols., London, 1899.
For facsimiles of the various scripts, see Henry Smith Williams'
History of the Art Of Writing, 4 vols, New York and London,
CHAPTER V. THE BEGINNINGS OF GREEK SCIENCE
1 (p. III). Anaximander, as recorded by Plutarch, vol. VIII-. See
Arthur Fairbanks'First Philosophers of Greece: an Edition and
Translation of the Remaining Fragments of the Pre-Socratic
Philosophers, together with a Translation of the more Important
Accounts of their Opinions Contained in the Early Epitomcs of
their Works, London, 1898. This highly scholarly and extremely
useful book contains the Greek text as well as translations.
CHAPTER VI. THE EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHERS IN ITALY
1 (p. 117). George Henry Lewes, A Biographical History of
Philosophy from its Origin in Greece down to the Present Day,
enlarged edition, New York, 1888, p. 17.
2 (p. 121). Diogenes Laertius, The Lives and Opinions of Eminent
Philosophers, C. D. Yonge's translation, London, 1853, VIII., p.
3 (p. 121). Alexander, Successions of Philosophers.
4 (p. 122). "All over its centre." Presumably this is intended to
refer to the entire equatorial region.
5 (p. 125). Laertius, op. cit., pp. 348-351.
6 (p. 128). Arthur Fairbanks, The First Philosophers of Greece
London, 1898, pp. 67-717.
7 (p. 129). Ibid., p. 838.
8 (p. 130). Ibid., p. 109.
9 (p. 130). Heinrich Ritter, The History of Ancient Philosophy,
translated from the German by A. J. W. Morrison, 4 vols., London,
1838, vol, I., p. 463.
10 (p. 131). Ibid., p. 465.
11 (p. 132). George Henry Lewes, op. cit., p. 81.
12 (p. 135). Fairbanks, op. cit., p. 201.
13 (p. 136). Ibid., P. 234.
14 (p. 137). Ibid., p. 189.
15 (p. 137). Ibid., P. 220.
16 (p. 138). Ibid., p. 189.
17 (p. 138). Ibid., p. 191.
CHAPTER VII. GREEK SCIENCE IN THE EARLY ATTIC PERIOD
1 (p. 150). Theodor Gomperz, Greek Thinkers: a History of Ancient
Philosophy (translated from the German by Laurie Magnes), New
York, 190 1, pp. 220, 221.
2 (p. 153). Aristotle's Treatise on Respiration, ch. ii.
3 (p. 159). Fairbanks' translation of the fragments of
Anaxagoras, in The First Philosophers of Greece, pp. 239-243.
CHAPTER VIII. POST-SOCRATIC SCIENCE AT ATHENS
1 (p. 180). Alfred William Bern, The Philosophy of Greece
Considered in Relation to the Character and History of its
People, London, 1898, p. 186.
2 (p. 183). Aristotle, quoted in William Whewell's History of the
Inductive Sciences (second edition, London, 1847), Vol. II., p.
CHAPTER IX. GREEK SCIENCE OF THE ALEXANDRIAN OR HELLENISTIC
1 (p. 195). Tertullian's Apologeticus.
2 (p. 205). We quote the quaint old translation of North, printed
CHAPTER X. SCIENCE OF THE ROMAN PERIOD
1 (p. 258). The Geography of Strabo, translated by H. C. Hamilton
and W. Falconer, 3 vols., London, 1857, Vol. I, pp. 19, 20.
2 (p. 260). Ibid., p. 154.
3 (p. 263). Ibid., pp. 169, 170.
4 (p. 264) Ibid., pp. 166, 167.
5 (p. 271). K. 0. Miller and John W. Donaldson, The History of
the Literature of Greece, 3 vols., London, Vol. III., p. 268.
6 (p. 276). E. T. Withington, Medical History fron., the Earliest
Times, London, 1894, p. 118.
7 (p. 281). Ibid.
8 (p. 281). Johann Hermann Bass, History of Medicine, New York,
CHAPTER XI. A RETROSPECTIVE GLANCE AT CLASSICAL SCIENCE
(p. 298). Dion Cassius, as preserved by Xiphilinus. Our extract
is quoted from the translation given in The Historians' History
of the World (edited by Henry Smith Williams), 25 vols., London
and New York, 1904, Vol. VI., p. 297 ff.
[For further bibliographical notes, the reader is referred to the
Appendix of volume V.]