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1.—THE SCIENCE OF HUMAN ANATOMY: ITS HISTORY
AND DEVELOPMENT. (An Introductory Lecture to the Course of Anatomy, delivered at Surgeons' Hall
on 29th October 1884.) By J. MACDONALD Brown, M.B., F.R.C.S.E., F.R.C.S. (Eng.), Lecturer on Anatomy at Surgeons' Hall, Edinburgh, and Surgeon to the Western Dispensary.
GENTLEMEN,—In the pursuance of the study of any science, nothing appears to me to contribute more towards a thorough understanding of the subject, or to be of greater advantage to the student in his acquirement of it, than a brief review of its antecedents. I have therefore deemed it expedient to select as the most fitting subject for my introductory lecture, “The Science of Human Anatomy: its History and Development," and I shall endeavour to make my remarks to you to-day of a more general and interesting character than can be embraced in the practical and systematic teaching of a class. The value of such a subject is enhanced by the consideration, that it will bring within its compass a retrospect of the noble and useful services which in the past have been rendered to the science of anatomy by the teachers of the Anatomical School in Edinburgh.
It would be impossible in the time at my disposal to enter, with the necessary sequence and minuteness, into an examination of scientific discovery in its successive stages, and I shall therefore treat the subject more from its teaching than from its scientific point of view. The story of anatomy, like that of many other sciences, is a very old one. Its birth is wrapped in the mists of antiquity. The history of the world in the infancy of civilisation has furnished no exact record of the dawn of anatomical investigation. Scientists who have been led to consider this science in its antiquarian aspect have found that their endeavours to penetrate the darkness have been a comparatively fruitless task, and the result of their researches has been the conclusion, based almost purely on inductive evidence, that the probable birthplaces of anatomy were in India and Egypt,-countries which in ancient times possessed a very advanced civilisation. As regards India, nothing having a
EDINBURGH MED. JOURN., VOL. XXX.—NO. VII.