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result-tended to make them intellectual. The persecutions under which they had long suffered bound their distant communities together. The Spanish Jews knew very well what was going on among their co-religionists beyond the Euphrates. As Cabanis says, “ They were our factors and bankers before we knew how to read; they were also our first physicians.” To this it may be added that they were, for centuries, the only men in Europe who saw the course of human affairs from the most general point of view.
The Hellenizing Jewish physicians inoculated the Arabs with learning on their first meeting with them in Alexandria, obtaining a private and personal influence with many of the khalifs, and from that central point of power giving an intellectual character to the entire Saracenic movement. We have already seen that in this they were greatly favoured by the approximation of their unitarianism to that of the Mohammedans. The intellectual activity of the Asiatic and African Jews soon communicated an impulse to those of Europe. The Hebrew doctor was viewed by the vulgar with wonder, fear, and hatred; no crime could be imputed to him too incredible. Thus Zedekias, the physician to Charles the Bald, was asserted to have devoured at one meal, in the presence of the court, a waggon-load of hay, together with its horses and driver, The titles of some of the works that appeared among them deserve mention, as displaying a strong contrast with the Writings of mystical designations in vogue. Thus Isaac Jewish phy- Ben Soleiman, an Egyptian, wrote “ On Fevers,"
“On Medicine,” “On Food and Remedies," “ On the Pulse,” “On Philosophy,” “On Melancholy," “ An Introduction to Logic.” The simplicity of these titles displays an intellectual clearness and a precision of thought which have ever been shown by the Israelites. They are in themselves sufficient to convince us of the strong common sense which these men were silently infusing into the literature of Western Europe in ages of concealment and mystification. Roger Bacon, at a much later time, gave to one of his works the title of “ The Green Lion;" to another, “ The Treatise of Three Words.”
Since it was by the power and patronage of the Saracens
that the Jewish physicians were acting, it is not surprising that the language used in many of their compositions was Arabic. Translations were, however, commonly made into Hebrew, and, at a subsequent period, into Latin. Through the ninth century the Asiatic colleges maintained their previous celebrity in certain branches of knowledge. Thus the Jew Shabtai Donolo was obliged to go to Bagdad to complete his studies in astronomy. As Arabian influence extended itself into Sicily and Italy, Jewish intelligence accompanied it, and schools were Foundation of founded at Tarentum, Salerno, Bari, and other colleges. places. Here the Arab and Jew Orientalists first amalgamated with a truly European element- the Greek-as is shown by the circumstance that in the college at Salerno instruction was given through the medium of all three languages. At one time, Pontus taught in Greek, Abdallah in Arabic, and Elisha in Hebrew. A similar influence of the Arab and Jew combined founded the University of Montpellier.
After the foundation of medical colleges, the progress of medicine among the Jews was very rapid. Me Judged by our standard, in some respects it was dies among peculiar. Thus, they looked upon the practice of the surgery as altogether mechanical, and therefore ignoble. A long list of eminent names might be extracted from the tenth and eleventh centuries. In it we should find Haroun of Cordova, Jehuda of Fez, Amram of Toledo. Already it was apparent that the Saracenic movement would aid in developing the intelligence of barbarian Western Europe through Hebrew physicians, in spite oopposition encountered from theological ideas imported from Constantinople and Rome. Mohammedanism had all along been the patron of physical science ; paganizing Christianity not only repudiated it, but exhibited towards it sentiments of contemptuous disdain and hatred. Hence physicians were viewed by the Church with dislike, and regarded as atheists by the people, who held firmly to the lessons they had been taught that cures must be wrought by relics of martyrs and bones of saints, by Impostureprayers and intercessions, and that each region medicine. of the body was under some spiritual charge—the first joint of the right thumb being in the care of God the Father, the second under that of the blessed Virgin, and so on of other parts. For each disease there was a saint. A man with sore eyes must invoke St. Clara, but if it were an inflammation elsewhere he must turn to St. Anthony. An ague would demand the assistance of St. Pernel. For the propitiating of these celestial beings it was necessary that fees should be paid, and thus the practice of imposture-medicine became a great source of profit.
In all this there was no other intention than that of extracting money from the illiterate. With men of education and position it was different. Bishops, princes, kings, and popes had each in private his Hebrew doctor, though all understood that he was a contraband luxury, in many countries pointedly and absolutely prohibited by the law In the eleventh century nearly all the physicians in Europe were Jews. This was due to two different causes : the Church would tolerate no interference with her spiritual methods of treating disease, which formed one of her most The rabbis productive sources of gain ; and the study of cultivate medicine had been formally introduced into the medicine
rabbinical schools. The monk was prohibited a pursuit which gave to the rabbi an honourable emolument. From the older institutions offshoots in quick succession appeared, particularly in France. Thus the school at Narbonne was under the presidency of Doctor Rabbi Abou. There was also a flourishing school at Arles. In these institutions instruction was given through the medium of Hebrew and Arabic, the Greek element present at Salerno being here wanting. In the French schools, to the former languages Latin and Provençal were, in the course of time, added. The versatility of acquirement among the physicians, who were taking the lead in this intellectual movement, is illustrated both by the Spanish and French Jews. Some, like Djanah, a native of Cordova, acquired reputation in grammar, criticism, astronomy; others in poetry or theology.
If thus the social condition of the rabbis, who drew no income from their religious duties, induced them to combine the practice of medicine with their pursuits, great facilities had arisen for mental culture through the establishment of so many schools. Henceforth the Jewish physician is recognised as combining with his and other professional skill a profound knowledge of theo- sciences. logy, mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, music, law. In a singular manner he stands aloof in the barbarian societies among whom he lives, looking down like a philosopher upon their idolatries, permitting, or even excusing them, like a statesman. Of those who thus adorned the eleventh century was Rabbi Solomon Ben Isaac, better known under the abbreviation Raschi—called by his countrymen the Prince of Commentators. He was equally at home in writing commentaries on the Talmud, or in giving instructions for great surgical operations, as the Cæsarean section. He was the greatest French physician of his age. Spain during the same century, produced a worthy competitor to him, Ebn Zohr, physician w
Writings of to the court of Seville. His writings were in the SpanishHebrew, Arabic, Syriac, and both in prose and Jewi
physicians. verse. He composed a treatise on the cure of diseases, and two on fevers. In singular contrast with the superstitious notions of the times, he possessed a correct view of the morbific nature of marsh miasm. He was followed by Ben Ezra, a Jew of Toledo, who was at once a physician, philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, critic, poet. He travelled all over Europe and Asia, being held in captivity for some time in India. Among his medical writings was a work on theoretical and practical medicine, entitled “Book of Proofs.” Through the wars arising in Spain between the Mohammedans and Christians, many learned Jews were driven into France, imparting to that country, by their presence, a new intellectual impulse. Of such were Aben Tybbon, who gave to his own profession a pharmaceutical tendency by insisting on the study of botany and art of preparing drugs. Ben Kimchi, a Narbonnese physician and grammarian, wrote commentaries on the Bible, sacred and moral poems, a Hebrew grammar. Notwithstanding the opposition of the ecclesiastics, William, the Lord of Montpellier, passed an edict authorizing all persons, without exception, to profess medicine in the university of his city. This was specially meant for the relief of the Jews, though
expressed in a general way. Spain, though she had thus lost many of her learned men, still continued to produce
others of which she had reason to be proud. Maimonides.
Moussa Ben Maimon, known all over Europe as Maimonides, was recognized by his countrymen as “the Doctor, the Great Sage, the Glory of the West, the Light of the East, second only to Moses." He is often designated by the four initals R. M. B. M., that is Rabbi Moses Ben Maimon, or briefly Rambam. His biography presents some points of interest. He was born at Cordova A.D. 1135, and, while yet young, wrote commentaries on the Talmuds both of Babylon and Jerusalem, and also a work on the Calendar; but, embracing Mohammedanism, he emigrated to Egypt, and there became physician to the celebrated Sultan Saladin. Among his works are medical aphorisms, derived from former Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Arabic sources; an abridgment of Galen ; and of his original treatises, which were very numerous, may be mentioned those “ On Hemorrhoids," “ On Poisons and Antidotes," “On Asthma,” “On the Preservation of Health,”—the latter being written for the benefit of the son of Saladin “On the Bites of Venomous Animals ”_written by order of the sultan—“On Natural History.” His “Moreh Nevochim,” or “ Teacher of the Perplexed,” was an attempt to reconcile the doctrines of the Old Testament with reason. In addition to these, he had a book on Idolatry, and one on Christ. Besides Maimonides, the sultan had another physician, Ebn Djani, the author of a work on the medical topography of the city of Alexandria. From the biographies of these learned men of the twelfth century it would seem that their religious creed hung lightly upon them. Not unfrequently they became converted to Mohammedanism.
It might be tedious if I should record the names and Later Jewish writings of the learned European Jews of the physicians. twelfth and thirteenth centuries, a period more prolific of these great men than even the preceding ages. But I cannot pass these later centuries without mentioning the Alphonsine Tables, calculated for Alphonso, the King of Castile, by Mascha, his Hebrew physician. The irreligious tendency of the times is illustrated by the well