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Innumerable are the men who have excelled in the various arts; we may, however, take a cursory survey of them, by citing the names of the principal ones. Berosus excelled in astrology; and on account of his divinations and predictions, a public statue was erected in his honour by the Athenians. Apollodorus, for his skill as a grammarian, had public honours decreed him by the Amphictyonic Council of Greece. Hip- pocrates excelled in medicine; before its arrival, he predicted the plague, which afterwards came from Illyria, and sent his pupils to various cities, to give their assistance. As an acknowledgment of his merit, Greece decreed him the same honours as to Hercules.1 King Ptolemy rewarded a similar degree of skill in the person of Cleombrotus of Ceos, by a donation of one hundred talents, at the Megalensian games,2 he having succeeded in saving the life of King Anti- ochus.3 Critobulus also rendered himself extremely famous, by extracting an arrow4 from the eye of King Philip with so much skill, that, although the sight was lost, there was no defect to be seen.5 Asclepiades of Prusa, however, acquired the greatest fame of all—he founded a new sect, treated with disdain the promises of King Mithridates conveyed to him by an embassy, discovered a method of successfully treating diseases by wine,6 and, breaking in upon the funeral ceremony, saved the life of a man, who was actually placed7 on the funeral pile. He rendered himself, however, more celebrated than all, by staking his reputation as a physician against Fortune herself, and asserting that he did not wish to be so much as looked upon as a physician, if he should ever happen in any way to fall sick; and he won his wager, for he met his death at an extreme old age, by falling down stairs.8

1 Pliny again speaks of the great talents of Hippocrates, B. xxvi. c. 6, and B. xxix. c. 2.—B.

2 We have an account of the origin of these games in Livy, B. xxix. c. 14.—B.

3 Cleombrotus is supposed to be the same person who is mentioned in B. xxix. c. 3, as Erasistratus, the grandson of Aristotle. From Suidas we learn that a near relative of his was called Cleombrotus, though, from his perplexed language, it is impossible to say whether father or uncle. The story to which Pliny is supposed here to refer is a curious one. Antiochus, the son of Seleucus Nicator, fell in love with Stratonice, whom his father had married in his old age, but struggled to conceal his passion. The skilful physician discovered the nature of his disease; upon which he reported to Seleucus that it was incurable, for that he was in love, and it was impossible that his passion could be gratified. The king, greatly surprised, inquired who the lady was; to which Erasistratus replied that it was his own wife; whereupon Seleucus began to try and persuade him to give her up to his son. The physician upon this asked him if he would do so himself, if it were his own wife. Seleucus declared that he would; upon which Erasistratus disclosed to him the truth. Seleucus not only gave up Stratonice to his son, but resigned to him several provinces. Erasistratus was one of the most famous physicians and anatomists of antiquity.

4 It was on this occasion that a label was said to have been fastened on the arrow, inscribed, "To Philip's right eye." The inhabitants were permitted to depart, however, when the city was taken, with one garment to each person.

5 This accident occurred to Philip, at the siege of Methone, of which we have a brief account in Diodorus Siculus, B. xvi. c. 7, and in Justin, B. vii. c. 6; but neither of these authors makes any mention of Critobulus. Quintus Curtius, B. ix. c. 5, informs us, that Critobulus exhibited great skill in relieving Alexander the Great from the effects of a dangerous wound, which he received in India; but he does not refer to the fact here mentioned.—B.

6 At the present day, this mode of treatment would have figured as the wine-cure."

7 See B. xxvi. c. 8.

8 Pliny again speaks of Asclepiades, in B. xxvi. c. 7, and B. xxix. c. 5. The anecdote respecting the man who was saved from the funeral pile is referred to by Celsus, B. ii. c. 6.—B. Pliny says, in B. xxvi. c. 7, that Asclepiades first came to Rome as a teacher of rhetoric, and that being unsuccessful, he turned his attention to medicine. Bruce, the Abyssinian traveller, also met his death by falling down stairs. Rabelais, in the prologue to his Fourth Book, refers to this peculiar death of Asclepiades.

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