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Full text of "The Legacy Of Egypt"

Medicine                              181
collected from at least forty different sources, and is exactly
analogous to the books of medical and household recipes of
Europe in later times. The test covers no large columns in the
original roll, which a modern editor has conveniently divided
into 877 numbered sections of varying length. It consists mainly
of a large collection of prescriptions for numerous ailments, most
of which are named but not diagnosed, specifying the drugs to
be used, the measures of each, and the method of administra-
tion. A few of the sections are extracts from a general medical
treatise of the kind already referred to, other parts of which
have survived in the Edwin Smith and Kahun papyri, and these
excerpts can readily be recognized by their structure and the
distinctive formulae employed in them. These extracts in the
Ebers Papyrus relate to diseases of the stomach, to the action of
the heart and its vessels, and to the surgical treatment of cysts,
boils, carbuncles, and similar conditions. Freely interspersed
amongst these elements are magical spells and incantations.
(2)  The Hearst Papyrus was discovered at Deir el-Ballas in
Upper Egypt in 1899 and is now preserved in the University
of California. The outermost folds of the roll are fragmentary,
but otherwise the document is in good condition and contains
fifteen almost undamaged columns comprising 250 prescriptions
or sections. This papyrus is somewhat later in date than the
Ebers, and may be assigned to the time of Tuthmosis III
(XVIIIth Dynasty).  Its contents are very similar to those of
the Ebers Papyrus, and in some cases the matter is derived from
the same archetypes, certain passages being common to both
documents.
(3)  The Edwin Smith Papyrus is now in the possession of the
Historical Society of New York and a sumptuous edition of it
was published a few years ago by the late Professor J. H.
Breasted. The greater part of it belongs to the above-mentioned
Group I and is devoted to the surgical treatment of wounds and
fractures, extracted from the same general medical treatise as