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One of the maxims of the old Greek philosophers was that good is

diffusive of itself. As the scholastics put it, bonum est diffusivum

sui. This proved to be eminently true of the old universities also, and

especially of their training in medicine and in surgery. We have the

accounts of men from many nations who went to the universities and

returned to benefit their own people. Early in the thirteenth century

Richard th
Englishman was in Italy, having previously been in Paris and

probably at Montpellier. Bernard Gordon, probably also an Englishman,

was one of the great lights in medicine down at Montpellier, and his

book, Lilium De Medicina, is well known. Two distinguished surgeons

whose names have come down to us, having studied in Paris after Lanfranc

had created the tradition of great surgical teaching there, came to

their homes to be centres of beneficent influence among their people in

this matter. One was Yperman, of the town of Ypres in Belgium; the other

Ardern of England. Yperman was sent by his fellow-townsmen to Paris in

order to study surgery, because they wanted to have a good surgeon in

their town and Paris seemed the best school at that time. Ypres was at

this period one of the greatest commercial cities of Europe, and

probably had a couple of hundred thousand inhabitants. The great hall of

the cloth gild, which has been such an attraction for visitors ever

since, was built shortly before the town determined upon the very

sensible procedure of securing good surgery beyond all doubt by having a

townsman specially educated for that purpose.

Yperman's work was practically unknown to us until Broeck, the Belgian

historian, discovered manuscript copies of his book on surgery and

gathered some details of his life. After his return from Paris, Yperman

obtained great renown, which maintained itself in the custom extant in

that part of the country even yet of calling an expert surgeon an

Yperman. He is the author of two works in Flemish. One of these is a

smaller compendium of internal medicine, which is very interesting,

however, because it shows the many subjects that were occupying

physicians' minds at that time. He treats of dropsy, rheumatism, under

which occur the terms coryza and catarrh (the flowing diseases),

icterus, phthisis (he calls the tuberculosis, tysiken), apoplexy,

epilepsy, frenzy, lethargy, fallen palate, cough, shortness of breath,

lung abscess, hemorrhage, blood-spitting, liver abscess, hardening of

the spleen, affections of the kidney, bloody urine, diabetes,

incontinence of urine, dysuria, strangury, gonorrhea, and involuntary

seminal emissions--all these terms are quoted directly from Pagel's

account of his work; the original is not available in this country.