The Ancient Library
 

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GREEK BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE

I. THE EARLY BIOLOGY

B

EYOND all other ancient people, the better sort of men among the dwellers in the Ionian cities on the west coast of Asia Minor and the neighboring islands were blessed with lively intellectual curiosity. They were also free, and meant to keep their free­dom. Their cities might for a time be brought within the sway of a Lydian monarch or the Great King of Persia; but such intermittent pressure from without did not hamper the com­merce of these coast and island towns, or re­strict the free thinking of their citizens. Religion was tolerant or uncertain; there was no constraining caste of priests. Men might think as they saw fit upon the origin and order of the world, and freely express their opinions. And it came to pass that the gifted thought-leaders of Ionian Greece devised conceptions of

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