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September 3, 1960


JAMA. 1960;174(1):71. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03030010073021

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Anglo-Saxon words go no further than primitive folk-medicine. In classical words, on the other hand, we have a system employed for more advanced medical conceptions. Moreover, until the eighteenth century Latin was the universal language used throughout Western Europe by the educated classes in the three branches of intellectual activity: theology, medicine and law. This unity had an immense advantage, which has since been lost, for it enabled scholars of different countries to communicate with one another and to study in foreign countries without having to learn a new language. In the Middle Ages many Britons derived their inspiration from the medical schools of Italy and France. The modern practice, adopted by all countries, of using classical roots is therefore a partial restoration of an international language.—Roberts, F., Medical Terms: Their Origin and Construction, Springfield, Ill., Charles C Thomas, Publisher, 1959, p. 17.

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