To the Editor: Concerning Dr. Armstrong's editorial (Amer J Dis Child110:115-116 [Aug] 1965), "A Note on Greek Medicine," where he quotes a passage from the Iliad concerning reference to abiogenesis, he states that he is unaware of previous comments on the implications contained in these lines.
I would like to refer him to the excellent and entertaining book by Hans Zinsser, Rats, Lice and History.1 In this fascinating work, Dr. Zinsser quotes the identical passage and further comments that this is "perhaps the earliest exact observation in this matter." He further states that Harvey, in 1651, was probably the first who clearly opposed the older views of spontaneous generation, although he offered no experimental proof of this concept as was later done by Redi in 1668.
Editors of the American Journal of Diseases of Children believe that pertinent letters-to-the-editor regarding papers published in its pages are
YATES DR. ON GREEK MEDICINE. Am J Dis Child. 1966;111(1):109. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1966.02090040145022