The history of the ligature and the suture is, in a measure, the exponent of the history of surgery. Surgery may also be accepted as a fair exponent of the rise, fall and progress of civilization.
Always prominent in the very dim and shadowy past, two of the professions, with which the third is more or less intimately blended, come into bold relief. In the differentiation of duties, even in the tribal relations, there was set apart a liberal representation of the brighter intellects for determining the relation of man to his brother and to that which all men have believed more or less clearly, the possible after-life. The rules of living determined by these men assume more or less formal expression in the codes of laws of the state and the church. The physical needs of mankind became at once apparent, and these were ministered unto, in