The dominating theory of disease was the humoral, which has never since ceased to influence medical thought and practice.
This doctrine, of which the developments need not further be followed, was important chiefly in so far that it was perfectly distinct from, and opposed to, the humoral pathology of Hippocrates.
This doctrine, crudely transferred from philosophical speculation, was intended to reconcile the humoral (or Hippocratic) and solidist (or methodic) schools; but the methodists seem to have claimed Athenaeus as one of themselves.
The principle which mainly distinguished it was not merely the use of chemical medicines in addition to the traditional, or, as they were called in distinction, "Galenical" remedies, but a theory of pathology or causation of disease entirely different from the prevailing "humoral" pathology.
By his eminent labours in cellular pathology, Virchow, and Metchnikoff later, gave the last blow to the mere humoral pathology which, after an almost unchallenged prevalence for some two thousand years, now finds a resting-place only in our nurseries.