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MESOPOTAMIA (Mevoaora)

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Originally appearing in Volume V18, Page 179 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MESOPOTAMIA (Mevoaora).la, sc. xthpa or Eupta, from , duos, middle, roraubs, river), one of the Greek renderings of the earlier Semitic names for the river-country that stretches hands, or joined by cords, the patients sat in expectancy, and then Mesmer, clothed in the dress of a magician, glided amongst them, affecting this one by a touch, another by a look, and making " passes " with his hand towards a third. Nervous ladies became hysterical or fainted; some men became convulsed, or were seized with palpitations of the heart or other bodily disturbances. The government appointed a commission of physicians and members of the Academy of Sciences to investigate these phenomena; Franklin and Baillie were members of this commission, and drew up an elaborate report admitting many of the facts, but contesting Mesmer's theory that there was an agent called animal magnetism, and attributing the effects to physiological causes. Mesmer himself was undoubtedly a mystic; and, although the excitement of the time led him to indulge in mummery and sensational effects, he was honest in the belief that the phenomena produced were real, and called for further investigation. For a time, however, animal magnetism fell into disrepute; it became a system of downright jugglery, and Mesmer himself was denounced as a shallow empiric and impostor. He withdrew from Paris, and died at Meersburg in Switzerland on the 5th of March 1815. He left many disciples, the most distinguished of whom was the marquis de Puysegur.
End of Article: MESOPOTAMIA (Mevoaora)
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