There is no doubt that hypnotism is a very old subject, though the name was not invented till 1850. In it was wrapped up the "mysteries of Isis" in Egypt thousands of years ago, and probably it was one of the weapons, if not the chief instrument of operation, of the magi mentioned in the Bible and of the "wise men" of Babylon and Egypt.
s of memory, and the various other symptoms of the hypnotic state as we know it. It was thought that magnetism had a right to be considered as a therapeutic agent, and that it might be used by physicians, though others should not be allowed to practice it. In 1837 another commission made a decidedly unfavorable report.
Soon after this Burdin, a member of the Academy, offered a prize of 3,000 francs to any one who would read the number of a bank-note or the like with his eyes bandaged (under certain fixed conditions), but it was never awarded, though many claimed it, and there has been considerable evidence that persons in the hypnotic state have (sometimes) remarkable clairvoyant powers.
Soon after this, magnetism fell into very low repute throughout France and Germany, and scientific men became loath to have their names connected with the study of it in any way. The study had not yet been seriously taken up in England, and two physicians who gave some attention to it suffered decidedly in profe