The generic characters are based upon definite modifications of form which affect the entire facies of the animals, while the specific diagnoses depend upon minor characters, such as the number of myotomes or muscle-segments.
In the article Lizard attention is drawn to the many characters which make it difficult, if not impossible, to give diagnoses applicable to all lizards and all snakes.
In letters of 1779-1780' he correctly diagnoses the ills of the Confederation, and suggests with admirable prescience the necessity of centralization in its governmental powers; he was, indeed, one of the first, if not to conceive, at least to suggest adequate checks on the anarchic tendencies of the time.
In the following diagnoses of the families preference is given to such characters as are most easily ascertained.
To appreciate his diagnoses it is necessary to understand certain terms, which unfortunately are not used in the same sense by all authors.
Muller brought out at Nuremberg a German translation of the Systema Naturae, completing it in 1776 by a Supplement containing a list of animals thus described, which had hitherto been technically anonymous, with diagnoses and names on the Linnaean model.
It is extremely hard to draw any fixed line in Egypt between magic and medicine; but it is curious to note that simple diagnoses and prescriptions were employed for the more curable diseases, while magical formulae and amulets are reserved for those that are harder to cope with, such as the bites of snakes and the stings of scorpions.