The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.


cian" (Ka7T7r(£5o|). He wrote in Ionic Greek a general treatise on dis­eases, which is still extant, and is certainly one of the most valuable reliques of antiquity, displaying great accuracy in the detail of symptoms, and in seizing the diagnostic character of diseases.1

The first Greek edition of Aretaeus is that of Goupylus, Paris, 1554, 8vo. In 1723, a magnificent edition in folio was published at the Clarendon press at Oxford, edited by Wigan, containing an improved text, a new Latin version, learned dissertations and notes, and a copious index by Maittaire. In 1731, the celebrated Boerhaave brought out a new edition, of which the text and Latin version had been printed before the appear­ance of Wigan's, and are of less value than his: this edition, however, contains a copi­ous and useful collection of annotations by Petit and Triller. The last and most useful edition is that of Kiihn, Leipzig, 1828, 8vo, forming the twenty-fourth volume of the col­lection of Greek medical writers.

VII. galenus, claudius (KAov&os ra\t)v6$),* commonly called galen, a very celebrated physician, whose works have had a longer and more extensive influence on the different branches of medical science than those of any other either in ancient or modern times. He was born at Pergamum in A.D. 130. His father Nicon, who was an architect and geometrician, carefully superintended his education. In his seventeenth year (A.D. 146), his father, who had hitherto destined him to be a philos­opher, altered his intentions, and, in consequence of a dream, chose for him the profession of medicine. He at first studied medicine in his na­tive city. In his twentieth year (A.D. 149) he lost his father, and about the same time he went to Smyrna for the purpose of studying under Pelops the physician, and Albinus the Platonic philosopher. He after­ward studied at Corinth and Alexandrea. He returned to Pergamum in his twenty-ninth year, A.D. 158, and was immediately appointed physi­cian to the school of gladiators, an office which he filled with great repu­tation and success. In A.D. 164, he quitted his native country on account of some popular commotions, and went to Rome for the first time. Here he stayed about four years, and gained great reputation from his skill in anatomy and medicine. He returned to Pergamum in A.D. 168, but had scarcely settled there when he received a summons from the emperors M. Aurelius and L. Verus to attend them at Aquileia, in Venetia. From Aquileia, Galen followed M. Aurelius to Rome in A.D. 170. When the emperor again set out to conduct the war on the Danube, Galen with dif­ficulty obtained permission to be left behind at Rome, alleging that such was the will of ^Esculapius. Before leaving the city, the emperor com­mitted to the medical care of Galen his son Commodus, who was then nine years of age. Galen stayed at Rome some years, during which time he employed himself in lecturing, writing, and practicing with great suc­cess. He subsequently returned to Pergamum, but whether he again visited Rome is uncertain. He is said to have died in the year 200, at the age of seventy, in the reign of Septimius Severus; but it is not im­probable that he lived some years longer.3

Galen's personal character, as it appears in his works, places him among the brightest ornaments of the heathen world. Perhaps his chief faults were too high an opinion of his own merits, and too much bitter- 1 Greenhill; Smith's Diet. Biogr., s. v. '•* Id. ib. 3 Greenhitt, I. c.

About | Preface | Contents | Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.