The Best Books On Galen And Galenism

Vivian Nutton Author Of Galen: A Thinking Doctor in Imperial Rome
By Vivian Nutton

The Books I Picked & Why

"On Second Thought" and Other Essays in the History of Medicine and Science

By Owsei Temkin

"On Second Thought" and Other Essays in the History of Medicine and Science

Why this book?

This series of essays by a humane physician-historian who first attracted me to medical history examines basic ideas in medicine across centuries and cultures. Published when the author was almost a hundred, it raises important questions about medical ethics and the place of medicine in society from the Greeks onwards.


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Galen: Psychological Writings: Avoiding Distress, Character Traits, the Diagnosis and Treatment of the Affections and Errors Peculiar to Each Person'

By P. N. Singer

Galen: Psychological Writings: Avoiding Distress, Character Traits, the Diagnosis and Treatment of the Affections and Errors Peculiar to Each Person'

Why this book?

Galen is his own best advocate and his own worst enemy. This volume includes translations of five works, including one discovered only in 2005 and another preserved largely in Arabic. It tells us much of his life in Rome, his book collecting, and his views on education and ethics.


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Hippocrates

By Jacques Jouanna

Hippocrates

Why this book?

Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, was Galen’s hero. This study by the leading expert in ancient Greek medicine sets his life and ideas in the wider context of life in the Aegean world of the fifth and fourth centuries BC.


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The Map of Knowledge: A Thousand-Year History of How Classical Ideas Were Lost and Found

By Violet Moller

The Map of Knowledge: A Thousand-Year History of How Classical Ideas Were Lost and Found

Why this book?

A lively account of the ways in which the philosophical and medical ideas of the Greeks were transmitted to Rome, the Arab world, and medieval Italy. What Plato, Aristotle and Galen had said was often changed and even lost on the way, and only partially recovered in Renaissance Italy. A vivid reminder of the influence of the Greeks over many centuries.


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Pagans and Christians

By Robin Lane Fox

Pagans and Christians

Why this book?

A wonderful evocation of the Roman world that emphasises the vibrant life of the Eastern half of the Mediterranean where Galen himself lived, studied, and travelled. It shows how the Roman Empire was more than just Rome.


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