100 books like Galen

By P.N. Singer,

Here are 100 books that Galen fans have personally recommended if you like Galen. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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

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

From my list on Galen and Galenism.

Why am I passionate about this?

Vivian Nutton is an emeritus professor of the History of Medicine at UCL and has written extensively on the pre-modern history of medicine. He has lectured around the world and held posts in Cambridge and Moscow as well as the USA. His many books include editions and translations of Galen as well as a major survey of Greek and Roman Medicine, and he is currently writing a history of medicine in the Late Renaissance.

Vivian's book list on Galen and Galenism

Vivian Nutton Why did Vivian love 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.

By Owsei Temkin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked "On Second Thought" and Other Essays in the History of Medicine and Science as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Over the course of a career spanning most of the twentieth century, distinguished historian Owsei Temkin has argued passionately for the necessity of chronicling and analyzing the history of medicine. The essays presented in "On Second Thought" and Other Essays in the History of Medicine and Science span Dr. Temkin's career, bringing together new pieces and many previously unavailable outside the journals in which they were originally published. Here the reader will find new thoughts and ideas that deviate from Dr. Temkin's earlier beliefs and reflect a lifetime of research into the historical and ethical foundations of modern medicine. Dr.…


Book cover of Hippocrates

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

From my list on Galen and Galenism.

Why am I passionate about this?

Vivian Nutton is an emeritus professor of the History of Medicine at UCL and has written extensively on the pre-modern history of medicine. He has lectured around the world and held posts in Cambridge and Moscow as well as the USA. His many books include editions and translations of Galen as well as a major survey of Greek and Roman Medicine, and he is currently writing a history of medicine in the Late Renaissance.

Vivian's book list on Galen and Galenism

Vivian Nutton Why did Vivian love 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.

By Jacques Jouanna,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hippocrates as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hippocrates, considered for more than two thousand years the father of medicine, came over time to be credited with a life of mythic proportions and an enormous body of work. Hippocrates' pronouncements on health, disease, and prognosis went unchallenged in the Western world until scientific advances in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries made many of his ideas obsolete. And yet medical students in the United States and Europe still recite the Hippocratic oath upon completion of their studies. In view of Hippocrates' exceptional importance in the history of medicine, it may seem surprising that our knowledge of this fifth century…


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

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

From my list on Galen and Galenism.

Why am I passionate about this?

Vivian Nutton is an emeritus professor of the History of Medicine at UCL and has written extensively on the pre-modern history of medicine. He has lectured around the world and held posts in Cambridge and Moscow as well as the USA. His many books include editions and translations of Galen as well as a major survey of Greek and Roman Medicine, and he is currently writing a history of medicine in the Late Renaissance.

Vivian's book list on Galen and Galenism

Vivian Nutton Why did Vivian love 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.

By Violet Moller,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Map of Knowledge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A lovely debut from a gifted young author. Violet Moller brings to life the ways in which knowledge reached us from antiquity to the present day in a book that is as delightful as it is readable.' Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads

In The Map of Knowledge Violet Moller traces the journey taken by the ideas of three of the greatest scientists of antiquity - Euclid, Galen and Ptolemy - through seven cities and over a thousand years. In it, we follow them from sixth-century Alexandria to ninth-century Baghdad, from Muslim Cordoba to Catholic Toledo, from Salerno's medieval…


Book cover of Pagans and Christians

Rebecca I. Denova Author Of Greek and Roman Religions

From my list on the religious lives of Greeks and Romans.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, I could never “get” the secrets of math or science. If I could, I would have been an archaeologist. But I was always interested in “origins;” where do our modern ideas come from? My passion for reading led me to begin to uncover “origins” (or, the element of “looking for clues” in a “murder mystery”). Uncovering “ancient origins” entails thoroughly exploring ancient society. I continue to daily keep up with the research and new interpretations in the study of these fascinating worlds.

Rebecca's book list on the religious lives of Greeks and Romans

Rebecca I. Denova Why did Rebecca love this book?

I first encountered Lane Fox when I was working on my dissertation in graduate school. Working on “Gentiles” in the New Testament, I had to thoroughly understand the historical background. This book became my “pagan Bible,” in effect. The first half fully details ancient concepts and rituals, and the second emphasizes which elements were absorbed by the rise of Christianity and which were rejected and why.

By Robin Lane Fox,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Pagans and Christians as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Explores the character of early Christianity, with details on religious life, secular daily life, and the condition of paganism at the time of its defeat


Book cover of Broken Trust

Louise Murchie Author Of Dìonadair

From my list on spicy, Scottish romance, multi-partner suspense.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love second-chance romances and I am not in my twenties anymore; so I wrote what I wanted to read. Now, I've found other authors who write 35+, characters who have lived, been hurt, and moved on in life. I do read New Adult or younger than 35 characters and often, really smutty, erotic books as I need to get out of my head sometimes. I love Nora Roberts, Claudia Burgoa, Catharina Maura, Jolie Vines and I'll one-click quite a few indies.

Louise's book list on spicy, Scottish romance, multi-partner suspense

Louise Murchie Why did Louise love this book?

It starts with Broken Trust, but Brooke writes such realistic characters and situations, you forget it's fiction. She writes Sweet with Heat, a genre that's not too smutty but certainly isn't afraid to mention the sex. It's been great working with her and reading her work and I wonder just what situation she's dreamt up for the brothers this time!

By Brooke Burton,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Broken Trust as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jax learned early on that it's a bad idea to mix business with pleasure. But he has to question his resolve when small-town spitfire Galen crashes into his world.

A killer in the boardroom? Check!

Beauty as well as brains? Check!

Loves hole-in-the-wall restaurants, local markets, and greasy cheeseburgers? Where has she been all his life?

Galen's entire life has been controlled by her overbearing father, who's tried to mold her into a carbon copy of himself. When she arrives in the sunny haven of Daytona Beach, Florida, the only thing on her mind is sealing the deal on an…


Book cover of Iron Prince

Chris Tullbane Author Of See These Bones

From my list on starters in progression fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an author, I’m fascinated with the fictional quest for power and the challenges and changes that journey both entails and provokes. Progression fantasy, beyond all the numbers and formalized rankings, is about the character first… not just people growing stronger, but how that growth impacts them on a fundamental level. It's something central to my own fiction, and as I’ve explored the progression fantasy genre, I’ve loved seeing the different ways other authors tackle that same idea. The worlds, people, and magic systems vary wildly between different series in the genre, but that central conflict’s impact on those engaged in it remains uniquely compelling.

Chris' book list on starters in progression fantasy

Chris Tullbane Why did Chris love this book?

Iron Prince is unique in this list (and among most progression fantasy books) in that it takes place in the distant future, on one of many planets in a galaxy at war.

Instead of mystical cores or game or system-imposed leveling constructs, individuals are given CADs (combat assistance devices) that largely do the same thing. 

What I love about the book is that the main character, Rei, is the ultimate underdog. He’s done everything he could to achieve success despite his shortcomings, only to get crushed by peers and a governing system that abhors weakness.

His determination to push on is one of my favorite traits in characters, and ensures that we, the audience, remain engaged, even as he learns to leverage his unique gifts. Smart and never boring, I can’t wait for the sequel!

By Bryce O'Connor, Luke Chmilenko,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Iron Prince as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Reidon Ward will become a god. He doesn't know it yet, of course. Reidon was born weak, sickly and small. Afflicted with a painful disease and abandoned by his parents because of it, he has had to fight tooth and nail for every minor advantage life has allowed him.His perseverance has not gone unnoticed, however, and when the most powerful artificial intelligence in human history takes an interest in him, things began to change quickly. Granted a CAD—a Combat Assistance Device—with awful specs but an infinite potential for growth, Reidon finds himself at the bottom of his class at the…


Book cover of The Prince of Medicine: Galen in the Roman Empire

Josiah Osgood Author Of Rome and the Making of a World State, 150 BCE–20 CE

From my list on the grit and glamor of Ancient Rome.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian of ancient Rome. My interest was sparked in my high school Latin classes. On my first trip to Rome, several years later, I truly fell in love. I could see the famed orator delivering his fierce attacks against Catiline amid the grand temples of the Forum and its surrounding hills. I could imagine myself standing in a crowd, listening. In Washington DC, where I now live and teach at Georgetown University, there are classical buildings all around to keep me inspired. I have written a number of books about Roman political history and have also translated the biographer Suetonius and the historian Sallust.

Josiah's book list on the grit and glamor of Ancient Rome

Josiah Osgood Why did Josiah love this book?

This biography of the second century CE celebrity doctor Galen is one of the most surprising and revealing books I’ve ever read about Rome. A native of Asia Minor who got his start treating gladiators, Galen came to Rome and vied for prominence with the city’s intellectuals. By his own account, he wowed Romans with his skill in diagnosis and public vivisections of animals as gruesome as anything you’d see in the arena. Something like one-eighth of all surviving classical Greek literature is made up of Galen’s writings. Susan Mattern excavates this vast body of material to recover Galen’s own astonishing career, his interactions with his patients (including the emperor Marcus Aurelius), and his observations of terrible scenes of Roman life such as a dangerous copper mine, famine in the countryside, and a major fire in 192 that burned down much of the imperial capital.

By Susan P. Mattern,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Prince of Medicine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Galen of Pergamum (A.D. 129 - ca. 216) began his remarkable career tending to wounded gladiators in provincial Asia Minor. Later in life he achieved great distinction as one of a small circle of court physicians to the family of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, at the very heart of Roman society. Susan Mattern's The Prince of Medicine offers the first authoritative biography in English of this brilliant, audacious, and profoundly influential figure.

Like many Greek intellectuals living in the high Roman Empire, Galen was a prodigious polymath, writing on subjects as varied as ethics and eczema, grammar and gout. Indeed, he…


Book cover of Indigo

Delaney Diamond Author Of Ethan

From my list on swoon-worthy heroes in romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a published romance author since 2010, but even before I published my first romance novel, I was an avid reader of the genre. In fact, I started at the very young age of eleven, checking out romance novels from my local public library. Over the years, I’ve read hundreds of books and found the ones that I enjoy the most have the most intriguing heroes who fall hard for the heroine. 

Delaney's book list on swoon-worthy heroes in romance

Delaney Diamond Why did Delaney love this book?

This book was my first Beverly Jenkins novel, and it made me fall in love with her historical romance novels. Before I read it, all the historicals I’d read were Regencies. I was thrilled to find a historical romance with black characters in the United States, which opened my eyes to a part of history I didn’t know much about.

But, the historical aspects were not the only thing that captured my attention. Galen, the Creole hero and free Black man who worked as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, is the reason I recommend this book. There is plenty of chemistry and sensuality between the couple, but his gentleness and love for Hester, a former slave, is unmatched. Galen is one of the best kinds of heroes, and Hester deserves all the love he showers her with. 

By Beverly Jenkins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Indigo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*** Now with new material -- Hester and Galen's favorite Mud Pie Recipe ***

As a child Hester Wyatt escaped slavery, but now the dark skinned beauty is a dedicated member of Michigan's Underground railroad, offering other runaways a chance at the freedom she has learned to love. When one of her fellow conductors brings her an injured man to hide, Hester doesn't hesitate…even after she is told about the price on his head.

The man in question is the great conductor known as the "Black Daniel" a vital member of the North's Underground railroad network. But Hester finds him…


Book cover of How to Die: An Ancient Guide to the End of Life

Scott Samuelson Author Of Rome as a Guide to the Good Life: A Philosophical Grand Tour

From my list on finding the meaning of life in Rome.

Why am I passionate about this?

After learning Latin in college and studying Italian philosophy in graduate school, I stumbled into Rome for the first time over a decade ago as faculty on a study-abroad trip. In two weeks, I learned more about history and life than I had in two decades of study. I’ve been lucky enough to go back every summer since, with the sad exception of the pandemic years. I adore Rome. It didn’t help that a few years ago, in the Basilica of San Clemente, I fell head over heels for a Renaissance art historian and tried her patience with poetry until she married me.

Scott's book list on finding the meaning of life in Rome

Scott Samuelson Why did Scott love this book?

All the easily-portable volumes in Princeton University Press’s “Ancient Wisdom for Modern Readers” can be read in the time it takes to drink two glasses of wine (along with this book, one of my other favorites is How to Drink by the Renaissance humanist Vincent Obsopoeus).

For all their quarrels, ancient philosophers agree that the art of life is the preparation for death. Nobody expresses that wisdom with more panache than Seneca, a philosopher, financier, tutor to Nero, and playwright.

This selection from his works teaches us how to face the death and destruction that we see everywhere in Rome—and everywhere else too.

I turn to Seneca’s essays and letters for a good reminder to live with a minimum of regret and resentment.

By Seneca, James S. Romm (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Die as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Timeless wisdom on death and dying from the celebrated Stoic philosopher Seneca

"It takes an entire lifetime to learn how to die," wrote the Roman Stoic philosopher Seneca (c. 4 BC-65 AD). He counseled readers to "study death always," and took his own advice, returning to the subject again and again in all his writings, yet he never treated it in a complete work. How to Die gathers in one volume, for the first time, Seneca's remarkable meditations on death and dying. Edited and translated by James S. Romm, How to Die reveals a provocative thinker and dazzling writer who…


Book cover of A Companion to Marcus Aurelius

John Sellars Author Of Marcus Aurelius

From my list on Marcus Aurelius and his desire to live a good life.

Why am I passionate about this?

John Sellars is a Reader in Philosophy at Royal Holloway, University of London, and the author of multiple books on Stoicism. He is also a founding member of Modern Stoicism and The Aurelius Foundation, both non-profit companies devoted to bringing Stoicism to a wider audience and showing how it can benefit people today.

John's book list on Marcus Aurelius and his desire to live a good life

John Sellars Why did John love this book?

This is a large and expensive academic book containing over thirty chapters by different authors (disclaimer: two of them are by me).

It’s perhaps not the sort of thing that a typical general reader is likely to buy. But taken together, these chapters constitute the fullest discussion of Marcus Aurelius available in English, and most questions that people are likely to have about Marcus or his philosophy are probably answered somewhere in its five hundred-plus pages.

By Marcel van Ackeren,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Companion to Marcus Aurelius as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Companion to Marcus Aurelius presents the first comprehensive collection of essays to explore all essential facets relating to contemporary Marcus Aurelius studies. First collection of its kind to commission new state-of-the-art scholarship on Marcus Aurelius Features readings that cover all aspects of Marcus Aurelius, including source material, biographical information, and writings Contributions from an international cast of top Aurelius scholars Addresses evolving aspects of the reception of the Meditations


5 book lists we think you will like!

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