Galen (Greek: Γαληνός, Galēnos; Latin: Claudius Galenus, Aelius Galenus, Claudius Aelius Galenus, or Aelius Claudius Galenus 129-200 CE of Pergamon (Pergamum) was a prominent Roman physician and philosopher of Greek origin, and probably the most accomplished medical researcher of the Roman period, whose theories dominated Western medical science for well over a millennium.


Early life

Galen was born in the ancient Greek city of Pergamon (Pergamum or Pergamos), now Bergama in the region of Mysia on the Sea of Marmara, Asia Minor, now Turkey, which was part of the Roman Empire, on September 1, AD 129 (estimates vary from 125-131)

Controversies over name

His name, Γαληνός in Greek, meant quiet or peaceable. The abbreviation "Cl.", was first documented in texts from the Renaissance and may denote that Galen belonged to the Claudian gens. The contention that "Cl." is an abbreviation for the honourific Clarissimus is erroneous: Clarissimus (correctly, vir clarissimus or clarissimus vir) was a title reserved for the senatorial class, of which Galen was not a member; the usual abbreviation for it being V.C. or C.V. "Cl." invariably only appears as an abbrevation for the name Claudius. However, note that Galen's father, Aelius Nicon, belonged to the Aelian gens. This being so, it is likely that Nicon's son also bore the family name Aelius

Life in Pergamon

He describes his early life in "On the affections of the mind". Born in September 129, his father Aelius Nicon was a wealthy patrician, an architect and builder, with eclectic interests including philosophy, mathematics, logic, astronomy, agriculture and literature. Galen describes his father as a "highly amiable, just good and benevolent man". At that time Pergamon was a major cultural and intellectual centre, noted for its library (Eumenes II), second only to that in Alexandria

and attracted both Stoic and Platonic philosophers, to whom Galen was exposed at 14. His studies also took in each of the principle philosophical systems of the time, including Aristotelian and Epicurean. His father had planned a traditional career for Galen in philosophy or politics and took care to expose him to literary and philosophical influences. However Galen states that in around 144, his father had a dream in which the God Asclepius (Aesculapius) appeared and commanded Nicon to send his son to study medicine. Again, no expense was spared, and following his earlier liberal education, at 16 he began studies at the prestigious local sanctuary or Asclepieum dedicated to Asclepius, God of medicine, as a θεραπευτής (therapeutes, or attendant) for four years. There he came under the influence of men like Aeschrion, Stratonicus and Satyrus. Asclepiea functioned as spas or sanitoria to which came the sick to seek the ministrations of the priesthood. The temple at Pergamon was eagerly sought by Romans in search of a cure. It was also the haunt of notable people such as Claudius Charax the historian, Aelius Aristeides the orator, Polemo the sophist, and Cuspius Rufinus the Consul.

First voyage
In 148, when he was 19, his father died leaving him independently wealthy. He then followed the advice he found in Hippocrates' teaching and travelled and studied widely including Smyrna (now Izmir), Corinth, Crete, Cilicia (now Çukurova), Cyprus and finally the great medical school of Alexandria, exposing himself to the various schools of thought in medicine. In 157, aged 28, he returned to Pergamon as physician to the gladiators of the High Priest of Asia, one of the most influential and wealthiest men in Asia. Over the four years there he learnt the importance of diet, fitness, hygiene and preventive measures, as well as living anatomy, and the treatment of fractures and severe trauma, referring to their wounds as "windows into the body". Only five deaths occurred while he held the post, compared to sixty in his predecessor's time, generally ascribed to his attention to their wounds. At the same time he pursued studies in theoretical medicine and philosophy.


Galen provides accounts of his later life in Rome, in On Prognosis, and On his own Books. Στάσς (stasis, or political unrest) in Pergamon was probably the reason for Galen to leave Pergamon in 161, travelling in the Eastern Mediterranean studying the properties of minerals. His travels took him to Lemnos, Cyprus, and Palestinian Syria (now Israel), before reaching Rome in August 162, aged 33, in the second year of the reign of the joint Emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. As a Greek in Rome, he faced cultural challenges, stiff competition and professional jealousy.


One of his more famous patients was the peripatetic philosopher Eudemus, a friend of his father, and his former tutor. He recounts curing Eudemus of Quartan Fever in 162 (Praen 2:5) This proved fortuitous, since during this illness, Eudemus was visited by Flavius Boethus, a former Consul and later Governor of Palestine (166-8), Sergius Paulus, who became a Prefect, and Severus, uncle of the Emperor Lucius. They were Aristotelians and had heard of Galen's anatomical skills and were anxious to set up vivisection demonstrations, which they hoped would promote him (AA). Galen's skills in caring for Eudemus and his rigorous philosophical explanation of the pathology greatly enhanced his reputation in the upper circles of Rome. His bent for didactic teaching of his patients led him to seek those he could discourse with as a clientale. Word of how he gave Eudemus a prognosis earned disapproval from some Roman physicians such as Martianus (an Erasistratean), who compared it to divination. Providing a prognosis was not part of their tradition, unlike Galen and the Hippocratic school. Galen in turn criticised the Roman doctors for their relationship with rich patrons, ostentatious dress and belief that medicine could be learned quickly. Galen was fortunate in having the wise advice of Eudemus to guide him through the politics of Roman medicine and society, even warning him that he might be in danger of his life.


At first reluctantly, but then with increasing vigour, Galen promoted Hippocratic teaching including venesection, then unknown in Rome. This was sharply criticised by Erasistrateans, who predicted dire outcomes, believing that it was not blood but Pneuma that flowed in the veins. Galen however staunchly defended venesection in his three books on the subject, and in his demonstrations and public disputations.


Galen's fame rested on his anatomical demonstrations, success with influential patrons where others had failed, his learning and his rhetoric. His background and wealth and friendship with Eudemus, helped his advance in Roman society. However Galen was not reluctant to show his contempt for the learning and ethics of his contemporaries in Rome, and his ambitiousness created enemies.

This first Roman sojourn coincided with the Parthian Wars of the Emperor Lucius Verus (161-166). (Praen 14:647-9)

Pergamon interlude (166-168)

When he returned to Pergamon in August 166 he claimed he had departed due to professional jealousy, although the outbreak of the Antonine Plague which accompanied the return of Lucius Verus' army in that year may have contributed to this.

Return to Rome

He was recalled to Rome by the Emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus to serve in the German wars, a task he did not relish, preferring to stay in Rome with Marcus Aurelius' son, Commodus. Amongst his clients was the Consul Flavius Boethus, who had introduced him to the imperial court, where he became personal physician to Marcus Aurelius and his son Commodus, returning to Rome on the death of Verus in 169. He later also served as physician to the Emperor Septimius Severus. His own writings are rich with anecdotes illustrating the heights of his fame. Despite being a member of the court, Galen reputedly shunned Latin, preferring to speak and write in his native Greek, a tongue that was actually quite popular in Rome. Galen spent most of the rest of his life at the Roman imperial court, where he was given leave to write and experiment. The bulk of his output occurring during this period. For instance, On Prognosis was written in 177-8. He returned to Pergamon in the 190s.


Because of a reference in the 10th century Suda lexicon, the year of Galen's death has traditionally been placed at 199/ 200. However, since some scholars argue that textual evidence shows Galen writing as late as 207, they contend that he lived longer, the latest year proposed being 217, according to Arabic sources, derived from Alexander of Aphrodisias.


Galen's works covered a wide range of topics, from anatomy and physiology, and medicine to logic and philosophy, both summarising what was known and adding his own observations. His writings pay homage to, amongst others, Plato, Aristotle and the Stoics, but above all to Hippocrates, whom he refers to as "divine" (θειότατος Ίπποκράτης Nat Fac III: 13). Thus much of his explanation of pathology relies on Hippocrates' humoral theories.

He proceeded by observation, deductive reasoning and experimentation, such as his demonstration of the effect of ligating the ureters (Nat Fac I: 13), and the functions of the spinal cord. His medical practice drew on the biological theory and anatomical observations from Aristotle to the Alexandrians in addition to his own research. His therapeutics led him to travel widely gathering elements and plants. However his reasoning led him astray as much as it did to truth, such as his rejection of the role of the stomach wall in digestion (Nat Fac III: 4) and his concepts of specific attraction.

Galen's approach to colleagues and the state of knowledge was very forthright. He despised what he referred to as partisanship (Nat Fac I: 13), and was impatient with those with whom he disagreed, such as the Erasistrateans and Asclepiadeans. (Nat Fac I: 17) Another target of his scorn were the Methodists, abhorring their consideration of pathology in a vacuum, treating the disease not the patient, whereas he taught that vital processes in an organism had to be interpreted in relation to its environment. Other disputes were with the Atomists , and the Anatomists, arguing that the whole is far greater than the sum of the parts. His own personal credo was based on three branches of philosophy; logic, physics and ethics. (Opt Med) He wrote in a highly polished precise Attic style, using many words (such as haematopoietic) that have passed down to us in modern medical terminology, albeit with altered meaning.

Galen developed an interest in anatomy from his studies of Herophilus and Erasistratus, who had dissected the human body and even living bodies (vivisection). Although Galen studied the human body, dissection of human corpses was against Roman law, so instead he used pigs, apes, and other animals. He performed vivisections of numerous animals (e.g. Nat Fac III: 8) to study the function of the kidneys and the spinal cord. His favorite animal subject was the Barbary Macaque. The legal limitations forced on him led to quite a number of mistaken ideas about the body. For instance, he thought a group of blood vessels near the back of the brain, the rete mirabile, was common in humans, although it actually is absent in humans.

Galen performed many audacious operations — including brain and eye surgeries — that were not tried again for almost two millennia. To perform cataract surgery, he would insert a long needle-like instrument into the eye behind the lens, then pull the instrument back slightly to remove the cataract. The slightest slip could have caused permanent blindness.

Galen identified veins (dark red) and arterial (brighter and thinner) blood, each with distinct and separate functions. Venous blood was thought to originate in the liver and arterial blood in the heart; the blood flowed from those organs to all parts of the body where it was consumed.

Published works

Galen produced more work than any author in antiquity,

and may have possibly written up to 600 treatises, although less than a third of his works have survived. His surviving work runs to around 3 million words. Carolus Kühn of Leipzig translated 122 of Galen's writings (1821-1833) and his edition, which is the most complete although flawed, consists of the Greek text, with Latin translations, and runs to 22 volumes, 676 index pages, and is over 20,000 pages in length. More modern projects like like the Corpus Medicorum Graecorum have still to match the Kühn edition. The most recent project is the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae started in 1972. Another useful modern source is the French Bibliothèque interuniversitaire de médicine (BIUM).

It has been reported that Galen employed 20 scribes to write down his words. In 191, a fire in the Temple of Peace destroyed many of his works, particularly treatises on philosophy. Others were lost in the destruction of the Library at Alexandria and in the general chaos associated with the collapse of the Roman Empire. The Arabs captured and preserved some ancient medical texts during the expansion and Golden Age of the Arab Empire - only those works exist today, and some still exist only in Arabic translation,

while others exist only in mediaeval Latin translations of the Arabic. In some cases scholars have even attempted to translate back into Greek where the original is lost.

So great was Galen's output in both quantity and authority that no single authoritative collection of his work exists, and controversy still exists as to the authenticity of a number of attributed works. The surviving Greek texts represent half of all the original Greek literature we have today. For some of the ancient sources, such as Herophilus, Galen's account of their work is all that survives. Even in his own time, forgeries and unscrupulous editions of his work were a problem, prompting him to write On his Own Books. Over the years many different titles have appeared for the same treatises. Sources are often in obscure and difficult to access journals or repositories. Forgeries in Latin, Arabic or Greek continued till the Renaissance. Consequently research on Galen's work is fraught with hazard. Although written in Greek, by convention the works are referred to by Latin titles, and often by merely abbreviations of those.

Various attempts have been made to classify Galen's vast output. For instance Coxe (1846) lists a Prolegomena, or introductory books, followed by 7 classes of treatise embracing Physiology (28 vols.), Hygiene (12), Aetiology (19), Semeiotics (14), Pharmacy (10), Blood letting (4) and Therapeutics (17), in addition to 4 of aphorisms, and spurious works.


In his time, Galen's reputation as both physician and philosopher was legendary, the Emperor Marcus Aurelius describing him as "Primum sane medicorum esse, philosophorum autem solum" (first among doctors and unique among philosophers Praen 14: 660). Other contemporary authors in the Greek world confirm this including Theodotus the Shoemaker, Athenaeus and Alexander of Aphrodisias. The 7th century poet George of Pisida going so far as to refer to Christ as a second and neglected Galen. Galen continued to exert an important influence over the theory and practice of medicine until the mid seventeenth century in the Byzantine and Arabic worlds and Europe. Hippocrates and Galen form important landmarks of 600 years of Greek medicine. AJ Brock describes them as representing the foundation and apex respectively. A few centuries after Galen Palladius Iatrosophista in his commentary on Hippocrates, stated that Hippocrates sowed and Galen reaped. Thus Galen summarised and synthesised the work of his predecessors, and it is in Galen's words (Galenism) that Greek medicine was handed down to subsequent generations, such that Galenism became the the means by which Greek medicine was known to the world. Frequently this was in the form of restating and reinterpreting, such as in Magnus of Nisibis' fourth century work on urine, which was in turn translated into Arabic. Yet the full importance of his contributions was not appreciated till long after his death. Galen's rhetoric and prolificity were so powerful as to convey the impression that there was little left to learn. The term Galenism has subsequently taken on both a positive and pejorative meaning as one that transformed medicine in late antiquity yet so dominated subsequent thinking as to stifle further progress.

Galenism in history

The era following Galen's death, and the gradual dissolution of the Roman and then Byzantine Empire was one of continual political turmoil during which scientific study held a low priority. Many commentators of the subsequent centuries such as Oribasius, physician to the emperor Julian who compiled a Synopsis in the 4th Century preserved and disseminated Galen's works, making Galenism more accessible. Nutton refers to these authors as the "medical refrigerators of antiquity". In late antiquity medical writing veered increasingly in the direction of the theoretical at the expense of the practical. Many authors merely debating Galenism. Magnus of Nisibis was a pure theorist, as was John of Alexandria and Agnellus of Ravenna with their lectures on Galen's De Sectis. So strong was Galenism that other authors such as Hippocrates began to be seen through a Galenic lens, while his opponents became marginalised and other medical sects such as Asclepiadism slowly disappeared.

Greek medicine was part of Greek culture and as such spread West into Asia through Syria and Persia, largely by the Nestorians. There it came into contact with the Islamic world which assimilated it.


Islamic culture placed great emphasis on the teachings of Aristotle and Galen, which they systematised and commented on. Hunayn ibn Ishaq translated (c.830-870) 129 of Galen's works into Arabic. Galen's insistence on a rational systematic approach to medicine set the template for Islamic medicine, which rapidly spread throughout the Arab Empire. Arabic sources, such as Rhazes (Muhammad ibn Zakarīya Rāzi 865-925 AD), continue to be the source of discovery of new or relatively inaccessible Galenic writings. As the title, Doubts on Galen by Rhazes implies, as well as the writings of physicians such as Ibn Zuhr (Avenzoar) and Ibn al-Nafis, the works of Galen were not taken on unquestioningly, but as a challengeable basis for further enquiry.

A strong emphasis on experimentation and empiricism led to new results and new observations, which were contrasted and combined with those of Galen by writers such as Razi, Ali ibn Abbas al-Majusi (Haly Abbas), Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi (Abulasis), Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Ibn Zuhr and Ibn al-Nafis. For example, the experiments carried out by Rāzi and Ibn Zuhr contradicted the Galenic theory of humorism, while Ibn al-Nafis' discovery of the pulmonary circulation contradicted the Galenic theory on the heart.

Reintroduction to Mediaeval Western culture

From the 11th century onwards, Latin translations of Islamic medical texts began to appear in the West, alongside the Salerno school of thought, and was soon incorporated into teaching at the universities of Naples and Montpellier. Galenism now took on a new unquestioned authority, galen even being referred to as the "Medical Pope of the Middle Ages". Constantine the African was amongst those who carried out translations of both Hippocrates and Galen. Galen's writings on anatomy became the mainstay of the medieval physician's university curriculum, alongside Ibn Sina's The Canon of Medicine which elaborated on Galen's works. Unlike pagan Rome, Christian Europe did not forbid the dissection and autopsy of the human body and such examinations were carried out regularly from at least the 14th century. However, Galen's influence, as in the Arab world, was so great that when dissections discovered anomalies in Galen's anatomy, the physicians often tried to fit these into the Galenic system. An example of this is Mondino de Liuzzi, who describes rudimentary blood circulation in his writings but still asserts that the left ventricle should contain air. Since some of Galen's writings were translated into Arabic, the Middle East knows and reveres him as "Jalinos".


The Renaissance and fall of the Byzantine Empire (1453) was accompanied by an influx of Greek scholars and texts to the West, allowing direct comparison between the Arabic commentaries and their Greek originals. This New Learning and the Humanist movement, particularly the work of Thomas Linacre, promoted litterae humaniores including Galen in the Latin scientific canon, De Naturalibus Facultatibus appearing in London in 1523. Debates on medical science now had two traditions, the more conservative Arabian and liberal Greek. The more extreme liberal movements, as exemplified by Paracelsus began to challenge the role of authority in medicine, symbolically burning the works of Avicenna and Galen at his medical school in Basle. Nevertheless Galen's pre-eminence amongst the great thinkers of the millenium is exemplified by a 16th century mural in the refrectory of the Great Lavra of Mt Athos. This depicts pagan sages at the foot of the Tree of Jesse, with Galen between the Sibyl and Aristotle.
Downfall of Galenism
Galenisms final defeat came from a combination of the negativism of Paracelsus and the constructivism of the Italian Renaissance anatomists, such as Vesalius in the 16th century. In the 1530s, Belgian anatomist and physician Andreas Vesalius took on a project to translate many of Galen's Greek texts into Latin. Vesalius' most famous work, De humani corporis fabrica, was greatly influenced by Galenic writing and form. Seeking to examine critically Galen's methods and outlook, Vesalius turned to human cadaver dissection as a means of verification. Galen's writings were frequently disproved by Vesalius, who demonstrated Galen's errors through books and hands-on demonstrations, despite fierce opposition from pro-Galenist orthodoxy, such as Jacobus Sylvius. The examinations of Vesalius also disproved medical theories of Aristotle and Mondino de Liuzzi. One of the most well known examples of Vesalius' overturning of Galenism was his demonstration that the interventricular septum of the heart was not permeable, as Galen had taught (Nat Fac III xv). Such challenges often came at a price, as Michael Servetus found, when he was burnt at the stake in 1593 for suggesting that the blood actually passed from the right heart to the left heart via the lungs, rather than the septum. The most convincing demonstration of Galen's weakness came from these demonstrations of the nature of the circulation and the subsequent work of Andrea Cesalpino, Fabricio of Acquapendente and William Harvey. Some Galenic teaching, such as his emphasis on bloodletting as a remedy for almost any ailment, however remained influential until well into the 1800s.

Contemporary scholarship
Galenic scholarship remains an intense and vibrant field, following renewed interest in his work, dating from the Altertumswissenschaft.


Selected bibliography

(with Latin Titles) and standardised bibliographical abbreviations: Liddell & Scott: Greek-English Lexicon see also Cambridge Companion to Galen: Appendices. Vol. and pp. notation according to Kühn edition). Ordered according to Coxe's taxonomy of 1846 (see References), which includes a summary of each work. Alternative names in (parentheses). Italicised citations from Galen's works refer to the Kühn edition.

Galen's own Bibliographies

  • On My (His) Own Books (Lib. Prop.)
  • On the Order of my Own Books (Ord. Lib. Prop.)

Introductory Treatises (Prolegomena, Εισαγωγη (Isagogici), Introductio)

2. The Best Doctor is also a Philosopher (A good physician must also be a philosopher) Si quis Optimus Medicus est, Eundum esses Philosophus (Opt. Med.)
3. Of verbal sophistry De Sophismatis in Verbo Contingentibus (Soph.)
5. Of the appropriate writings of Galen. De Libris Propriis (Galeni) (Lib. Prop.)
6. Of the order in which his writings are to be placed. De Ordine Librorum Suorum
7. Of different sects in medicine (On Sects) De Sectis
10. An exposition of the empiric sect De Subfiguratio(ne) Empirica (Subf. Empir.)
12. Of the art of medicine. De Constitutione Artis Medicae
16. Of the art of medicine. Ars Medicinalis

I: Physiology and Anatomy

1. The Elements De Elementis (Elem.)
2. Of temperaments (On Mixtures) De Temperamentis (Temp.)
3. Two commentaries of Galen on the books of Hippocrates, entitled, “Of the Nature of Man.” Galeni, in Librum Hippocratis, de Natura Humana (HNH)
4. Of the atrabilis, or black bile. De Atra Bile, Libellus (Atr. Bil.) (At. Bil.)
7. Of the bones (On Bones for Beginners) De Ossibus (Oss.)
11. Is blood naturally contained in the arteries? An in Arteriis (Natura) Sanguis Contineatur (An sanguis in arteriis natura contineatur) (Art. Sang.)
12. On Anatomical Procedures (Investigations) De Anatomicis Administrationibus (AA)
13. Of the dissection of the uterus (On the Anatomy of the Uterus) De Uteri Dissectione (Ut. Diss.)
15. Of the uses of the different parts of the human body (On the Usefulness/Utility of the Parts of the Body) De Usu Partium Corporis Humani (UP)
16. Of the utility of respiration De Usu (Utilitate) Respirationis
17. Of the causes of respiration De Causis Respirationis
18. Of the use of the pulse De Usu Pulsuum (Pulsuum Usu)
19. On the the subsistence of the Natural Faculties De Substantia Faculatatum Naturalium
20. Of the dogmas, or opinions of (On the Doctrines of) Hippocrates and Plato De Hippocratis et Platonis Decretis (Dogmatibus) (PHP) V
21. Of the natural faculties De Facultatibus Naturalibus (De Naturalibus Facultatibus) (Nat. Fac.) II
23. Of the motion (movement) of the thorax (chest) and lungs De Motu Thoracis et Pulmonis
24. That the qualities of the mind depend on the temperament of the body Quod Animi Mores Corporis Temperatura Sequantur
25. Of the foetal formation De Foetuum Formatione (Foet. Form.)
26. Of the semen (On Semen) De Semine

II: Hygiene

Of the faculties or powers of aliments (On the Powers of Foods) De Alimentorum Facultatibus (Alim. Fac.)
On Good and Bad Humours (Bon. Mal. Suc.)
On the Ptisan, or Barley-water De Ptisana
On the Preservation of Health De Sanitate Tuenda (San. Tu.)

III: Aetiology

1.4. Of (On) the Causes of Symptoms De Symptomatum Causis (Caus. Symp.)
8. Of plethora De Plenitudine (Plen.)
14. Of procatartic causes (On Antecedent Causes) De Causis Procatarcticis (CP)
15. Commentary On Hippocrates' 'Epidemics' In Hippocratis de Morbis Vulgaribus, Commentarii (Hipp. Epid.)

IV: Semeiotics

1. On the parts affected by disease (On Affected Parts) De Locis Affectis (Loc. Aff.)
2. A concise treatise on the pulse for students (On the Pulse for Beginners) De Pulsibus Libellus ad Tyrones (Puls.)
3. Of the difference of pulses De Differentiis Pulsuum (Diff. Puls.)
4. On the knowledge of the pulse De Dignoscendis Pulsibus (De Pulsuum Differentiis) (Dig. Puls.)
5. On the causes of the pulse De Causis Pulsuum (Caus. Puls.)
6. Of prediction from the pulse De Praesagitione ex Pulsibus (Praes. Puls.)
7. Synopsis of his sixteen books on the pulse Synopsis Librorum Suorum, Sexdecim, de Pulsibus (Syn. Puls.)
12. Commentaries on the prognostics of Hippocrates (On Hippocrates' 'Prognostic') In Prognostica Hippocratis Comment. (Hipp. Prog.)
13. On indication (Diagnosis) from Dreams De Dignotione ex Insomniis Libellus
14. On Prognosis De Praegnotione ad Epigenem (Praen.) V

V: Pharmacy

On the Powers (and Mixtures) of Simple remedies (Drugs) De Simp. Medicament. Facultatibus (SMT)
Of medicinal substitutes (On Substitute Drugs) De Substitutis Medicinis (Suc.)
Of the faculty or power of purgative remedies (On the Power of Cleansing Drugs) De Purgantium Medicamentorum Facultate (Purg. Med. Fac.)
Whom, with which, and at what time to purge (Whom to Purge, with what Cleansing Drugs and When) Quos Purgare Conveniat, Quibus Medicamentis, et Quo Tempore (Cath. Med. Purg.)
Of the theriaca (On Theriac to Piso) De Theriaca, ad Pisonem (Ther. Pis.)
On the use of the theriaca (On Theriac to Pamphilianus) De Usu Thericae, ad Pamphilianum
On Antidotes De Antidotis (Ant.)
Of the composition of local remedies De Compositione Medicamentorum Localium
On the Composition of Drugs (Medical Compounds) according to Places De Compositione Medicamentorum Secundum Locus (Comp. Med. (Sec.) Loc.)
Of the compounding of remedies in relation with their genera (On the Composition of Drugs according to Kind) De Compositione Medicamentorum per Genera (Comp. Med. per Gen.)
Of weights and measures De Ponderibus et Mensuris Libellus

VI: Instruments of Clinical Practice

Of venæsection in opposition to Erasistratus De Venæsectione, Adversus Erasistratum (Ven. Sect. Er.)
Of venæsection, (Bloodletting) in opposition to Erasistratus De Venae Sectione Adversus Erasistrateos Romae Degentes (Ven. Sect. Er. Rom.) XI:197-249
Of venæsection, in opposition to Erasistratus of Rome De Venasectione Adversus Erasistrataeos qui Romae Degebant

VII: Therapeutics

1. Of the method of curing diseases (On The Therapeutic Method) De Medendi Methodo, Seu de Morb. Curandis (De Methodo Medendi) (MM)
4. Of remedies of easy preparation (On Remedies Easy to Prepare) De Remediis Paratu Facilibus Libellus (Rem.)
12. Three commentaries on the Hippoc. treatise of the office of the physician. In Hippocratis de Officina Medici (In Hippocratem de Officina Medici)(Hipp. Off. Med.)

Additional works

Commentary on Hippocrates' Aphorisms In Aphorismos Hippoc. (In Hippocratis Aphorismos) (Hp. Aph. Com.) (Hipp. Aph.)


On the Power of Centaura De Virtute Centaureae


Other (not in Coxe taxonomy)

On Medical Experience De Experientia Medica (Med. Exp.)
On Language and Ambiguity (Fallacies due to language) De Captionibus penes Dictionem

On Containing Causes De Causis Contentivus (CC)
On Demonstration Dem.
On My (His) Own Opinions De Proprius Placitis (Prop. Plac.)
On Examinations by Which the Best Physicians Are Recognised
Exhortation to the Study of the Arts especially Medicine: To Menodotus
On Things said in Many Ways
Opportune Moments in Disease (Morb. Temp.)
On the affections of the mind
The Passions of the Soul De Propriorum Animi Cuiuslibet Affectuum Dignotione et Curatione (Aff. Dig.) V:40-1
On Moral Character (Mor.)
The Faculties of the Soul Follow the Mixture of the Body (QAM)
On Propositions Missed out in the Expression of Demonstrations
On Propositions With the Same Meaning
On Slander De calumnia in quo et de vita sua
On Sects for Beginners De Sectis Ingredientibus (SI)
Introduction to Logic Institutio Logica (Inst. Log.)

Adversus Julianum (Adv. Jul.)
De Optima Doctrina (Opt. Doct.)
De Animi Cuiuslibet Peccatorum Dignotione et Curatione (Pecc. Dig.)

Hippocratic commentaries

On the Elements according to Hippocrates (Hipp. Elem.)
On the Doctrines of Hippocrates and Plato De Placitis Hippocratis et Platonis (PHP) V
Commentary on Hippocrates' Aphorisms (Hp. Aph. Com.)
On Hippocrates' 'Epidemics' (Hipp. Epid.)
On Hippocrates' 'Prognostic' (Hipp. Prog.)
Commentary On Hippocrates' On the Nature of Man (HNH)


On Food and Diet. Grant M (trans.) Routledge 2000: 7 treatises
On the Humours
On Black Bile (Atr. Bil.)
On the Powers of Foods De alimentorum facultatibus (Alim. fac.)
On Uneven Bad Temperament (Inaeq. Int.)
On the Causes of Disease (Caus. Morb.)
On Barley


BIUM Online sources


On Galen

Galenic bibliography

  • Kotrc RF, Walters KR. A bibliography of the Galenic Corpus. A newly researched list and arrangement of the titles of the treatises extant in Greek, Latin, and Arabic. Trans Stud Coll Physicians Phila. 1979 Dec;1(4):256-304

On Ancient Medicine

On the History of Medicine

On Philosophy

On classical texts

On related topics

See also

External links


(Commentary on Hippocrates' On the Nature of Man; On the Natural Faculties; Exhortation to Study the Arts: To Menodotus; On Diagnosis from Dreams)



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