This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.
Galen, the most prolific medical author in antiquity, has until recently been virtually inaccessible to the English-reading public. Perhaps this reflects an earlier historiography that cast Galen in the role of an unattractive villain responsible for more than a millennium and a half of stagnation and lack of medical progress.
Some recent publications dealing with Galen and his ideas have presented the works of the ancient writer in the context of contemporary medical concerns, as if the prestige of modern medicine was necessary to make Galen's accomplishments seem more "relevant." Thus, Professor Temkin's latest book is especially welcome as a scholarly depiction of Galen's medical philosophy without those "presentist" distortions.
The author has adapted the four Messenger Lectures delivered at Cornell University in the fall of 1970 that were concerned with the origins and subsequent fate of Galen's medicophilosophical system. "Galenism" is defined as a coherent set of "principles, doctrines,
Risse GB. Galenism: Rise and Decline of a Medical Philosophy. JAMA. 1974;228(1):103. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230260073042
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.