Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Roman physician and medical theorist Galen. The most celebrated doctor in the ancient world, Galen was Greek by birth but spent most of his career in Rome, where he was personal physician to three Emperors. He was one of the most prolific authors of his age, and a sixth of all surviving ancient literature in Greek was written by him. Celebrated in his own lifetime, he was regarded as the preeminent medical authority for centuries after his death, both in the Arab world and in medieval Europe. It was only the discoveries of Renaissance science which removed Galen from his dominant position in the pantheon of medicine.

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  • Vivian Nutton 5 episodes
    Emeritus Professor of the History of Medicine at University College London
  • Helen King 2 episodes
    Professor of Classical Studies at the Open University
  • Caroline Petit No other episodes
    Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in Classics at the University of Warwick

Reading list

  • On the Method of Healing
    Galen (trans. I. Johnston and G. H. R. Horsley) (Loeb Classical Library, 2011)
  • Selected Works
    Galen (trans. P. N. Singer) (Oxford Classics, 1997) Google Books →
  • On Prognosis
    Galen (trans. V. Nutton) (Akademie-Verlag, 2013) Google Books →
  • Cambridge Companion to Galen
    R. J. Hankinson (Cambridge University Press, 2008) Google Books →
  • Galen and the Rhetoric of Healing
    S. Mattern (Baltimore, 2008) Google Books →
  • The Prince of Medicine: Galen in the Roman Empire
    S. Mattern (Oxford University Press, 2013) Google Books →
  • Ancient Medicine
    V. Nutton (Routledge, 2012) Google Books →
  • Galenism: Rise and Decline of a Medical Philosophy
    O. Temkin (Cornell University Press, 1973) Google Books →

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Auto-category: 610.92 (Biography of Galen)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In the middle years of the 2nd century AD, a young Greek man called Galen began to practice medicine as chief physician to the local troop of gladiators.