GALENUS Claudius - Asia - 129 - 201

GALENUS Claudius Galen was born in Pergamum in Asia Minor. A philosopher and physician at the court of Marcus Aurelius, a follower of Hippocrates and Aristotle, he is one of the most famous physicians of all antiquity. For his knowledge of anatomy, chemistry and philosophy, he remained an indisputable authority for more than a thousand years.

Main work: Epitome Galeni pergamensi ...Apud Mich.Isigrinum, Basilea, 1551.

Botanical interests: This compendium of the vast work of Galen was edited by the scholar Andrea Laguna who demonstrates his own profound knowledge of medicinals, of their "virtues" and of their mixtures, which became known as Galenic preparations. Galen diffuses knowledge of various medicinals such as theriac, a drug composed of numerous substances of plant and animal origins mixed together. It is a cure for all ailments and a potent antidote against all poisons especially that of vipers. To test this curative formula, experiments were performed on men condemned to death, who were purposely made ill or subjected to snake bites. The Author also writes on the "temperaments," "natural faculties," antidotes, secrets and properties of plants.