(ca. 130 – 200 AD)

This is the most capable physician of ancient Europe. His medical theories not only surpassed those of Hippocrates; they went on to dominate European school of thought for more than a millennium. Galen researched mostly on anatomy, physiology, pathology and pharmacology. His successes influenced several scholars into studying and advancing medical science. His extensive publications on anatomy (which used primates and swine as sample-specimens) remained in vogue for more than 1000 years: until Andreas Vesalius revolutionized anatomy with human specimens. It is generally assumed that the reason why his anatomical works never included the dissection of humans was because the Roman laws of those days forbade the dissection of human cadavers. Galen also ventured into other scientific areas of study: as embodied in the “Natural Philosophy” of his era. In terms of clinical expertise and accomplishments, he is acknowledged as the foremost doctor of the ancient Europe. And as depicted by his surviving publications, some of his philosophical works improved upon the ideas of Plato and Aristotle. He was so successful and appreciated that Marcus Aurelius of Rome, Athenaeus of Naucratis and Alexander of Aphrodisias all considered him to be not just the first among physicians, but the most outstanding philosopher of his era.


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