Biography of Galen

Galen Claudius is a famous philosopher and doctor of antiquity who made a great contribution to the science of the human body. His merit consists in the development of anatomy and physiology, the promotion of innovative medical theories that were used in Europe more than a thousand years after his death.

Galen was born in Pergamum in about 130 in the family of a rich architect. Galen’s father, Nikon, was a fully developed person, interested in philosophy, literature, mathematics, astronomy and many other fields of knowledge. From his youth, Nikon gave Galen to study philosophy. He dreamed that his son would become a politician or philosopher. One day, Nikon dreamed a dream in which he gave his son to study medicine. After that, Galen was sent for 4 years to Asklepion. In this way, philosophy fell into the background, and Galen devoted himself to the study of medicine.

After the death of his father, Galen traveled to various countries, as well as the cities and islands of ancient Greece. After gaining knowledge and new medical traditions, he returned to Pergamum in 157. There he worked as a doctor of gladiators of one influential high priest. He achieved certain successes in this place: he paid much attention to the injuries of the gladiators, as a result of which the number of their deaths decreased. Four years later, Galen... moved to Rome, where he continued his medical practice. Accompanied the emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Vera during the epidemic during the campaigns to Germany.

Upon his return to Rome, Galen was the personal physician of the Imperial successor of Commodus. At the court he wrote many works on medicine. He studied data on the epidemic that hit the Roman Empire and claimed more than 3.5 million lives in a couple of years. He defined the symptoms of the disease, described the methods of its treatment. The plague, called the Antonino plague, and also by the name of the doctor – Galen’s plague, was caused by a smallpox virus. This epidemic became the largest in Ancient Rome in scale and took an important place in the history of medicine.

Galen is the author of numerous works in the field of medicine and philosophy. Up to our time, only about 100 of them have reached. He created a theory of blood circulation, described about three hundred human muscles, determined the role of nerves in the human body, was the founder of pharmacology. Galen was considered an influential and authoritative physician of antiquity until the end of the Middle Ages.

Among scientists, there is no consensus on the date of death of the great doctor. According to various sources, Galen died at the age of 70 or 87 in Rome.

Biography of Galen