display | more...
The greatest writer on medicine of the Roman period, and the personal physician to his friend Marcus Aurelius and subsequent emperors. Claudius Galenus was a Greek, born about 130 at Pergamum in Mysia, and he studied medicine at Smyrna, Corinth, and Alexandria. He died around 200, perhaps in Sicily.

Eighty-three of his treatises still exist, plus fifteen commentaries on Hippocrates. He also wrote on many other subjects, such as philosophy, grammar, and comedy; most of these are lost.

He was the first to use the pulse for diagnosis.

Galen has probably been the most enduring figure in the history of medicine, and yet he made many mistakes.

Born in Perganum in AD129, he was a very ambitious doctor, and used flashy showmanship to spread his ideas. He also wrote over 100 medical texts. These survived the fall of the Roman Empire because they were assimilated into Arabic culture, and eventually travelled back west into Europe via Avicenna's Canon of Medicine. Because his books didn't stress the polytheistic side of Roman culture, they did not offend the monotheistic Christians. Galen's books were accepted as religious doctrine by the Church, and arguing with them was a very dangerous thing to do.

Galen originally worked in an Asclepion and later a Gladiator school, where he got to see inside some very interesting wounds. He then increased his knowledge of anatomy by dissecting animals - at this point, human dissection was out of the question for religious reasons. This is why, despite his genius, Galen made mistakes. He described the rete mirabilis of an animal and thought it would also be found in humans, and described how the blood passed through the septum in the heart. This would later be disproved by Ibn al-Nafis.

Galen supported Hippocrates on the four humours and ethics, as well as the practice of clinical observation. He believed in treatment by opposites.

Galen is also a character from Babylon 5 and Crusade.

He is a human technomage and former apprentice of Elric, also a technomage. Becuase of him, the Shadows attempt to exterminate the technomages. However, because of him, the Vorlons do not completely obliterate the technomages in the events leading up to the War of the Shadows. Galen is also a very serious person, who is very unforgiving of others, like God.

Even so, through the course of his actions, he plays a very important role in helping the alliance against the Shadows. For more details on Galen, his love Isabelle, his mentor Elric, or anything related to the Technomages, please refer to the excellent Babylon 5 Novels trilogy dealing with the subject.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.