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Lecture 20

Galen - Lecture 20.doc

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Classical Studies
Classical Studies 2900
Beate Gundert

Galen • Dreams have an importance, the Gods might appear and tell you what you should do. • In this dream, Asklepios told his father Galen should study medicine when Galen was 17. • Galen started his medical education at 17. Studied in Smyrna and got his medical education in Alexandria - could study anatomy best here and still conditions of H and E but you did not dissect humans. • He became a surgeon to Gladiators - people who fought in public performances. • His duty was to keep the gladiators healthy and alive. • He went to Rome - now Rome was the place to be for an aspiring physician who wanted to become famous. • In Rome in order to gain a clientele he became to do public performances. • He got connections in the government and eventually was admitted into the house- hold of the emperor. • He was called back to Rome by the emperor and eventually in the year 174 he be- came the court physician to Marcus Aurelius. • He was influenced by stoic philosophy and wrote a book. He wrote this in Greek - educated person. Galen probably spoke mainly Greek in Rome because in that society people were bilingual in that stature. • 400 works, 200 survived. • Works that did survive cover about 2 bookshelves. • Survive in translations that were made into Latin or into Arabic. Wrote on all sub- jects of medicine. Wrote on hygiene, pharmacology….etc. • He wrote books on philosophical topics. He wrote books on language and books on terminology and about psychotherapy. • He combined different ideas from different medical directions. His three basic influ- ences are with Hippocratic Medicine. • Aristotle with his idea of teleology; organ is organized best way possible to fulfill purpose. • Anatomy; H and E. • Influenced by Empiricists. He believes that you should start with your own observa- tion and try out different things and see what works best. • Don't start from theory. However, in phys and path he's highly theoretical. He looks at symptoms and asks questions about what this signifies and what is going on inside the body. Passage #253, Page 146 • This is a case history which are usually meant to show the physician at his best and show how clever he is and what a good diagnostician he is and that he can often diagnose patients just by looking at them. This isn't the case here but is some other cases with Galen. • Galen stayed home to look after the emperor's son. He is obviously confident in his own skill. • The physicians that were with him thought that he had an attack of a fever and it was intermittent that it was characterized by attack and then by remissions or that it had an attack every third day (characteristic of malaria). • Galen says this isn't true because on the third day there was no attack on the third day. • We see he had taken certain medications like an astringent taken in stomach disor- ders he also took an antidote. We can see that emperors were accustomed to take antidotes for protection and general ailments. The emperor is suffering from some stomach disorder. He asked the emperor what they had taken on this day. • Conducted a medical interview. • Gave him gruel which is what you do when someone is sick. • Galen gives us the impression of being very modest. Other physicians know what your normal pulse is like and understand the deviations from the normal. • He believes that he can come up with a better diagnosis than his physicians after he takes his pulse. He has a thorough knowledge of the pulse and different rhythms and treatment of the pulse. He thinks this is an overfilled stomach. He compares the pulse to each age and constitution. The emperor according to Galen had eaten too much food and coction could not take place and could not be completed and this could overpowered the food of the stomach and it was turned into phlegm since it already had phlegmatic ingredients it could not be di- gested properly. • Galen managed to establish some rapoire with his patient. • Everyone else with that condition. • Galen for normal patients would describe wine with pepper that are warming sub- stances. Peppers is a warming and drying medication. • Galen had exactly the right treatment. The emperor also used the recommendation of Galen. He calls for a dry white wine that is supposed to be good for stomach disorders. He tells us that pepper is a warming and drying medication. • We have one doctor, very enlightened gentleman. Translates as free or literal. This is something that pleases Galen very much because he said he had a philosophi- cal attitude. • Galen strives to be an enlightened physician that wants to find out the truth and was not interested in money or reputation. Passage #25
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