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Galen was NOT Roman

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38677.  Mon Dec 12, 2005 7:57 am Reply with quote

It was suggested in the episode shown on BBC2 on Friday, 9th December that the ancient physician Galen was Roman. This is not true. Although Galen lived during the times of the Roman empire and worked in Rome for a while, he was in fact Greek.

38697.  Mon Dec 12, 2005 8:57 am Reply with quote

Good quibble, tricky. Here's the quote:

it was Galen, the Roman physician, ‘father of medicine’ many called him, who observed that the coccyx is much the shape of a cuckoo’s beak

He was indeed Greek, although the place where he was born is in modern-day Turkey. He practised in Rome, as you say, so perhaps it isn't exactly wrong to describe him as a Roman physician, but it isn't exactly right either.

Either way, well quibbled.

Frederick The Monk
38731.  Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:50 am Reply with quote

Galen was born in Pergamum in 131 AD. Pergamum had been an independent country but when Attalus III died without an heir in 133 BC he bequeathed the country to Rome, in order to prevent a civil war. As such during Galen's life it was very much a part of the Roman empire.

Galen himself originally trained in his home city but them probably moved to Alexandria (where human dissection was still not taboo) before becoming court physician to the emperor Marcus Aurelius and moving to Rome in 162. He did mainly speak and write in Greek but as a Roman citizen, born in a Roman province and living in Rome I think it's fair to call him a Roman.

38769.  Mon Dec 12, 2005 2:06 pm Reply with quote

I understood that high class Roman citizens thought of doctoring as being a kind of manual labour, and thus beneath them - hence the hiring of talented Greeks to do the work.

Frederick The Monk
38859.  Mon Dec 12, 2005 6:18 pm Reply with quote

They did, partly at least because of the terrible record of many 'doctors' - hence Martial's famous epigram:

“Until recently, Diaulus was a doctor; now he is an undertaker. He is still doing as an undertaker, what he used to do as a doctor.”
Martial – Epigrams Book I. 47

Galen, who was certainly not a modest man, spent a lot of time in Rome openly challenging the court doctors and, wherever possible holding them up to ridicule. This made a point but didn't make him very popular.

38885.  Mon Dec 12, 2005 7:34 pm Reply with quote

Those asses never did understand the value of bloodletting. Thank God Galen was able to put them right.

38910.  Mon Dec 12, 2005 8:25 pm Reply with quote

The judgement of the Elf-Thing, sitting in plenary session is:

Quibble Denied

Well, staved off, Bo'sun!

Frederick The Monk
38949.  Tue Dec 13, 2005 5:51 am Reply with quote

Always a pleasure to defend Elfdom.

38999.  Tue Dec 13, 2005 9:03 am Reply with quote

Galen was, as everybody knows, Mimbari.

39184.  Tue Dec 13, 2005 5:49 pm Reply with quote

Just thought I'd mention, in a QI sort of way, that Luke the Gospel writer was a Greek doctor.

41001.  Tue Dec 20, 2005 8:28 pm Reply with quote

Galen a Minbari???
I think not.. he is a techno-mage

41008.  Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:14 pm Reply with quote

Oh blimey! Serves me right for not keeping up with the films. I could have sworn that Delenn was always banging on about Galen in the series and just assumed that he was Minbari. What was the name of the guy whose soul was found in a human and caused the Minbari to stop the war preventing the destruction of the earth (just in the nick of time)? I thought that was ‘Galen’. Or ‘a’ Galen maybe?

Don’t you just love these ‘specific’ questions?

Gideon: I thought you said you never hold a grudge.
Galen: Well, I don't. I have no surviving enemies... at all.

LOL, that sounds like a familiar sentiment from RPGers.

41036.  Wed Dec 21, 2005 5:13 am Reply with quote

Celebaelin wrote:
Galen was, as everybody knows, Mimbari.

You're thinking of Valen, the name that Jeffrey Sinclair took when he went back in time in Babylon 4.

41039.  Wed Dec 21, 2005 5:32 am Reply with quote



41370.  Thu Dec 22, 2005 8:46 am Reply with quote

Nice to encounter other B5 fans....


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