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Claudius Galenus of Pergamum (c. 130 – c. 200), better known as Galen, was a Greek physician and a writer on medicine and philosophy. His theories dominated European medicine for well over a millennium.


  • Much music marreth men's manners.
    • As quoted in Garnett, Vallée, Brandl, The Universal Anthology, Vol 12 (1809), p. 192
  • The best physician is also a philosopher.
    • Title of a treatise; cited from Judith Perkins The Suffering Self (London: Routledge, 1995) p. 154.
  • The fact is that those who are enslaved to their sects are not merely devoid of all sound knowledge, but they will not even stop to learn!
    • On the Natural Faculties, Bk. 1, sect. 13; cited from Arthur John Brock (trans.) On the Natural Faculties (London: Heinemann, 1963) p. 57.
  • That which is, grows, while that which is not, becomes.
    • On the Natural Faculties, Bk. 2, sect. 3; cited from Arthur John Brock (trans.) On the Natural Faculties (London: Heinemann, 1963) p. 139.
  • He who has two cakes of bread, let him dispose of one of them for some flowers of the narcissus; for bread is the food of the body, and the narcissus is the food of the soul.
    • Arabian Society In The Middle Ages, by Edward William Lane, citing Nowwájee, En-, Shems-ed-deen Moḥammad (died 1454), Ḥalbet El-Kumeyt, at footnote 167.

Quotes about Galen[edit]

  • Galen himself, who was not unacquainted with Moses's writings, and with christianity, fancy'd the earth had a certain soul or mind imparted to it by the superior bodies.
    • Robert Boyle, "A Free Inquiry into the Vulgar Notion of Nature," in The Philosophical Works of the Honourable Robert Boyle (1725) Vol.2
  • Galen, in the third section of his book, "The Use of the Limbs," says correctly that it would be in vain to expect to see living beings formed of the blood of menstruous women and the semen virile, who will not die, will never feel pain, or will move perpetually, or shine like the sun. This dictum of Galen is part of the following more general proposition:—Whatever is formed of matter receives the most perfect form possible in that species of matter; in each individual case the defects are in accordance with that individual matter.

External links[edit]

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