Galen for the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. He

was a Greek physician and the best physician in the Roman Empire. As a young
boy, he studied geometry, philosophy, logic, and literature. At the age of
sixteen, Galen began to study philosophy, but his father received a message
from Asclepius, the god of medicine, Galen should learn the art of medicine
instead. After that his main focus was medicine, but he thought an excellent
physician would combine the art of medicine and philosophy.

            Galen studied many kinds of
doctrines for twelve years in different parts of the Mediterranean before returning
to his hometown of Pergamon to become the head physician to the gladiators. He
wrote many of his books during his time with the gladiators. He saw the
gladiators as “windows” for his research. This is when he learned how to cure
wounds, practice hygiene, and much about the how body parts function. It is
also when he discovered that having a good diet would increase someone’s health.
He decreased the death toll of the gladiators which made the high Priest
respect him.

            He went to Rome at the age of
thirty-three. He did not stay long because he did not agree with the Roman
physicians. He thought they just wanted the money and had no actual interest in
healing. When he was forty, he went back to Rome to be the physician for the
Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. He even went to wars with Aurelius. Aurelius said
Galen was “first among doctors and unique among philosophers.” Galen spent the
rest of his years as a physician to the Roman emperors.

            Galen wrote many books in his life
time and about 20,000 pages of his research remain. He wrote many books
paralleling his findings to other earlier physicians’ findings like Hippocrates
and Praxagoras. When he mentioned the earlier physicians’ workers he always gave
them credit. Although he had many successes such as extraction of carats from the
eyes, recognition of seven of the twelve cranial nerves, examination by pulse
and urine, etc.; however, he also had some unsuccessful discoveries. These are
mostly due to having to dissect on pigs and primates to do research because
Rome made it illegal to dissect the human body. Galen’s discoveries prevailed
over Europe over 1,500 years after his death.

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