Galen: The Birth of Experimentation
Galen, born in the ancient Greek city of Pergamon, was most attracted to a medicine based on anatomy and physiology. Galen traveled to Smyrna, Corinth, and other Greek centers of learning in an effort to increase his knowledge of medicine, the life sciences, and philosophy. While in Rome, Galen was believed to have written between five and six hundred treatises on science, medicine, and philosophy. Medicine in Galen's hands had risen to become applied science, a trade rooted in dissection, observation, and experimentation. This chapter looks at Galen's dissections, vivisections, and experimentation with animals to study the brain, his belief that the brain is the true organ of mind, his work on cranial nerves, his association of internal diseases with specific organs, his use of a medicine called theriac, and his legacy in the field of medicine.
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