The Traditional Mediterranean: Essays from the Ancient to the Early Modern Era Edited by Jayoung Che and

Nicholas C. J. Pappas ISBN: 978-960-9549-21-9, 386 pages First published in 2011 by ATINER Price: Paperback: 50! (It includes Shipping and Handling) Electronic copy: 30! Table of Contents Introduction & Acknowledgements J. Che & N. C. J. Pappas PART I: Anatolian and Near Eastern Themes A Phenomenon in the Hittite Religion: Reaching God by Burning Light in the Hearth I. Tas 2. Sympoliteia and Ethnicity in Caria J. LaBuff 3. The Demise of Jewish Historiography in the Second Temple Period A. Avidov PART II: Hellenic Themes 4. Eleusis and Athens: The Fexibility of Political Structure and Regional Links in the Ancient Greek Polis J. Che 5. Solon as Prophet and Diviner: Was the Athenian Mediator and Archon of 594 BC Inspired by Mania? M. Dillon 6. The Rhetorical Purpose of the Preface (1.1-1.5) of Herodotus’ Histories V. Provencal PART III: Hellenistic Themes 7. Did Alexander the Great Voluntarily Curtail his Conquest of the East? E. Anson 8. The Funerary Reliefs of Byzantium as a Sign of Greek Culture M. Puddu 9. The Crisis of 48 !.C. in Egypt E. G. Mohamed PART IV: Greco-Roman Themes 10. Sixty and Older: Some Preliminary Observations on Old Age in the Greco-Roman World R.B. Kebric 11. Spear Won Prize: An Analysis of the Romanization of the Histories of Alexander the Great A. Milwicki 12. Marketing the “Liberal Arts” in an Age of Ambition: The Metamorphosis and Survival of Plato’s ‘Academy’ in the Last Generation of the Roman Republic D. Wick 13. The Anatomy of a 2nd Century Bath Reconstructing the 2nd Century Greco-Roman Bath at Isthmia, Greece W. J. Batson Jr. 14. Astronomy, Medicine, and Galen: The Beginnings of Empirical Science G. Cooper PART V: Roman Social and Political Themes 15. Alcohol, Sex, and Slavery in the Roman World J. Evans 16. ‘Sua Sponte Facere’ : The Problem of Legitimacy of the Unauthorized Contiones in Rome under the Republic R. M. Frolov 17. The Imperial Cult in the Roman Province of Thrace P. Andreeva Andreeva 18. Imperial Representation in the Western-Roman Empire K. Aladar PART VI: Islamic and Byzantine Themes 19. Daily Life and Districts of the Jews in Hijaz on the Advent of Islam F. Ahmadvand & A. A. Tafreshi 20. Evidence from Khalifa Ibn Khayyat on the Political Relations between the Umayyad Caliphate and Byzantium N. Gelovani 21. A Note on the Policy of the Abbasid Caliphs towards Non-Muslims H. Al-Haideri 22. What did the Ambassadors Really See? Literary and Historical Sources for a Comparative Approach of Arabic and Byzantine Technology C. Canavas PART VII: Medieval and Early Modern Themes 23. The Teaching on the Soul in Cassiodorus, Augustine and Macrobius in the Aspect of Intellectual History P. Petroff 24. Church and “Superstitions” in Italy at the End of the 15th Century: The Case of Bernardino Busti, Franciscan Observant F. Conti 25. The Maritime Vocation of a Mediterranean City: Messinese Dockyards in the Early Modern Age C. Gugliuzzo 26. Bernal Díaz del Castillo and Diego Suárez Montañés: Two Soldier-Chroniclers of The Spanish Empire Y. Mikura 27. Eyewitnesses to Revolution: Western Accounts of the Ottoman Military during the Early Modern Era E. Myers 28. Medical Therapeutic Texts during the Ottoman Rule of Greece S. Oberhelman PART VII: The Legacy of the Traditional Mediterranean in Later Eras 29. From Pandora’s Box to the Agora: The Problem of Thumos and the Female 1. 1

11 21 35

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Frantzi 31. Almeida 30. Urm! List of Contributors to this Volume 341 353 369 383 .R. Mihova 32 The Greek Perspective in the Context of the Mediterranean Spatial Organizations M. Making Sense of the Multilayered past: An Interactive Visual Interpretation of the Athenian Acropolis and the Parthenon J. Eros and the Sacred in the Mediterranean K.

“The Critical Days” and “The Crises”. Galen’s little studied treatises. Provo. and 3) the supposed effects of the lunar Abstract: Part of the “Greek miracle” of the birth of science was to realize the importance of scientific theory. provide rare examples of an ancient scientist working out a theory from empirical data. derived elegant methods to do this. in both Greek and Arabic. and Galen: The Beginnings of Empirical Science First Name: Glen Middle: M. especially Galen. of which the ancient Greeks were prolific generators. 84602 USA e-mail: glen_cooper@byu. Utah. and place his work in the context of the history of scientific theory-making. I discuss the details of Galen’s efforts. Medicine. In this paper. 2) the theoretical scheme of the Hippocratic critical days. Galen shows why some of the data don’t conform. Here. who were most familiar with complex data. the scientist had to show what to do when the data fail to conform to that theory. What required a longer period and much more effort to develop was how to deal with the far more complex entities of the sublunary world of change. . In this case the simple background theory was derived from: 1) the Stoic notion of cosmic harmony.Paper Title: Astronomy. how even a slight departure from proper treatment throws off the natural harmony. Astronomy provides a clear-cut example of the Platonic research program of “saving the appearances”: a quintessentially well-behaved data set. which had significant consequences for the subsequent development of science. My remarks are derived from extensive and close study of these texts. Family Name: Cooper Position and Affiliation: Assistant Professor of History at Brigham Young University. beginning with a simple background theory. and straightforward models to describe its behavior. Physicians.

IN: Hackett Publishing Company. their very exactness entailed that they were disconnected from empirical data. Indianapolis. pp. as it faced urgent cases of life and death. Galeni Opera Omnia. They dealt. Leipzig. As I shall argue. I shall contrast the approaches to data of astronomy on the one hand.c. Greek science went through centuries of debate as to the correct approach to science. Others. emphasizes the rational aspects of science. the Rationalists. and Richard Walzer. which are more stable than messy empirical data.C. The crux of the paradox is that astronomy. 769-941.Astronomy. G. His ideal of a theoretical empirical science is illustrated in his treatise The Critical Days in which he explains the natural causes behind the Hippocratic prognostic scheme that was used in patients with fevers. London. as part of his path-breaking rational approach to understanding our 1 2 Presented at ATINER Conference on History. two volumes): Glen M. 2008.). dealt in an intimate way with chaotic data.3 I shall proceed by giving a brief background to the paradox. 1985. I have studied this treatise extensively in Greek and Arabic. . Galen’s Critical Days in the Graeco-Arabic Tradition. downplayed or ignored empirical data entirely. with idealized situations: perfect spheres. 216) as its most accomplished representative. which today we recognize as essential for a proper scientific theory about the disorderly world we actually live in. Translated by Richard Walzer and Michael Frede. the Empiricists. and that the physician must only observe and respond to the immediate needs of the patient. Galen on Medical Experience: First Edition of the Arabic Version with English Translation and Notes. whether on the one hand wholly rational. basing his approach on other similar cases that he has seen in the past. 4 Galen. on the other. and Galen: The Beginnings of Empirical Science1 This paper addresses a paradox from the history of ancient Greek science. By writing the DD. with the 2nd Century Greek physician Galen (d. held that all theory is misleading. See Introduction to: Galen. or.4 Theoretical astronomy had its origin in the intellectual ferment that occurred in Fourth Century Athens. Galen. Medicine. etc. The Greek may be found in: C. Yet. through its complex mathematics. rather. and then spend the remainder of this paper on Galen’s scientific method. Three Treatises on the Nature of Science.2 This debate was motivated partly in response to the rise of skepticism as a school of thought. 1947. 9. however. (1825). Kühn. In this treatise Galen resolves a major schism in medical science among his predecessors: some. to eschew theory completely. and have prepared editions of each soon to appear in publication.347 B. Galen puts into practice his theoretical discussion and refutation of both schools of thought as found in the On Medical Experience. unchanging ethereal realities. 3 Arabic and Greek editions (forthcoming. Athens. The exact sciences of astronomy and mathematics are sometimes called the highest intellectual achievements of mankind. the honor of being the first truly empirical science should go to medicine. Ashgate. and thus less likely to reflect the actual world. Greece. Oxford: Oxford. however. Cooper. adhering strictly to the data of experience. December 30. vol. Medicine. The Athenian rationalist philosopher Plato (d. understood that scientific theory must combine empirical data (and lots of it) with a sound rational and theoretical approach. and medicine on the other.

Mars. So. the paradox is as follows. with the combined motion producing the motion of the planet. was the handbook for astrological interpretation. E. 28 (1978): 202-22. which comprises two volumes: he explicitly states that volume 1. Jupiter.D. The astrologer determined the position of each planet at a given moment and plotted it on this grid. 168 A.c. Astrology. and the project culminated in Ptolemy’s hugely influential Mathematike Syntaxis. The tables generated by using the Almagest were simple enough to prepare such tables. rather.4 The Almagest of the second Century Alexandrian Greek astronomer Ptolemy represents the climax of ancient Greek astronomy. geometrically beautiful.) each undertook the challenge. 485 A. since they confuse matters. the mechanisms that would “save the appearances” (!ῴ"#$% &ὰ '($%)µ#%(). in the eternal and unchanging basis for the phenomena in our world of change.” . 4 The Greek word planetes from which “planet” is derived. only the ability to add and subtract. The typical astrologer’s chart has twelve spaces around a circle. he states that astronomy is to be studied through geometry.c.c. R. and the best way is to ignore the actual stars. and Saturn.1 The solution of this problem led to one of the greatest scientific research programs of all time. includes several spheres rotating uniformly at different rates. however. and Ptolemy (d. Astronomical observation was used to derive a mathematical model. Refinements to Ptolemy’s system came about eventually in the 1 2 Cf. he urged his students to find the hidden factors that would account for these anomalous motions. as Eudoxus (d. One of the drawbacks of astronomy in this tradition was that it was the servant of astrology. whose motions are uniform and spherical. each space representing one of the Signs of the Zodiac. 347 B." Classical Quarterly n.). (better known as the Almagest).D. an astrologer would calculate the planetary positions without observation for any desired moment.C. is the calculating tool for preparing astrological charts. this is an infelicitous approach to science. and that Ptolemy’s models for the planets’ motions were used merely as calculating tools to derive tables that astrologers could use without ever needing to look at the skies. didn’t require observation. and plot them on a star chart.s. Hipparchus (d.2 Plato. The wandering planets appear to obey different laws from the fixed stars. By our way of thinking. Princeton. means “wanderer. 3 Republic 530b-c. 1998. and the model was then used to predict planetary positions at any future point in time. Ptolemy's Almagest. Lloyd. J.). Ptolemy. or in Proclus’s terms (d. Ptolemy himself characterizes his work in this way. and that volume 2. 120 B. Toomer. A typical model for one of the upper planets.C. Greek astronomers thus employed idealized geometrical figures and uniform motions as they tried to explain the apparent “wandering” of the planets from simple motions. G.3 Plato was interested. So. In a revealing passage from the Republic where he discusses astronomy as an excellent discipline to train the intellect. was not really interested in empirical data. NJ: Princeton University Press. "Saving the Appearances. gave his students at the Academy a challenging problem. or applied astronomy. the Tetrabiblos. Translated by G. This means that the original data was no longer needed. the Almagest.).

The modern approach to theory and data.2 Its most important feature is that Galen shows how the physician must return to the patient’s case. called a crisis (“judgment”). . The critical days seem to work as a prognostic tool. Newton and Their Contemporaries. E. "Numbers. but with uniform speed measured from another point.1 According to this approach. there must be an underlying pattern. the Hippocratic writings suggest that the critical days must be counted in terms of fractional days. However. such as the notorious equant point. or other harsh symptoms. Prognosis. Galen has wondered since his youth why the significant period of weeks in patients is 3 weeks of 20 days. a patient’s condition is not: significant changes can occur in a short time. and Healing: Galen on Medical Theory. Galileo. something that cries out for an explanation. no. The stars and planets are comparatively stable. it is worth noting that the physician Galen already in the 2nd Century was using much of this approach. The critical days are a regular pattern of days on which to expect a dramatic turn of the illness. Galen was the most famous and influential Greek physician of antiquity. but because they suggested features of the universe that are physically impossible. One of the first steps in deriving a scientific theory from data is to notice an anomaly. In this case. The key difference between the Platonic and Galenic approaches to the data is that Galen urged a constant return to obtain new data from the patient that is required in medical treatment. which requires spheres to rotate about their own centers. and then by following the steps of Galen’s advanced scientific method. This pattern of days was used for prognosis in illnesses with fevers (because of their periodic recurrence). as a matter of course. known as the hypotheticodeductive model. A. but further data is used to evaluate the model and to refine it. Glen M. and thus to gain greater insight into how they can be made to serve the healing profession." Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences 90. to fine-tune his prognosis and adjust his treatment. 2 (2004): 45-60. but they do not specify what those fractions are. and so the physician must observe the patient as frequently as possible. is usually thought to be a discovery of the European Scientific Revolution of the 17th C associated with Isaac Newton. In essence.Islamic world. NY. In describing the Galenic synthesis of reason and experience I shall proceed first by defining the critical days. His treatise on the Critical Days contains a surprisingly sophisticated approach to the analysis of data and the construction of scientific theory. the equant. because the crises 1 See: Burtt. not only is a model derived from the data. The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Physical Science: The Scientific Thinking of Copernicus. and not vice versa. not because his models gave inaccurate predictions. and not 21 days. severe vomiting. Amherst. Lastly. (This is in contrast to the method of the astronomers). 2 Cooper. and respond accordingly. with violent shivering. empirical data was now given priority over theory. since the theory must conform to the data. but Galen wants to explain them. 1999. but not so much that a change couldn’t be responded to. Furthermore. The crisis has symptoms similar to a malarial attack. A fourday period provided the standard for observation: this allowed enough time to pass for there to be a change in the patient.

In sum. affects all bodily fluids or humors. then the patient’s crises will occur according to the perfect scheme of the critical days. Thus. is the cause of the pattern of the critical days. he arrives at the desired answer. So. and 20 most of all. is about 29 * days. epileptics to have fits. and the other major critical days can be generated from this period. making the crises comes too early or too late. G. robbery. and is the ultimate cause of life (and death). if he is under the exclusive care of a physician of Galen’s caliber. among other things. fruit to ripen. These secondary causes enable him to eliminate the outliers.occur on some days more frequently than others. Galen shows his sophisticated scientific understanding by postulating the existence of secondary causes that frustrate or perturb the general tendency of data. Kühn’s Galen edition. and people to go crazy (lunatics) if exposed to too much moonlight. The Sun is the cause of the seasons. In an ideal situation. The next step is to obtain a set of reliable data. and on days 7. around the time of the new moon. His purpose here is to enable the 1 825. and not being treated by incompetent but well-meaning loved-ones. By taking an average of these two periods and dividing by 4. one of 27 1/3 days. the moon has too little light to be effective. causes the tides. No. menstruation—and by extension. 14. that is one fourth of the month. Does Galen stop there? This is the point where the ancient astronomer would stop. because everyone agrees that they are valid (even though they’re already nearly 6 centuries old in Galen’s day). torrential thunderstorms and leaky roofs. quarreling neighbors and barking dogs. this data must be reduced to a workable subset.1 and furthermore. since he has derived the model and the means to make predictions. The lunar period seems to approximate the major cycle of the critical days closely. Note: References to the Critical Days is to C. on the other hand. that are about one normal week in length. It was obvious to the Ancients that the Sun and Moon affected life on earth in major ways. the Moon moderates and extends the general effects of the Sun. . volume 9. which turns out to be 6 35/48 days. corpses to putrefy. and the other. The moon has two periods. How are these to be reconciled? Galen argues that during the latter period. so he subtracts 3 days. Thus. Galen returns to the data to show in greater detail why some cases deviate from the general pattern of critical days. if the patient were isolated from external factors that cause him anxiety and restlessness. and indicates page and line number.17-826. exhaust the patient. however. the familiar month. This correlation was the basis of ancient “scientific” astrology. Galen proposes a scientific hypothesis: that the moon. and the other two conditions for the pattern of the critical days are satisfied. The Moon. especially if one considers the lunar “seasons”. via its phases. But even the Epidemics data is too messy in its raw form to be useful as a basis on which to build a theory. Galen decides to use the data of the Epidemics.3. At least no one could accuse Galen of selecting data from his own experience to favor his theory. The result accords well with the data: three weeks are 20 3/16 days. leaving 26 * effective days. These secondary factors. the Moon causes. such as fire. Galen’s youthful question about the three medical week period of twenty days is answered.

because the illnesses that subside without one of these two things usually return.physician to use this prognostic scheme by constantly comparing the ideal with the actual. When treating critical illnesses. If. and therapy in critical illnesses. and to adjust his therapy to give the patient the best chance of surviving the crisis. (I quote from my own edition of the Arabic version. Therefore. and adjusting treatment as necessary to give the patient the best fighting chance for recovery. nor anything else. Galen devoted several treatises or parts of treatises to their treatment. 769. then it was likely to be a bad crisis. Galen had important things to say about therapy also—and therapy is what most distinguishes the science of astronomy from medicine. nor bathing. from the Hippocratics. then you must keep the patient under close observation and careful watch. nor drink. or an evident inflammation. Although these two books focused primarily on the diagnosis and prognosis of crises. specific therapies come into play in relation to the periodic time scheme. I could also read from the Greek. nor movement. The crisis is an often violent response of the body to the illnessproducing substance inside it. The opening lines of the Critical Days stress the close relationship between diagnosis. there must occur beforehand either an obvious bodily evacuation. which resulted (usually) in either the death or the recovery of the patient. The critical day scheme seems to be a generalization based on the most common types of periodic fevers. but the Arabic is clearer): 769. and a crisis was thought to be necessary in order to expel this substance. Perhaps because periodic fevers were so common in his day. which he refined for his own use. the crisis occurred off the natural period of the fever. if this abating illness is . 769. Galen inherited one such scheme. the De crisibus (On [Medical] Crises) and the De diebus decretoriis (On the Critical Days). so that when you see that the illness has abated without one of these two things occurring before it subsides. were an invitation to develop a sophisticated prognostic scheme. The crisis usually occurred during one of these peaks— and here is the secret of their prognosis: figure out the periodicity of the fever and you have a big clue as to when to expect a crisis. Galen devoted two treatises to the discussion of crises and critical days. which I have already mentioned.9 For in truth. the critical days. and the dangerous possibility of a crisis. Periodic fevers had regular peaks of intensity known as paroxysms. prognosis. The very periodicity of such fevers. the physician needed to monitor the patient’s stamina closely. however. A crisis would be an especially violent paroxysm. The treatises Crises and the Critical Days were composed by Galen around 165 AD at the request of friends who desired a reasoned account of the Hippocratic prognostic doctrine of the critical days. neither food. but that subside all at once to be trustworthy. and you must not permit him to do anything that is permitted to one whose recovery is trustworthy.1 In order for the resolution of illnesses that do not diminish gradually. you must observe this thoroughly with extreme care. The closest modern analogy to the paroxysms that I know of are the peak attacks experienced by a malaria victim.5 Therefore.

The prognosis of a crisis and the adjustment of treatment were crucial in critical illnesses. Sweating was also a vehicle for the expulsion of the illness. which taught me more descriptive Greek words for sputums and excrements than I care to know! There’s even a shorthand method that reveals a (somewhat dubious) physiology: Galen states that the nostrils are connected to the organs of the body in such a way that a nosebleed from the right nostril indicates a crisis in the liver and the organs under the . The patient may not be released from his strict regimen until the physician is reasonably certain that he will in fact recover.g. then the illness remains. known as the critical days. The crisis may be observed via its effects on the body. if the signs do not appear. the abdominal organs (via urines and excrements). In the course of his exposition. the signs of coction are sought in the secretions of the three major organ regions: the head (via nasal secretions). then it will return even if you administer this treatment to the patient. but urine with a heavy sediment indicates a coction.trivial. the crisis is identified on the basis of specific signs in the patient. he must experience another crisis before he recovers. the sequence of the critical days is caused by the lunar phases. Crises occur through a violent motion in the body. the respiratory (via the sputums). and the therapy must be adjusted accordingly. For. nosebleed. the illness remains. but it will not return with severity and great danger. then it will return more severe than it was in the beginning. Or. then he will likely recover from it completely. etc.770] and. One sought evidence of a coalescence in these fluids: e. which is the expulsion of harmful material from the body that was thought to be causing the illness. crises would invariably occur on these days. so that it will never return. after which the patient is thought either to recover or to relapse. Otherwise. Crises were thought to occur more frequently on specific days. But to know whether a complete or trustworthy crisis has occurred. because a crisis. which are discussed in great detail in the Crises. Galen describes in great detail the different kinds of secretions. if there were no intervening factors. described in The Critical Days. could be dangerous. moreover. one must be able to say that the harmful substance has actually been neutralized by the body (usually through a process of coction or “cooking”). A crisis also represents the turning point of an illness. But if the illness is severe. vomiting. 769. sometimes manifest as rigor. Thus. for as Galen argued in The Critical Days. and if the patient has survived at all. which means that the physician must become skilled at identifying these signs and interpreting them. as do solid rather than runny stools. In fact. not clear urine. a runny nose does not represent coction—hence a complete crisis—until it produces a more solid green matter. you administer this treatment to the patient. These critical days were derived from an idiosyncratic way of counting four and seven day periods.14 But if you ignore and neglect him as if he has genuinely recovered. Since one cannot peer directly into the body. excessive sweating. The physician therefore must watch for signs that the illness has transformed in the required manner in order to be confident that the illness has in fact passed. [k.

(Crises can be devastating). namely. has four cardinal points: beginning. he can anticipate this for maximum effect.3 In another example. Crises are used for diagnosis and prognosis. because the patient’s body is weakened by poor therapy.2 Knowledge of the critical day scheme is very useful for therapy since it enables the physician to infer the character of the coming crisis. and which was critical in adjusting treatment. which is to say that. From 784. how to recognize them and how to place them in specific patients’ cases.10. by adjusting the patient’s diet to a milder form. This is why Galen states that he can guarantee that the critical day scheme will work for prognosis confidently only if he (Galen) has had exclusive control over the patient’s treatment from the beginning (sure!). The physician’s job is to know when to expect the next crisis. if the physician knows that the coming crisis will be a safe and healthy one. to ascertain its character. 4 See 802. They also can be used to indicate recovery or coming death. Every crisis.right hypochondrium. and twenty of the illness. while one from the left nostril indicates a crisis in the left abdomen. climax.8. but. and by the same token. without rational consideration of all relevant factors in a specific 1 2 See also 825. Galen states that:4 If the signs indicate that the crisis is trustworthy. but it can also throw off the prognostic basis of the critical days. and seventeen indicate the character of the approaching crisis. and to adjust therapy. so that not only does the patient risk not being able to survive the next crisis. suppose that crises are expected on days seven. If the physician determines that a crisis will come in the seventh day. if he knows that the coming crisis will be a bad one. increase. increasing it gradually. eleven. crises have a specific temporal profile—a kind of wave-form—that can. 3 See also 869. Galen explains. and post-climax. the patient. because the patient and the cosmos are so closely connected. and he should be given food.1 The critical day scheme can also indicate whether the expected crisis will be dangerous or not. As in all patients’ cases. the very scheme of the critical days is disturbed. or at least not to overtax. This happens. The Critical Days graphically shows how regimen factors into critical illnesses in another way: incorrect therapy not only can harm the patient. .17. Furthermore. and to prepare the patient through therapy to face it. fourteen. specific treatments are not to be applied unthinkingly. the physician will not change the patient’s diet as if he’s already well on the path to recovery. the patient must be permitted to sweat freely (instead of measures being taken to lessen the sweats). the spleen and the organs near it. he will use clues from the fourth day as to its character to adjust the patient’s regimen to strengthen. as a template. be laid over the patient’s case to aid in deriving both short-term and long-term prognoses. a trustworthy crisis necessitates altering treatments.1. For example. and days four.6-825. which is the normal pattern. Galen claims. Much of the Crises is spent describing the various configurations of these points.

Galen denounced those who let blood in all cases. Not even his older contemporary. For the critical day scheme to work in healing. No doubt Galen would have similar condemnation for later physicians who sought to provoke an artificial crisis through administering a compound of mercury. simply because that’s what a physician is expected to do: whoever heard of a doctor who doesn’t open a vein? In another place. All of these specific treatments are. applying bandages or hot compresses. Galen delighted (according to his selfpromoting treatise On Prognosis) in showing other doctors up by making a very public display of his ability to do this. for a true physician is a servant of nature.3 which is partly Hippocratic and partly his own. when called in after other doctors have botched a case. Galen’s ideal physician employs reasoning in conjunction with a healthy conception of Nature. as it were. (or a wool combing amateur like Thessalus. but is one that we’ve inherited.7-830. which is to emphasize rational thought in treatment at the expense of other doctors. but he must be skilled in therapy.7.5 Furthermore. such as lifting his garment. not because the patient’s case requires them.18-823. This practice. but she (and I deliberately personify Nature. given his present rhetorical purpose. which is: that Nature has its own periods and internal harmonies4.patient’s case. tightening his waist. and he must be able to adjust their prognoses (and thus also their treatments) accordingly. as Galen did) needs to be helped by the physician’s skillful application of scientific treatments. Galen represents the great synthesis of rationality and empiricism for the Greek scientific tradition. the founder of medical Methodism).8. 1 2 See 804. but because they think that they’re not practicing medicine unless they make a show of these standard treatments. . gave Galenism a bad name. applying cautery or bleeding or cupping glasses or massage. valid when appropriately applied—but that’s not how they’re being imagined here. That is to say.6. Knowing which therapy to apply in a specific case is the difference between a real physician and a roadside drug peddler. or what the patients have done to harm themselves by not obeying their doctors. See 822. of course. In conclusion. 3 See 822. the difference between a good physician and a great one like Galen (at least by his own account) is that he must be able to account for others’ mistakes in treatment. In the treatment of periodic illnesses as in all others. and the excessive letting of blood. and understands enough of natural philosophy in the tradition of Plato and Aristotle to be able to infer the proper course of treatment. however. Galen criticized those who. Greek harmonic theory.2 Some physicians do these things. Galen states his philosophy of medicine. How close Galen’s assessment of his contemporary physicians is to the truth is suspect.12. a physician must be able. (Hence. making a show of certain procedures that are expected of a doctor. play at medicine. 5 See 830. 4 cf. physis.1 In one place. the connection between the words “physician” and the Greek word for Nature. to ascertain the degree of damage they’ve committed. the physician must not only be able to prognosticate from it.

Boston. a discipline that depends very closely on personal experience.the great astronomer Ptolemy. 2000. could make this claim. 1 Solomon. See also: Barker. however. Scientific Method in Ptolemy's Harmonics. . Andrew. Ptolemy Harmonics: Translation and Commentary. 2000. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. through hearing the musical tones and their harmonic relationships.1 The true role of ancient Greek medical empiricism in the development of scientific thinking is only beginning to be appreciated. Ptolemy does draw near. Köln: Brill. to the level of Galen’s achievement when he discusses music theory. Jon. Leiden.

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