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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No doubt Galen would have similar condemnation for later physicians who sought to provoke an artificial crisis through administering a compound of mercury.3 which is partly Hippocratic and partly his own. physis. a physician must be able. and the excessive letting of blood. Not even his older contemporary. the physician must not only be able to prognosticate from it. Galen’s ideal physician employs reasoning in conjunction with a healthy conception of Nature. 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. Greek harmonic theory.1 In one place. How close Galen’s assessment of his contemporary physicians is to the truth is suspect. 3 See 822.12. . as Galen did) needs to be helped by the physician’s skillful application of scientific treatments. In the treatment of periodic illnesses as in all others. the founder of medical Methodism). making a show of certain procedures that are expected of a doctor. or what the patients have done to harm themselves by not obeying their doctors. to ascertain the degree of damage they’ve committed. given his present rhetorical purpose. play at medicine. valid when appropriately applied—but that’s not how they’re being imagined here. but because they think that they’re not practicing medicine unless they make a show of these standard treatments. In conclusion. such as lifting his garment. Galen states his philosophy of medicine. That is to say. which is: that Nature has its own periods and internal harmonies4. Knowing which therapy to apply in a specific case is the difference between a real physician and a roadside drug peddler.6. 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. (Hence. tightening his waist. 1 2 See 804. applying bandages or hot compresses.8.7-830. Galen represents the great synthesis of rationality and empiricism for the Greek scientific tradition. All of these specific treatments are. 5 See 830. 4 cf. however. Galen denounced those who let blood in all cases. (or a wool combing amateur like Thessalus. gave Galenism a bad name. as it were. See 822.5 Furthermore.7. 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. of course. but he must be skilled in therapy. For the critical day scheme to work in healing. and understands enough of natural philosophy in the tradition of Plato and Aristotle to be able to infer the proper course of treatment.patient’s case. not because the patient’s case requires them. and he must be able to adjust their prognoses (and thus also their treatments) accordingly. which is to emphasize rational thought in treatment at the expense of other doctors. when called in after other doctors have botched a case. for a true physician is a servant of nature.2 Some physicians do these things. This practice.18-823. Galen criticized those who. but is one that we’ve inherited. the connection between the words “physician” and the Greek word for Nature. but she (and I deliberately personify Nature. applying cautery or bleeding or cupping glasses or massage.

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