GALEN Claudius

From Big Medical Encyclopedia
GALEN Claudius

GALEN Claudius (Galenus Claudius, 129 — 201; according to other data — 130 — 200, 131—201) — the Roman doctor and the scientist, the classic of antique medicine. He, probably, did not bear of Claudius. This name appeared as a result of incorrectly deciphered title «lightest», «most nice» (Clarissimus, in abbreviated form — Cl.), a cut it was printed on its works since an era of the Middle Ages. Studied medicine and philosophy in Pergamum and Alexandria. Galen, calling itself Platon's follower, upheld his many teleologic ideas. At the same time in assessment of the actual data obtained in the researches, Galen in many cases objectively became in philosophy and medicine on materialistic positions. Wrote more than 400 treatises on medicine and philosophy, from to-rykh remained apprx. 100. In the works he generalized experience of many generations of physicians starting with Hippocrates, systematized original positions of antique medicine in the field of anatomy, physiology, understanding of a disease, therapy and the prevention of diseases and created system of medical views. This system owing to its theological orientation got support of church and in the transformed look exerted impact on development of medicine for nearly one and a half thousand years.

Galen considered medicine as the science originating in Hippocrates and his followers without refusing at the same time treatment it as arts.

Galen in the history introduced an experiment and therefore he can be considered one of predecessors of experimental physiology in practice of medicine for the first time. Studying function of lungs and the mechanism of breath in an experiment, he established that the diaphragm and pectoral muscles expand a thorax, involving air in lungs.

Having rejected the wrong point of view that the brain is gland emitting slime for cooling of excess warmth of heart, Galen considered him a source of the movement, sensitivity, sincere abilities and sincere activity of the person. It described chetverokholmy, a vagus nerve with a returnable branch, 7 pairs of cranial nerves. He stated the idea about division of nerves on motive, sensitive and mixed depending on degree of their hardness. Cutting a spinal cord at the different levels, he observed loss of motive functions and sensitivity. He knew of decussation of nerve fibrils in a spinal cord. It described muscles of a back, three covers of walls of arteries.

Galen mistakenly assumed that blood in an organism is formed in a liver, and then comes to heart; it irrevocably leaves heart on arteries to body organs and is completely consumed by them. Proved insolvency of this hypothesis of Galen At. Garvey only in 17 century

Galen generalized ways of processing of medicinal substances and disproved views of the followers of Hippocrates considering that in the nature there are drugs in finished form and therefore they do not demand any processing. A number of medicines carries the name till this moment galenova drugs (see).

Adhering to idealistic views of Platon about the ideas as to the prime cause of things, and also teleologic views of Aristotle, considered Galen that organic expediency inherent in the nature manages vital departures of a body.

According to Galen, all organisms consist of four components — air, water, the earth and fire. In various combinations they form dense and liquid parts and body organs. In a healthy organism there are four liquids (blood, slime, yellow bile, black bile) mixed in a proper correlation. Disturbance of this ratio causes a disease and disorder of functions of bodies. Etiologies happen internal and external. The internal reasons caused by surplus or damage of liquids of an organism have crucial importance. Treatment of diseases, according to Galen, shall consist in use of natural powers of an organism and use of the means causing the action opposite to a disease: e.g., against high temperature it is necessary to apply cooling, to fight against dryness — humidity.

Galen attached great value also to a dietotherapy and measures of the prevention of diseases.


Works: About purpose of parts of a human body, the lane with drevnegrechesk., M., 1971.

Bibliography: Gribanov E. D. Whether Galen bore a name Claudius? in book: From history medical, under the editorship of V. V. Kanep, t. 10, page 173, Riga, 1975; History of medicine, under the editorship of B. D. Petrov, page 83, M., 1954; Kovner S. History of ancient medicine, century 3, page 823, Kiev, 1888; Lunkevich V. V. From Heraclitus to Darwin, Sketches of history of biology, t. 1, page 130, M., 1960.

B. D. Petrov.

Яндекс.Метрика