Galen Claudius (about 129 - about 199)
The great doctor and no less great writer of Ancient Rome Claudius Galen (Galenus - quiet) was born in Pergamum, a state located in the northwestern part of Asia Minor, in the reign of Emperor Hadrian. The name of Claudius, in all probability, he did not wear. It appeared as a result of the incorrectly deciphered title "lucid", "glorious" (Clarissimus, abbreviated - Cl.), Which was printed on his works, beginning with the Middle Ages.
Galen received his primary education from his father Nikon, who gained fame as a philosopher, mathematician and architect. Galen studied philosophy from the age of 15, and from ancient thinkers, Aristotle had the greatest influence on him. Galen's father wanted to make his son a philosopher, but once he dreamed a dream, and the Romans attached great importance to it, he forced Galen to start medicine. Having selected the specialty of the doctor, he thoroughly studied medicine under the guidance of the Pergamon scientists: anatomist Satirik, pathologist Stronton, Echrion, Empiricus, Fitian and other prominent scientists of Pergamos physicians.
After the death of his father, Galen undertook a journey, during which he studied anatomy in Smyrna. His teacher was the famous anatomist Pelops (Pelops ous Smyrna, 100 AD), who proposed the term "aura" - a Greek word for light breezes or breathing. He believed that this breeze passed through the vessels. There, under the guidance of Albina, Galen studied philosophy. Later he went to Corinth, where he studied with the students of the famous Quintus, studying natural science and medicine. Then traveled Asia Minor. Finally, he fell into the illustrious Alexandria, where he diligently studied the anatomy of Heraklion. Here he met with the once famous medical school and the works of her
outstanding representatives - Herophilus and Erasistratus. By the time Galen Alexandria visited, anatomy of human bodies was forbidden here. The structure and functions of organs were studied in monkeys and other mammals. Disappointed, after six years of travel, Galen returned to Pergamon.
In his native Pergamum, Galen, 29, was a surgeon for the school of gladiators for 4 years and was famous for his art of treating wounds, dislocations and fractures. When the uprising broke out in 164, 33-year-old Galen went to Rome, where he soon became popular as an educated lecturer and an experienced doctor. He became known to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, became friends with the philosopher-peripatetic Eudemus, known in Rome, and he glorified Galen, who healed him as an expert physician. The Roman patrician Bates, along with his friends, Galen insisted on opening a course of lectures on anatomy, and Galen read them in the Temple of Peace with an extensive audience of doctors and citizens interested in science. Among the listeners were Uncle Emperor Barbar, Consul Lucius Severus, who later became emperor, praetors, scholars, philosophers Evdem and Alexander from Damascus. It should be noted that Galen always and everywhere was looking for an opportunity to attract attention, so he made enemies, burned by the passion to get rid of a dangerous rival. Frightened of the vengeance of the envious, Galen left Rome and
undertook a journey through Italy. Then he visited Pergamum and visited Smyrna from his mentor Pelops. The reason for his departure, he explained the noisy life in Rome, the hostile attitude of some doctors, but mainly - the fear of the Roman plague. At the invitation of Emperor Lucius Vera and Marcus Aurelius, Galen returned to Rome through Macedonia two years later. Emperor Marcus Aurelius summoned Galen to his military camp in the city of Aquileia on the Adriatic coast. Together with the Roman troops, Galen returned to Rome. Galen refused to accompany the Emperor to the German campaign. He lived in constant anxiety, changing his place of residence one by one, escaping for the most part from ghostly enemies, whose intentions he clearly exaggerated. He ended up settling in the palace of Marcus Aurelius and became his home doctor. One night he was urgently summoned to the emperor, who complained of malaise. Doctors could not give the emperor the necessary advice and only frightened him with their diagnoses. Galen reassured the patient, advising him to drink Sabine wine, which was infused with pepper. The next day, Galen heard from Philolaus that the author of "Reflections" considers him henceforth not only "the first among doctors, but the only philosopher doctor."
By the patronage of Marcus Aurelius Galen was appointed physician of his son, the future Roman Emperor Commodus (161-192), who participated in the battles of gladiators and killed by conspirators from among the courtiers. Galen healed the son of Faustina. To the words of her gratitude he replied: "Unwittingly, thanks to this, the enmity your doctors harbor against me will become even more intense." Consciousness of his dignity in medical art never left the proud Galen. Galen considered his worthy opponent, perhaps, the only doctor of Asklepiad Bithin (128-56 BC), who studied in Alexandria with Cleophant and practiced then on the island of Parose, on the shores of the Hellespont, in Athens, before settling in Rome. Asklepiad rebelled against the ancient custom of the Romans: periodic purges laxatives and vomit.
In Rome, Galen wrote several treatises on medicine; among them "On the appointment of parts of the human body", as well as "Anatomy". Unfortunately, most of his manuscripts died during the fire of the Temple of Peace, when the entire Palatine Library burned down. The Temple of the World was something of a treasure trove, where the military commanders kept the trophies, the rich men, the jewels, and Galen the manuscripts.
To old age, Galen returned to Pergamos in order to continue work on the treatises on medicine in silence and tranquility. Galen lived to an advanced age and died in the reign of Septimius Severus. This is in brief the personality and life of the great Galen.
Now consider his contribution to medicine. Galena, with good reason, can be called the creator of etiology as a science, since he systematized the doctrine of the causes of illnesses of his time. He shared the pathogenic factors on ingesta, circumfusa (solid, mechanical), excreta (liquid, pouring), causing growth, etc. He first pointed out that the disease develops from the effects of causative factors on the corresponding predisposing state of the patient's body. Internal pathogenic factors Galen called "preparing" the body for the development of the disease. Galen divided illnesses into external and internal, their causes - to the causes of direct and remote action. He showed that anatomy and physiology are the basis of scientific diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
For the first time in the history of medicine, Galen put into practice the experiment, and therefore he can be considered one of the predecessors of experimental physiology. Studying the lung function and the respiration mechanism in the experiment, he established that the diaphragm and pectoral muscles expand the thorax, drawing air into the lungs. Galen wrote a lot about the functions of individual organs. Some of his views, for example, on blood circulation, digestive and respiratory system were erroneous. He described many details of the structure of the human body, gave the names to some bones, joints and muscles, preserved in medicine to the present day. Galen introduced vivisection into medicine, experiments on animals, for the first time developed the technique of brain dissection. Experiments were carried out on pigs, cows, etc. It should be specially emphasized that Galen never made autopsies of a
human corpse, all his anatomical representations were built by analogy with the structure of the body of animals. He proceeded from the words of his idol Aristotle: "Much is unknown or is doubtful in the structure of the internal organs of man, therefore it is necessary to study them in other animals whose organs are similar to human ones." Engaged in the treatment of gladiators, Galen was able to significantly expand his anatomical knowledge, which in general sinned many errors.
Galen was one of the first to establish experimentally the absence of pain in the dissection of the brain substance. He studied the veins of the brain and described in detail the lower vena cava that bears his name, which collects blood from the lower extremities, the walls and organs of the pelvis, from the walls of the abdominal cavity, from the diaphragm, some organs of the abdominal cavity (liver, kidneys, adrenals) , the spinal cord and its membranes (in part). Galen contributed to the description of the human nervous system, indicating that it is a branchy trunk, each branch of which lives an independent life. Nerves are built from the same substance as the brain. They serve sensation and movement. Galen distinguished the sensitive, "soft" nerves that go to the organs, and the "hard" nerves associated with the muscles, through which arbitrary movements are performed. He pointed to the optic nerve and found that this nerve passes into the retina of the eye.
The organs of the soul Galen considered the brain, heart and liver. Each of them was attributed one of the mental functions according to the division of parts of the soul, proposed by Plato: the liver - the bearer of lust, the heart - the anger and courage, the brain - the mind. In the brain, the main role was assigned to the ventricles, especially the posterior, where, according to Galen, the highest kind of pneumoma is produced, corresponding to reason, which is an essential feature of man, just as locomotion (having its own "soul", or pneuma) is typical for animals, and growth (again assuming a special pneuma) - for plants. Galen devoted a lot of attention to the hypothetical "pneuma", which allegedly penetrates into matter and revitalizes the human body. Further development was given to Galen's doctrine of temperaments. It, like Hippocrates, was based on the humoral concept. It takes Galen's place and practical medicine. In his writings the disease of a large number of organs of the human body was found; eye diseases are described in detail; a number of practical advice on curative gymnastics and recommendations on how to apply compresses, put leeches, operate wounds. He treated people with electricity, using live power stations of the inhabitants of the sea depths - fish. Treatment of migraine, according to Galen, consisted in instilling in the nose juice of a lamb with oil and vinegar.
Galen leads and a number of recipes for powders, ointments, tinctures, extracts and pills. His recipes, in a somewhat modified form, are still used today and are called "galenic preparations" - medicines manufactured by treating vegetable or animal raw materials and extracting active principles from it. To galenic preparations include tinctures, extracts, liniments, syrups, water, oils, alcohols, soaps, plasters, mustard plasters. Galen has developed a recipe for the so-called "cold cream" cosmetic, which consists of essential oil, wax and rose water.
The enormous teaching and literary activity of Galen, which in many ways determined the development of European medicine right up to the Renaissance, is imbued with the leading idea of the identity of medicine and philosophy (compare Galen's program essay "The fact that the best doctor at the same time is a philosopher "). Philosophy in those days meant communicating with people dedicated to the mysteries of the universe and human nature - communication, connected with learning. In the Hellenistic era, the main theme of training was the art of living. Often it acquired a psychotherapeutic character: the philosopher became a confessor-the healer of the soul. The need for such healers was enormous, it was required to give an opportunity to cope with anxiety, negative emotions, fear and various, as we now said, "stress conditions". The philosopher took a position similar in many respects to the role of the modern priest. He was invited to consult when discussing difficult moral problems.
Over 400 tracts were written by Galen, including 200 on medicine, of which about 100 treatises survived, others were burnt during a fire in Rome. Galen
composed a dictionary and commentary on the writings of Hippocrates. He introduced many new Greek names, clarified the values of the old, revived some of the almost forgotten or obscure for his contemporaries Hippocratic designations. Galen reduced the use of the word diaphragma to the sole meaning of "flagellum obstruction", fixed for the word ganglion, denoting a tumor-like formation, as well as anatomical meaning - "nerve node". Galen managed to make the name sternon - sternum unambiguous. He specified the formal and content side of the term anastomo¬sis. He belongs to the authorship of the names thalamus - lat. thalamus (visual cusp of the brain), phleps azygos - lat. vena azygos (unpaired vein), cremaster (a muscle that lifts an egg), peristaltikе¬ kinе¬sis - peristalsis, etc.
The idealistic orientation of the works of Galen contributed to the transformation of his teaching into the so-called Galenism, canonized by the church and prevailing in medicine for many centuries. Galen occupies an absolutely exceptional place in the history of medicine. Throughout the centuries, only the creator of the humoral theory and the so-called rational medicine of Galen was read, they listened only to his authoritative opinion. His teaching dominated the undivided throughout the 14th century, right up to the Renaissance.
And now there was a brave man who dared to overthrow this idol. They were Paracelsus. He was of the opinion that medicine had not made a single step forward since the time of Hippocrates, and also dared to assert that Galen had brought her from the normal path of development and, moreover, pushed back, obscuring the sober ideas of Hippocrates with the obscure ideas of Plato. The authority of Galen was shaken, and then overthrown, mainly after the appearance of the treatise "On the Structure of the Human Body" by Vesalius.