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Hippocrates In The Pseudo-Galenic Introduction: Or How Was Medicine Taught In Roman Times?

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Chapter Summary

In Roman times, the teaching and dissemination of medical knowledge was mediated in part by written texts. Vectors of medical tradition and practical knowledge, such texts bear the hallmarks of the most influential currents of thought, i.e., the multiple sects (with dogmatic or empirical allegiances) claiming descent from Hippocrates. The Pseudo-Galenic Introduction (Introductio sive medicus, 14.674-797 K.), a medical handbook of the Roman period, witnesses the importance of Hippocrates in medical teaching at the time. Numerous quotations, allusions and reminiscences from the Hippocratic Corpus illustrate Hippocrates' authority for Pseudo-Galen. In the light of the first critical edition of the text (C. Petit, Les Belles Lettres, Paris, 2009), this article discusses the function of Hippocrates, and the various reminiscences of the Hippocratic Corpus, in order to assess Pseudo-Galen's quotation technique and, ultimately, his reliability as a source for the history of medicine.

Keywords: Hippocrates; medical knowledge; Pseudo-Galen's quotation technique; Roman times



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