Key Figures - Galen

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  • Galen
    • Born AD129
    • Diagnosis and the four humours
      • Four Humours
        • Like Hippocrates, he believed illness was caused by imbalance of the four humours
      • Observation
        • Like Hippocrates, Galen told doctors to observe and examine carefully, taking pulses and detailed notes too.
        • In AD167 Galen made detailed notes on the plague, recording how his patients had fever, thirst, diarrhoea, skin rash and spat blood
          • Notes so thorough it was known as Galen's Plague
    • Treatments
      • Followed Hippocrates on advice of diet and exercise
      • Most common treatment was bleeding to restore balance within the four humours
      • Also used theory of opposites to balance the four humours
        • Too much phlegm->caused by cold->treatment must be heat ie hot chili peppers.
    • Anatomy and dissection
      • Used dissection more than Hippocrates
      • Dissected a pig to show discovery of nervous system - pig squealed - galen cut into its neck to find the nerves - kept cutting each nerve whilst pig squealed - cut the right nerve and pig died.
      • Often dissected animals not humans
      • Important discoveries
        • Proved that brain, not heart controlled speech.
        • Arteries and veins carried blood
    • Wrote hundreds of books
      • Covered every aspect of medicine in extreme detailed and very organised notes
      • Included work of Hippocrates and himself
    • He fitted in with ideas of Christian Church- controlled education
      • Believed body was created by one God - matched Christian beliefs so no one dared to prove him wrong.


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