The Ancient Library
 

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V. THE FINAL SYSTEM: GALEN

G

ALEN represents the final catholic and systematic interpretation of Greek medicine and its relation to the sciences of which it was or might make part. He was more than a great eclectic, for his work was a constructive synthesis, with elements added which were the result of his own observations and experiments.

Like other men he was fashioned and driven by his education, into which entered the in­tellectual past of himself and his contem­poraries. But, unlike any other of his time, his genius was so universal that he was im­pelled and aided throughout his whole career by the entire intellectual past, rather than by one or more of its component interests or typical tendencies.

The sciences which might be related to medicine met in him, with some branches of discipline with which physicians trouble them­selves no longer. From his education and still more through his talents and temperament,

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