D.A. Balalykin

I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, The Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation

The article is devoted to the writings of Galen “De venae sectione adversus Erasistrateos Romae degentes”. The author focuses on the analysis of the debate between Galen and his opponents, the subject of which is an approach to the problem of “plethora” and one of the ways to treat it – “cutting of veins” (venotomy). Galen and doctors of the Erasistratus school differently assessed a patients’ condition, and the clinical picture of the disease is described in the treatise. As a result, they proposed different methods of treatment. Galen, denouncing the procedure selected by his colleagues, illustrated the Erasistratus-doctors’ overall incorrect understanding of processes occurring in the human body. Based on the source analysis, differences have been identified in the general theoretical basis of the medical systems of Galen and his opponents, and the names of eight previously lost works of Erasistratus have been restored. The Galen treatise that was studied is a brilliant example of the connection between general-theoretical, natural-philosophical views of the researcher and his practice as a doctor. The empirical method and synthetic thinking of Galen, which was built on the principles of rational medicine, became the basis of his theoretical and practical system and ensured its dominance and the development path of natural science until the scientific discoveries of the 17th to 19th centuries.

Keywords: the history of science, history of medicine, Galen, Erasistratus, methodologists, venotomy

News Reporter
English English Русский Русский