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various countries, spending some time at Alexandria, still the most celebrated school of medicine, and was there, for a season, the pupil of Heraclianus, a professor of whom he speaks in the highest
While journeying in pursuit of knowledge, he allowed no opportunity to pass unimproved for familiarizing himself with every circumstance bearing directly or indirectly upon his medical and philosophical inquiries; and even at an earlier age, he adopted the habit of writing commentaries on the philosophical works to which his attention had been directed.
At the age of twenty-eight, having completed his education, he returned to his native place, and by the priests of Esculapius, was placed in charge of the gymnasium then attached to their temple, and at which the athlete and gladiators were in the daily habit of exercising. The office of physician to this institution, he held for several years, during which time he had constant occasion for exercising his talents as a surgeon. But in consequence of political disturbances, he again retired from Pergamus, and at the age of thirty-four took up his. abode in Rome.
Here he was not long in making himself known; a few successful cases among persons of elevated social rank, placed him almost immediately at the head of his profession. His earliest patron was Eudemus, the peripatetic philosopher; his next, the wife of the consul Boëtius. His cure of this noble matron was rewarded by a present of four hundred
gold pieces; and what was of more avail, it secured to him the friendship of the consul; of the prætor, Sergius Paulus; of Barbatus, the uncle of the emperor; of Marcus Aurelius himself; and of his brother, Lucius Verus, then associated with him on the throne.
This rapid promotion was not without its disadvantages. It excited against Galen the vituperation of certain members of the profession; and he, in turn, was not backward in expressing his contempt towards all who had undertaken to oppose him. But, rising by the force of merit, he maintained without difficulty the position he had acquired. To silence his opponents, he opened a school of anatomy, which still further increased his popularity, and attracted to his demonstrations not only students of medicine, but philosophers, politicians, and others, of the highest rank and influence. After he had been thus occupied for three or four years, his patrons of Rome were suddenly dispersed by an epidemic; and after their retirement to their usual summer retreats, Galen, too, left the city for Campania. Spending some time here, and at Brundusjum, he afterwards set out on a visit to the East; but, before the close of the year, he was recalled from Pergamus by Marcus Aurelius, then in Aquileia, with his brother Lucius Verus, preparing for a military expedition against the Marcomanni, and who had assigned to Galen the business of providing medical stores, and making such preparations as were necessary for the medical care of the army. Accordingly, hastening through
Cyprus, Syria, Thrace, and Macedonia, he directed his course to Rome, and thence towards Aquileia. But the epidemic having extended thither, and his patron Lucius Verus having died of it, the expedition was deferred, and Galen seized the opportunity, to resume his occupation at the capitol.. Nor could he be again induced to join the army, even at the solicitation of Marcus Aurelius; assigning as an · excuse that in a vision he had been warned not to do so, by Esculapius. During the subsequent absence of the emperor in the north, Galen was successful in treating his two young sons, Commodus and Sextus; thereby securing the favor of their mother, Faustina. Thus, in the enjoyment of unbounded popularity, devoting his attention to the poor as well as to the rich, and giving no inconsiderable portion of his time to teaching and writing, he spent the vigor of his life in Rome; where he was still residing, though disembarrassed from the cares of his profession, in his old age, as late as the reign of Septimus Severus. At a still later period he retired to Pergamus, where he spent his later years, and where he died, according to the most reliable authority, about the close of his seventieth year; though by some writers he is said to have survived to an extreme old age. His immense erudition, his glowing eloquence, and the almost endless labors of his pen, not less than his profound acquirements in anatomy and every other department of the healing art, had raised him before his death to the most exalted rank; and after his decease the people of Pergamus, proud of their fellow-citizen, and desirous
to express their reverence for his name, struck medals to his memory.
The personal character of Galen is seen in the numerous incidental allusions and amusing anecdotes scattered through his writings, some of which are of sufficient importance to be given in his own manner.
"Soon after my arrival in Rome," says he, "Glauco the philosopher took a great fancy to me, in consequence of my reputed skill in diagnosis. Meeting me accidentally in the street and shaking hands with me, he remarked, 'I have fallen upon you oppor tunely. I wish you to visit with me a patient in this neighborhood whom I have this moment left-the Sicilian physician whom you saw walking with me some days since, and who is now ill.' I inquired of him what ailed his friend; when with his habitual candor he replied, that Gorgias and Apelas had spoken to him of my skill in diagnosis and progno sis, which appeared to them more like the result of divine inspiration than of medical science; and that he wished to know for himself whether I really was thus skillful. He had hardly done speaking before we reached the door; so that I had no opportunity of replying to his request as I have often said to you that on some occasions the signs of disease are certain, at other times they are ambiguous, and require to be considered again and again. But as we entered, I observed a servant carrying from the sick chamber a vessel containing a thin bloody sanies, like the recent washing of flesh, a sure evidence of diseased liver. Without appearing to notice this circumstance, I proceeded with Glauco to the pa
tient's apartment; when placing my fingers on the wrist of the sick man, I examined his pulse in order to determine whether the attack was inflam matory, or simply a weakness of the affected viscus. As the patient was himself a physician, he remarked that he had recently been up, and that the effort at rising might have accelerated the pulse; but I had already discovered the evidences of inflammation; and seeing on a recess in the window a jar containing something like a preparation of hys-: sop in honey and water, I knew that he had mistaken his disease for pleurisy; in which, as in inflammations of the liver, there is usually pain under the false ribs. He had been led to this opinion, as I at once perceived, by experiencing this pain, by his short and hurried breathing, and by a slight cough. Understanding the case, therefore, and turning to good account what fortune had thrown in my way, in order to give Glauco a high opinion of my ability, I placed my hands over the false ribs, on the right side of the patient, and at the same time declared this to be the seat of pain; which the sick man admitted to be correct. Glanco, supposing I had made this discovery merely by examining the pulse, began to express surprise. But to increase his astonishment, I added, 'Inasmuch as you admit the existence of pain at this spot, I wish you further to say whether you are troubled with a slight cough, and whether your cough is not dry, without sputa, and occurring at long intervals. While I was yet speaking the sick man was seized with a cough such as I had described; whereat Glauco was exceedingly excited, and no longer able