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Claudius Galen

( The famous Roman physician and naturalist)

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Biography Claudius Galen
(ca. 129 - OK. 201) - the famous Roman physician and naturalist - was a native of Pergamum. The son of a wealthy architect, he received a good education, he studied philosophy, mathematics, natural sciences. In 17 years, began to study medical art.

After the death of his father Galen went to travel. He visited several cities of the Mediterranean: Smyrna, Corinth, Alexandria ... Later, visited Palestine, Cyprus, Lemnos and Syria, where interest in local medicine and wrote down all sorts of potions recipes. Seven years have lasted this journey, and five of them Galen held in the Egyptian city of Alexandria. Here he studied anatomy: the knowledge of its famous Alexandrian scholars.

Returning from a trip, Galen took the post of physician in Pergamum gladiators. Gladiators' fights were mostly popular entertainment in imperial Rome. Sometimes the circus scene throughout the day, hundreds of gladiators fought. They fought in pairs, and the battle ended in serious injuries and often death of one of the fighters. Gladiators entered into combat with wild animals: lions, tigers, leopards, bears. Again, wounds, broken arms and legs.

Galen learned a lot and learned a lot when bandaging wounded gladiators and treating sprains and fractures.

Out of Pergamum, he moved to Rome, from there four years later returned to his homeland, and then again went to Rome, where he became court physician. Skilled physicians of his time, Galen treated, lectured and wrote scientific papers.

Galen amazingly hard work of writing:

his manuscripts were about 500 rolls - long strips of parchment, rolled-up. If you would print all these scrolls, then on a bookshelf would have been 80 volumes. But not all the manuscripts have survived, some of them burned, and we know them only from records of contemporaries.

One of the major works of Galen - 'The appointment of human body parts'. It describes the anatomy and physiology of human. These sciences Galen considered the foundation of medicine. It was he who laid the foundations of physiology: made the first experiments on live animals. Autopsies he had not made, limiting the study of the skeleton and autopsy of animals: sheep, pigs, monkeys. Therefore, in the writings of Galen were many inaccuracies, and gross errors were. Such, for example, his description of the path of blood in the body.

And for thousands of years before Galen knew that the life and blood in the body are inseparable. 'With the blood flowing from the body goes life' - that centuries-old experience had taught the warrior and hunter. But what is the role of blood, what is its path in the body - did not know. 'The blood flows only in the veins, arteries in her no, there - the air'. Believed in it long before Galen, it is argued doctors and anatomists, and in the days of his youth

. 'Wrong! - Galen said, to ignore the views of scientists, and even a celebrated Greek physician, as Hippocrates, Galen, to whom preklonyalsya.-blood in the arteries is! " His experience of the surgeon, the practice was a good proof of this
. But enough to say: 'Blood in the arteries is'. It is also necessary to know how she gets there, as is moving through the body, is different than the venous blood from the artery that occurs in the heart, lungs, liver.

All the arguments of Galen that is life and what are its manifestations, so you can send short. Nature does nothing without purpose. Every agency has its own meaning. An organism characterized by different 'forces', and the bearer of them is the 'pneuma' - a kind of a mysterious invisible substance. It is of three kinds: 'life' (the heart), 'physical' (in the liver) and 'psychic' (in the brain). Two kinds of pn, we have been closely associated with blood.

The task of the liver - the formation of blood feeding the organism. Formed in the liver blood supplies it with nutrients received by the liver from the intestine. This 'rough', or 'raw', the blood contains both 'physical pneuma'. Because the liver is carried by the blood part of the veins of the body, carrying food authorities, part of the same falls in the heart.

Heart - the central authority 'vital air'. His work, according to Galen, is such. Blood from the liver gets into the right ventricle of the heart, and hence - through a hole in the septum of the heart - once in the left ventricle. Here she meets with the 'air', delivered from the lungs, is enriched by it and is already in the form of 'vital air' moves in the artery. 'Vital pneuma' supports body heat. Disappeared 'life-pnevma' disappears and the life: man dies. Reasoning Galen at first glance seem very convincing: everyone knows that the corpse cools rapidly, loses its 'warmth'.

No need to think long to notice the error Galen and his. It 'cools down' loses 'warmth' of the body of the deceased: first death, and then the loss of 'heat'. As though quite simple, yet well-known doctor was wrong: he assumed that the loss of 'warmth' is preceded by death.

More and more portions of blood formed in the liver and enter the heart, leave it in the artery. Once in these or other organs and body parts, blood is spent, and pushed out of the heart, not all of returned it back. Continuously forming again in the liver, the blood just as steadily and rapidly istrachivaetsya in the body, believed Galen.

Venous blood is darker and more dense, arterial - liquid, bright red. It Galen noticed correctly. Vienna begins in the liver, and venous blood is born there, the artery begins in the heart, and arterial blood will be born in the left ventricle. Here Galen made a number of errors. The fact that there are two sets of blood, he did not know the role of atrial blood flow in the system did not reveal.

Yet herbal circulation scheme existed about 1500 years. Only in the middle of XVII century. it proved wrong Harvey.

Galen believed that the brain is put 'soul', but the bearer of all mental - 'psychic pneuma'. It arises in the ventricles of the brain and the nerves in the body diverges. Once the great philosopher of ancient Greece, Aristotle argued that the brain - a special iron, and its purpose - to produce 'goo' to cool the excessive heat of the heart. Galen proved that it is not true, there is no 'cooling mucus' brain does not produce. He not only managed to learn some detail the structure of the brain, but experiments showed that the nerves - and that the excitation of the conductors 'shocks' of these impulses come from the brain. The nerve stimulation is received by the senses, the brain transmitted. Transmitter - 'psychic pneuma', which travels along the nerves.

Galen was wrong in explanations, but the essence of the phenomena noticed right: the nerves are conductors, the brain - the center. In the left half of the heart - the blood, rich in oxygen, with associated oxidative temperature ( 'heat') body. Galen interpreted as noticed by managed: to replace the 'air' phenomenon, whose origin remains a mystery to him.

Three 'air' unite all parts of the body in one unit. A person is healthy, while parts are working correctly. He was sick as soon as the correct functioning of organs or parts of the disturbed. How to treat boleznN must use the forces of the organism itself, are necessary and drugs 'opposite' of. In fever the temperature rises - means we need 'cooling' drugs; dry cured with moisture, and excessive moisture - 'dryness'.

Galen applied many medicines, and some were very complex: in part one of them comprises 60 substances! Medicines produced mainly from plants: tinctures, decoctions, syrups, extracts, ointments, plasters. There just are not prepared potions Galen! He laid the foundation not only physiology, but also the science on the effects of drugs - pharmacology, and his name is preserved in it: all sorts of drugs of plant origin are called 'herbal medicines'.

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Claudius Galen, photo, biography
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