Claudius Galenius (129-199)
The notable surgical contribution
during the time of the great Roman Empire was made in the
2nd century AD; this was from a Greek born physician by the
name of or Claudius Galenius, as the Romans named
Galen, his name means calm or peaceful was unusually, a monotheistic although not a Christian.
The son of Aelius Nicon, a wealthy builder, Galen received a full education that prepared him for a successful career as a physician and philosopher.
He travelled extensively, exposing himself to a wide variety of medical theories and discoveries before settling in Rome, where he served prominent members of Roman society.
There he healed Eudemus, a celebrated peripatetic philosopher, and other persons of distinction; and before long, by his learning and unparalleled success as a physician, earned for himself the titles of "Paradoxologus", the wonder-speaker, and "Paradoxopoeus", the wonder-worker, thereby incurring the jealousy and envy of his fellow practitioners. 66
He was eventually given the position of personal physician to several of the Emperors. 67
He first served as physician to the Gladiators and eventually to the Caesars, Marcus Aurillius (136-161)and Lucius Verus (161-180)
Aurillius encouraged the buddy-buddy system where each soldier aided his comrade.
These were violent time in which there were many wars and a physician was worth his salt. Galen was the best that Rome had. It was Galen who firmly established that arteries contained blood, not air, as was presumed until that time, the common perception put forward by Aristotle although Herophilus had also made suggestions of this.
He proved this by tying off two ends of an artery and then incising it.
Galen, in his lifetime wrote many books on the study of anatomy.
"A man's worth is no greater than his ambitions"65