Academy research project

Galen of Pergamum. The Transmission, Interpretation and Completion of Ancient Medicine

Galen of Pergamum, who served in the Rome of the second century AD as a medical advisor to the emperor Marcus Aurelius, remained, with his vast oeuvre, the definitive authority on medicine from antiquity to the European and Islamic middle ages until well into the modern era. In addition to representing and completing Hippocratic medicine he also assimilated and enlarged upon the body of medical knowledge existing in his day through independent study. His works were translated into Latin, Syriac, Arabic and Hebrew, and formed the foundation of medical knowledge in both the Orient and Occident, while also serving as a source of inspiration for new developments. From the 6th century to the early 19th, without major interruptions, the analysis of Galenic texts served as an integral part of the study of medicine in the East and West. Galen was of particular importance in the formation of medical terminology, but also, and more generally, in defining the roles of medical practitioners and medicine, and in formulating all of the questions that arose regarding the health, composition and function of the human body, and concerning the philosophical and epistemological fundamental principles of medical theory and practice.

At the centre of the newly proposed project stands research on Galen’s works and their role as a decisive case of the transmission of medical knowledge from antiquity to the Middle Ages and the modern era, as well as between Europe and the Orient. The work to be performed by the proposed project will focus on several core issues for which the publication of critical editions of comprehensive key texts together with content-based analysis is envisaged. More ...

The project is part of the Academies Programme funded by the federal and state governments, which serves to preserve, safeguard and bring our cultural heritage to life. The programme is coordinated by the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities.

New Publication

Corpus Medicorum Graecorum V 6,1,3

Galeni De locis affectis V-VI edidit, in linguam Germanicam vertit Carl Wolfram Brunschön

Galen of Pergamon, in his six-book treatise De locis affectis (On the recognition of diseased parts of the body), develops a method with the help of which the ancient physician can identify the diseased part of the body, even if it cannot be perceived directly. In Books V and VI, the diseased parts dealt with are mainly in internal organs from the heart downwards in the order a capite ad calcem. In particular, damage to activity, pain, excretions, unnatural growths, body colour and pulse are used and interpreted as indications. Using examples from his own practice, Galen illustrates the therapeutic success associated with such a procedure.
The present volume offers the first critical edition of Books V and VI of this central Galenic writing. Based on all known Greek textual witnesses, the text has been reconstituted and translated into German.
Link to the publisher's homepage here


New link-lists in Editionen-online

Here you will find overviews of the works of the most important medical authors of classical antiquity with links to resources available online. Each directory is searchable and most categories can be sorted alphabetically or numerically by clicking the header. The directories are updated regularly, and we are grateful for feedback with corrections and addition. To the list ...


CMG-/CML-volumes available again

The project office has released paperback reprints of CMG- and CML-editions no longer available in print. They can be bought at,, or You can find an overview of available titles here.