ABSTRACT

The longest lasting medical model is widely attributed to Aelius Galenus, who is now known as Galen. He was born in AD 129 and grew up in Pergamon, an ancient Greek city in what is now the western part of Turkey some miles from the Aegean Sea. The city, which had already been an important center, was designated as a Roman metropolis by emperor Hadrian (AD 76–138) and huge construction projects created many new and massive public buildings, including a stadium, an amphitheater, and some temples. Among other resources, Pergamon already contained the largest library after the one in Alexandria as well as a temple and spa dedicated to the Greek medical god Asclepius. Galen’s father, Aelius Nicon, was a well-off architect and was extremely devoted to his son. When Galen’s father was told in a dream that his son would become a famous doctor, he sent Galen to the Asclepian temple for training (Figure 3.1).