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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: May 2020

Chapter 3 - Galen on Soul, Mixture and Pneuma


Galen of Pergamum (129–215 ce), the influential Greek doctor and philosopher, had much to say about the soul and its relationship to the body. In developing his views on psychophysical interaction, Galen used and combined ideas and concepts derived from the philosophical traditions of Platonism, Aristotelianism, and Stoicism. He also took medical views on board, ranging from the earliest fifth-century bce writings of ‘Hippocrates’, the fourth-century doctor Diocles of Carystus, and Hellenistic medical writers such as Herophilus and Erasistratus, to the works of his older medical contemporaries, such as Rufus of Ephesus and the Pneumatist writer Archigenes of Apamea; these were especially relevant when it came to the anatomy and physiology of the soul and the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorder in its somatic aspects.

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