Galen's Technê iatrikê (Tegni, for short) was translated into Hebrew three times. The first two translations were executed in the Midi, around the year 1199: once from Constantine the African's Latin version, by an anonymous physician who used the pseudonym “Doeg the Edomite”; and a second time from Arabic, by Samuel Ibn Tibbon in Béziers, using as his Vorlage Ḥunayn Ibn Isḥāq's Arabic version (al-Ṣināʿa al-saġīra), accompanied by ʿAlī Ibn Riḍwān's commentary. (Samuel Ibn Tibbon's authorship of this translation has been called into doubt, but is reestablished in a paper by Gad Freudenthal in this issue of ASP.) A third translation, again from Latin and including Ibn Riḍwān's commentary, was done by Hillel ben Samuel in Rome, in the late thirteenth century, but is not considered in this paper.
We present the Tegni and discuss its history. We then ask why this work was translated into Hebrew twice, at precisely the same time and area. We show that both translators responded to the need of Jewish physicians who read only Hebrew. Doeg's translation was part of his vast project of making the greater part of the Salernitan corpus available in Hebrew. Samuel Ibn Tibbon translated the Tegni with Ibn Riḍwān's commentary both because he was responding to a social need and because he was in the process of switching his profession from physician to translator of philosophic works. Galen's medico-philosophic text was a perfect fit for his intellectual evolution from a philosophically minded physician to a philosopher-scientist.