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And to end on a poetic note: Galen’s authorial strategies in the pharmacological books

Totelin, Laurence Marie Victoria ORCID: 2012. And to end on a poetic note: Galen’s authorial strategies in the pharmacological books. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (2) , pp. 307-315. 10.1016/j.shpsa.2011.12.019

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This paper examines the authorial strategies deployed by Galen in his two main pharmacological treatises devoted to compound remedies: Composition of Medicines according to Types and Composition of Medicines according to Places. Some of Galen’s methods of self assertion (use of the first person; writing of prefaces) are conventional. Others have not received much attention from scholars. Thus, here, I examine Galen’s borrowing of his sources’ ‘I’; his use of the phrase ‘in these words’; and his recourse to Damocrates’ verse to conclude pharmacological books. I argue that Galen’s authorial persona is very different from that of the modern author as defined by Roland Barthes. Galen imitates and impersonates his pharmacological sources. This re-enactment becomes a way to gain experience (peira) of remedies and guarantees their efficacy.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: A General Works > AC Collections. Series. Collected works
D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Galen; Pharmacology; Compilation; Authority; Authorship; peira
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0039-3681
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2022 08:30

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