The long-term Academy Project ‘Galen of Pergamum. The Transmission, Interpretation and Completion of Ancient Medicine’ produces editions with translations and commentaries of medical texts by Galen, which – in today’s terms – stand at the cross-roads of science and the humanities.


The huge oeuvre of Galen of Pergamum became the standard authority in medicine from antiquity to modern times. This Greek doctor was active in Rome in the second century AD, as the medical adviser to the emperor Marcus Aurelius, among other things. He saw himself as representing and completing the Hippocratic art of healing, but he also assimilated the entire medical knowledge of his era and developed it independently. His works were translated into Latin, Syriac, Arabic and Hebrew, and in both Orient and Occident they formed the basis of medical knowledge while also providing inspiration for new developments.


The project aims to study Galen’s works and their role as a decisive moment in the transmission of medical knowledge from antiquity to the mediaeval and modern periods, and between Europe and the Orient. The work of the research office will be focused on certain core themes: the aim is to produce critical editions of the key texts in these areas and to illuminate their content.

The project is thus intensively engaged in the edition, translation, commentary and historical contextualisation of Galen’s works, which have been divided into thematic groups: theory of the soul, body topology, theory of science, nosology, therapeutics and works in the genre of scholarly commentary.


The publication series Corpus Medicorum Graecorum and Corpus Medicorum Latinorum, with their long tradition as the standard reference editions in the field of the history of ancient medicine, will be continued.


The Academy research project “Galen of Pergamum. The Transmission, Interpretation and Completion of Ancient Medicine” is part of the Academies' Programme , a research funding programme co-financed by the German federal government and individual federal states. Coordinated by the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities , the Programme intends to retrieve and explore our cultural heritage, to make it accessible and highlight its relevance to the present, as well as to preserve it for the future.

Dr. Roland Wittwer
Galen als Vermittler, Interpret und Vollender der antiken Medizin
Tel.: +49 (0)30 20370 396
Unter den Linden 8
10117 Berlin
© 2021 Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften