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date: 07 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Galen was part of the urban, Hellenic, leisured class and culture that produced the Second Sophistic. In the regimen he prescribes for a healthy way of life, and in his stories about his patients, he shows allegiance to the masculine, intellectual, and aristocratic values of the gymnasium, contrasted with the harsh deprivation of the peasant’s countryside. He identified with the class of pepaideumenoi, and positioned medicine among the “liberal arts.” He wrote widely on ethics, logic, and language, though his views on Atticism are complicated. Galen privileged classical writers (the palaioi) over more recent ones, and Hippocrates and Plato were especially central to his intellectual identity. Public demonstrations (epideixeis) and more informal debates were important in his professional life. Galen’s ambivalent position in the Roman aristocracy—a well-connected part of the imperial project, committed to the idea of Hellenic superiority—also locates him in the Second Sophistic.

Keywords: Galen, gymnasium, pepaideumenos, epideixis, masculinity, liberal arts, Atticism, Hippocrates, medicine

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