Hellenism and Empire: Language, Classicism, and Power in the Greek World, AD 50-250

By Simon Swain | Go to book overview

APPENDIX D
Galen's On Theriac to Piso

The differences of approach and style between On Theriac To Piso (xiv. 210-94) and other works of Galen's are the basis of arguments against its authenticity among modern scholars. The objections were catalogued in a polemical outburst by the seventeenth-century French scholar Philippe Labbé.1 Much of what he said reappears verbatim in Ackermann useful Historia literaria Claudii Galeni reprinted in the first volume of Kühn.2 Labbé's main points were that (i) On Theriac (alluding to Severus and Caracalla) failed to make mention of On Antidotes (which names only Severus as emperor: xiv. 65. 7, 66. 5-6), as it should have done in Galen's usual self-referential way, (ii) it refrained from mentioning rival doctors, (iii) it contained 'plurima verba' which were not used by Galen elsewhere, (iv) it contained stories, (v) its style showed excessive rhetorical posturing characteristic of youth (whereas Galen, if he were the author, would have been about 70), and (vi) it contained false information about the plants trifolium and helenium. Ackermann took over these points except for (iii), (iv), and (vi). He agreed with Labbé that the work was written 'ab aliquo nugatore, exercendi stili gratia, ex iis, quae apud Galenum in libris de antidotis legerat'. Above all, though he knew that a number of great scholars in the past had considered the work genuine, he could not see 'quo tempore scripserit Galenus eum librum', for it was totally alien to Galen's mature disposition. Among moderns the work is listed as false by Schubring, Ilberg, and López Férez.3 Others have been unsure.4 It has also been taken as genuine.5

____________________
1
1660: 22-35.
2
pp. xxxiii-xxxviii.
3
Schubring 1965: p. xlvii; Ilberg 1896: 193-4 Galen was 'schwerlich sein Verfasser'; followed by Winkler 1980: 11 (who gives a synopsis of opinion); López Férez 1991: 321.
4
Von Premerstein: 1898: 261; Hankinson 1991: 244; Nutton 1976: 24, cf. id. 1984: 324 n. 45.
5
Sudhoff 1915: 227; Watson 1966; Bowersock 1969: 84 n. 4; Nutton 1979: 164, id. 1993: 26 n. 64; P. Hadot 1984: 36 n. 31; Birley 1988: 198; Buraselis 1989: 25 ff. Sudhoff's testimony is no more than a brief reference; thus among serious medical historians Nutton alone is in favour, but he is also the only one to have devoted serious thought to the matter.

-430-

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Hellenism and Empire: Language, Classicism, and Power in the Greek World, AD 50-250
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS vii
  • Contents ix
  • Abbreviations xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Part One - Greeks 15
  • 1 - Language and Identity 17
  • 2 - The Practice of Purism 43
  • 3 - Past and Present 65
  • 4 - The Greek Novel and Greek Identity 101
  • Part Two - Greeks and Rome 133
  • 5 - Plutarch 135
  • 6 - Dio of Prusa 187
  • 7 - Arrian and Appian 242
  • 8 - Aristides 254
  • 9 - Lucian 298
  • 10 - Pausanias 330
  • II - Galen 357
  • 12 - Philostratus 380
  • 13 - Cassius Dio 401
  • Conclusion 409
  • APPENDIX A The Dating of the Greek Novels 423
  • APPENDIX B Sosius Senecio's Alleged Eastern Origin 426
  • APPENDIX C The Dating of Dio of Prusa's Rhodian and Alexandrian Orations 428
  • APPENDIX D Galen's On Theriac to Piso 430
  • Bibliography 433
  • Index 475
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