The Transmission of the Pseudo-Galenic De Spermate

Outi Merisalo


Towards the middle of the twelfth century a Latin-language treatise on embryology and astrology, in one manuscript entitled Liber spermatis , makes its appearance in England and in Southern France. At the end of the century parts of it circulate in Bavaria, now entitled in one manuscript Microtegni  and attributed to Galen as author and Constantine the African as translator. By the middle of the thirteenth century, a still longer version of the treatise is fixed and gains great popularity at universities both in Northern France and England as well as Northern Italy, where the University of Padua seems to play a special role in disseminating the text until the end of the fifteenth century. The Galenic connection ensures the success of the treatise until the end of the sixteenth century. Altogether 44 manuscript witnesses are currently known. 

Key words: De spermate - Pseudo-Galen - Latin transmission

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