The Latin Tradition of Galen's Treatise on Simple Medicines: A Preliminary Study

Caroline Petit


This article provides new information on the transmission of Galens major work on simple medicines (De simpl. med. fac. XI 379-XII 372 K ) in Latin, from late antiquity to the Renaissance. It focuses on the two main medieval translations from Arabic by Gerardus Cremonensis, and from Greek by Niccolò da Reggio, and finally emphasises the impact of the early 16th c. translation by Theodoricus Gaudanus. The results of this preliminary study show that, although a major ancient work in pharmacology, Galens Simples  could not be accessed to, and read to a satisfactory standard in its entirety until the Renaissance. As for establishing the Greek text, the Greco-Latin translation by Niccolò will be a prominent witness, unlike other Latin translations. 

Key words: Galens Simple medicines - Gerard of Cremona - Niccolò da Reggio

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