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    A change in the substance: theory and its limits in Galen's 'Simples'

    Singer, Peter N. (2020) A change in the substance: theory and its limits in Galen's 'Simples'. Archives Internationales d'Histoire des Sciences 70 (184-5), pp. 16-53. ISSN 0003-9810.

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    Galen’s Simples is a work of enormous historical importance, which has however received little detailed analysis in modern times, from a theoretical or intellectual-historical point of view. The present paper makes a preliminary attempt at such an analysis, offering both an overview of its content and context and a focussed analysis of one particular theoretical area. There are three main aims: (A) to give a synoptic account of the most important theoretical questions raised in Simples, while also contextualizing the work within Galen’s oeuvre and within Graeco-Roman pharmacological traditions more broadly; (B) to give a detailed account of one theoretical concept in particular, that of change in or through the whole substance (καθ᾽ ὅλην τὴν οὐσίαν) – as it appears both in Simples and in other relevant texts; (C) to give a very brief account of the Nachleben of this concept in Early Modern times, which may be thought to shed further light on it, or at least to cast it in a fresh perspective.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Galen, Ancient Medicine, Ancient Pharmacology, Simple Drugs
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Peter Singer
    Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2020 09:04
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:01


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