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Galen and the Rhetoric of Healing Hardcover – July 1, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0801888359 ISBN-10: 0801888352 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews


An illuminating portrait of a man and his patients in a particular historical context. A rich, nuanced, and entirely original approach, this book leaps across disciplinary boundaries to introduce those working on medicine in other historical periods to the richness of the sources for Rome in the age of Galen.

(Helen King, University of Reading)

Rich, colourful material for a medical historian and indeed for a narratologist... provides a useful collection of material and, for a wider audience, an entertaining introduction to the world of Galen.

(Caroline Petit Social History of Medicine)

Mattern's work is well-organized, well-argued, and clearly presented... The book will appeal equally to historians, whether of ancient medicine in particular or of the social history of the time period, and to the general reading public

(Shelley Reid Bryn Mawr Classical Review)

It is difficult to make a highly scholarly analysis an enjoyable and entertaining tale, Susan P. Mattern, however, skillfully dissects the rhetorical structure of Galen's case histories of his patients to offer a delightfully intriguing view not just of the great physician's medical practice but of his character and his social world... A fascinating journey into the past.


A nuanced, detailed, and most enjoyable narrative.

(Laurence Totelin Isis)

Susan Mattern's contribution to the ever-growing scholarship on Galen is worthy of commendation. Mattern has provided a rich reading of Galen's writings and the ways in which his medical reality existed within the Roman social context.

(Tana Allen Phoenix)

About the Author

Susan P. Mattern is an associate professor of history at the University of Georgia.

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