Syriac translation of Galen

Description

Sergius of Reshaina (d. 536) translated the works of the ancient physician Galen (129-c. 217 CE) in the 6th century. This manuscript contains his translations of the 6th, 7th, and 8th books of Galen’s On the Powers and Mixtures of Simple Drugs. This text, a pharmacological treatise, was extremely popular in the Middle Ages in both East and West, and was translated into multiple languages. 

The manuscript dates from the 6th or 7th century CE and formerly belonged to the famous Syrian Monastery (Deir el-Surian), an Orthodox institution located in Wādī al-Naṭrūn in Egypt. The British Museum acquired it in the middle of the 19th century along with hundreds of other Syriac manuscripts.

Full title:
Galen de Simplicibus, translated by Sergius of Rhesina
Published:
6th-7th century
Created:
6th-7th century
Format:
Manuscript
Creator:
of Pergamon (author) Galen, Sergius of Reshaina (translator)
Usage terms

Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.

Held by
British Library
Shelfmark:
Add MS 14661

Full catalogue details

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The transmission of Greek philosophy and medicine

Article by:
Aileen Das
Themes:
Scholarship, The Greek World

Ancient Greek philosophy and medical writing were extremely influential on later thought, both in the West and in the East. Aileen Das traces some of the strands of this remarkable journey, from Greek to Syriac, Arabic, and Latin.