Syriac translation of Galen


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
6th-7th century
Galen of Pergamon (author), Sergius of Reshaina (translator)
Usage terms

Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.

Held by
British Library
Add MS 14661

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