Ga*lenplay \ˈgā-lən\(circa 129–circa 199),
Greek physician. Galen is universally acclaimed as one of the greatest physicians of ancient times. He was the leading medical authority of the Christian world until the 16th century. He is especially notable because he derived his data from experiments and is now regarded as the father of experimental physiology. Although his observations were generally accurate, because he was allowed to dissect only animals, his statements about humans based on these dissections inevitably contained inaccuracies which were accepted for centuries afterwards. He was the author of 83 treatises; his writings summarized the anatomical knowledge of the time. His work includes descriptions of about 300 muscles and the principal parts of the brain. He also described the treatment of fractures, dislocations, methods of amputation, and the resection of bones. In his practice he used sutures and ligatures, astringents, and cautery. Finally, Galen believed in the curative powers of plants; he used over 500 plant derivatives in his medicinal preparations.
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