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Speaker & Affiliation
Galen’s works are populated by groups such as Scythians, Egyptians, Celts and Arabs who are physically distinct in various ways, and sometimes also distinguished in respect to character. These races and their differences do demonstrative and illustrative work for him and he is invested in being able to explain the causes of somatic diversity, but they have little direct relation to the fundamental principles of human health and disease. They are not completely unconnected, however, and Galen is as committed to notions of human hierarchy as anyone. This paper explores the particularities of Galen’s medical race-making in the context of the Roman Empire.