Journal of the History of Biology

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 207–230 | Cite as

Galen: On Blood, the Pulse, and the Arteries

  • Michael Boylan


This essay examines several important issues regarding Galen’s depiction of the physiology of the arteries. In the process some of Galen’s supporting doctrines on the blood and pulse will also be discussed in the context of a coherent scientific explanation. It will be the contention of this essay that though Galen may often have a polemical goal in mind, he correctly identifies the important and complex role of the arteries in human biological systems.


Galen Erasistratus Herophilus Praxagoras Blood Arteries Pulse Pneuma Ancient Medicine 


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I would like to acknowledge the help of many in the construction of this essay, particularly William Mullins, Pat Petrick, Richard Grant, and William Aird for their medical expertise.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyMarymount UniversityArlingtonUSA

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