Galen's de Constitutione Artis Medicae in the Renaissance

Classical Quarterly 43 (01):302- (1993)
Abstract
During the sixteenth century Galen's De constitutione artis medicae enjoyed a great success: in about fifty years it received four different Latin translations and three commentaries. Certainly this is also true of other medical classical texts, but such success is surprising for a treatise which did not have a wide circulation either in the Middle Ages or in the seventeenth century and later. In fact it is preserved in its entirety in only one Greek manuscript and in a Latin translation by Niccolò of Reggio, who worked mainly for King Robert I in Naples in the first half of the fourteenth century. Furthermore, in his edition of 1679 René Chartier made a mistake, which the humanistic editors of the Greek Galen had avoided. The last part of the De const, art. med. itself enjoyed a considerable fortuna as an independent tract on prognosis in the Greek and Latin manuscript tradition. The editors of the Aldine and the Basle editions knew such an excerptum, at least in the manuscript Par. gr. 2165 of the sixteenth century, and rightly decided not to print it. Chartier found it in the manuscript Par. gr. 2269 of the fifteenth or sixteenth century, and published it in the wrong belief that it was a new treatise of Galen's . He was followed by Carl Gottlob Kühn in his edition of 1821, who printed the De const, art. med. in the first volume and the De praesagitura in vol. xix.497–511. The error was not publicly detected until Kalbfleisch in 1896
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