Probable New Fragments and a Testimonium From Galen's Commentary on Plato's Timaevs

Classical Quarterly 69 (1):384-401 (2019)
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As his writings tend to prioritize the incorporeal over the corporeal, Plato seems an unlikely authority on medicine. He does not appear to have engaged in any systematic investigation of the body through direct examination of animal anatomy, like his pupil Aristotle. Notwithstanding Plato's apparent lack of interest in anatomical research, modern scholars view his dialogues as valuable witnesses for earlier and contemporary theories about the body. Famously, thePhaedrus(270c–e) mentions Hippocrates’ holistic approach to studying the body. Out of all his dialogues, theTimaeusoffers the most extensive comments about the nature of the body and its functions. Many of its physiological ideas, however, seem to derive from earlier medical and philosophical authorities such as Alcmaeon of Croton (fifth century), Empedocles (fifth century) and Philistion of Locri (fourth century) rather than from Plato himself.



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