Departmental Papers (Classical Studies)

Document Type


Date of this Version

August 2000


Galen surely numbers among the most insistently self-referential authors of classical antiquity. Although one can think of many others who felt called upon at various points in their careers to explain or defend themselves in their writings, few were as systematic as Galen in creating an official persona for himself or attempting to direct the future reception of his writings. Most of Galen's works (and his voluminous output is always astounding to contemplate) contain at least some autobiographical touches, and several treatises are explicitly devoted to his own career and writings.


Reprinted from Bryn Mawr Classical Review, August 24, 2000. Publisher URL:



Date Posted: 26 September 2006

This document has been peer reviewed.