Galen and His Codices


Larry Hurtado's Blog

In response my query to Jan Bremmer (a bibliographical phenomenon!) about a matter, he referred me to an article published some years ago now that discusses evidence of Galen’s attitude toward and use of the codex bookform:  Matthew Nicholls, “Parchment Codices in a New Text of Galen,” Greece & Rome 57, no. 2 (2010): 378-86.

The article draws upon a text of Galen’s that was discovered and then published initially in 2007:  “Περὶ Ἀλυπίας” (“On Consolation from Grief”).  In this treatise, Galen reflects on how to handle or recover from loss and grief, and he refers to his own great loss of much of his library in a fire that ravaged the Palatine Hill in Rome in 192 CE.

Among his books lost in this fire were a number of precious parchment codices.  This adds to our limited knowledge of the use of the codex bookform in this early period. …

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