Archigenes ('Αρχιγενης), an eminent ancient Greek physician, whose name is probably more familiar to most non-professional readers than that of many others of more real importance, from his being mentioned by Juvenal, (vi. 236, xiii. 98, xiv. 252.)
He was the most celebrated of the sect of the Eclectici, and was a native of Apamea in Syria; he practised at Rome in the time of Trajan, 98-117, where he enjoyed a very high reputation for his professional skill. He is, however, reprobated as having been fond of introducing new and obscure terms into the science, and having attempted to give to medical writings a dialectic form, which produced rather the appearance than the reality of accuracy. Archigenes published a treatise on the pulse, on which Galen wrote a Commentary; it appears to have contained a number of minute and subtile distinctions, many of which have no real existence, and were for the most part the result rather of a preconceived hypothesis than of actual observation; and the same remark may be applied to an arrangement which he proposed of fevers.
He, however, not only enjoyed a considerable degree of the public confidence during his life-time, but left behind him a number of disciples, who for many years maintained a respectable rank in their profession. The name of the father of Archigenes was Philippus; he was a pupil of Agathinus, whose life he once saved; and he died at the age either of sixty-three or eighty-three. (Suid. s. v. 'Αρχιγ; Eudoc. Violar. ap. Villoison, Anecd. Gr. vol. i. p. 65.)
The titles of several of his works are preserved, of which, however, nothing but a few fragments remain; some of these have been pre served by other ancient authors, and some are still in manuscript in the King's Library at Paris. (Cramer's Anecd. Gr. Paris. vol. i. pp. 394, 395.) By some writers he is considered to have belonged to the sect of the Pneumatici. (Galen, Introd. c. 9. vol. xiv. p. 699.)
For further particulars respecting Archigenes see:
Le Clerc, Hist. de la Méd.
Fabric. Bibl. Gr. vol. xiii. p. 80, ed. vet.
Sprengel, Hist, de la Med.
Haller, Bibl. Medic. Pract. vol. i. p. 198
Osterhausen, Hist. Sectae Pneumatic. Med. Altorf, 1791, 8vo.
Harless, Analecta Historico-Crit. de Archigene, fyc., Bamberg, 4to. 1816
Isensee, Gesch. der Med.
Bostock's History of Medicine, from which work part of the preceding account is taken.
Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire
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