The Early Modern Reception of Galen’s “Simple Medicine” and “On the Powers of Foods” -- online conference, 6-7 April 2022, 10.00 am -6.30 pm (CET)

Karen Reeds's picture

I'm forwarding the announcement of  an upcoming  online conference about ancient/medieval/early modern theories of nutrition.  I'm looking forward to it!

Karen Reeds, PhD, FLS
Princeton Research Forum, a community of independent scholars:


The Early Modern Reception of Galen’s “Simple Medicine” and “On the Powers of Foods” Online Conference 6-7 April 2022, 10.00 am -6.30 pm (CET)

Organised by

John Wilkins  – University of Exeter

Allen J. Grieco – Villa I Tatti,  Harvard University

The conference will discuss in detail how Galen’s Simple Medicine and On the Powers of Food has changed by 1500, and why.

One reason for change was new cultures into which the text had been introduced. Another was practical requirements for drug descriptions as opposed to medical theory, which led to a double manuscript tradition, and less focus on Galen’s experimental method. Such requirements also caused extra material to be introduced, especially from the tradition of Dioscorides. New plants too were incorporated into the system, such as tomatoes.

The conference will allow participants to analyse precisely how Renaissance writers had moved from Galen’s understanding, and where they had not. It is open to external attendees as well as students. Speakers will explore questions of what a quality, a humour, and a substance is – in antiquity and in the Renaissance – and to establish what the understanding of them should now be in the light in contemporary research.

The event is free to attend but registration is required (available from February 2022 at

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