Galen's psychological writings: Avoiding distress, Character traits, The diagnosis and treatment of the affections and errors peculiar to each person's soul, The capacites of the soul depend upon the mixtures of the body. Edited by P. N. Singer. Translated with introductions and notes by Vivian Nutton, Daniel Davies and P. N. Singer.Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
In 2005 a long lost treatise by Galen, entitled Περι αλυπιας (Avoiding distress), was discovered in the Monastery of the Vlatades (Moni Vlatadon) in Thessaloniki, central Macedonia, Greece. The manuscript, identified as Vlatadon 14, dates from the fifteenth century. In Peri ton idion biblio (De Libris propriis liber, On his Own Writings), Galen referred to Περι αλυπιας, but the last evidence of the text was preserved by the 13th century physician and writer Joseph ben Judah ibn Aknin, who paraphrased and/or translated extacts of it into Hebrew. Rediscovery of the complete text is considered one of the most spectacular finds ever in ancient literature.
Galen was motivated to write Περι αλυπιας in 192 CE after a large portion of his library, his supply of medicines and medical instruments, and wax molds for the casting of new instruments that he had invented, and other valuable items, were destroyed when a devastating fire burned the Temple of Peace (Forum of Vespasian) and nearby storehouses on the Via Sacra, the main street of ancient Rome, where his property was kept. Galen chose to keep his library there because the storehouse also held some of the imperial archives, and was kept under military guard. The fire that destroyed Galen's library also burned all the public libraries on the Palatine Hill.
Galen's Περι αλυπιας provides significant information on the use of the codex form of the book in the second century CE, on the general vulnerability of books and texts, and on the production, copying, dissemination and storage of information, including the operation of Rome's imperial public libraries and Galen's use of them. It also provides information on the "consolation genre" of writings in antiquity. For the 2013 edition Galen's Avoiding distress was edited and translated by Vivian Nutton. For further details see HistoryofInformation.com at this link.
Subjects: ANCIENT MEDICINE › Roman Empire, BIBLIOGRAPHY › Catalogues of Physicians' / Scientists' Libraries, PSYCHOLOGY