Pneuma: The Universal Spirit
Drawing from his philosophical studies, Galen concluded that various bodily functions were influenced by the Pneuma, or universal spirit. He envisioned the pneuma as a fine, spirit-like substance that flowed through the universe, organizing and controlling physical bodies.
Three Types of Spirit
Galen categorized the pneuma into three types of spirit:
Spiritus Vitalis (Life Spirit): Originating in the heart and flowing through the arteries.
Spiritus Animalis (Animal Spirit): Found in the brain and nerves Understanding Human Temperaments.
Spiritus Naturalis (Natural Spirit): Formed in the liver.
Title: Galenic Physiological Theory
Sustaining Life Process
While emphasizing the role of the pneuma, Galen also believed that the life process depended on food, converted into blood in the liver. This blood, originating from the liver, nourished essential organs like the heart, lungs, and brain. Galen proposed that blood not only transported nourishment but also removed waste materials from the body.
Blood Circulation and Metabolism
Galen’s physiological theory highlighted the critical roles of blood circulation and metabolism. He was the first to suggest a connection between food, blood, and air in sustaining life.
Galen’s Influence and Divine Recognition
Galen the Divine
Interestingly, later medical and church authorities regarded Galen’s work as divinely inspired and therefore infallible. They bestowed upon him the title “Divinus Galenus” (Galen the Divine) Guided Tours Istanbul. Questioning Galen’s theories often led to severe consequences, with individuals risking their lives, sometimes being burnt at the stake