First English edition of the Nuremberg chronicle: being the Liber chronicarum of Dr. Hartmann Schedel…

Galen (Galienus), a very learned physician, was by birth a Greek of the city of Pergamum, situated in Asia. He was a big man, had large and broad shoulders, and brown skin. He took pleasure in music and in alchemy. He was born of a wealthy and tender father, rich in knowledge of the sciences of astronomy, mathematics and the like. Through Talius, his master in medicine, he became wonderfully wise and informed. He traveled about the world to gain knowledge. He ate little for breakfast and was satisfied with bread and figs. In the evening he ate a copious meal. From youth he had an inclination to medicine, and at the age of nineteen he disputed with the disciples of Athens on the subject of medicine. He flourished in the time of the Emperor Antoninus Pius. He never came to grief or shame for a lack of medical knowledge and never erred in his prognosis. Constantinus says he wrote 150 books. He lived to the age of 87, and as some say, died at sea while on a voyage to investigate the miracles once performed by Christ. And Mundinus says: This Galen should deservedly be called the prince of physicians, for he is believed to have excelled all except Hippocrates, whose writings he interpreted with great understanding.[Claudius Galenus (the chronicler writes his name as Galienus), commonly called Galen, was a very celebrated physician whose works had a longer and more extensive influence on the different branches of medical science than those of any other individual either in ancient or modern times. He was born at Pergamum in 130 CE. His father, Nicon, who was an architect and geometrician, carefully superintended his education. In his 17th year, his father, who had up to this point in time destined him to be a philosopher, altered his intentions, and in consequence of a dream, chose for him the profession of medicine. He at first studied medicine in his native city. At 20 he lost his father, and went to Smyrna to study under Pelops, the physician, and Albinus, the Platonic philosopher. He afterward studied at Corinth and Alexandria, and was appointed physician to the school of gladiators, an office he filled with success. In 164 he went to Rome for the first time, and during a stay of four years, gained a great reputation in anatomy and medicine. He returned to Pergamum in 168, but was soon summoned by the Emperors M. Aurelius and L. Verus to attend them at Aquileia in Venetia. In 170 Galen followed Aurelius to Rome, where he stayed for some years, lecturing, writing, and practicing with great success. He died in the year 200 at the age of seventy, some say; but others claim that he lived several years longer. He wrote a great number of works on medicine and philosophy, attaching himself to no particular sect. From the tenets of each he selected what he believed to be the best.]

Justin (Justinus), a philosopher, of the city of Naples (Neapoli), at this time devoted much care and labor to the Christian faith. He gave Antoninus Pius and his sons a book written against the pagans. And he wrote a dialogue against Tryphon (Triphonem), prince of the Jews. And so he was also against Marcion, the heretic, who followed the teachings of the heretic Cerdon, who said: That the one Lord was good, and that the other was just, as though there were two contraries in the creation and in goodness. By his speech he also chastised Crescens, the cynic, as a glutton; but through the latter’s secret cunning he was so circumvented that his blood was spilled in honor of the name of Christ.

Justin, surnamed Martyr, was one of the earliest Christian writers. He was born in 103 CE, at Flavia Napolis, the Shechem of the Old Testament, a city in Samaria. In his youth he studied Greek philosophy with zeal. He was afterward converted to Christianity. As a Christian he retained the garb of a philosopher, but devoted himself to the propogation, by writing and otherwise, of the faith that he had embraced. He was put to death at Rome about 165 in the persecution under M. Antoninus. Justin wrote a large number of works in Greek, the most important being An Apology for the Christians, addressed to M. Aurelius and L. Verus; a dialogue with Tryphon the Jew, in which he defends the Christians.

Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History 4.11; Bohn, p. 126) states: "A certain man, however, by name Cerdon, who derived his first impulse from the followers of Simon, and who made some stay at Rome etc., taught that the God who had been proclaimed by the law and the prophets, was not the Father of Jesus Christ, for the latter was revealed, the other was unknown; the former also was just, but the other was good. Marcion, who was from Pontus, having succeeded Cerdon, augmented his school by uttering his blasphemies without a blush."

At page 143 of the same reference Eusebius further states: "This Justin has left us many monuments of a mind well stored with learning, and devoted to sacred things . . . There is a discourse of his, addressed to Antonine, surnamed the Pious, and his sons and the Roman senate, in defense of our doctrines. Another work, comprising a defense of our faith, which he addressed to the emperor, Antoninus Verus, successor of the preceding. Also, another book against the Greeks, in which, dilating upon most of the questions agitated between us and the Greek philosophers, he also discusses the nature of demons. In this he states with respect to the Jews how insidiously they plotted against the doctrine of Christ, and addresses the following works to Tryphon: ‘But you do not only continue impenitent for your evil deeds, but selecting chosen men, you sent them from Jerusalem to all the world, declaring that the infidel sect of Christians had made its appearance, and uttering all those falsehoods against us which those that knew us not are accustomed to repeat.’"

Aquila, a Jew, and a native of the Pontus, together with Priscilla his wife were banished by the order of the Emperor Claudius, and (as some say) lived up to this time; and he was the second translator of the Laws of Moses, after the Seventy translators. He translated the books of the Old Testament from the Hebrew into the Greek tongue. He wrote to a little virgin what the prophets had said of the Virgin Mary.[Aquila, of Pontus, translated the Old Testament into Greek, probably 130 CE. Only a few fragments remain, published in editions of the of Origen.]

Cerdo, the heretic, from whom the Cerdonian heresy derived its name, at this time undertook to prophesy nonsense. He said: There are two contrary origins.[The Cerdonians were a Gnostic sect founded by Cerdo, a Syrian, who came to Rome about 137, but concerning whose history little is known. Most of what the Fathers narrate of Cerdo’s tenets has probably been transferred to him from his famous pupil Marcion (e.g., both of whom are said to have rejected the Old Testament and the New, except part of Luke’s Gospel and of Paul’s Epistles).]

Marcion, another heretic and Cerdo’s disciple, was a Stoic philosopher, and, together with his master, also spoke nonsense. He said that God, the Creator of the World, is not the Father of Christ. At one time Marcion went to Rome to contend with Polycarp; and he asked him whether he knew him. And Polycarp said to him, Yes, I know the firstborn of the devil.

Among the Christian organizations of the second century the most important, next to the proto-orthodox (who would go on to form the version of Christianity that would later split into Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy), was the Marcionite community. It admitted all believers without distinction, seeking to lay the foundation of the Christian community on the pure and authentic gospel of Christ. Marcion found the gospel to be more or less corrupted and mutilated in the Christian circles of his time, and his undertaking resolved itself into a reformation of Christendom, which he sought to deliver from false Jewish doctrines by restoring the Pauline conception of the gospel – Paul being, according to Marcion, the only apostle who had rightly understood the new message of salvation delivered by Christ. It is a mistake to reckon Marcion among the Gnostics, for he ascribed salvation not to "knowledge" but to "faith."

Marcion was a wealthy ship-owner of Sinope in the Pontus, and a convert from Paganism to Christianity. About 140 CE he arrived in Rome as a Christian, and made himself known to the local church. Even then, however, the leading features of his peculiar system must have been already thought out. He tried to obtain acceptance for them, but encountered so much opposition that he was compelled to establish in Rome a community of his own. The new society increased in the two following decades. The earliest inscription (318 CE) on a Christian place of worship is Marcionite, and was found on a stone that had stood over the doorway of a house in a Syrian village. Many of the Marcionites went over to Manichaeism, and the sect seems to have vanished in the seventh century.

Valentinus (Valentinianus), another heretic, from whom the Valentinian heresy derived its name, also gained ascendancy at this time. They said that Christ derived nothing from the body of the Virgin, but came out of her pure, as through a pipe or reed.

Valentinus, the most prominent leader of the Gnostic movement, is said to have been born near the coast in Lower Egypt, and was brought up and educated in Alexandria. He came to Rome (c. 135-160) during the episcopate of Hyginus, flourished under Pius, and stayed till the time of Anicetus. During his stay in Rome he is said to have converted a few adherents of the Valentinian sect. Tertullian declared that Valentinus came to Rome as an adherent of the orthodox Church, and was a candidate for the bishopric of Rome, but abandoned the Church because a confessor was preferred to him for this office. The statement is questioned. Great uncertainty also attaches to his residence in Cyprus, where he is said to have definitely accomplished his secession from the Church. But it seems clear that Valentinus did not, like Marcion, break with the Church from the very beginning, but endeavored to maintain his standing within it.

The Gnostics held that God in himself is unknowable and unapproachable, but that all existences, material and spiritual, are derived from the Deity by successive emanations, or eons. Gnosticism borrowed certain elements from the current Persian philosophy, but more from the Greek doctrines connected with the Neo-Platonic ideas of Logos and Nous. Christ was merely a superior eon. Among the principal systems are those of Basilides (125-140), Valentinus (140-160), the Ophites, Carpocrates and Epiphanes, Saturninus, Cerdo, Marcion (150), and Bardesanes (154-222). Gnosticism aimed at a different way of salvation (by knowledge) rather than by the path of faith (and, to a lesser extend, works) prescribed by the New Testament.

Theophilus, a bishop of the church of Antioch, flourished at this time. In the reign of Antoninus he wrote a book against the aforesaid heretic Marcion; and also a book against the heresy of Hermogenis; and three books against Aetholus; and he wrote many other things.[]

Melito, a bishop of the church of Sardis, and a disciple of Frontus the rhetorician, was held in great esteem at this time. He wrote a book of Christian teaching to the emperor Antoninus Marcus. This man’s intelligence was wonderfully praised by Tertullian (as Jerome writes); and he says that among many of our people he was regarded as a prophet, for he wrote many prophetical works.[]

Apollinaris (Appollinaris), bishop of Hierapolis, was held in high honor at this time. He wrote an excellent work for the emperor, M. Antoninus the Second; and he also wrote many things against heretics; also five books against the pagans and there are extant two others On Truth.[Although there are many works of Apollinaris preserved by various authors, those that have reached us are the following: , and . Also two , two also , and those that he afterwards wrote . (Eusebius, 4.27)]


Galen (Galenius), is represented in the dress of a doctor. He is examining a specimen of urine in a bottle—an attitude in which men of medicine were often portrayed in the Middle Ages.