BOLGOVA A.M. Oribasius and Medical Tradition of Early Byzantium


Anna M. Bolgova

Candidate of Sciences (Pedagogy), Associate Professor of Department of World History,

Belgorod State National Research University,

Pobedy St., 85, 308015 Belgorod, Russian Federation

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Abstract.  Introduction. The purpose of this article is the attraction of attention to the individual and the heritage of Oribasius, the first known physician of the early Byzantine era.

Methods. The methodological basis of the work is the conception of Late Antiquity as a continuity. Sources on the subject include works by Oribasius himself, Patriarch Photius, Eunapius, Emperor Julian, and other representatives of the Early Byzantine medical tradition. In Russia, no one article about of the doctor from Pergamum has not been published.

Analysis. In the era of Late Antiquity, there were complex cultural processes associated with the preservation of the ancient heritage. At this time, starting from the second half of the 4th century AD, medical writings, continuing the Galenic tradition, reappear. Oribasius can be called the first physician and medical writer of Early Byzantium. Oribasius played an important role in the era of Julian, as he was not only a personal physician, but also a close friend of the emperor. He left a vast written heritage. His life journey and career led him to the authority of the best metropolitan doctor in Constantinople at the end of the 4th Сentury AD.

Results. The preserved medical works of Oribasius prove his considerable knowledge, show a very clear organization and practicality, that is, those features that contributed to the popularity of the doctor’s writings in Byzantium, and in later periods.

Key words: Oribasius, medicine, tradition, Late Antiquity, empire, Early Byzantium.

Citation. Bolgova A.M. Oribasius and Medical Tradition of Early Byzantium. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4, Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2018, vol. 23, no. 5, pp. 157-168. (in Russian). DOI:

Лицензия Creative Commons

Oribasius and Medical Tradition of Early Byzantium by Bolgova A.M. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Download this file (1_Bolgova.pdf) 1_Bolgova.pdf