Galen Yields to Pliny

Petrarch, Against a Certain Physician 1.17:

I expect in your next letter, you most absurd censor of the world, that you will order that grammar be subservient to the wool trade, that dialectic be subservient to weapons manufacturing. What could I think that you would not dare to do, when you think that I have set my mouth against even by touching on doctors, that divine and celestial race, when you yourself were not afraid to open your disgusting mouth against Pliny, the most preeminent man in learning and intellect of his entire age? Thus I see that they wrote about him, without excepting Galen, his contemporary (if I am not mistaken) who was himself a not unlearned man, but he had the most ample supply of uneducated and talkative successors.


Proximis tuis literis expecto, ridiculosissime rerum censor, ut lanificio iubeas subesse grammaticam, dyaleticam armature. Quid enim te rursus non ausurum putem, qui me os in celum posuisse dicas, quoniam medicos divinum ac celeste genus attigerim, cum tu impurissimum os aperire non sis veritus in Plinium Secundum, virum ex omnibus sue etatis doctrina ingenioque prestantissimum? Ita enim de illo scriptum video; nec excipitur Galienus, coetaneus – nisi fallor – suus, vir et ipse non indoctus, sed indoctorum atque loquacium abundantissimus successorum.

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