December 11, 2007

Aeulius Nicon

Aeulius Nicon was a wealthy architect and builder in 2nd century Pergamon. Nicon is known chiefly as the father of the ancient anatomist and philosopher, Galen.

Nicon was a mathematician, architect, astronomer, philosopher, and devotee of Greek literature. Nicon closely supervised Galen's education and tutored him at home, intending his son to study philosophy or politics. However according to Galen, Nicon was visited in a dream by Asclepius, Greek god of healing, who told to him to allow his son to study medicine. Galen soon began his studies at the major sanctuary of Asclepius located in Pergamon.

In his book, On the Passions and Errors of the Soul, Galen described his father as "the least irascible, the most just, the most devoted of fathers." Nicon's Stoic virtue in Galen's accounts contrasts vividly with his hot-tempered and argumentative description of his mother.

Nicon died in 148 or 149.

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