Alexander, Trallianus

, a learned physician and philosopher, of the 6th century, was born at Tralles, in Asia Minor. His father, also a physician, had five sons distinguished for their talents: the two most celebrated were Anthemius, an architect, and Alexander. The latter, after travelling for improvement into France, Spain, and Italy, took up his residence at Rome, where he acquired great reputation. He and Aretatæus may be considered as the best Greek physicians after Hippocrates. Alexander describes diseases with great exactness, and his style is elegant; but he partook of the credulity of his times, and trusted too much to amulets and nostrums. He added something, however, to the more judicious practice of the art, having been the first who prescribed opening the jugular, and the first who administered steel in substance. He is much fuller, and more exact than his predecessors in Therapeutics, and collected those remedies principally which he had found to be most effectual. Dr. Freind has given an elaborate analysis of his practice. There are various editions of his works; one in Greek, Paris, 1548, fol. corrected by Goupil, from a manuscript furnished by Duchatel, bishop of Macon and grand almoner of France. There is also an old and bad Latin translation, which Fabricius thinks must have been taken from some Arabic original, published under the title of “Alexandri iatros practica, cum expositione glossae interlinearis Jacobi de Partibus, et Simonis Januensis,Leyden, 1504, 4to. This was retrenched by Albanus Taurinus, but without the Greek being consulted, and published at Basil, fol. 1533. Another translation, by Gouthier d’Andernac, was improved from the Greek, and has often been reprinted. Among the works of Mercurialis is a small treatise in verse, attributed to Alexander. Haller published a Latin edition of all his works, in 1772, 2 vols. 8vo, with Freind’s account of his practice. In 1734, an abridgement was published at London by Edward MiUvard, M. D. entitled “Trallianus Redivivus, or an account of Trallianus one of the Greek authors who flourished after Galen; showing that these | authors are far from deserving the imputation of mere tforrtpilators,” 8vo. This was intended as a supplement to Dr. Freind’s History. 1


Haller Bibl. Med. Pract.—Vossius Hist. Græc.—Fabric. Bibl. Græc.— Moreri.—Biog. Universelle.