Originally Posted By: quizzersapru
(which is sort of ironic, as he was a Roman physician and chose a Greek root

Originally Posted By: zmjezhd
The Latin for crab (and cancer) is cancer, whence English cancer and canker; the Greek for crab is karkinos, whence English carcinoma. Galen wrote in Greek and used karkinos 'crab' for the disease cancer; Aulus Cornelius Celsus used the Latin word cancer in his De medicina. Greek has both ogkos, i.e., onkos, whence English oncology) and kele) for 'tumor' .

Very thorough as usual James!

The only thing I can think to add is that the reason he would have written in Greek even though he was from a Roman family line himself, is that Greek was the linga franca of most of the Roman Empire at that time. Latin was the language of the Army and Civil Administration, but Greek was the language of the marketplace, science, religion and philosophy. It was only after the Empire split into East and West that Latin became more important in the Western half and eventually dominated European science and religion. Greek continued to be dominant in the Byzantine Empire. Galen also lived in Pergamum, at the more Greek end of the Empire. Of course if he live there now he would speak Turkish.