Skip to main content

Rufus of Samaria

RUFUS OF SAMARIA

RUFUS OF SAMARIA (c. 100 c.e.), earliest Jewish physician and writer on medicine whose name has been preserved. Recent studies indicate that Rufus was the first Jew to write commentaries in Greek on the works of Hippocrates. According to the German scholar Pfaff, Rufus of Samaria was a learned and wealthy Jewish physician who emigrated to Rome from Samaria. It is possible that he changed his original Hebrew name to the Latin name Rufus because of its similarity in sound to rofe, the Hebrew word for physician. He learned Greek, wrote medical books in that language, and collected an extensive library of commentaries on Hippocrates, to which he added several of his own. Although *Josephus mentions several contemporaries named Rufus, it is not possible to identify the physician Rufus with any of them. The second-century Greek physician *Galen was careful to distinguish between Rufus of Samaria and his contemporary, the better known Rufus of Ephesus. That Rufus of Samaria was an eminent medical authority is clear from the fact that Galen mentions him in such detail, although the latter was no great friend of the Jews. Galen maintained that whereas Jews (including Rufus) "believed," he (Galen) was "convinced." And, although Galen used Rufus' writings as source material, he felt that Rufus as a Jew, was incapable of appreciating the spirit of the Greek Hippocrates and was therefore unable to produce appropriate commentaries.

bibliography:

R. Walzer, Galen on Jews and Christians (1949), 9, 17, 80; E. Pfaff, in: Hermes, 67 (1932), 356ff.

[Suessmann Muntner]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Rufus of Samaria." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Rufus of Samaria." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rufus-samaria

"Rufus of Samaria." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved September 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rufus-samaria

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.