Oribasius (Latin Oribasius; AltGr. Оρειβάσιος Σαρδιανός * 325 in Pergamon ( probably not in Sardis ); † 403 ) was a late ancient physician, medical historian and student of the Alexandrian dogmatist Zeno of Kypros.


The Greeks and heath Oribasius came from a wealthy family from Pergamon. He studied in Alexandria, settled but then in his hometown down. He enjoyed a good reputation, that he of the Caesar and later Emperor Julian was appointed as his personal physician, 355, where Oribasius was also responsible for the library Julians. In the following years, a friendship between the two men developed. Oribasius was a close confidant of the emperor, who was working on a restoration of the pagan cults after his accession, 361.

On Julian's command made ​​Oribasius from the works of the Greek physician Galen and other Greek physicians an important encyclopedia in seventy-two volumes of ( Συναγογία Ιατρική - synagogia Iatrikê = medical meeting ), of which he, 20 years later, first for his son Eustathius a shorter survey in nine books ( Σύνωψις - Synopsis ) put together. Only a few of the books written in Greek works have survived. Oribasius to have visited the Delphic oracle in the year 362 on Julian's command to offer the emperor's support. This is reported by the Byzantine historian Kedrenos and the late antique artemii Passio. The Pythia prophesied for the last time and summoned him that the oracle will be silent forever:

Εἴπατε τῷ βασιλεῖ, χαμαὶ πέσε δαίδαλος αὐλά, οὐκέτι Φοῖβος ἔχει καλύβην. Οὐ μάντιδα δάφνην, οὐ παγὰν λαλέουσαν, ἀπέσβετο καὶ λᾶλον ὕδωρ.

Announce to the Emperor is overthrown, the magnificent hall, Phoebus has not [his ] house. Neither the prophetic laurel nor the source speak more silent [ is ] also the murmuring water.

After Julian's death 363 Oribasius wrote a memorandum, a kind of summary of the emperor, which Eunapius of Sardis, about regarding Julian's Persian war, and perhaps - mediated via Eunapius - Zosimus had used, which Zosimus has probably used Magnus of Carrhae. Many researchers see in Oribasius, others in Magnus a possible common source of Zosimus and Ammianus Marcellinus, although Ammianus had incorporated his own experiences in his work.

Eunapius devoted Oribasius also an entry in its sophistarum vitae ( "Life of the Sophists "), which is an important source, but is very critical written and, therefore, only be used with caution. Eunapius apparently had the intention to glorify Oribasius to a " pagan martyr." Julian's successor, Valens and Valentinian I Flavius ​​exiled Oribasius. Where Oribasius was staying at that time is unclear, but is possible that he ( such as and, recently, Udo Hartmann Alexander Demandt ) went into exile to the Goths or to Persia. Later, however, he was recalled and is a wealthy woman got married.