Although the first-century physician/philosopher Galen is rarely spoken of today outside of academic circles his ideas dominated medieval and early modern medicine. Those who have heard of him tend to think of him, from a medical point of view, as irrelevant or mistaken. This response is the legacy of early modern critiques of his work on physiology and anatomy. Yet everyone who thinks about diet, exercise, sleep, environment, and emotions as influences on personal health perpetuates his work in their own way. The encyclopaedic nature of Galen’s work and the many ways in which it was adapted during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance have been examined for the most part by scholars of the history of medicine. For the French Renaissance, the most important element of his thought was the régime de santé, also known as dietetics or hygiene. This aspect of Galen’s work was already highly developed in the medieval period by means of Arabic sources. Italian scholars and courtiers elaborated on the genre with a particular view to its relevance to princely education and court life. In the sixteenth century, rediscovery, printing, and translation of Galen’s original writings led to a proliferation of régimes de santé in France. The different versions of this genre integrated regional variations with more generalised dietary advice, and took into account environmental and personal aspects such as climate, age, health or illness, that might call for modification of the regimen. These Galenic treatises were echoed in the work of authors such as François Rabelais and Michel de Montaigne, as well as in satirical novels like L’Isle des hermaphrodites (The Island of Hermaphrodites) (1605). The régime de santé took on particular significance in the wake of the Wars of Religion, as authors such as Joseph Du Chesne (one of Henri IV’s personal doctors) and Nicolas Abraham de La Framboisière proposed dietetics and hygiene as a response to civil unrest and a chaotic French court. Scholarly discussions of Galen’s work on the regimen continued well into the eighteenth century, bringing key concepts from this genre into the modern era. The regimen, examined by the twentieth-century philosopher Michel Foucault as a means of controlling bodies, individuals, and whole categories of people, was adopted in the sixteenth century as a means of restoring order to the nation.