Only the Hippocratic theory of the four humours blood, phlegm, yellow bile . Galen, there does not necessarily exist a relationship between a cold and dry. anything to teach us about the relationship between balance and good mental health? Starting with the classical Greek physician Hippocrates ( BC) and diseminated even wider by the Roman Galen ( AD), the basic idea The four humors, black bile, yellow bile, blood, and phlegm. Greek scientists Hippocrates and Galen hypothesized that a Shakespeare frequently referenced the four temperaments and the four humors. . Astrologically, “the sun was in relation to the humor, yellow bile, appropriate.
The undue preponderance of any one humor would result in characteristic patterns of disease Miller, ; Temkin, ; Harris, This theory can be seen as part of the larger Greek cultural movement — visible from Thales through Aristotle and beyond — away from supernatural modes of explanation towards naturalistic explanations.
Galen accepted the output of this movement, including the Pythagorean, Empedoclean and Platonic accounts that matter is composed of four elements; fire, water, air and earth with their qualities of hot, moist, cold and dry, respectively.
These natural elements do not exist as such in the body, but are characterized as blood, yellow bile, black bile and phlegm. Spread in ancient near east was immediate, across Arabic and Mediterranean cultures.
Four temperaments - Wikipedia
This book classified the universe in terms of the elements, defined as the properties of the hot, cold, wet and dry, exemplified by fire, air, water and earth. All living things are held to arise from these four elements, mixed in different amounts and proportions.
In the body, the four Galenic humors are the bearers of the elemental properties. Determining the correct balance of humors during an intervention would not be a simple matter. Treatment of imbalances would significantly involve foods or drugs thought to contain the right balance of the four natural properties for that therapeutic situation.
Ibn Sina Avicenna also reviewed doctrine and added secondary humors. Jumping ahead to the Elizabethan period, we find that the theory of the humors had become what Michel Foucault has called a discipline or a practice of the body.
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A vast amount of how Elizabethans regulated themselves: They would have inherited the view from the Middle Ages that bathing was more harmful for men than for women; masculinity being associated with the hot, dry humors and femininity with the cold wet humors.
Artistic representations of females in the proximity of water with men keeping a certain distance were made with these distinctions in mind Filipczak, In a similar fashion, almost every aspect of comportment was informed by the theory of the humors.The 4 Temperaments
And it was not simply a preoccupation of the elites. These explicit references prove what the whole opus demonstrates, which is the absolutely dominant role of Galenic doctrine in the popular understanding of the body during the Elizabethan era.
Both Shakespeare and Chaucer make explicit use of the doctrine of the four humors and related astrological lore for characterization, including physical appearance, goals and motivations, social position and profession, behavior under stress and other components of characterization. The doctrine had become a primary metaphor for the understanding of human life Draper, Constitutional imbalance — a humors-based concept — remained the primary medical framework in the seventeenth century.
This was a feature of American medicine into the early nineteenth century, and remains a part of the folk medicine tradition to this day Foster, Furthermore, at the time of the conquest of America right down through to the late eighteenth century, Spanish medicine too was dominated by the humoral theory, as received from the Arabic medical tradition. Humoral theory thus remains part of the folk medicine in the Spanish-speaking world as well Foster, If nothing else, humoral theory forced physician to consider patients as a whole during diagnosis and treatment.
However, it is also clear that humoral theory captured some aspects of the structure of concern, and so an understanding of broader regularities may have been involved. The complete humoral theory is summarized below.
Hippocrates & Galen - The Four Humors - PAEI - Structures of Concern
Medical diagnosis is a task that is very often Intuitive in the Jungian sense. Blood[ edit ] The blood was believed to be produced exclusively by the liver sanguine enthusiastic, active, and social. Excess of black bile was understood to cause depression, and inversely a decline of feeling or opinion cause the liver to produce blood contaminated with black bile. Nobel laureate Charles Richet MD, when describing humorism's "phlegm or pituitary secretion" in asked rhetorically, " Who will ever see it?
Who has ever seen it? What can we say of this fanciful classification of humours into four groups, of which two are absolutely imaginary? One such instance occurred in the sixth and seventh centuries in the Byzantine Empire when traditional secular Greek culture gave way to Christian influences.
Though the use of humouralist medicine continued during this time, its influence was diminished in favour of religion.
When blood is drawn in a glass container and left undisturbed for about an hour, four different layers can be seen.
A dark clot forms at the bottom the "black bile". Above the clot is a layer of red blood cells the "blood". Above this is a whitish layer of white blood cells the "phlegm". The top layer is clear yellow serum the "yellow bile". Ancient Greek medicine Hippocrates is the one usually credited with applying this idea to medicine. One of the treatises attributed to Hippocrates, On the Nature of Man, describes the theory as follows: