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The Elizabethan Psychology - the four humours
Transcript of The Elizabethan Psychology - the four humours
Embracement of ancient Greek and Roman beliefs, myths and culture in Elizabethan era
now discredited medical theory:
body consists of 4 humours
blood, bile (
), black bile, yellow bile, phlegm (
relation between the humours
all 4 humours in balance healthy
fluids wax and wane in the body depending on diet and activity
surplus or deficit (imbalance) affects physical health, personality & character either positively or negatively
all diseases and disabilities supposedly resulted from imbalances, having a negative influence
treatments aimed on restoring balance through controlled expulsion of fluids like
Black Bile Cold and Dry Too much earth Melancholic Autumn
Blood Hot and Moist Too much air Sanguine Sping
Phlegm Cold and Moist Too much water Phlegmatic Winter Yellow Bile Hot and Dry Too much fire Choleric Summer
= 1. " bodily fluids"
2. "mood/state of mind/emotional condition"
the theory was closely related to the theory of the four elements: earth, fire, water and air
the main medical treatment used herbes
e.g. head afflictions : sweet-smelling herbs (rose, lavender)