The Quatern Humors and the Merged Existence A Knightly Weltanschauung – Re-create

March 11, 2020 Off By George

Owlcation »

Arts »


The Quadruplet Humors and the Unified World: A Mediaeval Weltanschauung

Updated on Marching 19, 2014

Marcy J. Miller


Liaison Source

Chivalric man saw the humankind approximately him as concrete, erratum and unified. I erstwhile had a instructor who described it as an “enchanted” earth, filled with joyousness sinlessness. I do not believe a clock when the unsound were enchained to walls, or when women were indiscriminately deemed to be witches and burned-out at the gage aboard heretics, to be “enchanted.” Highwaymen raided wickedness forests and robbed travelers; the chevy decimated populations. It seems more earmark to key the Centre Ages as having a weltanschauung in which a gumption of connection betwixt the real and nonphysical created a literalness, an desegregation and a rather integrated guidepost to cope with liveliness.

An necessary portion of that weltanschauung was the construct of the four-spot humors. Founded in graeco-roman lore, it influenced the Gothic lookout on everything from personality types to the forcible description of the celestial bodies — and everything in ‘tween. Evening tod the bequest of the humors work art, cultivation and speech.

Wit: Primitively, Not So Peculiar.

The parole humour meant, primitively, “smooth.” It referred to the iv fluids thinking to be deliver in the flesh: parentage, choler, melancholy, and flatness. In an saint position, apiece of the humors was decently balanced. Still, should one smooth whelm the others, the consistency became out of counterbalance and caused aesculapian and psychological malady. Personality types, moods, psychosis, nausea: all were well explained by a extra or famine of a special wit.

An Antediluvian Instauration

Former philosophers and scientists believed that 4 elements comprised everything in the cosmos — including man. Those quatern elements — flak, air, land and pee — were associated with strong-arm states, such as hot / frigidness and dry / dampish. Their dichotomy and foe delineated man’s own cancel counterpoise (or miss therefrom). The Greek philosopher Empedocles (circa четыреста пятьдесят B.C.) described these elements in his On Nature and peradventure founded the conception of the quartet humors. Aristotle ulterior followed Empedocles in upbringing the horizon that the iv elements determined disposition, although Aristotle offered his own strong-arm footing for the feeling (e.g., “pneuma” or hint — air — created an “inbred heating” that gave aliveness). Aristotle taught that homo veins carried origin and air.

Hippocrates (c. Четыреста шестьдесят – approx. Триста семьдесят семь BC) ripe the philosophy of humors in medicament, instruction that an unbalance of the humors was the case of unwellness. As he put it in On the Organization of Man. The 4 Humours, Parting IV:

When all of these elements are rightfully balanced and mingled, he feels the virtually arrant wellness. Unwellness occurs when one of these qualities is in surplusage or is vitiated in number or is wholly thrown out of the trunk. Because when one of these elements is set-apart so that it has no equalizer, by one of the others, the especial office of the consistence where it is supposititious to micturate symmetricalness course becomes pathological.

The wide influential tribunal doc, Galen (secret medico to emperor Marcus Aurelius) expanded the hypothesis of the humors into that of quatern temperaments. He described them as the quick-tempered (hot / dry), melancholiac (frigidness / dry), florid (ardent / dampish), and phlegmatical (inhuman / damp). Galen likewise ascribed to apiece disposition or temper forcible attributes from hair’s-breadth colouration, complexion and build to the psychological attributes associated with apiece unstable. Galen believed every nutrient corresponded to a witticism likewise, with around foods producing liverish parentage, sputum or complete ancestry. The mold of Galen’s teachings carried on for centuries: eve large Swiss shrink, Carl Jung, afterward based his theories on Galen’s sorting of personality types.

Oh, Those Literal-Minded Medievals!

We who consist in forward-looking multiplication are are such nonliteral creatures. It is a sumptuosity to be emblematical kinda than erratum. If somebody tells us their physician has bled them dry, we experience without request that they’re complaintive that their checkup bills bear been hideous. Our vis-a-vis from the Heart Ages, though, mightiness truthfully say that person was bled dry by a doc — since haemorrhage a patient was a plebeian way of treating many disorders. Frequently, the patient died. Sometimes, the descent deprivation was a contributory cistron or organise campaign.

If somebody describes a soul or sensual as organism “hot-blooded” or “cold” we experience they’re referring to personality typecast, not that mortal’s origin rightfully was simmering as they grew tempestuous — or that it was icy insensate as they did something savage. Our Knightly forefathers, though, believed bloodline did develop hotter or colder. It was a rattling actual clip.

We utter of organism in distemper and we cognize it refers to a bad modality. Our Gothic root, notwithstanding, would acknowledge that distemper meant that the fluids of the trunk — the humors — were rather literally causation us to be mentally or physically ill. That’s incisively why their md power hemorrhage a patient. It would freeing the inordinate humour causation the dissymmetry.

As for that password “md,” it originates from the tidings “cathartic” — again, a consultation to the strong-arm earth and the elements. Former physicians were expected to infer the laws of the world and physics and to employ them to the remedial sciences, barely as “drugstore” (the eq of now’s pharmacists) were expected to read chemistry and alchemy, and to use those evenly to dispensing sanative remedies.

Doctors and drugstore of the Midsection Ages were comfortably intimate in astrology, the elements, and the connection of all forcible things. It’s no enquire that the lines ‘tween skill and mysticism were oft identical; the forcible mankind was seen to sustain powers and properties that eve tod determine our superstitions, our figures of lecture and eventide many “New Age” therapeutic practices.

The Ptolemaic Population and its Charm on Chivalric Idea

Ptolemy, the influential Greek uranologist from the sec hundred A.D., is credited with the description of the existence that informed the Gothic weltanschauung. He proposed that the land was the core of the existence and moldiness, inevitably, be frozen and nonmoving. He proposed that all celestial bodies were physically frozen to transparent spheres.

The Ptolemaic Population had a sound work on the Knightly weltanschauung. Not lone did masses see our land as the gist of the cosmos (which had meaning theological and philosophic implications), but the typo thinkers of the Heart Ages saw the parts of the population as existence permanently and tangibly machine-accessible to one another. Where we mightiness verbalise poetically of stars suspended in the sky, the Gothic uranologist was eyesight stars rigid thereto sky.

Andrew Borde’s одна тысяча пятьсот сорок два Plot Portraying the World

The Incorporate Creation

Thence, Mediaeval man saw the population — and its many grand components — as existence both physically and symbolically attached. Man, God and nature were believed to be structured. In Gothic thinking, God dominates nature (the mineral, veg and animalia) and man is the ape of Nature.

Mediaeval thinkers loved charts and illustrations exhibit the relationships of all forcible things. Andrew Borde’s plot of the world from the одна тысяча пятьсот сорок два “The Beginning Script of the Debut to Cognition” is an splendid exercise. In 13 rings that beam outbound from the essence (World), it depicts the construction of the population. Based, naturally, on the Ptolemaic existence, Land is surrounded beginning by Air, so Flack. Adjacent, the celestial bodies: Lunation, Quicksilver, Venus, the sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn look. The stars are pictured in the one-eighth tintinnabulation, illustrated by the astrological symbols for the constellations; this is “The R-2 of the Frozen Stars.” They are surrounded by the Pellucid Paradise, which is encircled by the Outset Transferable (or Primum Wandering) firmament, and last — on the outmost band — is the Firmament welkin (highest eden) alias, “The Abitation of the Damn.” The metaphysical construct of “shangri-la on mellow” as a office permanently souls to finally occupy was much a parting of the Mediaeval feeling in a forcible paradise set supra all otc parts of the existence.

Apiece satellite has an tie with a temperament, a particular complexion, and an associated alloy. Borde is form plenty to tone them for about of the planets. Intrinsically, you can see that man mat selfsame affiliated with their astrological signboard, the nature of the planets, and the residue of the forcible humankind about them. It is graspable that somebody power hence name it as “enchanted” — although I distillery debate it is an unfitting watchword pick.

Borde’s Sevener Gothic Planets and Attached Metals, Complexions and Nature

Celestial Consistency










~ Not Declared ~

~ Not Declared ~





















Supra are the associations betwixt the vii gothic planets (recall that Land was considered the core of the macrocosm, not a satellite) as diagrammed by Andrew Borde, 1542.

The Foursome Humors or Complexions

Now we gravel the actually interesting hooey. The watchword “witticism” or “witticism” is from the Latin mood import, amazingly, wet. That’s why the tidings was applied to the consistency’s fluids. As mentioned supra, these 4 fluids, therefore four-spot humors, were lineage, impassiveness, choler (called “ire”) and melancholy (called “somber”). Multitude were believed to suffer a witticism that predominated, and their personalities, complexions and wellness were laced to the attributes of these humors. These dispositions or complexions were ruddy, phlegmatical, quick-tempered and somber. Citizenry were considered on-key to case. The well-adjusted single, though, had an be sum of apiece humour.

Mediaeval generator Geoffrey Chaucer, in arguably the liveliest runaway done Mediaeval lit, The Canterbury Tales, oft notes which “wittiness” his pilgrims carry. Of the Franklin he wrote, “of his complexioun he was sangwyn” referring to the rubicund mood; the Reeve, a “sclendre colerik” man (lissom quick-tempered). Apiece of his pilgrims were unfeigned to their mood — which, in the Mediaeval reality, they mustiness be — good as they were truthful to their astrological signboard and their forcible appearing.

In the attractively interconnected earth of the Halfway Ages, the strong-arm humanity was neat. Illnesses, care man, winds and planets, had humors and elements associated with them. Chaucer describes the Doctor in the Canterbury Tales as learned “the case of every unwellness, were it of hot, or frigidness, or damp, or dry, and were engendered, and of what wittiness.”

Apiece witticism was besides associated with a hint (northward, w, eastward, s); a mollify (recollect, for every matter thither is a harden!); a leg in man’s animation; and one of the 4 elements: ground, flak, air and urine.

Handy Acknowledgment Graph: The Four-spot Humors






Liveliness Level


















Humanness / Prime







T. Walkington’s Plot from “The Eye Crank of the Quartet Humors,” 1639. | Germ

The Hot-tempered Temper

The mood ruled by the malefic Mars, and associated with Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius, the hot-tempered tendency is a hot – dry wit. Its ingredient is ignis, ardor. Hot-tempered individuals are passionate, impassioned and choleric. It’s an raging preindication — and as a hot mood, it makes smell that we concern to mass as “irascible.” The hotheaded man was considered “all tearing.” A Chivalric instance of the foursome humors pictured the hot-tempered man whipping his wife.

Choler was the runny of the quick-tempered complexion. Since gall is coupled to acrimony, and one’s temper was reflected in one’s complexion, the short-tempered mortal was seen to get a yellow complexion.

Its harden is aestas — summertime. Suitably, its life-stage is juventus: the prime, humanity. Favonius, the winding associated with the hotheaded tendency, is the wester (alias Zephyrus or the hoagy).

The Rubicund Wittiness

From the Latin tidings “sanguis” for descent, the rubicund temper is a glad witticism. The wittiness of charitable Jupiter, the florid complexion is associated with Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. Its component is air (seize for the legerity of organism associated with the rubicund). It’s a hot-moist temper.

Masses of the ruddy witticism blow a cherry complexion, rosy-cheeked cheeks and mayhap a red nuzzle — upright as one would bear since bloodline is their fluent. The humour is associated with jolliness and beneficial sunshine. Knightly man believed the ruddy someone was partial of “gleefulness and medicine, wine-coloured and women.” Hot-blooded, lustful lovers were florid.ts sprightliness point is young ( adolescentia) and its temper is ver, leap. The Latin watchword ver likewise substance younker.

It was believed the witticism origin henpecked the eubstance from midnight until six a.m.

The Sombre Witticism

The humour of the evil satellite Saturn, the melancholic complexion is associated with Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces; its ingredient is world (terra), and its lead is a quilo , the northerly. Its temper is hyems — overwinter (Latin hyemare) — and its comparable age of man is s enectus, years or senility. The melancholic mood is cold-dry, as is earmark for a “coldness” biliousness — one of lugubriousness preferably than sparkle. Equitable as we use the terminus melancholic to key a downcast, bluing somebody, the Knightly man saw the melancholic personality typewrite as musing and pondering. One Mediaeval instance showed the somber man as acting a luting, the cat’s-paw of the bards — melancholic types, naturally, pet poesy to parties.

The temper of the melancholic complexion was melancholy. Not astonishingly, in the Eye Ages, an surplusage of melancholy was mentation responsible psychopathy. Distress “colored thoughts?” It moldiness be the melancholy.

The philanthropic daydream. | Origin

The Phlegmatical Wit

The wit of the good-hearted and large-hearted lunation, the phlegmatical complexion is associated with Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. It is the witticism associated with urine and intrinsically is a cold-moist wittiness, henpecked by lethargy. Its winding is Eurus, the easterly, and it is the wittiness of fall. The phlegmatical mortal is restrained, eve indifferent, reproducible with a “coldness” biliousness. The phlegmatical somebody may be easy-going or plainly uninterested. They were idea of as “apt to slothfulness” (sloth) by the Knightly man. Phlegmatical individuals would suffer a blench (but not sickly) complexion.

As the witticism associated with the lunation, the phlegmatical complexion is joined to the alloy ag. It is the humour that corresponds to the living stagecoach of puerility.

Excerption: The Four-spot Ages of Man

The English-born Prude American poet Anne Bradstreet (1612 to 1672) authored a poem, The Four-spot Ages of Man, that briefly sums up the 4 humors and the like life-stages and disposition. Excerpted hither are but a few lines of the protracted study:

Puerility, and Juvenility, the Male, and Old-age.

The low: son unto Flatness, grand-child to piss,

Precarious, lissome, damp, and cold’s his Nature.The sec: romp claims his blood;

From lineage and air, for hot and damp is he.

The tertiary of attack and peevishness is compos’d,

Vindicative, and quarrelsome dispos’d.

The close, of land and lowering somber,

Self-colored, hating all agility, and all lunacy.

A Mediaeval Prescription for Unbalanced Humors

Bear you plant yourself in distemper? The одна тысяча четыреста восемьдесят четыре Latin poem Regime Sanitatis Salernitanum not lone offered lots of checkup and life-style advice, but proposed this to bushel a short-tempered or phlegmatical man’s symmetricalness:

If unto ire men be lots prepared,

‘Tis mentation that onions are not effective for those,

But if a man be phlegmatical (by genial)

It does his tummy near as about guess:

For balm succus of onions is assigned,

To heads whose tomentum waterfall quicker than it grows:

If onions cannot assistant in such misadventure,

A man moldiness get him a Gregorian cap.

And if your blackguard by hap should sharpness his maestro,

With beloved, rue and onions shuffling a beplaster.

As with many physicians of the sentence, the writer of The Civilize of Salerno (the English figure for the Latin poetry cited) affiliated signification to the conjunction of the celestial bodies during intervention of disease. As with all effective Chivalric practitioners, he was comfortably intimate in astrology and suggests topper results bequeath be obtained by haemorrhage a patient in September, April or May (exclude on May commencement or the end day of April or September. He points out you should not eat a twat on those years, either.) Why? He explains that the lunation is well-nigh influential in those months.

Should you resolve to be bled, by all way bed in April, May or September — but deflect those “black-out” years!

The (Jolly) Educated Paracelsus

Knightly medico Paracelsus (1493 to 1541) was, in many shipway, the prototypic doctor of the Heart Ages. He had trust in chemistry and roughly believed he owned the Philosopher’s Gem. In his travels, he delivered striking presentations filled with gimmicks. Yet, Paracelsus sour out from (and openly mocked) the construct of the iv humors. However, he believed in ens astrale — the stars’ work — as one of fivesome influences on man wellness. He was bounce by the weltanschauung of the metre yet foreshadowed the Renaissance and the coming of bodoni medicament and pharmacology.

Paracelsus, although oft-persecuted during his metre, is calm credited by about as “the beget of alchemy.”

Which Witticism Topper Describes You?

Based on this clause, what mood would scoop fit you?

I’m the good-natured rubicund. Cheers!

I’m a phlegmatical typewrite … although I truly can’t be fazed with this.

I’m a hot-tempered — deficiency to pee-pee something of it?

I’m melancholic … as if it couldn’t get any worsened.

See results

Copyright (2014) MJ Miller

All rights reserved. No contribution of this clause may be reproduced, in unhurt or in parting, without the utter permit of the writer. Links to this varlet, notwithstanding, may be freely divided. Thank you for pinning, liking, share-out, furtherance, tweeting, +1’ing and differently serving acquire my readership! About of all, thank you for recital.

Questions & Answers

Questions moldiness be on-topic, scripted with right grammar employment, and graspable to a all-embracing hearing.