About four temperaments and Salernitan Medical School

The legend states that this famous medical school was founded around 1000 AD by four pilgrims, experts in herbs, traditional remedies and medicine: a Greek one, a Latin one, a Jew and a Muslim. Surely it was the first medical institution in Europe and the first of European Universities.

The most famous treatise produced in the school is the well known “Regimen Sanitatis” which put together several traditions, as the legend clearly signifies.

Some of  Regimen’s  precepts gave a true help to people, other were not so appreciated: so for example, the beginning lines “Ex magna cena stomacho fit maxima poena.” (From an excessive dinner stomach has an excessive damage) were wisely turned  by the starving people into Hungry in the bed, all night sad. ”

Anyway the most importance for us, traditional astrologers is the part about the four temperaments.

The following lines are taken  from Regimen Sanitatis.

89. About four humors of body

Human body is made of four humors, blood, with choler, phlegm and melancholia.

Melancholia means Earth, Phlegm is Water, Blood is  Air, Choler is Fire.

90. About Sanguine temperament

They are stout by nature and always happy, always like hearing new stories, and  Venus and Bacchus, foods, and laughing, and are merry and able to talk  with sweet words.

Gifted for every subject and art, they  are not inclined to wrath, are big hearted , lovers, merry, cheerful, rubicund, lover of songs, fleshy, and  bold and generous.

91. About Choleric temperament

Choler is convenient for the impetuous, who desire  overcome the rest of the world, who easily learn, eat a lot, fast grow.  They are generous, magnanimous, always in search for more. Full of hairs, fallacious, wrathful, prodigal, audacious, cunning,  thin, dry, yellow in completion.

92. About Phlegmatic temperament

Phlegmatic men have little strength, large but short in height; phlegm makes them fat, of mediocre blood. They don’t like studying but prefer being idle and sleeping.

Slow in motion and of little wisdom, and lazy, and sleepy, they spit a lot, white in completion.

93. About Melancholic Temperament

Awful and envious are the melancholic, and sad, with little words, skilled in learning, they don’t sleep  much,  steady in their goals:  covetous, jealous and sad, eager, skillful and  tenacious, fraudulent, shy, chalky in completion.

94.  About colors of humors

From humors depend our completion: phlegm makes white, blood red, choler yellow.

95. About plenty of Blood

A bad blood makes red the face, tumescent the eyes, swollen the knees, heavy the body, fast the  pulse and swollen and flabby.   The head hurts, and the stomach is constipated, dry the tongue, and thirsty, dreams are full of blood, spits are sweet and salty food in  mouth  seems sweet.

96. About plenty of Choler

Cholera makes headaches,  and bitter the tongue, bells in ears, sickness, vigils, hunger and thirsty, stomach-ache,  heart bites, languor; and feeble, hard, swift and hot the pulse, bitterness and dryness, and dreams full of fire.

97. About plenty of Phlegm

If there is too much phlegm, the mouth becomes tasteless, and produces many nuisances and saliva, aches in ribs, stomach and nape; it makes rare the pulse and  slow,  and swollen and empty, and watery phantoms assault  dreams.

98. About plenty of Melancholy

The body of man where Melancholy rules, has a black skin, hard pulse, feeble urine, full of anxiety, fear, sadness, gloomy dreams; his eructations are acid and the same his spits. His ears  jingle and rattle.

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