Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/in-our-time/comments/b010y30m/ http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/in-our-time/comments/b010y30m/ en-gb 30 Fri 06 Mar 2015 18:05:55 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/in-our-time/comments/b010y30m/ NewCastleIndianaUSA http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/in-our-time/comments/b010y30m/?page=85#comment6 Very interesting discussion. Thank you very much. I had never heard of these ideas in any sense. I have enjoyed IOT podcasts. Sat 14 May 2011 10:45:33 GMT+1 John Thompson http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/in-our-time/comments/b010y30m/?page=71#comment5 I loved getting up to this programme like Dr Johnson did for Burton’s Anatomy.The speakers and Melvyn gave it the vital spirits it required to put it across.Man’s anatomy corresponded with the physical ordering of the universe,his frame made up of the 4 elements,on the same principles as was the sublunary world,a physical correspondence between microcosm and macrocosm.The liver converts the food it receives(the 4 elements)into 4 liquid substances, the humours,which are to the human body what the elements are to the earth.Each humour had its own counterpart amongst the elements.:ELEMENT HUMOUR COMMON QUALITYEarth Melancholy Cold and dryWater Phlegm Cold and moistAir Blood Hot and moistFire Choler Hot and dryFor them temperament or complexion was the tempering of one humour by another,or the intertwining of humours to cause character.In the phlegmatic temperament,the 4humours were mixed to allow phlegm,the cold and moist humour,to be emphatic. Usually one humour was prominent,giving man his distinctive mark.With one influence powerful he was predominantly ‘saturnine’or ‘lunatic’.Heat and dryness might make him angry or ‘choleric’;dampness and a leaden composition made him sombre, ’phlegmatic’.An excess of black bile made one irritable or gloomy.We still talk of our feelings belonging to various parts of our body,love to the heart etcOn this rigid theory of character Elizabethans felt themselves very close to the rest of nature.There was the possibility of a humour not merely existing to excess,as in a perfectly sane man with an idiosyncracy,but going bad.A humour could both putrefy or be burnt with excessive heat.The most famous corrupt humour was the burnt or adust,called the melancholy adust,even if it was one of the other humours that had been impaired.It is melancholy adust,not the mere predominance of normal melancholy(as mentioned by Mary Ann),that was the subject of Burton’s treatise. Despite Copernicus and Kepler this was an organic part of the human psyche in Elizabethan times.What is interesting is there was a metaphoric power as well as a literal referent in the mind and body.Burton’s long chapter on the nature of spirits shows what the Middle Ages had taken so seriously was degraded to fascinating antiquarianism in Elizabeth’s age.To the mathematically minded Middle Ages it mattered that the 9 hierarchies of bad angelsshould match the 9 of the good. Fri 13 May 2011 10:39:21 GMT+1 jade_lenon http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/in-our-time/comments/b010y30m/?page=57#comment4 3 comments re today's programme:a. the introspection into how reading may cure depression (touched upon by Burton) was discussed far too lightly - almost to the point of disregard - which annoys me emensely: please read here, if you want to know more: http://thereader.org.uk/get-into-reading/research/b. again the ring leader took little to no interest in bringing out the SKILL of how the academics are trained in being darted from one argument to the next. It still feels like playskool: 'okay, you next, you had your hand up'.c. the phrase: 'to a certain extent' was uttered by our master. Doesn't make any sense. It never has done and never will. Stupid phrase.IN YOUR OWN TIME Thu 12 May 2011 23:50:15 GMT+1 K Fraser http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/in-our-time/comments/b010y30m/?page=42#comment3 Very interesting programme. However I dispute Melvyn's comment that we know a great deal more about Depression these days, and that our methods of treatment are less 'blunt'. Psychiatrists still experiment with anti-depressant drugs on patients, sometimes with fatal results. Whilst the oriental medicine system, as practiced in Acupuncture and Shiatsu, follows a similar philosophy to that of the 'humours', often with as much success in the treatment of mental illness as the modern medical model. Thu 12 May 2011 10:06:06 GMT+1 watling-worrier http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/in-our-time/comments/b010y30m/?page=28#comment2 Always loved this book: read it for the first time just because I live where Burton was born, just up the road, well street really. (Watling Street) Have two editions of the book, the sixteenth from 1836 and an abridged one from 1824. This edition makes it easier to get you into and appreciate more how good this important book was, is and always will be, to civilisation. Read also George A. Dorsey's "Civilisation" Which was the next best book I've ever read since Jerome K. Jerome's "Three Men in a Boat" Thu 12 May 2011 09:49:56 GMT+1 nonrev http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/in-our-time/comments/b010y30m/?page=14#comment1 no mention of connection of humours with astrology. saturnine temperament, etc. microcosm/macrocosm. shouldn't that have been in the discussion somewhere? Great programme though! Thu 12 May 2011 09:38:59 GMT+1 Clark Lawlor http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/in-our-time/comments/b010y30m/?page=0#comment0 I greatly enjoyed this discussion - lovely to hear Burton's marvellous work being discussed so intelligently. If you are interested in more on Burton's influence and the topic of melancholy and depression more generally, try www.beforedepression.com - the result of a Leverhulme Trust academic project on eighteenth-century melancholy and depression based at Northumbria University. Dr Clark LawlorReader in English Literature. Thu 12 May 2011 08:53:52 GMT+1