Humoral Theory- Origins and application in practice

Greek theologist, including the great grandfather of modern medical ethics, Hippocrates.
The ancient Greek theory of the four body humors (blood, yellow and black bile, and phlegm) that determined health and disease. The humors were associated with the four elements (air, fire, earth, and water), which in turn corresponded to a pair of the qualities (hot, cold, dry, and moist). A proper and evenly balanced mixture of the humors was characteristic of health of body and mind; an imperfect balance resulted in disease. Temperament of body or mind also was supposed to be determined, e.g., sanguine (blood), choleric (yellow bile), melancholic (black bile), or phlegmatic (phlegm). Synonyms: fluidism, humoralism, humorism. (05 Mar 2000)

Humoral theory was the prevailing medical theory until the advent of modern medical research in the nineteenth century.

Humoral theory rules all aspects of life, diet, sleep and work and reproduction. This is the basis of everything we’ll be covering.

Conception, gender and fertility- surroundings, timing and other factors

Male children- diet, timing, activity level,
Approved sexual relations, conjugal debt and the female orgasm as pertains to fertility
Indicators of pregnancy, testing for infertility and pregnancy
Pregnancy & childbirth, recommended activities, diet, and treatments
Midwife vs. Physician
breast feeding and child rearing

Rudolph M. Bell, How to Do It: Guides to Good Living for Renaissance Italians ISBN: 9780226042008
– this one is a great reference to health manuals of the day- like today’s medical journals with a little “what to expect when you’re expecting” in the mix.

Jacqueline Musacchio, The Art and Ritual of Childbirth in Renaissance Italy
Yale University Press (1999), Edition: illustrated edition, Hardcover, 228 pages
– this one talks about the societal ritual and non-medical material culture surrounding child birth. There are a lot of gorgeous images of majolica, mostly in the form of birthing platters, or the often seen matched sets of majolica decorated with happy, healthy birth scenes and the arms of the father and mother. This book also has a fantastic glossery of terms for items specifically used around childbirth, e.g. the specific clothing items worn by the women during confinement, what specific gifts were given to her, and the term used for wet nurse and the man (usually her husband) who negotiated her salary.

~ Sir Roy Calne (Editor), Illustrated History Of Surgery, Random House Value Publishing
Crescent (1988), Hardcover, 288 pages, ISBN-10: 1579583199
– This book is organized both by timeline, and procedure and has some great information on the history of cesearean births.

Books I desperately want to get my hands on but can’t find or afford at the moment:
~ Porter Roy (Editor) The Cambridge History of Medicine (Hardcover)ISBN-10: 0521864267

Harold Ellis, Cambridge Illustrated History of Surgery ISBN 13: 9780521720335
Powell’s currently has two for the lowest price I’ve found 66.75, straight from Cambridge press it’s $140!

I’m not sure if this is just an earlier edition: A History of Surgery
Harold Ellis Paperback (ISBN-13: 9781841101811 | ISBN-10: 1841101818)

Even more out of range at $275 new or used this one looks interesting but I just can’t justify the expense. I’ll see if I can ILL it.
~ John, M.D. Kirkup (Author), The Evolution of Surgical Instruments: An Illustrated History from Ancient Times to the Twentieth Century (Norman Surgery Series) (Hardcover)

This looks like a fascinating talk, but unfortunately just the barest of outlines is posted:

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