Factors in Health and Wellness 7 attributed to Aristotle. Galen’s efforts presented a unified system for drawing connections between the body (microcosm) and the greater universe (macrocosm). In this system, each of the humors was likened to one of the four elements, and furthermore, each element/humor was described as manifesting two of the basic qualities, so that, for example, blood was linked to the element air and both were described as being hot and wet, while phlegm was linked with the element water, and they were cold and wet (see Figure 1.1 ). The explanatory power of this scheme extended further to identify each humor with the four seasons, the four winds, the four ages of man (childhood, youth, adult- hood, and old age) and later with different heavenly bodies and signs of the zodiac, and among Christian scholars, with the four Evangelists. In this way, the actions of the humors in the body could be under- stood in terms of macrocosmic influences whereby seasonal changes and other environmental conditions might cause an elevation in cer- tain humors (e.g., blood became more prevalent in the spring) possibly leading to disease. Air Wet Hot Cold Dry Blood Water Phlegm Fire Yellow Bile (Choler) Black Bile (Melancholy) Earth Spring Autumn W i n t e r S u m m e r Figure 1.1 The humoral system.
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