4 Humours

“Sanguine * Choleric * Melancholic * Phlegmatic

The Four Humours or Temperaments were a foundation of European medieval medical philosophy. The ideal was for a balance of the four, which were conceived to be based on the properties of blood (Sanguis), yellow bile (Khole), black bile (Melas), and Phlegm in the body.

A predominance of Sanguine was believed to create an easy-going, sociable, pleasure-seeking type. A choleric character was fiery, strident, and ambitious. Melancholic was watery and emotional and created thoughtful, introverted and intellectual types. Phlegmatic was slow and earthy but also governed the most relaxed, content and quiet of types.”

Excerpted from: Rogerson, Barnaby. Rogerson’s Book of Numbers: The Culture of Numbers–from 1,001 Nights to the Seven Wonders of the World. New York: Picador, 2013.

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