Anatomy of Melancholy, 182: Pt. I, Sec. II, Mem. I, Subsect. II – A Digression of the Nature of Spirits, Bad Angels, or Devils, and how they cause Melancholy

Have you ever wondered how ghosts are shaped? Like, really thought about it. What shape are ghosts? Squares? Circles? Rhombi? Well apparently four hundred years ago Jean Bodin thought about that question a lot: Bodine goes farther yet, and will have these animae separatae [abstract souls], genii, spirits, angels, devils, and so likewise souls of […]

The Anatomy of Melancholy, 184: Pt. I, Sec. II, Subsect. II. – A Digression of the Nature of Spirits, Bad Angels, or Devils, and how they cause Melancholy

So… I was going to wait a bit to get back into this whole drawing, Anatomy of Melancholy, thinking, writing thing – wait until life settled down – but I dunno, I missed it. So here is today’s quote: [Facius Cardan] asked them many questions, and they made ready answer, that they were aerial devils, that […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 177-181: Pt. I, Sec. II, Mem. I, Subs. I – Causes of Melancholy. God a Cause, cont.

Oh this section is really good. I might have to draw an awful lot of pictures for it. That He can by His angels, which are his ministers, strike and heal (saith Dionysius) whom He will.   This post is part of a long, tedious, and very illustrated read-along of Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy. More […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 177-181: Pt. I, Sec. II, Mem. I, Subs. I – Causes of Melancholy. God a Cause

Do you suspect that you suffer from melancholy? Have you recently offended God? Well, it is just possible that He cursed you. In which case, I guess you need to cancel that appointment with your therapist and pray or something instead. You know who else God cursed with sadness? Nebuchadnezzar: That God Himself is a […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 174-177: Pt. I, Sec. I, Mem. III, Subs. 4 – Of the Species or Kinds of Melancholy

  When the matter is diverse and confused, how should it otherwise be but that the species should be diverse and confused?   This post is part of a long, tedious, and very illustrated read-along of Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy. More info here and follow along on Facebook here. Illustrations posted via devon_isadevon on Instagram.

Anatomy of Melancholy, 173-174: Member III, Subsect. III – Of the Matter of Melancholy

What is melancholy made of made of? What is melancholy made of? Snips and snails and puppy dogs’ tails. That’s what melancholy is made of: If the humour be cold, it is, saith Faventinus, “a cause of dotage, and produceth milder symptoms: if hot, they are rash, raving mad, or inclining to it.” If the […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 170-172: Memb. III, Subsect. II – Of the Part Affected. Affection. Parties Affected.

  Were you born under Saturn? Do you live in a climate that is too cold? Too hot? Too moist? Are you too moist generally? Is your head unusually small? These are just a few of the many sources of a saturnine temperament. Here Burton also addresses the hotly debated topic of whether melancholy affects […]

Anatomy of Melancholy 169-170: Memb. III, Subsect. I. – Definition of Melancholy, Name, Difference

Hey look! I made it to Member III! I didn’t even know that I was in Member II before! What are Members?!  And why didn’t I notice them before?! I am pretty sure that we have four levels of sections and subsections going on here: Parts, Sections, Members, and Subsections. Wow. So anyhow, at last: […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 167-169: Subsect. XI – Of the will

Those natural and vegetal powers are not commanded by will at all; for “who can add one cubit to his stature?” These other may, but are not: and thence come all those headstrong passions, violent perturbations of the mind; and many times vicious habits, customs, feral diseases; because we give so much way to our […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 165-166: Subsect. X – Of the Understanding

In this subsection I learned that there are fourteen “species” of understanding, so I drew fourteen things: Now these notions are twofold, actions or habits: actions, by which we take notions of, and perceive things; habits, which are durable lights and notions, which we may use when we will. Some reckon up eight kinds of […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 160-162: Subsect. VII. – Of the Moving Faculty

Nothing too deep here, but I guess it is neat that humans can move around. Better than being a fungus or something. This moving faculty is the other power of the sensitive soul, which causeth all those inward and outward animal motions in the body. It is divided into two faculties, the power of appetite, […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 159-160: Subsect. VII – Of the Inward Senses, cont., cont.

So the three inward senses are memory, phantasy, and common sense. I already drew phantasy and memory, and I guess this is a drawing of the common sense shark. This common sense is judge or moderator of the rest, by whom we discern all differences of objects. Are you scared of sharks? I would be […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 159-160: Subsect. VII – Of the Inward Senses

  In this section Burton discourses on common sense, phantasy (or imagination), and memory. On imagination he writes: In melancholy men this faculty is most powerful and strong, and often hurts, producing many monstrous and prodigious things, especially if it be stirred up by some terrible object, presented to it from common sense or memory. In […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 157-159: Subsect. VII – Of the Sensible Soul

Hey look, I’m back! Welcome back, me. In this section, Burton describes the body’s five senses: vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. It really is not very interesting. Burton mentions “Scaliger’s sixth sense of titillation,” which would be interesting, but unfortunately he seems icked out by it and doesn’t have any fun quotes for us. […]

Anatomy of Melancholy , 154-157: Of the Soul and her Faculties, continued

  The common division of the soul is into three principal faculties–vegetal, sensitive, and rational, which make three distinct kinds of living creatures–vegetal plants, sensible beasts, rational men. How these three principal faculties are distinguished and connected, Humano ingenio inaccessum videtur, is beyond human capacity, as Taurellus, Philip, Flavins, and others suppose. The inferior may […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 150: Containing Parts, Dissimilar, Inward

  That’s right, more bat-shit crazy antiquated anatomy! Inward organical parts, which cannot be seen, are divers in number, and have several names, functions, and divisions; but that of Laurentius is most notable, into noble or ignoble parts. Of the noble there be three principal parts, to which all the rest belong, and whom they […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 150: Containing Parts, Dissimilar, Outward

  Dissimilar parts are those which we call organical, or instrumental, and they be inward or outward. The chiefest outward parts are situate forward or backward:–forward, the crown and foretop of the head, skull, face, forehead, temples, chin, eyes, ears, nose, etc., neck, breast, chest, upper and lower part of the belly, hypocondries, navel, groin, flank, etc.; backward, the hinder […]

The Anatomy of Melancholy, 148: The four humours, melancholy

Melancholy, cold and dry, thick, black, sour, begotten of the more feculent part of nourishment, and purged from the spleen, is a bridle to the other two hot humours, blood and choler, preserving them in the blood, and nourishing the bones. These four humours have some analogy with the four elements, and to the four ages of man.

A of M, 143-146: Melancholy in Disposition, improperly so called. Equivocations

This little section is about sinking into a transient melancholy due to, say, a fleabite versus the “continuate disease” of melancholy. Burton does not have much patience for “errant,” or transient, melancholy, and he would prefer people stop calling “oops I stubbed my toe and it sucks” melancholy at all: Melancholy in this sense is the character […]

A of M, 139-143: Dotage, Madness, Frenzy, Hydrophobia, Lycanthropia, Chorus Sancti Viti, Ecstasis

Lycanthropia, which Avicenna calls cucubuth, others lupinam insaniam, or wolf-madness, when men run howling about graves and fields in the night, and will not be persuaded but that they are wolves, or some such beasts. Aetius and Paulus call it a kind of melancholy; but I should rather refer it to madness, as most do. […]