Anatomy of Melancholy, 219-221 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. II, Subs. 1 – Bad Diet a Cause. Substance. Quality of Meats (continued)

Much like meat, fish are generally bad news for the melancholic: Rhasis and Magninus discommend all fish, and say they breed viscosities, slimy nutriment, little and humorous nourishment. On the finer points, there is much disagreement over “fumadoes, red-herrings, sprats, stock-fish, haberdine, poor-john, all shellfish.” And what do you know, “Messarius commends salmon, which Bruerinus […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 211-216 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. I, Subs. 6: Parents a Cause by Propagation

  In this section I learned that garlic will fuzzle your brain and give you peevish children who are likewise “fuzzled in the brain.” That’s a real quote, page 214. Also this: Such another I find in Martin Wenrichius, com. de ortu monstrorum, c. 17, I saw (saith he) at Wittenberg, in Germany, a citizen that […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 210-211 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. I, Subs. 5: Old Age a Cause

Burton does not have a lot of good things to say about old people: Full of ache, sorrow and grief, children again, dizzards, they carl many times as they sit, and talk to themselves, they are angry, waspish, displeased with every thing, suspicious of all, wayward, covetous, hard (saith Tully,) self-willed, superstitious, self-conceited, braggers and admirers of themselves, as […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 200 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. I, Subs. 2: A Digression of the Nature of Spirits, Bad Angels, or Devils, and how they cause Melancholy – Their Power, How Used

“Agrippa and Lavater are persuaded, that this humour invites the devil to it, wheresoever it is in extremity, and of all other, melancholy persons are most subject to diabolical temptations and illusions, and most apt to entertain them, and the Devil best able to work upon them.”

Anatomy of Melancholy, 197 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. I, Subs. 2: A Digression of the Nature of Spirits, Bad Angels, or Devils, and how they cause Melancholy – Extent of Their Power

How far their power doth extend it is hard to determine; what the ancients held of their effects, force and operations, I will briefly show you: Plato in Critias, and after him his followers, gave out that these spirits or devils, were men’s governors and keepers, our lords and masters, as we are of our cattle. They […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 196 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. I, Subs. 2: A Digression of the Nature of Spirits, Bad Angels, or Devils, and how they cause Melancholy – Subterranean Devils

  Subterranean devils are as common as the rest, and do as much harm. Olaus Magnus, lib. 6, cap. 19, makes six kinds of them; some bigger, some less. These (saith Munster) are commonly seen about mines of metals, and are some of them noxious; some again do no harm.    This post is part of a […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 193 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. I, Subs. 2: A Digression of the Nature of Spirits, Bad Angels, or Devils, and how they cause Melancholy – Hobgoblins

So starting around here, it starts to get kind of difficult to differentiate between the six kinds of spirit-demons. I think that the fifth kind is basically fairies? Or more like hobgoblins, trolls, satyrs, and all other mythical – at least vaguely human-like – creatures that usually but not always live in the woods, especially […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 192 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. I, Subs. 2: A Digression of the Nature of Spirits, Bad Angels, or Devils, and how they cause Melancholy – Water-devils

Are you heretofore conversant about waters and rivers? Are you also woman-shaped? You might just be a water-devil: Water-devils are those Naiads or water nymphs which have been heretofore conversant about waters and rivers. The water (as Paracelsus thinks) is their chaos, wherein they live; some call them fairies, and say that Habundia is their […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 191 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. I, Subs. 2: A Digression of the Nature of Spirits, Bad Angels, or Devils, and how they cause Melancholy – Aerial Spirits

Aerial spirits or devils, are such as keep quarter most part in the air, cause many tempests, thunder, and lightnings, tear oaks, fire steeples, houses, strike men and beasts, make it rain stones, as in Livy’s time, wool, frogs, etc. Counterfeit armies in the air, strange noises, swords, &c., as at Vienna before the coming of […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 190 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. I, Subs. 2: A Digression of the Nature of Spirits, Bad Angels, or Devils, and how they cause Melancholy – Fiery Spirits

Fiery spirits or devils are such as commonly work by blazing stars, fire-drakes, or ignes fatui; which lead men often in flumina aut praecipitia, saith Bodine, lib. 2. Theat. Naturae, fol. 221(…) likewise they counterfeit suns and moons, stars oftentimes, and sit on ship masts: In navigiorum summitatibus visuntur; and are called dioscuri, as Eusebius l. contra Philosophos, c. xlviii. informeth us, […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 180: Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. I, Subsect. 2: A Digression of the Nature of Spirits, Bad Angels, or Devils, and how they cause Melancholy

Well, it seems like I am going to compulsively illustrate every sentence of this section on demons. It is pretty great. Concerning the first beginning of them, the [1120] Talmudists say that Adam had a wife called Lilis, before he married Eve, and of her he begat nothing but devils. If you don’t know the […]

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, 162-165: Subsect. IX – Of the Rational Soul

What, is this not how you pictured your immortal soul? A pink glob with two more pink globs inside of it, that it may or may not have eaten? Well, today’s reading was about souls, and I didn’t really have much time to think about what souls might look like before I drew this masterpiece. […]

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, 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 […]

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, 137-138: Subsect. II – The Definition, Number, Division of Disease

What a disease is, almost every physician defines. Fernelius calleth it an “affection of the body contrary to nature.” Fuschius and Crato, “an hindrance, hurt, or alteration of any action of the body, or part of it.” Tholosanus, “a dissolution of that league which is between body and soul, and a perturbation of it; as […]