Working with the Mappa Mundi –
4 elements & the Hippocratic humors in Materia Medica study & Case Analysis
with Will Taylor, MD
6 2-hour sessions, recorded as streaming video for self-paced participation from Live presentation Feb. 11 – March 18, 2015
The Hippocratic humors – based on the 4-elements cosmology of the Greek philosopher Empedocles – were introduced as a literal explanation of pathophysiology in 4th-century BC Hippocratic dogmatic medicine, and remained central to pathophysiologic explanations through the 2nd-century Greco-Roman medicine of Galen, and the golden age of Islamic medicine, persisting through the rebirth of European medicine in the European Renaissance well into the 18th century period of enlightenment; informing the “old-school” medicine of Hahnemann’s day. We will investigate how these concepts, applied literally, shaped the medicine out of which homeopathy emerged; and taken as a metaphorical map rather than as literal explanatory principals, how we can use these concepts to organize our contemporary appreciation of disease and the properties of our remedial substances.
Topics to be covered:
Historical origins of 4-elements cosmology and Hippocratic humoral theory in Greco-Roman and Arabic medicine, and its elaboration in the “old-school” 18th-century European medicine of Hahnemann’s day; which will help us to appreciate the use of 4-elements and humoral terminology & concepts in our classical literature.
The use of the Mappa Mundi – a visual depiction of Hippocratic elemental and humoral balance – as a useful graphic “map” or model for organizing symptomatology in the study of our homeopathic Materia Medica, and in the organization of cases under analysis; with examples provided in the study of several well-known and several “smaller” remedies, and a number of example cases.