|The Four Humors
Medieval doctors had quite an understanding of the human anatomy, considering their lack of equipment and knowledge. Most doctors in medieval times were philosophers more than actual medical doctors as most people know them today. Much of the knowledge they did acquire may have only been speculation, but quite a bit of it was due to concentrated observation. Many scientists studied wounds and diseases intensely and one scientist in particular, Empedocles, came to the conclusion that that body consists of four main fluids, or humors. These humors were yellow bile, black bile, phlegm and blood. If one of these components was out of proportion in the body, disease occurred. The imbalance was called isonomia, an idea which was also proposed by the Greek scientist Empedocles.
Empedocles followed the Pythagorean school of natural philosophers rather than the Hippocratic school as most other physicians in the time did. He felt people must use their senses, even though ...