The Idea of Melancholia in Classical Culture

  • Giuseppe Roccatagliata


Melancholic psychosis was the first mental disease to be identified by ancient medicine; it is also the illness which was most discussed and described by physicians and philosophers of the Graeco-Roman period. In fact the most important of them, particularly those of naturalistic trend, faced the problem of melancholis: Hippocrates, Democritus, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Diocles of Caristo, Asclepiades, Soranus of Ephesus, Galen,Caelius Aurelianus, Alexander Trailianus, Aetius of Amida and Avicenna, to mention but the greatest scholars, enquired into the causes and symptomatology of melancholia.


External Event Moral Distress Great Scholar Naturalistic Trend Ancient Medicine 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giuseppe Roccatagliata
    • 1
  1. 1.Clinica Neur.Univeristy of GenovaGenovaItalia

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