Madness or Strength of Spirit?


SENTENTIAE ANTIQUAE

In earlier posts we ave looked at different signs of melancholy, which is generally the ancient diagnosis that best corresponds to madness or depression. In this letter, Hippocrates seems to describe a manic dedication to one thing paired with other antisocial symptoms.

 

Hippocrates, Epistles 12

“We might encounter good fortune and then we will arrive, as we imagine, with better hopes as was made clear in the letter, if the case is that the man is not displaying madness but instead some overwhelming strength of spirit—this despite the fact that he is considering neither children nor wife nor relatives nor any other thing at all—and he has spent day and night by himself staying alone, for the most part in caves or deserted places or under the shadow of trees or in soft grasses or alongside the quiet flows of water.

It is many times the case for…

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