Burton's Anatomy and the Intellectual Traditions of Melancholy

Abstract : This article discusses the ways in which Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy (1621) inherited and transformed the various European traditions of thinking about melancholy. It divides these traditions into four categories—medical, natural-philosophical, moral-philosophical, and theological—and surveys their conceptual contents from antiquity to the late Renaissance. Whilst the Anatomy summarises these traditions, it also modified them in notable ways, fusing medical and moral theory, but also extending the reach of medicine into the religious domain. Paradoxically, however, Burton’s medicalisation of the moral and theological traditions of melancholy gave them a conceptual coherence which they had previously lacked, and contributed to their persistence beyond the seventeenth century.
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Article dans une revue
Babel : Littératures plurielles, La Garde : Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines - Université de Toulon et du Var, 2012, pp.221--257. 〈10.4000/babel.2078〉
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Soumis le : samedi 4 juin 2016 - 11:25:16
Dernière modification le : dimanche 5 juin 2016 - 01:03:46

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Angus Gowland. Burton's Anatomy and the Intellectual Traditions of Melancholy. Babel : Littératures plurielles, La Garde : Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines - Université de Toulon et du Var, 2012, pp.221--257. 〈10.4000/babel.2078〉. 〈hal-01326609〉

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