Understanding Human Temperaments


Galen’s Insights

Four Basic Human Temperaments

Building upon Hippocrates’ theory of the four humours, Galen proposed the concept of four basic human temperaments, each linked to the dominance of one of the humours. These temperaments were:

Sanguinicus (Blood Dominance): Cheerful and lively
Flegmaticus (Phlegm Dominance): Calm and tough
Melancholicus (Melancholy Dominance): Worrisome and gloomy
Cholericus (Choler Dominance): Energetic
Galen believed that one’s personality was closely connected to their physical makeup.

Galen’s Contributions to Physiology

Unraveling the Mysteries of Physiology

Galen significantly contributed to the development of human physiological science. In ancient times, the functions of the heart and blood vessels were mysterious. Earlier theories by Alcmaeon of Croton and Aristotle suggested connections between blood, sleep, and the brain. Galen debunked many of these ideas.

Galen’s Insights into Breathing and Circulation

Galen challenged theories that intaken breath only carried air, emphasizing the error in these beliefs. He conducted dissections, demonstrating that arteries carried blood, not air. Although he believed in the back-and-forth flow of blood in arteries, it wasn’t until 1628 Doctor of Gladiators, with William Harvey, that the concept of blood circulating in a closed system was established.

Galen’s Contributions to Anatomy

Advancing Anatomical Knowledge

In a time when dissection was prohibited in Greece, Galen’s work in anatomy likely took place in Egypt. Despite these challenges, he made significant contributions to the development of anatomy as a science. Galen wrote extensive treatises on the skeleton, muscles Customised Private Istanbul Tour, and central nervous system. In Rome, he delivered anatomy lectures and performed animal dissections, shedding light on the misconception that arteries carried air. William Harvey later confirmed the blood circulation in a closed system in 1628.


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