International Journal of Human Diversity and Evolution
Coverage: 1923-1941 (Vols. I-XIX) & 1962-2023 (Vols. 1-61)
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ISSN 2570-9127 (Online)
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'Tomíček D, 2010: On the subject of microcosm in Czech medical literature of the 16th century. Anthropologie (Brno) 48, 2: 185-188'.
The paper deals with a topic of microcosm in Czech medical literature of the 16th century. The subject itself, which is the concept of man as a miniature universe, has its origin in ancient thought, and even centuries later it underwent a number of updates. Microcosm is primarily an interpretative framework that allows us to put man into the context of the whole creation - the world and interpret his physical constitution and the processes that take place in his body. Humoral pathology, the basic theoretical concept of ancient, medieval, and early modern medicine builds on this concept of microcosm. In the paper I follow three branches of old Czech reflection about the subject of microcosm: a) a concept of periodization of human life, b) an analogy between man and the universe proving the uniqueness of the human organism, c) a theory about aging of the world as the cause of an outbreak of a plague epidemic. I have been using medical prints from the 16th century written in old Czech. Their authors were either university-educated physicians or personalities showing qualified interest in medical subjects, in one case the identity remains questionable. I have been using the method of comparative analysis and I have been considering older traditions in interpretation.
Microcosm - Medicine - 16th century - Old Czech literature

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