The History of Psychology
The Christian Era
Jesus in the Wilderness (Ivan Kramskoi, 1872)
210 CE) On the Naural Faculties, Exhortation
to Study the Arts and , On
the Diagnosis of Dreams (the
Great Books Index). This important physician wrote about psychological disorder
as medical problems. A follower of Hippocrates, a student of animal anatomy, and
a famous practitioner (he developed his skill as physician to the gladiators
and to emperors Marcus Aurelius and Commodus), Galen
became the medical authority to physicians for the next thousand years. The picture is of the Coliseum in
Epictetus' (c.55-c.135 CE.) The Discourses, The Enchiridion, and The Golden Sayings are located at the Internet Classics. This Stoic philosopher began life as a slave and developed the principle that virtue is the result of forbearance against the troubles of life.
Marcus Aurelius' (167 CE) Meditations are the thoughts of the finest of Roman Emperors. He was a follower of Epictetus’ Stoicism that was likely the source of his noble rein. This is his likeness.
Plotinus' Six Enneads (204-270 CE) shows this philosopher’s carrying forth of Plato’s idealism; reality is to be understood in the realm of the spirit rather than in material. Plotinus is, thus, a neoplatonist. The ultimate reality is “the One” from which intelligence and soul emanate. The sensory world is subordinate to these. Unification with “the one” is this thinker’s dominant moral directive.
The Early Documents of the Christian Church This remarkable site includes the Old and New Testament canons, works of Origen, Tertullian, Cyprian, Augustine, Aquinas, and other important documents. These writers crafted the early beliefs of Christianity and incorporated their assumptions concerning human psychology. Among the important questions that arise which continue to be a part of modern psychology are: the nature and varieties of love, faith and belief as sources of knowledge, and the interaction of emotion, action, and morality.
Boethius' (c. 470 – c. 524) The Consolation of Philosophy advocates reasoning and contemplation as the palliative for the stresses of life. It was written while in prison awaiting execution and has helped many in their struggle with life. Boethius was a writer on music theory and proposed a theory of the relationship of pitch and frequency (early psychophysics). The picture is a cartoon of Boethius competing with Pythagoras in mathematics. Boethius is using Arabic numerals (he was the first European to do so) and Pythagoras is using a clumsy abacus.
Pope Saint Gregory the Great (540?-604) was responsible for
organizing and unifying the early Catholic Church around
The Qur’an (Koran) The holy book of Islam. This is the
sacred book of Islam written by Mohammed.
It expresses the fervent belief in one all powerful God and a moral code
that is centered around worship of Allah. The Ka’ba in the holy city of
Ibn Sina (Avicenna) (973-1037): On Medicine (Internet Medieval Source Book): is a compendium of scientific observation on anatomy, physiology, disease and treatment. Included in this monumental work is great insight into the relationship between psychology and health. Avicenna’s work was a great inspiration for the revitalization of thought in western Europe.
Ibn Rushd (Averroës), 1126-1198 CE On the Harmony of Religions and Philosophy (Internet Medieval Source Book): Arguably this Islamic thinker brought the ideas and philosophical attitudes of the Greeks back to the attention of European scholars (particularly Aquinas) with his translations and interpretations.
Saint Thomas Aquinas' (1225-1274) Summa Contra Gentiles among other matters is a demonstration that, in addition to the revelation of God, truth can be established through reason and observation of the world. Aquinas, thus, reestablishes the value of knowledge which is gained with thought and through the senses. The 14th century painting is “The Vision of Saint Thomas Aquinas” by Sasetta.
Leonin (c. 1135-1201) and Perotin (c. 1160-1240) were two of the most important musical
composers of the “