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This is a personality quiz designed to test the humoral composition of the respondents. The questions are drawn from the extensive source base on the four humors in early modern England. The humoral system understood all personalities as hot or cold, and wet or dry. Hot and dry personalities for instance were brave, and active, but could also be reckless and angry. After taking the quiz, you will find out your humoral disposition, and be able to explore some of the sources used to write it.

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The Humoral System

The humoral system was the main lens through which people in early modern Europe understood their bodies and their selves. Bodies were understood to be composed of four different fluids, or humors. These fluids were blood, phlegm, yellow bile (or choler), and black bile. These different fluids related to each other in a systematic way. All substances were explained as being hot or cold, and wet or dry. Blood was hot and wet, phlegm was cold and wet, yellow bile was hot and dry, and black bile was cold and dry. Not only could physical substances be described in terms of their hotness and wetness, but so could personalities and emotions.

The sanguine temperament was associated with an excess of blood in the body. Sanguine people were sociable and very easy to befriend, though they could be arrogant and even conceited. Phlegmatic people were those with an excess of phlegm, they were cautious, patient, and dependable. Choleric people were hot and dry, like the yellow bile which prevailed in their bodies. They were highly-active people, who could also be full of rage and even quite domineering. Finally, those of the melancholic temperament were those who had a preponderance of black bile in their bodies. These people were fair and wise, but could be given to long periods of unhappiness and despondency.