The role of Plauto in Richard Blackmore’s conceptions about the spleen

Vera Cecilia Machline


The aim of the present article is to make clear the role of the Latin writer of comedies Plautus in the conceptions about the spleen upheld by the seventeenth and eighteenth-century man of letters and physician Richard Blackmore in his “An Essay upon the Spleen”. To better appraise the comedist’s relevance among other Classical thinkers, first some of the various functions formerly attributed to this organ will be reviewed. Next, after briefly considering the impact on the ideas about the spleen occasioned by the discovery of the circulation of the blood, the aim of this article shall be contemplated.

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