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Urine Wheel Diagram
Urine Wheel Diagram
The urine wheel diagram is yet another visual trope adapted from medieval manuscripts. Urine texts were very popular, and while the urine consult scene appears to be original to the Fasciculus medicinae, several medieval medical texts included this circular diagram to aid a physician in remembering the various attributes of urines, and what they indicated about a person’s health. It is set up like a wagon wheel, with the urines grouped together by color. The outer edge of the wheel describes each color in detail by comparing it to a common object; for example, “The color of this urine is yellow like gold.” The inner circle of the diagram further divides the urines into groups of colors, and what producing a urine in that color signified
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The urine wheel diagram is yet another visual trope adapted from medieval manuscripts. Urine texts were very popular, and while the urine consult scene appears to be original to the Fasciculus medicinae, several medieval medical texts included this circular diagram to aid a physician in remembering the various attributes of urines, and what they indicated about a person’s health. It is set up like a wagon wheel, with the urines grouped together by color. The outer edge of the wheel describes each color in detail by comparing it to a common object; for example, “The color of this urine is yellow like gold.” The inner circle of the diagram further divides the urines into groups of colors, and what producing a urine in that color signified about a person’s digestion and overall health. In each of the four corners of the page outside of the diagram are descriptions of the four temperaments, sanguine, choleric, melancholic, and phlegmatic, and what urine colors meant in regard to a person’s humoral balance. 1495: The urine wheel diagram is not in this 1495 version, for reasons unknown. 1500: In this version, the artist has tried to represent the urine colors using the color descriptions at the base of each jar around the wheel. This diagram also includes an introduction discussing the Fasciculus at the top center of the page, as well as a brief few lines of verse mentioning the connections between the four humors, the four elements (earth, air, fire, water), and the four complexions or temperaments. All were thought to be tied together, and revealed much about a person’s personality and physical tendencies. 1509: The urine wheel is the only image in the 1509 edition that includes color. The urines are lightly painted to correspond to their textual descriptions. Unfortunately, a large part of the upper portion of this page has been damaged, and subsequently repaired. The same few lines of verse describing the temperaments and complexions (translated into Italian) can be seen at the bottom of this page between the descriptions of phlegmatic and melancholic temperaments. 1513: The 1513 version is essentially the same as the 1500 version, although without the colors. 1522: The 1522 version is the same as the 1513 and 1500 versions, but translated into Italian and lacking any color.
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