Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Learn This By Heart

Paul from Boyne City asked why we say that we learned something by heart rather than by head, which is where the brain actually resides.  

The ancient Greeks believed that the heart was the most critical and central bodily organ, so they mistakenly assigned thought and rational functions to the heart. Aristotle, for instance, thought that the five senses fed directly into the heart. The brain and the lungs existed only to cool the blood to keep the heart from overheating.

This cardiocentric view probably came to the Greeks from the Egyptians. They also named the heart as the seat of thought. In their mummification process, the brain was destroyed, but the heart was preserved. After death, the heart was examined by Anubis and other deities in a crucial ceremony called The Weighing of the Heart. The heart was placed on one tray of a balancing scale, and the feather of the Goddess Ma’at on the other. If the weight of the heart matched the weight of her feather, it was on to the afterlife. If the brain weighed more than the feather, the monster Ammit—a combination crocodile, lion, and hippopotamus—chewed it to pieces.

Available from McFarland & Co.: Word Parts Dictionary, 2nd edition

Nook edition

Check out Mike's other books here:

Listen to Mike’s program in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:10 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to and clicking on Listen Now. You’ll also find about a month’s worth of podcasts there under The Ron Jolly Show.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Dona Sheehan's prints