Before Emotion: The Language of Feeling, 400-1800 advances current interdisciplinary research in the history of emotions through in-depth studies of the European language of emotion from late antiquity to the modern period. Focusing specifically on the premodern cognates of ‘affect’ or ‘affection’ (such as affectus, affectio, affeccioun, etc.), an international team of scholars explores the cultural and intellectual contexts in which emotion was discussed before the term ‘emotion’ itself came into widespread use. By tracing the history of key terms and concepts associated with what we identify as ‘emotions’ today, the volume offers a first-time critical foundation for understanding pre- and early modern emotions discourse, charts continuities and changes across cultures, time periods, genres, and languages, and helps contextualize modern shifts in the understanding of emotions.

chapter |8 pages


The Language of Affect from Late Antiquity to Early Modernity
ByMichael W. Champion, Kirk Essary, Juanita Feros Ruys

chapter 1|17 pages

The Failure of affectus

Affectiones and constantiae in Augustine of Hippo
ByJonathan D. Teubner

chapter 2|12 pages

Affectus in Medieval Grammar

ByMark Amsler

chapter 3|13 pages

Affectio-affectus in Latin Rhetoric up to c. 1200

ByRita Copeland

chapter 4|10 pages

The Old English Vocabulary of Emotions

Glossing affectus
ByAntonina Harbus

chapter 5|15 pages

Before the Affective Turn

Affectus in Heloise, Abelard, and the Woman Writer of the Epistolae duorum amantium
ByJuanita Feros Ruys

chapter 6|10 pages

Desire to Enjoy Something Thoroughly

The Use of the Latin affectus in Hugh of Saint Victor’s De archa Noe
ByMichael D. Barbezat

chapter 8|11 pages

Affectus from Hildegard to Helfta

ByBarbara Newman

chapter 10|10 pages

Affectus and passio in the Summa theologiae of Thomas Aquinas

ByRobert C. Miner

chapter 11|11 pages

Accidentia anime in Late Medieval Medicine

ByNaama Cohen-Hanegbi

chapter 12|14 pages

Affeccioun in Middle English Devotional Writing

ByPaul Megna

chapter 13|14 pages

The Renaissance of affectus? Biblical Humanism and Latin Style

ByKirk Essary

chapter 14|15 pages

Augustinian, Aristotelian, and Humanist Shaping of Medieval and Early Modern Emotion

Affectus, affectio, and ‘affection’ as Travelling Concepts
ByElena Carrera

chapter 16|13 pages

Reconceptualizing Affect

Descartes on the Passions
ByAnik Waldow

chapter 17|17 pages

Defining the Emotions in the Post-Cartesian Humanism of Giambattista Vico

ByDaniel Canaris, Francesco Borghesi

chapter 18|11 pages

Unprincipled by Principle

On Hume’s Use of ‘Affection’
ByMargaret Watkins

chapter 19|16 pages

From affectus to Affect Theory and Back Again

ByMichael W. Champion