Crying: A Concise Journey Through Time. As a human activity, crying has a long and diverse history that begins in antiquity and continues until the present day. Tears are a physiological reaction that has also developed over time as a cultural and social phenomena. An overview of the evolution of sobbing may be found here:

Long Ago
Ancient literature, including the Bible and Greek mythology, portrays weeping as a normal reaction to joy, grief, and meetings with the divine. As a result of intense feelings, historical figures such as Job, King David, and Achilles weep.
From a philosophical perspective, thinkers like Aristotle have written on weeping and linked it to catharsis, or the release of pent-up emotions. Wept tears were believed to purify the spirit and provide harmony to the emotional body.

Period of the Middle Ages

The religious significance of sobbing was well-documented in mediaeval times. It was believed that “tears of compunction,” or tears of repentance, were a sign of true contrition and a desire to cleanse one’s soul. Many religious writings and artworks portray saints and mystics in a state of grief.

Separation of Public and Private Life: There were social norms that made it acceptable to cry in public, such as religious rituals and funeral vigils. The extent to which people were allowed to show their emotions in public was, however, dictated by gender and status-based societal standards.

Epochs of the Renaissance and the Baroque

In literature and the arts, depictions of human emotion, particularly tears, were popular during the Renaissance and the Baroque. Many creatives have looked to tears as a way to convey joy and pain. Sculptures by Bernini and paintings by Caravaggio frequently featured people crying out in a condition of extreme passion.

Investigative Judgment: Tears were also part of the human body and emotions studied at the time. Researchers started looking at the neural bases of tear production and how it relates to our emotions.

Romanticism, which flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries, encouraged the public display of intense feelings, including sobbing. In romantic literature and art, tears were praised as an expression of true emotion and vulnerability. Cultural icons such as the “melancholic poet” emerged to represent the ideal of the expressive person.

Changes in our knowledge of sobbing have resulted from developments in both the medical and psychological fields. Differentiating between tears shed in response to physical pain and those shed in response to emotional discomfort prompted researchers to delve into the psychological and physiological bases of sobbing.

Sigmund Freud and other psychoanalysts in the 20th and 21st centuries advocated for the therapeutic use of sobbing and other forms of emotional expression. According to Freud, sobbing is an essential component of therapy because it allows the patient to release pent-up emotions.

Social Expectations and Changing Gender Norms: As the twentieth century progressed, societal views about weeping changed. The feminist movement championed emotional honesty irrespective of gender, challenging the stigmatization of men’s tears as a sign of weakness.
Science in the Modern Era: From its physiological repercussions to its social and communicative purposes, researchers are still trying to pin down the many reasons people weep. Tears have a relaxing impact, lower stress levels, and promote social connection, according to studies.

As our understanding of human emotion evolves in science, society, and culture, the evolution of weeping mirrors this shift. Crying has been interpreted and appreciated in various ways over time, from ancient religious rites to contemporary psychological findings. As a result of the ongoing influence of changing scientific understanding and cultural mores, it continues to be an influential and pervasive part of the human condition.