One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Conflict within the soul, or between the soul and the body; an instance of this; a literary or artistic representation of such a conflict.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in John Gaule (1603/4–1687), Church of England clergyman and author. From post-classical Latin psychomachia ‘conflict of the soul’, the title of a poem of Prudentius (400) from ancient Greek ψυχο- + -μαχία; compare Hellenistic Greek ψυχομαχία desperate conflict, fight for life (Polybius).
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