A Cultural History of the Human Body in the Renaissance

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The Renaissance was a time of immense change in the social, political, economic, intellectual and artistic arenas of the Western world. The cultural construction of the human body occupied a pivotal role in those transformations. The social and cultural meanings of embodiment revolutionized the intellectual, political and emotional ideologies of the period. Covering the years from 1400 to 1650, this volume examines the flexible and shifting categories of the body at an unparalleled time of growth in geographical exploration, science, technology and commerce. A Cultural History of the Human Body in the Renaissance presents an overview of the period with essays on the centrality of the human body in birth and death, health and disease, sexuality, beauty and concepts of the ideal, bodies marked by gender, race, class and age, cultural representations and popular beliefs and the self and society.