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Regular version of the site

Book chapter

L'éloquence du corps

P. 157-183.

This article is an attempt to demonstrate how the human body became protagonist in anthropological and cosmological discourse, in 12th and 13th centuries. Several texts and genres were taken into account. Some of them are well known and influenced further development in the West, like literary and philosophical texts of Chartres (first half of the 12th century), the Misery of human condition by the cardinal Lotario de Segni, future Innocent III (1195). Others were mostly known as travelling subjects and motives: it is the case of the battle of the belly, story of a tumult of organs against the tyranny of the stomach, that appears firstly in Antiquity and became popular again around 1200. The Latin poem De ventre delivers the most reach and elaborated satiric version of the subject and, thus, gives a kind of axis for the whole reflection in this article. Finally, the author explores a less known treatise Moral Rhetoric on the Functions of Members, composed by the chaplain of Clement IV (1265-1268). It is preserved in five manuscripts and deserves a critical edition.

In book

Florence: Edizioni del Galluzzo, 2021.