We usually see the Renaissance as a marked departure from older traditions, but Renaissance scholars often continued to cling to the teachings of the past. For instance, despite the evidence of their own dissections, which contradicted ancient and medieval texts, Renaissance anatomists continued to teach those outdated views for nearly two centuries.
In Books of the Body, Andrea Carlino explores the nature and causes of this intellectual inertia. On the one hand, anatomical practice was constrained by a reverence for classical texts and the belief that the study of anatomy was more properly part of natural philosophy than of medicine. On the other hand, cultural resistance to dissection and dismemberment of the human body, as well as moral and social norms that governed access to cadavers and the ritual of their public display in the anatomy theater, also delayed anatomy's development.
A fascinating history of both Renaissance anatomists and the bodies they dissected, this book will interest anyone studying Renaissance science, medicine, art, religion, and society.
Fear Reverence Terror
Carlo Ginzburg Seagull Books, 2017 Library of Congress N72.P6G562 2017 | Dewey Decimal 701.03
We are surrounded by images, fairly drowning in them. From our cell phones to our computers, from our televisions at home to the screens that light up while we wait in the grocery store checkout line, images of all kinds are seducing us, commanding us to buy!, scaring us, dazzling us.
Fear, Reverence, Terror invites us to look at images slowly, with the help of a few examples: Picasso’s Guernica, the “Lord Kitchener Wants You” World War I recruitment poster, Jacques-Louis David’s Marat, the frontispiece of Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan, a cup of gilded silver with scenes from the conquest of the New World. Are these political images, Carlo Ginzburg asks? Yes, because every image is, in a sense, political—an instrument of power. Tacitus once wrote, unforgettably, that we are enslaved by lies of which we ourselves are the authors. Is it possible to break this bond? Fear, Reverence, Terror will answer this question.
Praise for Ginzburg
“Ginzburg has many claims to be considered the outstanding European historian of the generation which came of age in the late Sixties. Certainly few have equalled him in originality, variety, and audacity.”—London Review of Books
“Ginzburg’s scholarship is dazzling and profound.”—Publisher’s Weekly
Often overshadowed by the persecution of Jews in Germany, the treatment of Jews in fascist Italy comes into sharp focus in this volume by Italian historian Michele Sarfatti. Using thorough and careful statistical evidence to document how the Italian social climate changed from relatively just to irredeemably prejudicial, Sarfatti begins with a history of Italian Jews in the decades before fascism—when Jews were fully integrated into Italian national life—and provides a deft and comprehensive history from fascism’s rise in 1922 to its defeat in 1945.