chapter
11 Pages

Introduction

For a long time, as Jacques Le Goff pointed out, historians used to believe the human body had no history since it belonged to nature and not to culture. More recently, historians have recognised that the body does indeed have a history, and is even an integral part of history to the extent of shaping it-much as economic or social structures as well as intellectual or spiritual representations do-so that the body is simultaneously both the product and the medium.1