Publication : “The Body as a Mirror of the Soul. Physiognomy from Antiquity to the Renaissance”, Leuven University Press, 2021.

Physiognomy, the history of racial classifications, and the interplay between natural philosophy, medicine, and ethics

The idea of the body as a mirror of the soul has fascinated mankind throughout history. Being able to see through an individual, and drawing conclusions on their character solely based on a selection of external features, is the subject of physiognomy, and has a long tradition running well into recent times. However, the pre-modern, especially medieval background of this discipline has remained underexplored. The selected case studies in this volume each contribute to a better understanding of the history of physiognomy from antiquity to the Renaissance, and offer discussions on unedited treatises and on the application, development, and reception of this field of knowledge, as well as on visual sources inspired by physiognomic theory.

Table of content

Lisa Devriese
Physiognomy from Antiquity to the Renaissance : an Introduction 
Maria Michela Sassi
The Beginnings of Physiognomy in Ancient Greece 
Maria Fernanda Ferrini
Oἰνωποί/Aἰγωποί: Manuscript Tradition and Conjecture 
Enikő Békés
The Physiognomy of Apostle Paul: Between Texts and Images 
Steven J. Williams
Some Observations on the Scholarly Reception of Physiognomy in the Thirteenth and Early Fourteenth Century: Success, and the Limits of Success
Lisa Devriese
First Medieval Attestations of the Physiognomonica
Oleg Voskoboynikov
Michael Scotus’ Physiognomy: Notes on Text and Context 
Joël Biard and Christophe Grellard
La place des Questiones circa librum de physionomia dans le système philosophique de Jean Buridan
Gabriella Zuccolin
Towards a Critical Edition of Michele Savonarola’s Speculum Physionomie 
Joseph Ziegler and Luís Campos Ribeiro
Astral Physiognomy in the Fifteenth Century : the Case of the Illuminated Opening Folio of Rolandus Scriptoris’ Reductorium Phisonomie
Notes on Contributors
Index codicum manu scriptorum
Index nominum

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