I TATTI STUDIES IN ITALIAN RENAISSANCE HISTORY
Cover: The Prince's Body: Vincenzo Gonzaga and Renaissance Medicine, from Harvard University PressCover: The Prince's Body in HARDCOVER

The Prince's Body

Vincenzo Gonzaga and Renaissance Medicine

Add to Cart

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$42.00 • £33.95 • €38.00

ISBN 9780674725454

Publication Date: 02/10/2015

Text

288 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

17 halftones

I Tatti Studies in Italian Renaissance History

World

Defining the proper female body, seeking elective surgery for beauty, enjoying lavish spa treatments, and combating impotence might seem like today’s celebrity infatuations. However, these preoccupations were very much alive in the early modern period. Valeria Finucci recounts the story of a well-known patron of arts and music in Renaissance Italy, Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga of Mantua (1562–1612), to examine the culture, fears, and captivations of his times. Using four notorious moments in Vincenzo’s life, Finucci explores changing concepts of sexuality, reproduction, beauty, and aging.

The first was Vincenzo’s inability to consummate his earliest marriage and subsequent medical inquiry, which elucidates new concepts of female anatomy. Second, Vincenzo’s interactions with Bolognese doctor Gaspare Tagliacozzi, the “father of plastic surgery,” illuminate contemporary fascinations with elective procedures. Vincenzo’s use of thermal spas explores the proliferation of holistic, noninvasive therapies to manage pain, detoxify, and rehabilitate what the medicine of the time could not address. And finally, Vincenzo’s search for a cure for impotence later in life analyzes masculinity and aging.

By examining letters, doctors’ advice, reports, receipts, and travelogues, together with (and against) medical, herbal, theological, even legal publications of the period, Finucci describes an early modern cultural history of the pathology of human reproduction, the physiology of aging, and the science of rejuvenation as they affected a prince with a large ego and an even larger purse. In doing so, she deftly marries salacious tales with historical analysis to tell a broader story of Italian Renaissance cultural adjustments and obsessions.

Recent News

From Our Blog

Jacket, Menander Rhetor. Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Ars Rhetorica, edited and translated by William H. Race, Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press

Speech! Speech!

Loeb Classical Library General Editor Jeffrey Henderson introduces four new volumes on oratory and rhetoric. In spring 2019 the Loeb Classical Library significantly expands its coverage in an area central to public life in both Greece and Rome: the theory and practice of formal speech. Already in Homer’s Iliad, heroism required

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.