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The Upward Training of the Body from the Age of Chivalry to Courtly Civility

Georges Vigarello

Source: Classic and Modern Writings on Fashion 2nd Edition 2009

Book chapter

From the Middle Ages on, every failure of physical uprightness has been attributed to two main categories: the stigma of deformity, sanctioned by the attention given to strength and aesthetic qualities, and the lack of the proper deportment prescribed mainly by socialized ethics. In both cases, however, medieval comments were unpolished and hasty, even weak compared with those which would be made in the sixteenth century. The strongest and most valiant knight was lost if disabled – “he falls to t

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