The body – its practices, construction, discourses and habitus – is a central focus of the humanities in general in the past decades. This is no less true for ancient history, where the body is central in many discourses – ritual, political, mythical, emotional, medical, astrological, philosophical, etc. The tools for interpreting the body in ancient discourses have frequently been taken from modern anthropology and sociology of the body, where a number of paradigms have been paramount. The speaker argued that the ancient sources themselves suggest an understanding of the body as a network, where the emphasis is not only on the boundaries but on each of the nodes of the network and on the relations between them. Such an understanding of nodes and relations, it was argued, could be a strong foundation for comparative studies of the body in different cultures.
(Thanks to Yakir Paz for the suggestion for this artwork)