Word Wednesday.



1 a: an outline, feature, or contour of a body or figure and especially of a face – usually used in plural. b: a linear topographic feature (as of the earth) that reveals a characteristic (as a fault or the subsurface structure).

2: a distinguishing or characteristic feature – usually used in plural.

– lineamental, adjective.

[Origin: Middle English, from Latin lineamentum, from lineare to draw a line, from linea.]

(15th C.)

“To open the female body was not just to embark upon a voyage of scientific discovery, but it was also to trace the lineaments of the rebellious nature of womankind. That rebellious nature could undermine the smooth transfer of material goods from one generation to the next, just as, in the garden of Eden, it had seemed to undermine the divine plan itself. Every female body which found its way into the anatomy theatre was, therefore, a potential second Eve, just as every male body was a potential second Adam. To be an Eve, however, was very different from being an Adam within the patriarchal structure of early-modern culture. If the Renaissance anatomy theatre, in its modes of ritual and representation, offered the suggestion of redemption to the male cadaver, what it offered to the female was the reverse: a demonstration of Eve’s sin, a reinforcement of those structures of patriarchal control which, so the argument ran, were necessary to avoid a repetition of that first act of rebellion in the garden of Paradise.” – The Body Emblazoned, Dissection and the Human Body in Renaissance Culture, Jonathan Sawday.

Note: This book is still available, and considerably less expensive than back when it was first published. Recommended, it’s a fascinating read all the way through.

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