In praise of touch: Mario Equicola and the nature of love

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Abstract

This article discusses the praise of touch as the most important of the senses in Mario Equicola's De natura d'amore (1525) and, more broadly, addresses the moral and physiological status of touch in debates about the nature of love in the sixteenth century. Although Equicola's cautious and idiosyncratic defense of touch had relatively little impact on sixteenth-century debates about either the status of sexuality or the material nature of human existence, it is nonetheless an important acknowledgment of the centrality of sexuality to human life. It sheds light on early modern ways of understanding the physical world and the relation between sexuality and love. And it demonstrates that Platonic orthodoxy on the subject was not universally accepted, even in the scholarly community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-130
Number of pages12
JournalSenses and Society
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010

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Keywords

  • Equicola
  • Love
  • Plato
  • Sexuality
  • Touch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication

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