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Synopsis

The readings gathered here include many rare texts that have not been reprinted for centuries, excerpted from biblical commentary, legal writings, medical and scientific writings, popular encyclopedias, and literature, as well as continental vernacular and Latin sources never before available in English translation. The selections are assembled in ten chapters addressing particular discursive fields - Theology, Law, Medicine, Astrology, Physiognomics, Encyclopedias and Reference Works, Prodigious Monstrosities, Love and Friendship, the Sapphic Renaissance, and Erotica. Each chapter includes a substantial introduction summarizing its topic and its relation to early modern homoeroticism. The volume also poignantly addresses key issues in Renaissance thinking about sexual identity, and newly clarifies central problems and debates in the historiography of same-sex love.

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