The rationale of gestures in the West: Third to Thirteenth Centuries
By Jean-Claude Schmitt
A Cultural History of Gesture, edited by Jan Bremmer and Herman Roodenburg (Cornell University Press, 1992)
Introduction: The culture of the Middle Ages has sometimes been called a ‘culture of gestures’ or a ‘gestural culture’. Such expressions have a double meaning: first the movements and attitudes of the human body played a crucial role in the social relationships of the past. Second, medieval culture itself thought about its own gestures, and indeed constructed a medieval theory of gestures.