In the construction of spatiality, “partitioning” (as Foucault would have it), or the formation of the “enclosure,” allows not only for the production of an object of knowledge, but prompted by the regulative procedures of a social order, also invests spaces with an almost inherent valorisation. The relations of power active in the production of demarcated space, not only allows for the disciplined production of knowledge within the boundaries of the enclosure, but it also enacts the principle of hierarchy, rendering some parts of more value than others, evoking reasons for boundaries, evaluating types of movement and mobility, thereby reproducing social order. How a version of an interior body was embedded within a rhetoric of spatiality in antiquity is the objective of this essay. The point of departure is not a pre-discursive interior body upon which a rhetoric of spatiality has been inscribed, but an already rhetorically constructed object of knowledge in interaction with a rhetoric of spatiality. Besides exploring the interaction of bodily and spatial rhetoric with reference to specific prominent issues in the Dei Opificio Dei of Lactantius, the question whether a version of Roman masculinity tropologically functions as proposal for the construction of social order is also posed.
Walter Jost“Philosophy and Literature – and Rhetoric: Adventures in Polytopia,” in A Companion to the Philosophy of Literatureeds. Gary Hagberg and Walter Jost; Blackwell Companions to Philosophy (Malden MA; Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell 2010) 38.
On this problem see Judith Butler“Foucault and the Paradox of Bodily Inscriptions,”The Journal of Philosophy86 no. 11 (1989): 601–607; also Judith Butler Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (New York NY; London: Routledge 1999) 164–166.
Johnathan Walters“Invading the Roman Body: Manliness and Impenetrability in Roman Thought” in Roman Sexualitieseds. Judith P. Hallett and Marilyn B. Skinner (Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press 1997) 30.
See Halvor Moxnes“Beaten Body of Christ,”Religion and Theology21 no. 1&2 (2014):130–140 for the use of impregnability discourse with respect to the interior body but specifically how it could have functioned as resource for the powerless slave.
See LactantiusOpif. 8.3: the right reason (recta ratio but here to be seen in terms of mens) upright stature (sublimis status) and countenance (vultus) testify to a proximity and mutuality with God; the mind is described as nearly divine (prope divina).