Volume 3, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2213-8722
  • E-ISSN: 2213-8730
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The metaphor of the body politic is diverse in the history of European political discourse yet it remains unclear why such diachronic variations occurred. Drawing on Zoltán Kövecses’s idea of “the pressure of coherence,” the present paper argues that diachronic reconfigurations of metaphorical discourses occur due to differential contextual experiences; more specifically, metaphorical discourses on the body politic, which consist of mapping between the domain of the POLITICAL COMMUNITY and that of natural BODY, are reconfigured diachronically in accordance with not only the ideological but also the medical context. In order to demonstrate this, the paper examines the texts of three key medieval political thinkers — John of Salisbury, Marsilius of Padua and Nicholas of Cusa — and the medical knowledge that was influential in their respective era. Thus this paper constitutes a contribution to the historical cognitive linguistic study of metaphorical discourse.


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