The body was therefore, in a sense, the last bastion to fall before the new, modern, intrusive government. There were precedents for this conquest, however. The state had always exercized the right to take away life, to inflict pain, to remove parts of the body, to tattoo or brand the body; to quarantine individuals, houses, ships and even towns in times of plague; to imprison people or banish them; and both church and state had traditionally forbidden many physical activities, as in matters of sexual intercourse, masturbation, self-mutilation, abortion and suicide. In this sense, the body had never been entirely private or autonomous; it had always been under some surveillance and some control. But such control had been individual, specific, and localized in time andspace.