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Prisoner de la Segona Guerra MundialThe lecture analyses the importance of the testimony of medical experts at the Courts of Justice, with a long tradition, particularly in countries that have followed the Roman legal system, where the participation of doctors, surgeons and midwives was usual. The lecture deales with social dynamics and intellectual challenges that took place at the Courts. Rome will be taken as an example, where its tribunals provided the key resources to Paolo Zacchia, who wrote Queastiones Medico-legales (1610-1630), a reference work on legal medicine.

Silvia De Renzi try to answer three questions: how doctors acted when they testified and what role did these interventions play in their professional careers?, how disagreements between different medical experts were solved?, what kind of understanding there was between lawyers and doctors? These relations between lawyers and doctors provide nowadays to historians an extraordinary rich perspective on the history of the human body and medicalisation.

Regarding to Silvia De Renzi, she has worked at the Department of History of The Open University. She is interested in the usages of medical knowledge in early modern society and she has published works on legal medicine of the time. Moreover, she has studied the medical resources of modern society, focusing on roman doctors.

Recently, she has written about these Roman doctors and how they negotiated their participation at the Counter Reformation Courts. She has published the book Physicians for the Eternal City: Practising Medicine in Counter Reformation Rome, published by Oxford University Press. Her next project will analyse the history of the post mortem work, i.e., the dissections performed for discovering the causes of death and for the re-examination of possible diseases.