GEMS Seminar: Atelier with Fabio della Schiava and Kevin Dekoster

Time: Thursday, 25 October (10-12 AM)

Location: Faculty Library Arts and Philosophy, Magnel wing, Room “Freddy Mortier”.

Fabio della Schiava (UGent / KU Leuven)
Toward a critical edition of Biondo Flavio’s Roma instaurata.  

Published in 1446 by Biondo Flavio, one of the most distinguished historians of the Italian Quattrocento, Roma instaurata is an account in Latin of the archeological remains of ancient and christian Rome. Because of its centrality both for scholars of Humanism and Archeology, Roma instaurata has been repeatedly published between the Fifteenth and the Twenty-first century but still lacks a critical edition able to provide the reader with a reliable text and a better knowledge of Biondo’s antiquarian methodology. This edition has been now partially accomplished thanks to a 3 years project sponsored by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and undertaken at Bonn University. The paper aims to share the results of this research with a focus on the philological problems which have been encountered and the applied methodology to solve them. 

Kevin Dekoster (UGent)
From Dissecting Table to Courtroom. The Professionalisation of Medico-Legal Expertise in the Early Modern County of Flanders (16th-18th Centuries)

Thanks to figures such as Andreas Vesalius and Jan Palfijn, scholars of the early modern Habsburg Netherlands can justifiably claim an important role for this region in the historiography on the professionalisation of medicine. However, the development of medical expertise within a forensic context remains largely unknown terrain. Taking the County of Flanders as its geographical focus, this research project aims to analyse and explain quantitative and qualitative developments in the importance of medico-legal expertise to the functioning of early modern systems of criminal justice. This objective will primarily be achieved by a study of the form and content of autopsy and other medico-legal reports produced by medical experts, such as surgeons and physicians, who were consulted by law courts and other representatives of early modern governmental power. In order to present an analysis that is as multi-faceted and nuanced as possible, evidence from a wide range of legal bodies at different institutional levels (provincial versus local) and with varying territorial jurisdictions (urban versus rural) will be considered.

Image reference: Joos De Damhouder, Pracktycke in criminele saken, seer nut ende profijtelijck allen souverains, bailjous, borgemeesters, ende schepenen etc., Rotterdam, Pieter van Waesberge, 1650. This is the only iconographical representation of a judicial autopsy, that the speaker could find for the Netherlands so far.

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