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Medical competence, anatomy and the polity in seventeenth-century Rome

De Renzi, Silvia (2007). Medical competence, anatomy and the polity in seventeenth-century Rome. Renaissance Studies, 21(4) pp. 551–567.

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At the centre of this article are two physicians active in Rome between 1600 and 1630 who combined medical practice with broader involvement in the dynamic cultural, economic and political scene of the centre of the Catholic world. The city's distinctive and very influential social landscape magnified issues of career-building and allows us to recapture physicians’ different strategies of self-fashioning at a time of major social and religious reorganization. At one level, reconstructing Johannes Faber and Giulio Mancini's medical education, arrival in Rome and overlapping but different career trajectories contributes to research on physicians’ identity in early modern Italian states. Most remarkable are their access to different segments of Roman society, including a dynamic art market, and their diplomatic and political role, claimed as well as real. But following these physicians from hospitals to courts, including that of the Pope, and from tribunals to the university and analysing the wide range of their writing – from medico-legal consilia to political essays and reports of anatomical investigations – also enriches our view of medical practice, which included, but went beyond, the bedside. Furthermore, their activities demand that we reassess the complex place of anatomical investigations in a courtly society, and start recovering the fundamental role played by hospitals – those quintessential Catholic institutions – as sites of routine dissections for both medical teaching and research.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2007 The Author
ISSN: 0269-1213
Extra Information: Open access (on publisher site)
Keywords: social status of physicians; anatomy; dissections; seventeenth-century Rome;
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities > History
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 3538
Depositing User: Silvia De Renzi
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2007
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2019 15:11
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