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4 Expert Examination of Wounds in the Criminal Court of Justice in Cocentaina (Kingdom of Valencia) during the Late Middle Ages

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Chapter Summary

This chapter contextualizes the beginnings of the expert forensic examination of injured persons in the Kingdom of Valencia in terms of the prevailing medical and socio-economic circumstances. It then analyzes a specific case and describes how such a medical procedure was carried out. The introduction of expert medical testimony in the court of justice of Cocentaina at the turn of the fourteenth century should be understood as part of a double process. The first specific development was the founding and colonization of the Kingdom of Valencia. The flow of migrants from different parts of Europe, who used the town either as a stopover or as their final destination, contributed to the introduction of innovations in a country under construction. The second process was the medicalization of late medieval society.

Keywords: Cocentaina; Europe; forensic examination; Kingdom of Valencia; late medieval society; medical testimony



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