Dennj Solera is a PhD student in History at the University of Florence, with History of Counter-Reformation as previous main field. From November 2014 he is working on his dissertation, preliminarily titled “The familiares of the roman Holy Office. A political and social profile of the Inquisition’s police”.

The aim of this research is to understand and to describe the role of the familiares, a particular kind of police that was under the direct command of the most important Congregation of the Church. They represented the lowest part of the complicated organisation of the Roman Inquisition. Therefore, the study of these peculiar officers is fundamental when reconstructing the concrete perception of the people towards the sacred Institution. Far too often this perception has been analysed only by focusing on the highest levels of the ecclesiastic hierarchy and has been read through famous, but few, processes (e.g. Giordano Bruno or Galileo Galilei). The main questions to be answered by this research are: Who were these officers? Which was their curriculum? How were they chosen? From whom? What kind of jurisdictional conflicts did they cause? What kind of crimes did they commit? How were they judged and punished? Moreover, in some sense the familiares can be seen as the prototype of modern polices.

Dennj is part of the SISEM (Italian Society for the History of Modern Age) from January 2015.

Research interests: Early Modern History; Modern History; Italian and European History; History of Reformation and Counter-Reformation; Heresy and Inquisition; Holy Office; Birth and development of modern police; Social History; Cultural History; Visual culture.

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