Colloquium – Project: “The School of Salamanca“: “Perspectivas historiográficas y nuevos desafíos en la investigación sobre la Escuela de Salamanca“

Speaker: Juan Belda Plans [website:]
Date: 15.6.2018
Time: 15.00-18.00
Location: MPIeR
Room: Z01
Organisation: Christiane Birr, José Luis Egío

Among the historians of the School of Salamanca, Juan Belda Plans is one of the most renowned scholars whose work has again and again set intellectual benchmarks in the field, recently with his commented translation of Melchor Cano’s “De locis theologicis“, one of the most important texts of the Early Modern Scholasticism. We are especially happy that he joins us for an extraordinary session at our project’s colloquium to draw a historiographical balance and shine a light on new research perspectives regarding the School of Salamanca.
The presentation will be held in Spanish.

Scandalum and Human Rights – Colloquium of the Project „The School of Salamanca“

Castillo de Bobadilla: Política para Corregidores. First edition: Madrid 1597.

Date: 06.06.2018

Time: 14:30 – 16:00

Organisation: Christiane Birr

Place: Max Planck Institute for European Legal History

Room: Lecture hall of the MPIER

At this June meeting of the Salamanca colloquium, José Luis Egío and Pedro Henrique Ribeiro will present their research on “Scandalum und Menschenrechte“ (“Scandalum and Human Rights“). The presentation will be held in German.

José Luis Egío studied philosophy and European law in Murcia, Padua, Salamanca, and Geneva. He holds a doctorate in philosophy (university of Murcia) and is currently engaged in a second PhD project with the Institute of Historical Research, Department of Philosophy and Letters, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He is a researcher in the Academy project „The School of Salamanca“ and affiliate researcher at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History.

Pedro Henrique Ribeiro studied social sciences at the university of Sao Paulo (USP) and law at the Catholic University Sao Paulo (PUC-SP). He is a DAAD fellow and currently as a PhD student at the Institute for Public Law at Frankfurt’s Goethe University.

Working Paper: Duve on Global Knowledge Production

We are happy to announce the publication of the latest instalment in our series “The School of Salamanca Working Papers” (ISSN 2509-5080):

Thomas Duve: La Escuela de Salamanca: ¿un caso de producción global de conocimiento? (2018-02)


For a long time, the School of Salamanca has been regarded as a Spanish, Iberian, or European phenomenon. Again and again it’s projection from Salamanca into the world, to America and Asia, has been stressed. But is this perspective really appropriate for an analysis of the indisputably important role the School played in the development of a juridical-political language? Are we not rather confronted with a case of global knowledge production which is better understood with the methods of History of Knowledge than with those of the History of Science? These questions seem even more pertinent considering that the School of Salamanca was not only a group of learned discussions, but also a community of pragmatic norm production. This working paper offers a few thoughts about these questions which are meant to serve as a basis for discussion at a conference dedicated to this topic in October 2018 and also as a preparation for the chapters of a book on the School of Salamanca as a phenomen of global knowledge production.


Global History, History of Knowledge, School of Salamanca


Working Paper: Cuena Boy on Contractus

We are happy to announce the publication of the latest instalment in our series “The School of Salamanca Working Papers” (ISSN 2509-5080):

Francisco Cuena Boy: Contractus et quasi-contractus (2018-01)


Ideally located in the writer’s position of the voice “contractus (& quasi contractus)” of the Dictionary, the author of this paper tries to discover the difficulties that his drafting could imply. The difficulties encountered come mainly from the chronology and the diversity of profiles between the members of the Salamanca School that deal with contracts, from the unusual historical and material extension of the elements they work with and from the need to understand their methods, their initial assumptions and the aims they pursue. At the end, some practical considerations are offered to the voice’s drafting.


Contract, Luis de Molina, Leonardo Lessius, Domingo de Soto, School of Salamanca


Presentation of the Digital Edition Platform of the Project “The School of Salamanca”: Francisco de Vitoria’s “Confessionario”

As a result of several years of working on the digital edition of texts of the School of Salamanca, and although the edition still is (and will remain) a ‘work in progress’, the School of Salamanca project will officially release its digital edition as an online portal for research on the texts of the School of Salamanca on 9 May 2018.

The release of the digital edition will take place within the scope of a workshop on the Confessionario Útil y Provechoso by Francisco de Vitoria, one of the texts in the central group of works of the digital edition, and a work that is already edited to a great extent following the project’s extensive text preparation and annotation processes.

Following the discussion of Vitoria’s ‘Confessionario’, the project will present the web application of the digital edition by means of a small ‘tech demo’, during which the web application’s functionalities shall be explained by taking the example of the previously discussed work.

Organization: The ‘School of Salamanca’ Project
Place: Max Planck Institute for European Legal History
Date & time: 9 May 2017, 18.00-19.30

– Christiane Birr: Introduction
– José Luis Egío Garcia: Epitomisation Processes and the Historiography on Vitoria’s “Confesionario”
– Manuela Bragagnolo: Epitomizing Knowledge between Portugal and Spain. On Martin de Azpilcueta’s “Manual de Confessores”
– David Glück / Andreas Wagner: The Online Edition of The School of Salamanca as a Digital Research Platform
(The papers will be complemented by further discussions involving the audience.)

Code Release and Open-Source Development of the ‘School of Salamanca’ Web Application

On 1 March 2018, we have released the code of the web application of the ‘School of Salamanca’ project’s digital edition ( as free and open source software (under the MIT license) on GitHub:, where the development process and the versioning of our web application takes place exclusively from this date onward. The publication of our web application’s code represents the first major code release of the project; other parts of our digital infrastructure and the research data will be published separately.

The web application, now having reached version 1.0, has been developed since 2014 and, more precisely, consists of an eXist-db application package. While this package can be downloaded and deployed in any eXist-db (version 3.6+) instance, it must be mentioned that, in order to function correctly, the web application draws upon the integration with further, external services: for example, an iiif-conformant image server (image and presentation APIs) allowing for the incorporation of facsimile images in the reading views of our works, or a SphinxSearch server providing lemmatized and cross-language search results for the texts. Notwithstanding these current caveats in portability of the application package, and although there still remains much to be achieved with regards to the functionality of our web application, the code underlying central features of the application (such as the endless-scrolling segmentation of texts in the reading view, the content negotiation-based URI-linking of texts and text segments, and others) is fully available now and can be utilized or serve as an example for similar projects, for instance. For a more extensive and detailed description of current features, caveats, and provisos of the application please refer to:

The software is tagged with a DOI so that it can be cited:

Some Fundamental Concepts of the School of Salamanca’s Juridical-Political Language. Working Towards a Dictionary in the Salamanca Project

by Christiane Birr

In the next five months, we organize the Research Colloquium of the Max Planck Institute of European Legal History in Frankfurt a.M. Our monthly meetings will focus on pivotal topics of the juridical, political, and philosophical debates, approaching them from different disciplinary backgrounds and texts, asking for Salmantine characteristics and thus contributing to the priotarisation of concepts and topics in the future dictionary of the School of Salamanca’s juridical-political language.

Working languages of the colloquium will be English and Spanisch.

You can find our Program here: 2017-09-29-Program_Research_Colloquium

If you are interested in participating, please contact us at info.salamanca(at)

The School of Salamanca: At the heart of the XIV International Congress of the SIEPM

  1. August 2017

The SIEPM (Société Internationale pour l’Étude de la Philosophie Médiévale) was founded in 1958, and every five years it holds a large conference for philosophers and other scholars to discuss medieval and early modern philosophy. This year’s XIV International Congress was the first to be held at a South American university, the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande del Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The three organizers Dr. Roberto Hofmeister Pich, Prof. Dr. Alfredo Santiago Culleton and Dr. Alfredo Carlos Storck focused on Spanish and Portuguese second scholasticism as the vessel carrying European theology and philosophy into the Americas and invited the participants to address many topics that the Salamancan jurists and theologians treated intensively in their relectiones, commentaries and treatises.

Continue reading “The School of Salamanca: At the heart of the XIV International Congress of the SIEPM”

(Deutsch) Hessischer Kulturpreis für SvSal-Projektleiter Matthias Lutz-Bachmann

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Wir freuen uns sehr, dass unser Projektleiter Prof. Dr. Dr. Matthias Lutz-Bachmann den Hessischen Kulturpreis 2017 erhält und gratulieren herzlich!

Die Preisverleihung findet am 27. Oktober in Frankfurt statt. Geplant ist unter anderem eine Ansprache des hessischen Ministerpräsidenten Volker Bouffier; Laudator wird der Präsident der DFG, Prof. Dr. Peter Strohschneider, sein. Der Hessische Kulturpreis wird seit 1982 jährlich für besondere Leistungen in Kunst, Wissenschaft und Kulturvermittlung vergeben. Er ist der höchst dotierte Kulturpreis der Bundesrepublik Deutschland.

(Deutsch) Bericht über unseren Lektürekurs zu Francisco de Vitoria

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Der Blick auf die Problemstellung „Was ist potestas?“ wurde in unserem Lektürekurs durch die politikwissenschaftliche, die soziologische, die theologische, die philosophische, die juristische und durch die allgemeine Perspektive der Geschichtswissenschaft erhellt.

Es lässt sich verallgemeinernd sagen, dass mit der ‚Schule von Salamanca‘ die historische Analyse vor allem auch eine globale Perspektive berücksichtigen sollte, da durch die Entdeckung der neuen Welt Fragen auf den Tisch kamen, die das alte christliche Weltbild langsam aber sicher ins Wanken bringen sollten. Die globale Sicht spiegelte sich auch in der Herkunft der TeilnehmerInnen wider. Französische, schweizerische, russische und deutsche Sichtweisen brachten erfrischend neue Lesarten des Textes mit sich.

Die Konfrontation mit einer scheinbar völlig neuen Welt und die unterschiedlichen sich festsetzenden reformatorischen Strömungen führten dazu, dass sich die Menschen in der Zeit Vitorias einer hohen und scheinbar zunehmenden ‚Unsicherheit‘ stellen mussten. Diese ‚Unsicherheit‘ nagte an den Grundfesten der alten tradierten Ordnungsvorstellungen der Welt. Vielleicht kam es gerade deshalb nicht von Nirgendwo, dass der Begriff ‚Ontologie‘ ein Syllogismus des 17. Jahrhunderts werden sollte. Die erlebte ‚Unsicherheit‘ führte dazu, das ‚Sein‘, ja die Ordnungsstrukturen der Welt neu zu überdenken.

Historisch ausgerichtete Analysen werden immer aus der Gegenwart heraus gemacht. Gerade deshalb wurde in der Diskussion immer wieder darüber debattiert, wie man sich von heutigen Konzepten politischer und kirchlicher Macht in der Interpretation wenigstens ein Stück weit befreien kann und ob dies überhaupt möglich wäre.

Von Anfang an war absehbar, dass die Frage „Was ist potestas?“ nicht mit ein paar Zeilen beantwortet werden könnte. Einerseits sah man in der Lektüre, dass das Zeitliche und das Ewige in einem sich beständig gegenseitig konstituierenden Prozess zueinander standen, was Vitoria andererseits nicht davon abhielt, zu ergründen, wie man trotz dieser engen Verflechtung beider Sphären, die Frage nach der ‚potestas‘ in spezifische Weise an unterschiedliche Perspektiven rückführen könnte.

In der Abschlussdiskussion wurde davor gewarnt, Autoren wie Francisco de Vitoria vorschnell als Modernisierer zu deklarieren. Auch wurde quellenkritisch betont, dass die enge Verflechtung von weltlicher und geistlicher Macht nicht ausschließlich mit dem Text eines so hochgelehrten Mannes wie Vitoria beantwortet werden könne. Die Lebenszeit Vitorias stand im Zeichen einer Medienrevolution, die tiefgreifende gesellschaftliche Veränderungen mit sich brachte. Gerade deshalb müsste man bei einer umfassenderen Antwort auch Texte aus anderen sozialen Sphären beachten. Heute twittern Politiker, damals wurde Politik mit Flugschriften gemacht.

Die TeilnehmerInnen gingen mit mehr Fragen als Antworten nach Hause und das im positiven Sinne. Denn so ist das Ziel einer solchen Veranstaltung schließlich nicht, die eine Antwort zu finden, sondern an den eigenen alten Sichtweisen zu rütteln.