PD Dr. Christiane U. Birr


Main Focus

  • Spanish late scholasticism and canon law of the early modern period
  • European expansion and colonial law
  • Learned law in the late middle ages and early modern period (especially questions regarding the law on limitation periods)
  • Legal and constitutional history of the early modern period


The Production of Knowledge of Normativity and the Early Modern Book Trade

Thomas Duve, Manuela Bragagnolo, Polina Solonets, Christiane U. Birr, Fupeng Li more

Legal History Meets Digital Humanities

Polina Solonets, Benedetta Albani, Christiane Birr, Manuela Bragagnolo, Karla Escobar, Anna Clara Lehmann Martins, Yohan Park, Andreas Wagner, Johanna Wolf, Alexandra Anokhina more

Curriculum Vitae

After studying law in Würzburg (First State Examination 1994, Second State Examination 1996) Christiane Birr was awarded her doctorate in the year 2000 for her thesis about penal jurisdiction and power organization in the episcopal duchy of Würzburg during the 15th and 16th centuries.

Subsequently, she worked as a research assistant at the Institute for Legal History of Würzburg University (2000-2003). Her postdoctoral research project “Rights in the Stream of Time –Prescription and Usucapion in European Legal History” was awarded the “Bayerischer Habilitationsförderpreis” (Bavarian scholarship for the support of outstanding young researchers) in 2002. From 2003 till 2005 she was financially supported by this scholarship. In 2006, the Law Faculty of the University of Würzburg granted her permission to teach German and European legal history, canon law and civil law (“Habilitation”).

Between 2007 and 2009 she was auxiliary professor at the Leopold-Wenger Institute for Legal History at the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich. Following this, she became lead researcher at theMax Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory (formerly Max Planck Institute for European Legal History) in Frankfurt.

Since 2013 Christiane Birr coordinates the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz's project “The School of Salamanca. A Digital Collection of Sources and a Dictionary of Its Juridical-Political Language”. In 2014, the Legal Department of Frankfurt’s Goethe University affiliated Christiane Birr as lecturer (Privatdozentin).


Selected Publications

Christiane Birr
Dominium in the Indies. Juan López de Palacios Rubios’ Libellus de insulis oceanis quas vulgus indias appelat (1512–1516)
in: Rechtsgeschichte – Legal History Rg 26 (2018), 264-283
Christiane Birr mit José Luis Egío
Alonso de Cartagena y Juan López de Palacios Rubios. Dilemas suscitados por las primeras conquistas atlánticas en dos juristas salmantinos (1436-1512)
in: Azafea: Revista de Filosofía 20 (2018), 9-36.
Christiane Birr
Die geisteswissenschaftliche Perspektive: Welche Forschungsergebnisse las­sen Digital Humanities erwarten?
in: Rechtsgeschichte – Legal History Rg 24 (2016), 330-334.
Birr, C.; Decock, W.: Recht und Moral in der Scholastik der Frühen Neuzeit 1500-1750. De Gruyter Oldenbourg, Berlin, Boston (2016), XII, 135 pp.
Christiane Birr mit Thomas Duve, Matthias Lutz-Bachmann und Andreas Niederberger
The School of Salamanca: a digital collection of sources and a dictionary of its juridical-political language: the basic objectives and structure of a research project.
The Salamanca Working Paper
Birr, C.: Rebellische Väter, versklavte Kinder: Der Aufstand der Morisken von Granada (1568-1570) in der juristisch-theologischen Diskussion der Schule von Salamanca. In: Revolten und politische Verbrechen zwischen dem 12. und 19. Jahrhundert. Rechtliche Reaktionen und juristisch-politische Diskurse, pp. 281 - 317 (Eds. Härter, K.; De Benedictis, A.). Vittorio Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main (2013)
Birr, C.; Duve, T.; Lutz-Bachmann, M.; Niederberger, A.: Die Schule von Salamanca: eine digitale Quellensammlung und ein Wörterbuch ihrer juristisch-politischen Sprache. Zu Grundanliegen und Struktur eines Forschungsvorhabens. The Salamanca Working Paper Series 2013-01 (2013)
Christiane Birr
Titulus ad regnum coelorum: Zur Taufe und ihren Wirkungen in der theologisch-juristischen Argumentation der Schule von Salamanca
in:  Rechtsgeschichte – Legal History Rg 21 (2013), 129-141.

Research Communication

Yearbook 2014 Legislation in Early Modern Hispanic America: The Third Mexican Provincial Council (1585)

Yearbook 2011 The School of Salamanca and the New World

Go to Editor View