The School of Salamanca

Research Project

A Digital Collection of Sources and a Dictionary of its Juridical-Political Language

The (re-)discovery of the fundamental importance of the School of Salamanca for the early modern discourse about law, politics, religion and ethics is widespread among of philosophers and legal historians. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the intellectual sparks emitted by this academic force field reached not only the most far-flung cities of the Spanish monarchy, be it Mexico, Madrid or Manila: they also spread to universities in the protestant territories of the Ancien Régime. Europe's intellectual history, history of political thought, and legal history can not be understood adequately without being aware of the School of Salamanca as an almost universal intellectual reference point. Nevertheless, the assessment of the School and its intellectual influence remains a much discussed topic until the present day.

The School of Salamanca's significance and influence on more than one continent as well as in different academic fields have given rise to an impressive multitude of research efforts in various disciplines: philosophers, historians, jurists, legal historians, and theologians pursue the reconstruction of complex subareas of the Salamantine intellectual edifice. The sheer number of these research projects wordwide has caused a notable fragmentation of the scientific landscape. Notably the connections between persons, texts, and disciplines threaten to become lost, but also an understanding of comprehensive questions and methods.

These are the problems our project aims to adress by creating an easy access to primary sources, their concepts and contexts. As a foundation of our work we will build a digital text corpus including more than 120 works of the Salmantine jurists and theologians in selected prints from the 16th and 17th centuries. The high-resolution scans will be complemented by the full text of the featured works, supporting all online researches with comfortable search functionalities. Based on these sources, we will also compose a historic dictionary of circa 300 essential terms of the Salmantine School's juridic-politic language, bringing together international and interdisciplinary research perspectives. In the electronic version, the dictionary articles will be linked to the source texts, enabling easy access to information about concepts, contexts, and authors. At the final stage, a print-version of the dictionary will be published.

Current news about the activities of the project can be found in the project blog at

Salamanca Colloquium
The colloquium of the Academy project "The School of Salamanca. A digital collection of sources and a dictionary of its juridical-political language" more
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