19th International Meetings of the Middle ages in Nájera. Criminal cultures in the Atlantic city and beyond (13th-16th century)

Jesús Ángel Solórzano-Telechea's picture
Call for Papers
October 20, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Atlantic History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Maritime History / Studies, Social History / Studies, Urban History / Studies

The International Meetings of the Middle Ages of Nájera is proposed as an international conference in the field of study and spread of Medieval History since its beginning in 2003.

The association of the Middle Ages with the ideas of regression, darkness and universal stagnation permeates the current collective imaginary about this historical period to the point that any injustice, cruelty or barbarity is branded as "medieval". It is widely believed that medieval society was subjected to the powerful people, without any structure of regulation of crimes, violence and conflict. In part, this is due to the historical misrepresentation about the Middle Ages, elaborated seven centuries ago, and to the application of current concepts about criminality and delinquency to medieval times. For example, the use of weapons by the medieval nobility was synonymous with bravery, although nowadays gungs are perceived as barbaric means. Likewise, at present, crime is associated with penal law, blood crimes, but not theft; however, in medieval times, sodomy, transsexuality, blasphemy, piracy, heresy, witchcraft or pyromania were harshly punished crimes.

On the other hand, crimes depended on the place where they were committed. For example, crimes against property and safety at sea were more severely punished than on land. The people of the sea who sank a ship with deception had to be punished with death, as if they were pirates, So, there were laws only aplied in the maritime environment, such as the Laws of Oleron in the Atlantic area. The town ports had their own judges of the sea with jurisdiction over crimes committed in the maritime environment. The control of crimes at sea by the authorities contributed to the construction of the maritime jurisdiction of the ports and, ultimately, of the sovereignty over the sea of the monarchs from the fifteenth century onwards, so that private actors, outsiders, pirates and corsairs contributed to forge the urban and royal institutions related to crime control.

Thirdly, the cultures of crime developed in the port cities on both sides of the Atlantic, taking advantage of the movement of money and people, There were social sectors, sometimes not marginalized, whose way of life and identity was based on crime: extended families dedicated to piracy, privateering and smuggling, fraud and corruption networks, prostitution rings that connected both shores of the Atlantic with the Mediterranean, kidnapping people to sell them as slaves, political crimes between urban factions, gangs of bandits who acted on the roads to the ports.

Finally, the aim of this conference is to analyze the development of criminal activities and the response of the authorities in the port cities, as well as in the cities and regions (un)connected to them, from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century, in a global, interregional and transatlantic perspective, since the discovery of the new American continent meant the expansion of criminal networks and the culture of crime on both sides of the Atlantic.


Abstracts should be no more than 500 characters and should clearly state the purpose, thesis, sources, methodology, and principal findings of the paper to be presented, and short BIO (250 words). This information  should be submitted electronically to https://forms.gle/PGTiSdT8Hs2adR6z9 or by email at: neim@unican.es

The deadline for submissions is October 20th, 2022.

The scientific languages of the meetings are Spanish, English, German, French, Portuguese and Italian. The texts of the power points presentation must be in English.

Due to the COVID'19 pandemic, this year's edition will be held virtually and, if authorized by the health authorities, it can be developed in a hybrid way.

Each presentation may be a maximum of 20 minutes long.

You will be informed on the acceptance of your presentation per mail no later than October 30th 2022.

Successful proposals will be published in 2023 after the peer reviewed process.

Registration and attendance

This year’s hybrid meeting provides the utmost flexibility for members to connect in ways never before possible, explore ideas, and actively learn in a new online environment.

Participants should send:  name, surname/s, address, e-mail to: neim@unican.es

The deadline for registration will be on December 1st, 2022.



Jesús Ángel Solórzano Telechea. Universidad de Cantabria

Marcelo Lima Pereira. Universidade Federal de Bahía

Organizing Committee

María Álvarez Fernández, Universidad de Oviedo

Iñaki Bazán Díaz, Universidad de País Vasco / Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea

Inazio Conde Mendoza, Universidad de Cantabria

Gilberto Fernández Escalante, Universidad de Cantabria

Pablo García Fuente. Universidad de Cantabria

José Damián González Arce, Universidad de Murcia

Cristian Rivero Zerpa. Universidad de Cantabria

Scientific Committee

Amélia Aguiar Andrade. Universidade Nova de Lisboa

María Asenjo González. Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Iñaki Bazán Díaz. Universidad del País Vasco/ Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea

Michel Bochaca. Université de La Rochelle

Roman Czaja. Uniwersytetu Mikołaja Kopernika w Toruniu / University Nicolaus Copernicus in Torun

David Ditchburn. Trinity College Dublin

Gisela Naegle. Dr. Universität Gießen

Ariel Guiancé. CONICET-Universidad de Córdoba de Argentina

Jelle Haemers. Universiteit Leuven

Ricardo Izquierdo Benito. Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha

Juan Francisco Jiménez Alcázar. Universidad de Murcia

Christian Liddy. University of Durham

Denis Menjot. Université de Lyon II

Germán Navarro Espinach. Universidad de Zaragoza

Giuliano Pinto. Universitá degli studi di Firenze

Sarah Rees Jones. University of York

Ana María Rivera Medina. Universidad Nacional a Distancia UNED

Teófilo F. Ruiz. University of California-Los Ángeles

Vicente Salvatierra Cuenca. Universidad de Jaén

Louis Sicking. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam / Universiteit Leiden

Urszula Sowina. Polska Akademia Nauk /Polish Academy of Sciences. Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology

Isabel del Val Valdivieso. Universidad de Valladolid

Hermínia Vilar. Universidade de Evora

Andrea Zorzi (Universitá degli studi di Firenze)

Honorary Committee

Beatriz Arízaga Bolumburu (Former Chair)

Contact Info: 

University of Cantabria. Dpt. Ciencias Históricas. Office 160. Av. de los Castros s/n. 39005.  Santander. Spain. Tel:  (0034) 942202015

Contact Email: