TitleBorders in Treaties and Diplomacy
Date/TimeMonday 4 July 2022: 11.15-12.45
OrganiserIMC Programming Committee
Moderator/ChairPaul Freedman, Department of History, Yale University
Paper 124-a The Treaty of Alcañices: The Delimitation of the Borders between the Peninsular Kingdoms from a Historical-Legal Perspective
(Language: English)
Ricardo Rodrigues, Centro de Investigação de Teoria e História do Direito (THDULisboa), Universidade de Lisboa
Index Terms: Law; Political Thought; Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 124-b The Treaty of Alcáçovas-Toledo and the Creation of an Atlantic Border, 1479
(Language: English)
Maria Dávila, Centro de Humanidades, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Index Terms: Manuscripts and Palaeography; Maritime and Naval Studies; Politics and Diplomacy; Women's Studies
Paper 124-c Super facto confinium: Making and Regulating the Border between Venice and Ferrara in the Early 15th Century
(Language: English)
Daria Ageeva, Department of Medieval Studies, Central European University, Budapest/Wien
Index Terms: Administration; Political Thought; Politics and Diplomacy
AbstractPaper -a:
Considered as one of the most important documents in Portuguese history, the Treaty of Alcañices was signed between the King of Portugal, Dinis and the King of Castile and León, Fernando IV, on September 12, 1297, in the Leonese village of Alcañices. The boundaries of Portugal have been defined by the conclusion of this Treaty, and have remained virtually unchanged to date, thus constituting one of the oldest frontiers in Europe. The result of a very specific historical conjuncture, in which the personal and family dimension of politics among the peninsular crowns played a fundamental role, allowed Portugal to strengthen its defence before an increasingly larger and more powerful neighbour, thus maintaining the integrity of the Portuguese territory. In view of this framework placed by the Treaty of Alcañices, we intend to analyse, from a historical-legal perspective, how the military strife that opposed the two Iberian kingdoms was resolved by legal means in alternative to warfare.

Paper -b:
The Treaty of Alcáçovas-Toledo (1479) signed between Portugal and Castile that ended the war between the two realms, also meant the end of Portuguese claims to the Canary Islands and the recognition by Castile of Portugal's ambitions and 'rights' to the dominance and colonisation of the four Atlantic archipelagos and the West African coast, in a prefiguration of what would become the Treaty of Tordesilhas. Although this treaty become obsolete after the negotiations of Tordesillas, the fact remains that it was at Alcáçovas-Toledo that, for the first time, Portugal and Castile discussed an Atlantic border and divided the ocean between them. In this presentation we will discuss the creation of this new Atlantic border and what it meant for the geopolitics of the time, but also how these negotiations took place, using new sources such as the portable archive of one the treaty's ambassadors.

Paper -c:
This paper explores a case of a frontier zone between Venice and Ferrara in the early 15th century, which was defined more by a patchwork of complex land ownership rather than the institution of border with its officials (officiales gabelle). Clashes caused by overlapping and competing authorities were solved by the Marquess of Ferrara and Venetian doge, bypassing custom authorities. Analysing lettere ducali from 1381-1436 issued on behalf of Venetian doges addressing rulers of Ferrara on the issues of land ownership and food smuggling, this paper seeks to demonstrate that in the north-eastern Italy this time may be considered a transitional period when two concepts of border - medieval and modern one - coexisted.