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Abstracts of Personals books and Activities of the collaborative program

Book:Gregorio Salinero, La trahison de Cortés. Rébellions, procès politiques et gouvernement des Indes de Castille, seconde moitié du xvie siècle ; Presses Universitaires de France, published in March 2014, 375 pages. Forthcoming in Spanish, under the title « Hombres de Mala Corte. Rebeliones y gobierno de las Indias de Castilla, siglo xvi », published by Cátedra, Madrid, 2016.

Recent historiography has been devoted to Indian resistance in the 16th century. By contrast, the rebellions launched by the colonists, sometimes allied with Indians and slaves, have been overlooked in favor of the study of the progress of colonization. It is this gap, previously pointed by Marcel Bataillon, that I endeavor to fill in this book, after having thoroughly gone through the judicial sources, mainly the series Patronato and Justicia at the Archivo General de Indias, and a number of scattereddocuments at the Archivo de la Nación de México. The book could be entitled “Hommes de mal parti” (“Men of evil faction”), according to the phrase used by the insurgents to designate the rebels. It examines Martin Cortés’s plot and dozens of transoceanic lawsuits that followed the case from 1565 to 1580. It also deals with Taxco’s miners’ plot (1544), Gonzalo Pizarro’s rebellion (the sources of which had not been used until now), and a long series of rebellions that demonstrate the Indies were far from pacified in the aftermath of the repression carried out by commissary Pedro de La Gasca in 1550 – namely : the rebellions fomented by Sebastián de Castilla and Egas de Guzmán, another one by Vasco de Godínez in 1553 that is very little known, the one launched by Francisco Hernández de Girón (1554), and finally, the 69 lawsuits that followed Martín Cortés’s plot. These movements did not limit themselves to incriminating the king’s representatives, as it has repeatedly been argued. It was the whole continent (from the Andes to the north of Mexico) that resisted the Castilian crown, whose authority was largely rejected. The introduction analyzes Les mots de la désobéissance, or the diverse meanings of the vocabulary of rebellion, used in the insurgents’ and the jurists’ language.

The first part (Hommes de mal parti) recounts the lives of Bernardino Maldonado de Guevara and of the first Mexican rebels of Taxco. Bernardino, who was sentenced in Peru in the 1550s, fled to New Spain. Charged and arrested under extraordinary circumstances during Martín Cortés’s plot, he was sent to the jailsof theCouncil of the Indies in Spain. When sentenced to the galleys, he asked to go there on his own, several members of his family serving as guarantee. He subsequently disappeared before turning up again in front of the ambassador of Spain in Paris. Thanks to the latter, Catherine of Medici extradited him, before he was beheaded in Antwerp in August 1575, 20 years after his first sentence. The stories of these rebellious lives that unveil the functioning and dysfunctions of the Indian monarchies can be found in several chapters of the book.

The second part (Le laboratoire de la monarchie) offers a revision of the political and judicial dimension of Gonzalo Pizarro’s rebellion. This work had remained unfinished, as historians had neglected the abundant judicial documentation, in which the legal proceedings against the insurgents were registered. Going through the documents showed that the repression of the Pizarrist movement did not result in the pacification of the Indies after the departure of the president of the audiencia, La Gasca. It was actually quite the reverse, as over 200 convicts evaded the proscription of Peru to spread overCentral Americaand New Spain. The crown of Castile did not manage to track all the rebels in spite of numerous investigations conducted in the 1560s-1570s. It is thanks to these investigationsthat we can assert Pizarro’s rebellion was above all the poor’s rebellion, the insurrection of those who did not have an encomienda and who had difficulty finding their place in Peru. Thus the migrants’ spatial mobility in the Indies and social frustration fueled their spirit of rebellion. The book relates the itineraries of a number of these individuals who had almost become professional rebels. Along the way, the Crown had multiplied the encomiendas to rewardthe legalists who had defeated Pizarro, whereas it aimed at regainingitscontrolover the Indians : a military victory substantiated by a political surrender. The number of encomiendas doubled and the rebellions went on.

The third part (L’écho des désobéissances) follows step by step the development of the rebellions of Sabastián de Castilla, Egas de Guzmán, Vasco de Godínez, and Francisco Hernández de Girón’s the fantastic gest, whose judicial confession I was able to read. These rebellions took place in parallel with the judicialinvestigations concerning the future of the convicts, who had been involved in former movements. Using again several lawsuits shows that former rebels participated in new insurrections. It reveals the connections between spiritualand judicial confessions ; it draws a parallel between seditious secretsand judicial secrecy, and between forgiveness and the forms of judicial argumentation…

The fourth part (La trahison de Cortés) deals with the trials forrebellion linked with Martin Cortés’s plot. Studying them helps understand the way the judiciary used to conceive political lawsuits in the 16th century. Thus I managed to reconstruct the theoretical phases of the trials for lese majesty. This part reviews the special role of irreverence, gambling, celebrations and of rumors in the processes of rebellion. The stories of several participants in this plot, of their activities and their thoughts ; those of the informers, the royal officials, clergy, prosecutors and the judges are the main aspects of the last part.

The book ends with a reflection on the American frontiers, the authority of the Castilian monarchy and the early emergence of a Creole political consciousness. It provides several tables showing the organization of the plots, a detailed description of the legal proceedings and an index that gathers the names of a thousand rebels.


Activities of the collaborative program, Mobilité et anthroponymie à l’époque moderne ; Université Paris 1-Panthéon-Sorbonne, CNRS, Universitá di Pisa, Universidad de Extremadura. 

This program, carried outin collaboration with Roberto Bizzocchi, Andrea Addobbati and Isabel Testón Núñez, resulted in several international study days and three international conferences (November 17-19, 2008, Mobilité, religions, pouvoirs et anthroponymie, xve-xixe siècles, Casa de Velázquez, Madrid ; June 29-30, 2009, I Cognomi italiani tra Onomastica e Storia, Universitá di Pisa ; September 15-17, 2010, Pisa, I Cognomi italiani nell’ambito dell’Antroponimia dell’Europa Mediterranea). The program was developedin three years. It mobilized over 60 scholars of six nationalities, and the publication of two synthetic books originated from it. It was also followed by the publication of various articles and the organization of other meetings, in the context of the International Council of Onomastic Sciences (ICOS) : The first book was : G. Salinero and Isabel Testón Núñez (ed.), Un juego de engaños. Nombres, apellidos y movilidad en los siglos xv al xviii, Collection of Casa de Velázquez n° 113, with the contribution of the Universidad de Extremadura, 395 pages, Madrid, April 2010. The second book was : Roberto Bizzocchi, Andrea Addobbati and Gregorio Salinero (ed.), L’italia dei cognomi. L’onomastica italiana nel contesto mediterraneo, PLUS, Universitá di Pisa, January 2013. Finally, this work has contributed to launching innovative research on the History of lists that resulted in 4 international meetings that were first published as « Pour faire une histoire des listes à l’époque moderne », introducedby G. Salinero in collaboration with Ch. Lebeau, in the journal Mélanges de la Casa de Velázquez, Madrid, October 2014. Here, I will focus on the first book (Un juego de engaños), mainly written in Spanish.

The opening article (G. Salinero, “Sistemas de nominación e inestabilidad antroponímica moderna”) emphasizes the connections between mobility and anthroponymy. Although the latter was a powerful agent in social and cultural dynamics, modernists have largely ignored its analysis. On the other hand, the historians of the Middle Ages have explained how it is shaped and has evolved. Their findings do not conclude, as we might mistakenly assume, that at the beginning of the modern period, anthroponymy entered a time of stability. It was quite the opposite, as the book shows how the tendencies to maintain the patronymics of large family groups were combined with great individual anthroponymic instability. The forms of modern mobility increase the number of phenomena that help defend onomastic capital, by means of identity fraud and namemanipulation, and they also contribute to ordinary name changes. Mobility is therefore at the center of the evolutions of modern anthroponymy.The 22 papers presented below are divided into four parts.

With 6 articles, the first part (“Les systèmes de nomination”) describes the operative conditions depending on which names are maintained and change. American, Spanish and Italian examples are given. Sometimes they seem to have an almost linear stability. But usually, they seem to be at stake in the positions adopted by individuals and family or clan groups. As such, they were highly unstable during the whole modern period, which was favored by the vast migratory movements of that time and several situations of administrative, religious and military dominations : the colonization of the Americas, the exclusion of the Jewish and Moorish peoples from the Iberian peninsula, the Napoleonic occupation of northern Italy (Roberto Bizzocchi), the capture of Christians in the Mediterranean by the Muslims…

The second part (“Mobilité, changements de noms et de prénoms”) has 5 articles that analyze name changes. The first one (I. Testón Núñez et R. Sánchez Rubio) favors the documentation about the migrants who fled from Spain and went to the Indies (heretics, ex-convicts…), mainly men, who took an assumed name for their new life. The following three articles, written by O. Recio Morales, C. O’Scea, and É. Ô Ciosáindeal, deal with Irish migrants in Spain and France. These examples (16th-17th -18th centuries) demonstrate the influence of Catholic referents and the migrants’ interest in anthroponymic tools of integration.

The third part (« Expansion, esclavage et nomination ») combines 5 texts that examine extra-European cases. These include Inca elites’ name changes, the case of Chili’s black slaves, the Canaries’ indigenous peoples, African slaves in Extremadura, and the example of “colored” soldiers enlisted in the 18th century French army, hoping to become “free people of color” thanks to a new name.

The last part brings together special cases that have become marginalized due to specific circumstances or special activities. Christiane Klapisch-Zuber studies Florentine artists’ name changes during the Renaissance. Bartolomé Bennassar details the lives of 700 renegades, who converted to Islam. Their new names refer to Allah’s and the prophet’s family members’ protection. The conclusion was co-written by Bernard Vincent.

The book offers a very comprehensive bibliography of 43 pages that will prove helpful to anyone who is interested in studying name changes, plus an abstract of each article in French, Spanish and English. Some of these articles were recently published in French in a report of the online journal Nuevo Mundo-Mundos Nuevos :


Book : Gregorio Salinero, Une ville entre deux Mondes. Trujillo d’Espagne et les Indes au xvie siècle. Pour une histoire de la mobilité à l’époque moderne, Library of Casa de Velázquez, 540 pages, n° 34, Madrid, July 2006.

This book is based on the dissertation with the same title, defended at the EHESS in 2000, under the direction of Bernard Vincent. In a book of 1972 (The men of Cajamarca), James Lockard suggested that researchers resort to local archives to gain better knowledge of the destiny of the conquistadores, who had been in the Americas and went back to Spain. He also recommended that the conditions of the migration to the New World be clarified. Following his advice, my research led to the exploration of the notarial and municipal archives of Trujillo in Spain, that had remained there and were never used. From the 1540s onwards and on a continuousbasis, they hold the most diverse deeds concerning the migrants to the Indies in the 16th century, which amounts to over a hundred voluminous bundles classified according to the notary. The book is the result of a systematic perusal of these and additional documents in the funds of Seville, Simancas and Madrid. It is divided into three parts of four chapters each, enhanced by twenty tables, a large bibliography, a glossary, and a database of a thousand migrants.

The first part (“Partir”) recalls the legal conditions of the departure to the Indies and the involvement of the men from the region at the beginning of the conquest : the Pizarro brothers and Francisco de Orellana were natives of the town, Hernan Cortés was from a nearby village… In addition to these well-known individuals, the notarial deeds registered the routes of about a hundred lieutenants and captains involved in the expeditions to the Indies. In total, over 2500 individuals set off during the second half of the 16th century, out of a population of about 9000 inhabitants. The Sevillian sources registered only 1 out of 2.5 migrants. There were regular comings and goings in the 1560s and 1570s, as the number of poor people who left increased while those who came back with some money were many. The departures took place in groups rather than in family, especially during the migration peaks of the 1560s and 1570s : a father and his son would go back and forth, a mother and her daughters would stay… The migrants were young. They belonged to the penniless minor nobility, and later to the middle nobility. The over-represented category of “servants” may hide a number of peasants. There were many clerks and the craftsmen sometimes went away after signing a one-sided contract with a merchant who paid for their trip in exchange for the craftsmen’s commitment to work for him in the Indies. The women’s role is thoroughly studied in several parts of the book. Whereas these aspects have been analyzed in the French and English contexts, they remain to be studied as far as the Iberian Peninsula is concerned. For each migrant, four inhabitants who stayed were actively involved in the relations with the Indies : the life of the whole town depended on the movements of the fleets and transatlantic exchanges. The emigrants’ rhetoric encouraged family attraction towards the Indies, but the news they brought back was far from being unilaterally promising. A contrario, the departure required some means and assistance to collect the necessary funds to cross the ocean, so that families could also leave.

From the 1960s to the 1990s, most of the time, the historiography was limited to analyzing emigration with a demographic question in mind, while neglecting the comings and goings and the variety of social dimensions of the migratory phenomena. The second part of the book (“Les relations avec les Indes”) deals with the consequences of absence : the role of the women who often received the money when it came back ; the anthroponymic instability generated by the migrations, and the diversity of the circuits of information in which the individuals played a major part, like the royal and religious officers. The activities of the smugglers, traffickers and middlemen of all sorts were legion. Thus Sevillian merchant Sancho de Medina embarked with 6 people whose trip he paid for, in exchange for an unfair contract, by which they committed themselves to work for him in the Indies. The gold and silver that arrived from the Indies represented an unequalled manna that was not easily employed there : the money received by the individuals between 1550 and 1630 was over 136 million maravedis, while private capitals immobilized by the king in Seville and transformed into allowances,the asientos, amounted to some additional 600 to 800 million. The development of the town’s construction owes everything to that period.

The third part (“Le temps des retours et des héritiers”) follows the evolution of some who came back. Among the uses of the money expected by the senders, the improvement, purchase and construction of houses ranked first, being roughly estimated at 9 million maravedis. In fact, the figure should be multiplied by two, three or more. Among the big buildings of the middle and the end of the century, that had a purely sumptuary function, and were heavily decorated with cornices, blazons and corner balconies, only Hernando Pizarro’s seems to have been completed. Buying land and investing in pious foundations or chaplaincies that worked like banks (and lent money to individuals) were far behind the real estate expenses. Juan de Orellana, sometimes called Pizarro Orellana, left in 1530 with Francisco Pizarro. Of Atahualpa’s ransom he received nearly 5 million maravedis. When he went back to Trujillo, he was a town councilor (regidor) from 1544 to 1569. In 1542, he acquired Diego de Vargas’s fortified house. The latter belonged to the town’s old nobility. With the purchase, it was all the symbolic meaning of the building that he bought. Trujillo’s urban history thus offers an amazing prism to relate the Iberian Peninsula’s relations with the Indies.


Book : Gregorio Salinero, Maîtres, domestiques et esclaves du Siècle d’or. Les relations de dépendance à Trujillo au xvie siècle ; dessins d’Alexis de Kermoal  ;Madrid, Casa de Velázquez, 2006, XIII-100 pages.

This small book is the fruit of the research I have conducted at the notarial archives of Trujillo in Spain. While I first intended to study the relations of the town with the Indies in the 16th century, the sources increasingly revealed the role of the slaves in the urban society and their special connections with the servants and their masters. But the book is also the fruit of two meetings : with Alexis de Kermoal, an engraver and member of Casa de Velázquez from 1998 to 1999, and with Jean Canavaggio, the director of the institution to this day, who supported the initiative of turning this book into a project shared by an artist and a historian. In this regard, he has a very special role in this work. I will only mention below the contributions of the text.

The book is made of 5 chapters that study the forms of dependence and the way they interconnected with the masters and the urban society. In the 16th century, Trujillo was an average town of 8 to 9000 inhabitants. Over the century, some 2 500 people left the town and the district to go to the Indies, particularly to Peru. Those who declared they were criados (servants) were many among the migrants. Although they are usually analyzed in quite separate studies, here, the masters, servants and slaves are dealt with jointly. I have tackled the complex relations between these categories thanks to five questions : what was slave and domestic service worth ? Who were the masters and owners of the slaves and the servants ? How may domestic hierarchy enlighten us on the variety of these relations ? What was domestic service ? Finally, what did slave service consist in and what do we know about it ?

The town was not a slave market, but I was able to count 120 captives, whose masters can be identified. They could be bought at auction sales at local fairs from a slave trader, be inherited or be the result of a simple exchange. Aside from a few conquistadores, the inhabitants were not involved in the slave trade. The price of a man was low, compared to the cost of a servant : on average 900 maravedis, approximately 80 ducats, which represented two years’ income for an average peasant, but sometimes it was a lot cheaper. Unconditional emancipation was rare. It would happen when the slave was old and he would become part of the most modest servants. Donations and bequests made to servants (3 000 to 10 000 maravedis) often corresponded to overdue wages.

There was a great variety of masters. Hernando Pizarro and his wife doña Francisca Pizarro Huaylas are unusual examples. While he was imprisoned at the castle of Mota near Medina del Campo from 1543 to 1561, he kept supervising his property in Peru and in Extremadura thanks to an extensive network of clients, trustworthy men, and servants. The masters cannot always be identified as a single person or the slave owner. A large number of women, especially widows, single women and nuns owned slaves, generally a Moorish or a black person. The members of the nobility represented two-thirds of the slave and servant masters. The clergymen held more slaves than servants, as opposed to the merchants and those who practiced liberal professions, such as doctors and lawyers. Strangely, craftsmen can hardly be found in the master category.

The higher the masters’ position in social hierarchy, the larger the number of servant categories : trustworthy men in charge of difficult missions, managers of property, ground rents, or chaplaincies, butlers… down to simple servants. Servants were like second masters to slaves. The butlers would oversee the slaves, manage their work, punish them, make slave sales… Sometimes in recognition of their service, the masters would bequeath a slave to their servants. For the servants, material dependence lied in the weight of the service, the daily relations of subordination, the execution of orders and in meeting the masters’ wishes. Their contract was seldom written, and it depended above all on local habits. In 1604, don Álvaro de Escobar who was in charge of don Francisco de Monroy’s affairs entered into a contract with Pedro Alonso del Campo for the management of his master’s ground rents. They were located in a dozen places, mainly on land belonging to Cáceres. Don Álvaro received 500 ducats every year from don Francisco de Monroy. The dependants were generally part of the active group of bandos, the enemy clans of the town. The slaves and the servants thus launched the coup de main against their master’s enemies, in other words those who belonged to the Vargas family against the ones held by the Chaves. 

Few documents provide information about the slaves’ ordinary service and everyday life. They usually performed the menial tasks inside the house and do the hard work outside. The captives, who were deported from Andalusia in 1571 after the Alpujarras’ revolt, were employed in a workshop producing tiles, when they settled in town. Like the servants, the slaves were also used sexually. The number of young children whose father was not mentioned proves it. A Moorish female who had “a little girl by her breast” thus served a clerk named Francisco de la Puerta. However, the captives’ activities were not an extension of the master’s activities. From time to time, they were used as a weapon on a punitive raid against the members of an enemy clan. The slave presence was seen as the heartening sign of a general victory over the Moors and superiority over the Africans. A wealth of distinctive elements and terms accompany their description : esclavo negro, tinto, atezado, pardo… They were branded by the slave traders or their masters. Now and then, they could be castrated, such as Fernandillo, who was in the service of Juana de Orellana, Juan Pizarro de Aragón’s widow. Therefore, far from marginal, the slave was an ordinary, submissive character, who lived at the center of the urban society.


Book : Gregorio Salinero, Les empires de Charles Quint, published by Ellipses, 360 pages, May 2006.

This book was commissioned by French publisher Ellipses. But rather than writing an additional bibliography of Charles V, I chose to make an assessment of the research on the prince’s territories. In Spain, the creation of the Spanish society for the commemoration of the centennial of Philip II and Charles V in 2000 (Sociedad Estatal para la conmemoración de los centenarios de Felipe II y Carlos V) generated a considerable number of publications, mainly in Spanish : some 40 biographies and several dozen catalogues were published. I thus believed that it was time to make a synthesis on the topic. The book is divided into 4 parts and 12 chapters. It provides a valuable appendix of texts translated into French, a chronology, a dozen original maps and a comprehensive bibliography that is largely discussed in the chapters.

The introduction emphasizes the extent to which the gathering of territories under Charles V results from a mixture of stubbornness, sometimes violent, as well as chance, and the prince’s ability to adapt. This combination did not make up a unified universal empire. Most of the time, the diverse jurisdictions of the territories were maintained, only brought together by the figure of the prince. The control over the Eastern Empire, symbolized by the double-headed imperial eagle, remained purely theoretical. In the Indies, the prince’s new lands appeared as a “composite monarchy” (J. Elliott). The Holy Roman Empire constituted the prince’s only genuine empire. However, he was granted all the imperial virtues for all the territories that belonged to him. His reign was part of a millenarian and prophetic conception of times. Signs that Charles was Carolus redivivus, the Emperor of the last days were legion. He would lead men to salvation. While Carolinian historiography is marked by various national conceptions, it agrees that with nuances, Charles was an authentic Proto-European according to John H. Elliott’s phrase.

The first part (“L’empire revendiqué”) relates the vicissitudes endured to assemble the dominions of this “dynastic construction play” (B. Bennasar) that was Charles’s Crown. His grandparents’ double legacy (Maximilian I married to Mary of Burgundy and Isabella of Castile married to Ferdinand of Aragón) did not exempt Charles from launching several military expeditions, meeting the assemblies’ requirements, and from paying dearly for his accession to the Empire : there he had to agree to a constitutional charter (Wahlkapitulation) that limited his powers remarkably. This part details the situation of the different territories, and it shows the contributions of the most recent historiography.

The second part (“L’empire des Indes”) highlights the originality of Castile’s Indies. On the constitutional and judicial levels, America was not an empire ; it was made of Indian monarchies under the control of viceroys and commissaries. However, conquering the vast tract to which Charles’s power was extended was the very sign of his divine election : had Hernan Cortés not taken Mexico in the year Charles became Emperor ? Similarly, whereas the Indies had been kept out of the Revelation, they were discovered during the reign of the prince’s grandparents… Thus, as Alain Milhou showed very well, the Indian monarchies found themselves at the center of Charles’s messianic dimension, which was one of the main attributes of the Emperor of the last days according to Saint Augustine. While examining in detail the historiography on the subjects (A. Milhou, P. Chaunu, M. Morineau, John Elliott, G. Lhomann Villena…), these chapters present the results of the latest studies made by J. de Vries or Van Der Woude… They focus on the forms of land occupation and colonization of the Indies, the migratory mechanisms, the debates on the Indian question, and the consequences of grabbing the Indies for the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe.

The third part (“L’empire éclaté”) examines the mechanism that weakened Charles’s dominions : the Ottoman Empire’s attacks, the rivalry with France and England and the consequences of the Reformation. We can catalog the first serious cracks : the publication of Luther’s treatises in 1520, Zurich’s swing to Zwingli’s side in 1521, the capture of Belgrade by the Turks, the Ottomans’ victory at the battle of Mohács in August 1526, the permanent breaking off of Swedish Gustav Vasa and of Denmark with Rome in 1527 and 1530, the trauma due to the Sack of Rome of 1527, the irreparable split that ensued from the Diet of Augsburg of 1530… But as M. Fernández Álvarez showed compellingly, none of these landmarks, no matter how relevant to one field, is judicious to all of them. Diachrony prevails in political, religious and economic field that can interact more, without becoming confused. Therefore, the time for standing back has not come yet. In spite of the transfer of power to Philip II, the attachment to the image of Emperor Charles V is still visible everywhere.

The fourth part (“L’empire figuré”) deals with the notion of empire, the king’s propaganda, and its relations with the arts. It resorts in particular to several catalogues of exhibitions that took place in Spain, and to F. Checa Cremades’s and A. F. Yates’s work. When Charles V’s multifaceted empire suffered from the impact of the centrifugal forces that threatened to shatter it, the imperial propaganda portrayed a triumphant power and a homogenous universe gathered together to support a righteous emperor. Every prince hoped to stand at best simultaneously on three planes : from a historical perspective, in eyes of the past, as a new David, a new Constantine or a reincarnation of Charlemagne (Carolus Redidivus) ; in political matters, as a legitimate authority restoring the Universal Christian Kingdom, the restorator orbis ; and according to a messianic and millenarian conception, as the emperor of the last days, bearing and announcing the coming of the end of time. On this plane only Charles V and his tremendous propaganda on the European scale may have been successful. So much so that the promises of imperial hope proved stronger and more enduring than the illusions of the actual empire.

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