Martial Culture in Medieval Towns


Towns were producers, organisers, and brokers of martial culture within the rapidly changing political world of late medieval Europe. Towns’ defences against and participation in local, regional and extra regional conflicts shaped military organisation and urban martial culture. This martial culture developed at the intersection of legal prerogatives, political requirements, physical skills, knowledge, and the evolving societal significance of the ownership and use of weapons. Based on the preliminary findings of the research project “Martial Culture in Medieval Towns” (University of Bern, funded by SNF 2018-22), this conference aims to:

  • Firmly establish martial culture as indispensable part of comparative urban (communal) history.
  • Establish urban military history as part of general military history of the middle ages and early modern period (13th-16th), in an international perspective.
  • Emphasize the crucial part towns played in late medieval /early modern developments of the (fiscal, military…) state.
  • Establish venues for comparative history by connection regional studies within international historiography, general, urban, and military history

The conference is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation Grant, the Burgergemeinde Bern, and the Historische Institut, Abteilung Mittelalter of the University of Bern.

We welcome the submission of proposals for posters with 10min video presentations. These contributions are intended in digital format, adding to the presential papers during the conference. The accepted posters and videos will be published on the blog of the research project and stored in the academic public repository of the University of Bern (providing DoI), with links to the videos stored on Vimeo. Selected contributions will be displayed during the conference, and a media station will allow the conference participants to browse through the content.

Deadline for submission is May 30, 2021 (extended to October 15, 2021)

Find out how to come to our conference and all details regarding the venue. Please note that there is a Covid certificate requirement to access the University buildings. Latest information to be found here.

Attendance is free of charge, but registration is mandatory (Covid regulation). Registration does not include any hotel stay or conference lunch and dinner (for speakers only).

As of September 14, Covid certificate is required to access the University of Bern. Check the latest information here.

Registration form.