Vita

2020
Freie Universität Berlin
Teaching assignment, Friedrich Meinecke-Institut
2018 – 2020
Research Scholarship Holder of the Gerda Henkel Foundation
2014, 2019
University of Cologne
Interim Professor of Medieval History
2018
University of Basel
Teaching assignment, Department of History
2016 – 2017
University of Göttingen
Interim Professor of Medieval History
2014 – 2016
Goethe University Frankfurt
Interim Professor of Medieval History
2015
University of Basel
Visiting Professor, Department of History
2013
Humboldt University Berlin
Interim Junior Professor of Medieval History
2011 – 2012
Goethe University Frankfurt
Managing Director of the Leibniz Project „Political Language in the Middle Ages. Semantical Approaches“
2011
Goethe University Frankfurt
Habilitation and award of the Venia Legendi in Medieval History
2008 – 2011
Goethe University Frankfurt
Research Associate, Institute of History
2004 – 2007
University of Bielefeld
Research Associate, Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology
2000
University of Göttingen
Doctoral degree

Research Project

Concepts of Violence in a Plural Legal Order. Controversial Semantics of Maritime Predation in late medieval Northern Europe

From the later 15th century onwards, in Northern Europe violence and predation at sea were regularly estimated as either illicit “piracy” or authorized, licit “privateering”. But this differentiation only became prevalent with the emergence of early modern prize law. Before this normative change, the use of force by private persons or their employees in individual conflicts was not per se illicit. Competing princes and authorities claimed for territorial sovereignty over coastal areas and “streams”. In legal terms, the sea was thus a highly plural space.

Accordingly, in written sources violent actions as such were usually described neutrally. In order to denote violent actors, however, speakers used a varying set of concepts: “hulpere” (helpers), “denere” (servants), “utligger” (people lying in wait), “soldenere” (mercenaries), “zeerovere” (sea rovers), “vitalien brodere” (etymologically: purveyors), “likedeeler” (men who share equally). The Latin terms “pirate” or “piracy” were only introduced into the vernaculars very slowly at the end of the 15th century. By analysing the use of these terms in sources especially from the Hanse area, written in Latin, Low German, and other vernaculars, I want to describe the process of normative differentiation leading to the much simpler dichotomy of piracy and privateering.

Selected Publications

Rohmann, Gregor, Piraten gegen Pfeffersäcke? Gewalt und Güterwegnahme auf See in den Aufzeichnungen eines Hansekaufmanns um 1400, in: Kleingärtner, Sunhild/Schilling, Ruth (Hg.), Kogge, Mensch und Meer. Begleitband zur Neueröffnung der Dauerausstellung „Koggen-Halle“, Deutsches Schifffahrtsmuseum Bremerhaven 2021 (im Druck).

Rohmann, Gregor, Franziska Evers und Friederike Holst (Hg.), Störtebeker und Konsorten. Piraten der Hansezeit? Sonderausstellung im Europäischen Hansemuseum Lübeck, Kiel/Hamburg 2019.

Rohmann, Gregor, Thomas Heebøll-Holm und Philipp Höhn (Hg.), Merchants, Pirates, and Smugglers. Criminalization, Economics and the Transformation of the Maritime World (1200-1600), Frankfurt a.
M./New York 2019.

Rohmann, Gregor, Wie wird man ein Seeräuber? Die Fehden des Bernd van Vreden (1407-1419) und des Claus Doeck (1419-1425) gegen die Stadt Reval im Vergleich, in: Pelc, Ortwin (Hg.), Hansestädte im Konflikt. Krisenmanagement und bewaffnete Auseinandersetzung vom 13. bis zum 17. Jahrhundert, Wismar
2019, 55-101.

Rohmann, Gregor, Jenseits von Piraterie und Kaperfahrt. Für einen Paradigmenwechsel in der Geschichte der Gewalt im maritimen Spätmittelalter, in: Historische Zeitschrift 304 (2017), 1-48.

Rohmann, Gregor, Wegnehmen, Verhandeln, Erstatten. Politischer Alltag im Hanseraum um 1400, in: Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht 65 (2014), 574-585.