Entailment has so far been studied either from one-sided perspectives (legal, social, cultural) that play down its wholeness, or from the point of view of local monographs that scarcely problematize the broader issues. Only by considering the whole can the phenomenon be understood, the more so because the autonomy of the spheres of politics, economy, society, religion, etc., corresponds to an epistemological paradigm belonging to modern societies. Departing from the Portuguese-Iberian case, VINCULUM proposes to study ‘entailment’ as a diverse but pivotal practice, one embedded in law, aristocratic discourse, and kinship-based organization, and to craft a definition that takes into account this global nature.
The research aims also at breaking temporal and spatial boundaries traditional in academic research, which prevent a more accurate perception of social change (medieval / modern, the Continent / Atlantic space; medieval history / history of maritime expansion / modern (continental) history. By refusing such conventional barriers, VINCULUM intends to observe, in the long run, how entail institutions came to settle in society, slowly and progressively replacing forms of egalitarian heritage division and predominantly horizontal family structures.