(1,129 words)

1. Term

The English word “bell” is onomatopoeic, like the Latin tintinnabulum. The corresponding German term Glocke derives, like Irish cloch, Flemish klok, Swedish klocka, French cloche and presumably also Russian kolokal from MLat. clocca. Whether the latter goes back to a Celtic clocc is disputed. It too may be onomatopoeic.

2. Casting and suspension

The casting of bells as the preferred form of manufacture extends back into the ancient N…

Cite this page
Behringer, Wolfgang, “Bell”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 24 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160907

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