Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

Get access Subject: History

Executive editor of the English version: Andrew Colin Gow

Help us improve our service

The Encyclopedia of Early Modern History is the English edition of the German-language Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. This 15-volume reference work, published in print between 2005 and 2012 and here available online, offers a multi-faceted view on the decisive era in European history stretching from ca. 1450 to ca. 1850 ce. in over 4,000 entries.
The perspective of this work is European. This is not to say that the rest of the World is ignored – on the contrary, the interaction between European and other cultures receives extensive attention.

New articles will be added on a regular basis during the period of translation, for the complete German version see Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit Online.

Subscriptions: Brill.com

Dalai Lama

(4 words)

See Lamaism
Date: 2019-10-14


(858 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried
Damages to compensate losses or to make good other adverse effects underwent the following developments in the early modern period: the clear distinction between damages and public penalties, associated with a shift of perspective from “revenge” on the “offender” to the need to compensate the victim; the discovery and elaboration of compensation for personal suffering other than pecuniary loss; and in general a greater attention to personal injury (death, injury to one's body and health); and la…
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,564 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. Concept The term, which came into English in the Middle Ages from the French dame (compare Italian dama/ donna, German Dame), derives from the Latin  domina (“mistress”). Dame in English is generally confined to an honorific title; where derivatives of domina in other languages denote a woman of high social rank or status, English uses “lady” (Old English hlafdige = “[woman] who kneads bread”) as Spanish uses señora. As a courtly title, “Dame” was mostly used in conjunction with the possessive “my” or  ma ( Madame, Madonna, Madam, My Lady/Milady). Domina derivatives denote th…
Date: 2019-10-14


(3,821 words)

Author(s): Busch-Salmen, Gabriele | Walther, Gerrit | Rode-Breymann, Susanne
1. Introduction Dance - a sequence of stylized rhythmical steps and movements performed by individuals, couples, or groups - was one of the most widespread and popular forms of nonverbal communication and public representation in the early modern period. As an indispensable component of free time and festivals of all kinds, it formed part of the everyday world of almost all ranks and groupings, in both elite and popular culture (see also e.g. Kermis, fig. 1; Music, fig. 3). Many had their own danc…
Date: 2019-10-14

Danish Empire

(5 words)

See Colonial empire
Date: 2019-10-14


(3 words)

See Taoism
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,017 words)

Author(s): Koslofsky, Craig
1. Definition For early modern people, darkness was both a powerful symbol and a daily reality. As a symbol, it could represent evil, death, or the Devil, but also the divine or the distinguished. In its reality as an absence of light or as a skin color, darkness was an inescapable part of daily experience. In medieval culture its associations were overwhelmingly negative, but by 1700 positive views supplemented the traditional view: darkness as spiritual illumination emerged as a theme, and new a…
Date: 2019-10-14

Data gathering

(856 words)

Author(s): Brendecke, Arndt
Empirical work requires recording or registering selections from observations or samples; the procedures involved can be be called data gathering. They became important in the early modern period as scientists turned to empirical observations (Empiricism), appearing in the form of lists, tables, card files, bookshelves, and herbariums, remaining comparatively stable through the changes in designs for the organization of knowledge (Knowledge, organization of).The initial scenario for data gathering is to lay collected objects out on a table (French  mise en tableau), where…
Date: 2019-10-14

Dating, historical

(7 words)

See Calendar | Chronology
Date: 2019-10-14

Daughter republics

(4 words)

See Républiques-sœurs
Date: 2019-10-14

Day, course of

(2,455 words)

Author(s): Krug-Richter, Barbara
1. ConceptBy “course of the day”, in German Tageslauf, we mean the regular progression of the hours. The definition in Grimm's Dictionary is accordingly brief: “Tageslauf, m., der lauf eines tages und des täglichen lebens” (“The course of a day and of daily life”) [2]. It goes on to list compounds no longer in use: “Tageslauft, m., plural, tagesläufte, tagesereignisse” (“daily events”) [3]. Taken together, these meanings bring us close to the spectrum of themes to be considered in respect of the early modern course of day: not only the “course of daily …
Date: 2019-10-14

Day laborer

(2,501 words)

Author(s): Ehmer, Josef
1. DefinitionThe term day laborer (Latin  mercenarius or operarius, German Tagelöhner or  Tagwerker , French journalier, homme/gens de journée, or manouvrier) does not denote a homogenous social group, but a spectrum of positions in the early modern world of work. Typically, day laborers display a range of characteristic common features: wage labor without contractual regulation, irregular employment with frequent change of employer, short-term working positions with a wide variety of actual work done, and an ab…
Date: 2019-10-14

Day of Atonement

(6 words)

See Holiday
Date: 2019-10-14

Days, observation of

(1,019 words)

Author(s): Dillinger, Johannes
1. Prophecies The observation of days was a component of the magical concept of time in the early modern period. It was founded on the concept that particular periods of time, from years to hours, had an intrinsic magical character (Magic), which demanded the precise observation of such periods. This magical character took two forms. First, it was believed that the boundaries between particular periods of time and future periods were permeable. Events observed during such periods theref…
Date: 2019-10-14


(5 words)

See Day, course of
Date: 2019-10-14

Day wage

(9 words)

See Day laborer | Wage labor
Date: 2019-10-14

Deacon, deaconess

(827 words)

Author(s): Wendebourg, Dorothea
Over the course of late antiquity and the middle ages, the diaconate (Lat. diaconatus, “Service [in the Church],” office of the deacon; from Greek  diákonos, “servant [of the Church]”) -- an office restricted to men -- emerged as the lowest degree of clerical office and as an interim role on the road to priesthood. The modern Roman Catholic Church maintains this structure. On the other hand, the thinkers of the Reformation rejected it for two reasons: they dismissed the concept of a hierarchical order, with its implica…
Date: 2019-10-14

Dead to the world

(7 words)

See Person
Date: 2019-10-14


(3 words)

See Faculty
Date: 2019-10-14


(4,729 words)

Author(s): Schäfer, Daniel | Thiede, Werner
1. Introduction 1.1. Continuity, diversity, and changeBy virtue of their historical impact, and of certain practices for dealing with them, death and dying comprise a  longue durée phenomenon in European history. As a mysterium tremendum et fascinans, this phenomenon confronts people far beyond the context of religious history (see below, 4.), and in all periods it demands many social and cultural responses. There is a continual confrontation and reflection in literature, art, philosophy, and theology on the alteration of life t…
Date: 2019-10-14
▲   Back to top   ▲