Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Executive editor of the English version: Andrew Colin Gow

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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.

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(1,633 words)

Author(s): Zymner, Rüdiger
1. ConceptA fable is typically a short narrative text. Its fictional events involve ‘non-human’ but anthropomorphized animals, plants, or objects of inanimate nature and culture. These have human faculties of consciousness, language, and action. A defining feature of the fable is a reference of practical application, the “moral” or “lesson” (Latin fabula docet). Set out in advance as a promythium or declared afterwards as an epimythium, the moral either makes clear that the story is a particular case in point, or else signals that the whole story…
Date: 2019-10-14


(4 words)

See Factory discipline
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,014 words)

Author(s): Fürst, Ulrich
1. ConceptAdopted in English from the French façade coined by Philibert de l'Orme (1567), the term connotes the frontage of a building [1]. Both the word as used in English and its etymology (from Latin facies, “face”; Italian  facciata, “front”) make clear that the concept includes more than merely the exterior of the building in a technical sense of construction. It connotes a specific design task in architecture (Architectural theory), and one which, although already addressed in the Middle Ages, for instance on cathedral tow…
Date: 2019-10-14


(807 words)

Author(s): Bruning, Jens
In contrast to schools that provide a general education, in Germany the term Fachschule or   Gewerbeschule (“professional school” or “vocational school”) is used for all kinds of educational institutions attended voluntarily for practical vocational training. Within this preprofessional educational sector there are three groups: (1) higher-level institutions, similar to universities (for example mining academies, forestry academies, academies of arts. and military academies, which as practice-centered specia…
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,758 words)

Author(s): Bedal, Konrad
1. Introduction Fachwerk in a general sense is a truss, that is, a framework that bears the weight of a building, usually made of wood (in more recent times also metal) (Building materials). It takes its name (literally “compartment work”) from the compartments ( Gefache) contained within the timber fill in the frame and thus forming the walls. Fachwerk refers to a basic style of timber framing in wood construction, known in nearly all European cultures and many outside of Europe from the Neolithic period on.In the stricter sense referring to Central Europe in the early …
Date: 2019-10-14


(3 words)

See Partisan
Date: 2019-10-14

Factory discipline

(846 words)

Author(s): Gorißen, Stefan
1. Definition The term  factory discipline denotes a specific behavioral disposition of the workers in an industrial factory (Factory [industrial]), which is understood to be the result of efforts at socialization and is considered one of the essential requirements for the successful operation of a factory. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the process of establishing this discipline included adapting the behavior of the factory workers to two essential elements of the new production system: centraliza…
Date: 2019-10-14

Factory (industrial)

(2,943 words)

Author(s): Gorißen, Stefan
1. Terminology The term  factory in its modern sense – a site of centralized production, where a great number of workers produce large quantities of uniform goods for sale, in a process that makes use of division of labor and machines not powered by humans (Force) – does not appear (as  Fabrik) in the German-language literature of economics and political science until the early 1840s. Defining characteristics of factories are the large capital investment needed for the use of processing machines and power machines in comparison to the facto…
Date: 2019-10-14

Factory (trading post)

(1,564 words)

Author(s): Denzel, Markus A. | Häberlein, Mark
1. Europe The term  factory was much more common in Europe in the high and late Middle Ages than in the early modern period. The Italian word  fattoria, the etymon of the loanword, first appears in connection with the great Tuscan trading companies of the high Middle Ages; it denoted a fortified outpost or “branch” of a trading company in a foreign commercial center, headed by a factor (Italian  fattore) [6]. The network of factories of the great South German companies (Fugger family; Welser) with permanent offices in the major European commercial centers (A…
Date: 2019-10-14

Factory worker

(1,036 words)

Author(s): Gorißen, Stefan
1. Definition and characteristics The term factory workers denoting the work force employed in a centralized and mechanized production center did not come into use until the term factory (Factory [industrial]) in its modern meaning had gained acceptance. In other words, the factory worker is a figure of mature capitalism; a central characteristic is that factory workers earn their living by wage labor, do not own any means of production, and are therefore proletarians (Underclass). As participants in a mature market econo…
Date: 2019-10-14


(954 words)

Author(s): Asche, Matthias
In the late Middle Ages, faculties (Latin  facultas, German  Fakultät, French  faculté) were already well-defined administrative components of universities, reflecting the organization of knowledge. As the member bodies constituting the university, however, the faculties could largely act autonomously, given their unique legal status – similar initially to that of the student  nationes, which were often organized regionally. The corporative character of faculties (Academic freedom), of which both the academic staff (Professor) and the students…
Date: 2019-10-14


(4 words)

See Travel aids
Date: 2019-10-14


(850 words)

Author(s): Kallieris, Christina
1. Concept and technologyThe term faïence originated in France, and derives from the name of the Italian town of Faenza. Faïence denotes all northern European tin-glazed pottery. The term maiolica is also used, chiefly for wares from Spain and Italy. Maiolica probably derives from the Italian name for the island of Majorca ( maiorica), which in the 15th century was the main transhipment point for the faïence trade in southern Europe. It refers only to faïence colored by means of high-fire paints, that is, in the underglaze.Faïence refers to earthenware in which the pot is cov…
Date: 2019-10-14

Fair, annual

(1,349 words)

Author(s): Denzel, Markus A.
1. Introduction An annual fair (German Jahrmarkt), also called kermis, was a market with a regional catchment area, held once or several times a year and thereby distinguished both from the weekly market [9. 147, 149] and from the trade fair, whose focus was wider, even international. Like the trade fair (German  Messe), the annual fair - which took place at a designated marketplace and sometimes had its own specific market area, even its own buildings - was associated with a church festival (dedicated to Christ, Mary, or a saint) and took p…
Date: 2019-10-14

Fair trial, right to

(10 words)

See Criminal defense | Rechtsstaat
Date: 2019-10-14


(857 words)

Author(s): Behringer, Wolfgang
The term ‘fairy’ is derived, via French, from the Vulgar Latin fata (“goddess of destiny”; fatum = fate). The most intensive transmission of the fairy concept, which incorporates traditions from Classical Antiquity and elsewhere in the Indo-European world, has been in Celtic literature, where the enchantress Morgan le Fay (hence  “Fata Morgana”) in the world of Arthurian legend represents its most famous manifestation. The fairy tradition, already apparent in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (14th century), was rediscovered in the 16th century and given new dire…
Date: 2019-10-14

Fairy tale

(1,957 words)

Author(s): Mayer, Mathias
1. DefinitionThe term “fairy tale” denotes a story, which may be short or long and transmitted orally or in writing, that takes place in a world removed from the ordinary reality of space and time and its causal order, and that makes no claim to believability. It may contain motifs specific to a culture or common to many cultures. The status of non-reality crucial to the establishment of a “fairytale” atmosphere (going beyond the bounds of fairy tale as a genre) has, over the long reception histo…
Date: 2019-10-14


(2,510 words)

Author(s): Nüssel, Friederike
1. Definition In Judaism and Christianity, faith denotes the relationship to God as Creator, sustainer, and goal of human life that conforms to human destiny. In both the Jewish and the Christian tradition, the early modern development of the concept of faith depended critically on the philosophical formation of theology in the Middle Ages and the various evolving constellations of piety. (On the understanding of faith in Judaism and the specific differences between the Jewish and Christian concepts, see also Jewish theology).Friederike Nüssel 2. Christianity 2.1. Refor…
Date: 2019-10-14

Fall of Man

(6 words)

See Sin
Date: 2019-10-14


(788 words)

Author(s): Troßbach, Werner
Letting fields lie fallow was a defining element of agriculture prior to the epochal changes called the agricultural revolution. Generally a year was integrated into the crop rotation in which a fixed proportion of the acreage remained unplanted (half in two-field rotation, a third in three-field rotation, etc.) [2. 13 f.]. The dormant phase enabled soil-biological processes of regeneration and the introduction of nitrogen from the atmosphere (Soil). Plowing up the fallow (cf. German  Felge, “plowed-up fallow land”), carried on in June (also called fallow-month)…
Date: 2019-10-14
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