Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

Get access Subject: History

Executive editor of the English version: Andrew Colin Gow

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

Land consolidation

(888 words)

Author(s): Konold, Werner
The German word Einöde, from Germanic ôd, OHG  uodil, means “property,” “allodium.” The Einöde is the realigned property, with clearly defined boundaries, of an individual outside the village;  Vereinödung (“land consolidation”) is the process that produced such an estate [6]. It went hand in hand with the elimination of mandatory cadastral districts (Cadastral area) and grazing easements, consolidation of plots, the expansion of farms outside the village into the open countryside, and the introduction of impartible inheritance (Rural inheritance practice) [7]. There…
Date: 2019-10-14


(6 words)

See Territorial sovereignty (Holy Roman Empire)
Date: 2019-10-14


(786 words)

Author(s): Kühn, Christoph
From the end of the Middle Ages, the Landesjudenschaften (“territorial Jewish organizations”; Hebrew bne medina or kehal medina) were Jewish organizations linking local communities in various regions of the Holy Roman Empire [5. 188–198]. A distinction must be made between the “territories” (Hebrew  medinot; sing. medina) formed by Jews, which to begin with at least were only loosely related to the political boundaries of the day, and the formation or resolution of Landesjudenschaften as territorial corporations [4. 53–58]. Assemblies of German Jews on territorial or…
Date: 2019-10-14


(737 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Bernd Christian
By the end of the 18th century, most of the territories of the Holy Roman Empire were homogeneous in confession and religion (excepting the toleration of the Jews in many places; cf. Ius reformandi; Confessionalization). So too were most of the Swiss cantons and European kingdoms (Protestant: Scandinavian kingdoms; Catholic: France, Spain). As a rule, civic rights depended on membership of the one official confession or “religion” of the territory, so these can be said to have been “established churches”.Besides the free imperial cities (Augsburg, Biberach) that were o…
Date: 2019-10-14


(6 words)

See Territorial law code
Date: 2019-10-14


(958 words)

Author(s): Behringer, Wolfgang
1. DefinitionThe Landespost (“territorial mail”) was a form of mail service, peculiar to the Holy Roman Empire, that unlike the empire-wide Reichspost was limited to a single princely territory or group of territories. Competition between the two institutions was a consequence of the dualistic structure of the Holy Roman Empire and the transfer of most regalities to the territorial princes. The contradiction did not arise in empires or monarchies with strong central authority, such as the Ottoman …
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,532 words)

Author(s): Ulbrich, Claudia
1. Concept Landjuden (“country Jews”) was the term used in the early modern German-speaking world to denote Jews living outside major urban centers. Because rural life was the predominant way of life for Jews in the Empire and the hereditary Habsburg lands from the urban expulsions of the late Middle Ages to emancipation in the early 19th century, German scholars sometimes refer to the Phase des Landjudentums (“Age of Country Jewry”). Besides the spatial and temporal dimension, there is also an inherent aspect here of equating Landjuden with non-elites as an indication of the …
Date: 2019-10-14

Land market

(970 words)

Author(s): Brakensiek, Stefan
A land market first emerged in the medieval towns; during the late Middle Ages and the early modern period, it also spread to the countryside. In many parts of Europe, this institution – together with enfeoffment (Feudalism), seigneurial tenure (Peasant property rights), mortgage, and lease – regulated the transfer of ownership of plots of ground and entire estates, even among the nobility and peasants [3]. As defined by economists, we cannot speak of a fully developed land market until supply and demand alone determined prices [4] (Market).After the high Middle Ages, suc…
Date: 2019-10-14

Land, mortgage on

(5 words)

See Mortgage
Date: 2019-10-14


(4 words)

See Manorialism
Date: 2019-10-14

Land ownership

(2,171 words)

Author(s): Flügel, Axel
1. GeneralIn the early modern period, rural land ownership stands at the intersection of several semantic fields. In this era, the catchword  land ownership belonged at least as much to the history of discourse regarding the social order as to actual economic and social history. Historically, rural land ownership occupied a key position in the transition from an agrarian society to the industrial world, from the domination of the nobility to the legal equality of 19th-century civil society (Bourgeois society) and from…
Date: 2019-10-14

Land ownership, large scale

(1,596 words)

Author(s): Flügel, Axel
1. Preliminary remarksThe German phrase  Großgrundbesitz (large-scale land ownership)  combines descriptive elements  with notions of social order. It both denotes the largest agricultural operations and suggests normative ideas of a proper, politically desirable, or supposedly “healthy” allocation of land ownership. Such assessments point to the conception of social order presupposed by contemporaries, especially the social and political role of land ownership in 19th-century civil society (Bourgeois society).Axel Flügel2. Definition by agricultural statisti…
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,021 words)

Author(s): Göse, Frank
1. OriginsIn general the Landrat was a mid-level government official ( Kreis, “district”; Local administration; Territorial authorities [Holy Roman Empire]). From the historical perspective, in the public mind this office – besides its continuation in today’s government – is associated primarily with 18th- and 19th-century Prussia. Nevertheless there were  Landräte long before this “classical” phase of early Prussian history – and not just in the territories of the Hohenzollern monarchy.In the 16th century, in several German principalities officials bore…
Date: 2019-10-14


(5 words)

See Territorial law
Date: 2019-10-14

Land register

(886 words)

Author(s): Neschwara, Christian
1. IntroductionA land register consists of the records kept by an official in which all legal transactions are entered so as to ensure that the legal status of land is kept clear and well ordered (Land ownership). The fact that these records are kept officially ensures public confidence in them, whereby they enjoy advantages as evidence in litigation (Trial procedure) and protect those who acquire property in good faith, trusting in the correctness of the records.Christian Neschwara2. Medieval originsThe idea of keeping track of property transactions in generally accessib…
Date: 2019-10-14

Land rights

(991 words)

Author(s): Pahlow, Louis
1. IntroductionThe origins, transfer, and lapse of land rights in early modern Europe, that is rights pertaining to real estate – such as ownership (Property), easements, and mortgages – were shaped by Roman legal models (Ius commune). With respect to their formal nature, however, early modern influences can be increasingly identified. Two groups of rights, which may be summarized as rights of use and rights of exploitation, were the most important land rights across Europe.Louis Pahlow2. Rights of useUnder ius commune, so-called servitudes (Latin, servitutes, easements),…
Date: 2019-10-14


(2,554 words)

Author(s): Lüsebrink, Hans-Jürgen | Sieglerschmidt, Jörn | Blickle, Peter
1. Cultural phenomenonAs a cultural phenomenon, the landscape is a complex “integral system” [2. 14], in which looking at, depicting, and feeling the landscape are as important as its design and ecology (see below, 2.). Landscape in the early modern period (the word “landscape” itself was originally borrowed into English from Dutch  landschap in its artistic sense, extending to the wider sense in the 19th century; Landscape painting) was closely related to the concepts of garden and nature, which together reflect two different ideas and structura…
Date: 2019-10-14

Landscape painting

(2,225 words)

Author(s): Büttner, Nils
1. Concept Landscape paintings are pictures or pictorial fantasies of the diverse manifestations of nature as it surrounds people. As the designation of a specific form of picture, the term landscape was a late coinage. In his handwritten diary, Albrecht Dürer in 1521 called his Antwerp colleague Joachim Patinir a “good landscape painter” ( gut landschafft mahler). In Venice in the same period, Marcantonio Michiel described the “many small landscapes” ( molte tauolette de paesi) in the collection of Cardinal Grimani. In 1606, the Englishman Henry Peacham the Younger…
Date: 2019-10-14

Landschaft (Holy Roman Empire)

(798 words)

Author(s): Blickle, Peter
Landschaft (German, “territoriality”) in the Holy Roman Empire was a correlate of political authority, the term being attested in this sense from the 14th century until the abolition of the Empire in 1806. The  Landschaft was corporative in character, and as such it denoted the totality of the  Landstände (“territorial estates”) of a territory immediate to the Empire. Additionally, where a territory lacked nobility and clergy as estates of the realm, Landschaft could also denote the representatives (Representation) of subjects, in this case those in towns and…
Date: 2019-10-14


(764 words)

Author(s): Rogg, Matthias
In the course of the military revolution that began in the late Middle Ages, a long-term structural change began within the military, which gradually shifted the focus of combat from the mounted knights in armor to the infantry [2. 13–38]. This transformation took place most successfully in the Swiss Confederation: in the 14th and 15th centuries, the drafting of masses of foot-soldiers and the simple but effective tactic of fighting in a closed formation (a square armed with long pikes) enabled the Swiss mercenaries (Reisläufer)…
Date: 2019-10-14
▲   Back to top   ▲