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.

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(21 words)

See Constitution of territorial estates | Estates of the realm | Landscape | Landtag | Territorial sovereignty (Holy Roman Empire)
Date: 2019-10-14


(4 words)

See Itinerancy | Vagabond
Date: 2019-10-14


(788 words)

Author(s): Neu, Tim
Sources using the term  Landtag go back to the 13th century. Originally it denoted the convening of what were originally comital regional courts; from the 15th century on, however, it meant the assembly of the estates (Estates, assembly of) in the territories of the Holy Roman Empire. Since the early 19th century, the new parliaments of the German states have also been called  Landtage.The old Landtag of the estates (Latin  comitia provincialia or conventus provincialis) was the central institution of the constitution of territorial estates, as an assembly of …
Date: 2019-10-14

Land transport

(2,221 words)

Author(s): Popplow, Marcus
1. Definition Land transport is defined as distinct from transport (Traffic and transport) by water or air, particularly referring to the transportation of goods or passengers over longer distances (Passenger transportation). Flight was of no significant practical value before the 20th century, despite the development of balloon flight from the 1770s. Water transport, on the other hand, played a key role in European trade from ancient times (cf. Inland navigation; Deep sea navigation; C…
Date: 2019-10-14

Land use system

(1,215 words)

Author(s): Pfister, Ulrich
1. DefinitionThe phrase  land use system denotes the manner in which productive land is used for agriculture. It includes the way an area is used, for example for timber production (Wood), pasture, meadow, or agricultural cropland. For cropland, the land use system includes the spatial disposition of the plants and crop rotation. In combination with the agrarian constitution and agricultural technology, the land use system determines the parameters of agricultural production.Early modern land use systems are studied in the borderland between history and historic…
Date: 2019-10-14


(6 words)

See Conscription | Military
Date: 2019-10-14


(2,188 words)

Author(s): Schwarze, Sabine
1. ConceptNatural language is a typically human and also a social phenomenon. It is the most important and species-specific human means of communication. Language facilitates the exchange of information, and fulfills cognitive (regarding knowledge), epistemic (regarding the organization of thought), and affective (regarding feelings) functions. The innate capacity to acquire a language (the native or primary language), that is, to understand and appropriately produce linguistic utterances, develo…
Date: 2019-10-14

Language, history of

(1,857 words)

Author(s): Reichmann, Oskar | Wiedner, Saskia
1. ConceptThe term “history of language” has two meanings: (1) the evolution of a language over time; (2) the discipline investigating these processes: the study of language history.The units of a language (phonemes/graphemes, morphemes, lexemes, syntactic patterns, text forms), ordered hierarchically with fluid boundaries, are also a subject of language history research. Accordingly there is a species of language history that primarily consists in the history of phonemes, morphemes, lexemes, syntax, or text. This is de…
Date: 2019-10-14

Language, literary

(18,024 words)

Author(s): Lüsebrink, Hans-Jürgen | Reichmuth, Stefan | Schwarze, Sabine | Gil, Alberto | Rothmund, Elisabeth | Et al.
1. Introduction 1.1. PrinciplesA literary language, also known as an official, high, standard, cultural, or art language, language of literature, etcetera, is a language used in literature shaped by aesthetic considerations. The development of literary languages in the early modern period displays two fundamental dimensions. First, in the transition from the Middle Ages to the early modern period there was an increasing use of the vernacular in place of Latin in literary texts, and secondly specifi…
Date: 2019-10-14

Language, manners of

(3,088 words)

Author(s): Krampl, Ulrike
1. Definition Manners of language (German Sprachstile; Spanish  maneras de hablar; Italian  questione della lingua; French  façons de parler et d'escrire) as a concept encompasses the spoken, written, and printed word and the “eloquence of the body” (body language) [22], and denotes individual and collective styles of expression within transregionally valid verbal and non-verbal sense systems, which may be regional languages or vernaculars, or, later, national languages (cf. Language). The term style also references styles of behavi…
Date: 2019-10-14

Language, philosophy of

(8 words)

See Linguistics | Semiotics
Date: 2019-10-14

Language region

(9 words)

See Dialect | Language | Language, literary
Date: 2019-10-14

Language society

(2,501 words)

Author(s): Stockhorst, Stefanie
1. Terminology and structure As platforms for the study and conservation of vernacular languages across a range of fields, language societies and related associations were important early modern literary institutions, primarily on the European continent. Instead of “language society” [1], recent scholarship tends to prefer the term “literary society,” to distinguish them from the efforts in the early 19th century to found traditions of national philology and to avoid the perception that the activities of such associations in the e…
Date: 2019-10-14

Language, theory of

(2,584 words)

Author(s): Gardt, Andreas
1. PrinciplesAs a reflective and systematic engagement with language, language theory in the early modern period was found in two forms:(1) In one variant concerned with the individual national languages, language theory anticipated practical work on language and formed the basis for the creation of language-related texts including grammars, dictionaries, and manuals of rhetoric (Linguistics). Texts of this type served to codify the language concerned and to guarantee its function as a serviceable standard language…
Date: 2019-10-14

Language tuition

(1,215 words)

Author(s): Schöttle, Silke
1. Renaissance and Humanism Humanism and the Renaissance brought sweeping changes in language teaching in terms of what was taught, how, and to whom. During the late Middle Ages, the European vernacular languages were studied mainly for practical reasons, for example by traveling merchants, craftsmen, and scholars, participants in pilgrimages, and nobles, and acquisition was done in private tuition or self-study (Foreign languages, competence in). Latin teaching, on …
Date: 2019-10-14

Last Judgment

(4 words)

See Eschatology
Date: 2019-10-14

Late Humanism

(2,030 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. Definition The term Late Humanism is frequently applied to a cultural epoch between Humanism and Baroque, but it is seldom defined. All current usages agree on just one thing: that it should be viewed as both a social phenomenon and an ensemble of cultural and educational phenomena. Still in common use only in German-language scholarship, it was introduced into literary studies in 1931 by Erich Trunz [12], who described Late Humanism as a “class culture” of mostly Protestant scholars in the Old Empire around 1600. The historian Gerhard Oestreich extende…
Date: 2019-10-14

Late modern period

(4,556 words)

Author(s): Jaeger, Friedrich | Petri, Grischka | Hottmann, Katharina | Niefanger, Dirk
1. Modernity and the late modern periodThe transition from the early to the late modern period, in the sense defined in the introductory chapter to this encyclopedia, came as a result of the range of profound changes - political, economic, technological, social, and cultural - that took place in the first half of the 19th century, culminating in the “year of revolutions” of 1848/49. Those changes came to define “modernity” in a new sense that endures to this day. To claim validity as a term for an epo…
Date: 2019-10-14

Late Scholasticism

(4,806 words)

Author(s): Darge, Rolf | Krauth, Wolf-Hagen | Maihold, Harald
1. GeneralLate Scholasticism, a school of thought widespread in European universities from the 15th century to the 17th, built critically on medieval Scholasticism, continuing its content, methodology, and institutions. The characteristic features of Scholasticism included (1) a tendency to develop the systematic rigor of a scientific approach strengthened by the reception of Aristotle (Aristotelianism); (2) a focus on authoritative texts (Latin  auctoritates) with a special claim to truth and validity, such as the Bible, statements of the church fathers and the magisteri…
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,922 words)

Author(s): Mende, Michael
1. Early forms Even before the dawn of the early modern period, lathes had been developed for various purposes, such as turning column drums and brass castings. The Nuremberg Hausbuch der Mendelschen Zwölfbrüderstiftung, for example, contains illustrations produced between 1425 and 1436 of turners, pewterers, and rosary makers at their lathes, driven by a pedal and a spring mounted on a pole or a hand crank (see fig. 1) [7]. The earliest French illustrations (miniatures and stained-glass windows) date from second half of the 13th century, after lathes became widespread after 1250 [6…
Date: 2019-10-14
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