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

Law, publication of

(1,075 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Gerald
1. Ideas and developmentsThe idea of the publication of laws, which began in antiquity, is based on the notion that a law could only take effect in society once a legislator had expressed his will in the public sphere (Legislation). Various developments, depending on their constitutional framework (Constitutional law), can be traced in the early modern period: in England, the publication of laws was customary, but since the Middle Ages it was not necessary to publish resolutions of Parliament for t…
Date: 2019-10-14

Law reports

(912 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Martin
Law reports are a kind of “court records” typical of the Anglo-American legal sphere, which provide information about the proceedings and judicial decisions of a single case. They are usually composed by jurists who observe the trials and are often combined with further reports into compilations, which are also called law reports (also, “law reporters” in the USA). The authors and informants of law reports were and are often judges, lawyers, and clerks involved in the trials. In countries influe…
Date: 2019-10-14

Law, Roman

(15 words)

See Ius commune | Jurisprudence | Legisprudence | Reception of ius commune
Date: 2019-10-14

Law school, Islamic

(5 words)

See Sunni
Date: 2019-10-14

Laws concerning Jews

(7 words)

See Jews, laws concerning
Date: 2019-10-14

Law (statute)

(3,945 words)

Author(s): Pállinger, Zoltán Tibor
1. Classification The concept of a law is not limited to the legal sphere (see Law), but rather also appears in various other areas. In general, a law is understood to be the linguistic or mathematical formulation of an unvarying essential relationship between specific objects or phenomena that unequivocally determines their behavior or development and can be reproduced under identical conditions. Laws are established by investigating the nature of immediate phenomena. They represent an interpretation of the principles of order that underlie all phenomena.Scientific laws des…
Date: 2019-10-14


(785 words)

Author(s): Pahlow, Louis
1. IntroductionA lawsuit occurs when a plaintiff initiates legal proceedings before a court of law seeking recourse against a defendant. In connection with the spread of scholarly Roman law across Europe (Ius commune), lawsuits were increasingly formalized and refined as remedies according to civil procedure.Louis Pahlow 2. Early modern developments In contrast to medieval law, in which official judicial authority had not yet asserted itself over vigilante self-help [7] (Feud), in the early modern period convening a court became the norm. Lawsuits (Latin  actio; German Klage, …
Date: 2019-10-14

Law, tuition in

(5 words)

See Jurist
Date: 2019-10-14


(818 words)

Author(s): Neschwara, Christian
A lawyer is “one versed in the law.” The term prevalent in German-speaking areas since the 15th century, Anwalt, originally designated someone who acted on behalf of another with official public or private authorization (Agency [law]); in the late Middle Ages, it was a legal term for authorized attorneys, who represented others in legal affairs both in court and outside the context of litigation (Trial procedure). In the 15th century, we encounter advocates and occasionally other counselors as legal experts who a…
Date: 2019-10-14

Lay judge

(818 words)

Author(s): Pahlow, Louis
1. IntroductionLay judges differ from trained judges particularly in that they are not professionally trained jurists. Although the term “lay judge” does not appear in the legal sources or in the laws of the early modern period, they enjoyed varying importance as judges,  Schöffen in German-speaking territories, and jurors. The significance of lay judges as members of  juries in the Anglo-American legal world was incomparably greater than in Continental Europe during the early modern period (Common law) [2].Louis Pahlow2. Decline in the early modern periodIn Germany, the sep…
Date: 2019-10-14

Lay preaching

(4 words)

See Sermon
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,255 words)

Author(s): Dross, Fritz
1. DefinitionIn German the New Testament name  Lazarus was associated allegorically with the sick since the Middle Ages – initially lepers, later impoverished victims of any disease. In the Romance languages, a derived adjective (French  ladre, 12th century) is attested in the semantic field “wretched, infirm, leprous.” The German noun  Lazarett came into common use in the 16th century as a loanword from Italian  lazzaretto (Spanish  lazareto, French  lazaret); English  lazaret was borrowed from the French in the early 17th century. Initially it denoted an infi…
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,686 words)

Author(s): Kraschewski, Hans-Joachim | Weitensfelder, Hubert
1. Mining and smeltingCompared with copper and iron, the most important - because most frequently used - non-precious metals of the early modern period, lead was a metal of lesser rank. With low production costs and a consequently favorable market price, it served as a malleable material for specialist artisans (Crafts and trades), such as glassmakers, organ-builders, and printers (typesetting). The early modern building trade used it, for instance, as a roofing material, for making pipes, and for …
Date: 2019-10-14

Leading sector, industrial

(674 words)

Author(s): Pfister, Ulrich
1. DefinitionIn the early phase of industrialization, the economic growth of the industrial sector was generally extremely lopsided, being concentrated in a few areas, the so-called leading sectors. In the 1950s and 1960s, this observation led to the development of the concept of leading industrial sectors in the field of political economy [4]; [3. 10–14]. Leading industrial sectors are characterized by rapid technological change, which brings strong growth in the productivity of work and capital. In the early modern period, too, high product…
Date: 2019-10-14


(4 words)

See Printed ephemera
Date: 2019-10-14

Learned law

(5 words)

See Ius commune
Date: 2019-10-14

Learned society

(12 words)

See Language society | Patriotic society | Society Movement
Date: 2019-10-14


(3,292 words)

Author(s): Löhnig, Martin | Sanz Lafuente, Gloria | Troßbach, Werner
1. Legal aspects 1.1. DefinitionA lease (German Pacht) today is understood to be the contractual transfer of an object or right in exchange for money (cf. Interest [banking]), whereupon the recipient may use or – in contrast to rent and loans for use (commodatum) – enjoy the fruits of the object for a certain time. In contrast to a renter, the lessee is broadly responsible for the maintenance of the object of the lease. Leases based on loan contract, which could in theory be canceled at any time and la…
Date: 2019-10-14

Leather production

(1,845 words)

Author(s): Reith, Reinhold | Stöger, Georg
1. Procedures and centersBecause leather has so many applications (especially for apparel, but also for technological purposes, for example in mining), it was in great demand in the early modern period, which led to the development of extensive leather production in Europe. Beginning in the late Middle Ages, the process of tanning (i.e. treating hides mechanically or biochemically to render them durable while also preserving their material properties) spawned important forms of specialization. Init…
Date: 2019-10-14


(8 words)

See Prayer | Sermon | Worship
Date: 2019-10-14
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