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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Sabbath, Shabbat

(4 words)

See Holidays
Date: 2021-08-02

Sabbath, witches’

(4 words)

See Witch
Date: 2021-08-02


(6,920 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter | Walter, Peter | Nüssel, Friederike | Wasmuth, Jennifer
1. Introduction 1.1. General considerationsIn the early modern period, sacraments were part of the religious practice of all Christian churches, albeit with varying emphases and interpretations. Nevertheless, all believed that the celebration and administration of the sacraments, like the proclamation of the word of God, was central to the Christian church, and that sacraments, though performed by human beings, provided a place where the promise of Jesus Christ to be present with his flock was fulfi…
Date: 2021-08-02


(897 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter
Sacramentale (Medieval Latin, from Latin  sacramentum; “pertaining to a sacrament”) is a term first documented in the 12th century to denote actions closely related to a sacrament in the narrow sense – for example, catechesis (Catechism) and exorcism (prayer to expel evil) at baptism – which had formerly been called sacraments; it was already in use by Peter Lombard ( Liber sententiarum, book 4, dist. 6, cap. 7, c. 1150). Since his  Sentences remained the standard theological textbook well into the 16th century, this terminology became established.At the same time, a nuanced…
Date: 2021-08-02

Sacred poetry

(2,225 words)

Author(s): Scheitler, Irmgard
1. Definition, background, literary statusSacred poetry is understood as poetry of spiritual content and religious intent, often but not always drawing on biblical material. Given that religion was the self-evident foundation and unifying bond of early modern culture, it is unsurprising that almost all important authors of the 16th and 17th centuries in particular made forays into sacred poetry. Even in the 18th and early 19th centuries, theological and edificatory literature still dominated book pr…
Date: 2021-08-02


(798 words)

Author(s): Burschel, Peter
First introduced in sexual studies by Richard von Krafft-Ebing in the 6th (1890) edition of his  Psychopathia sexualis as “the association of active cruelty and violence with desire” (“Verbindung von aktiver Grausamkeit und Gewalttätigkeit mit Wollust”) [4], the term “sadism” references the French author Donatien-Alphonse-François, Marquis de Sade. In his cardinal work of 1791,  Justine ou les malheurs de la vertu (“Justine, or: The Misfortunes of Virtue”), Sade made his virtuous protagonist the victim of sexual violence at the hands of unbridled lib…
Date: 2021-08-02


(19 words)

See Indian Ocean | Islam | Islamic art and architecture | Muslim societies | State formation beyond Europe
Date: 2021-08-02


(968 words)

Author(s): Ellmers, Detlev
1. PrinciplesSailing is the use of non-expendable wind energy for the propulsion of boats or ships, the movement of which is not limited to the direction of the wind, because they are moving within two media – water and air. With the wind from the side, the hull of the vessel is pressing on its immersed surface (the “lateral plane”) against the water in such a way that the wind pushes the vessel forwards at the desired angle to it. In the parallelogram of forces that arises here, the desired forw…
Date: 2021-08-02


(3,342 words)

Author(s): Wriedt, Markus | Galley, Susanne | Loimeier, Roman
1. ConceptAlthough no universally agreed definition yet exists in the study of religion, it can be stated in general terms that “saint” (German Heilige[r]) is a term applied to a person who is perfect in religious and ethical respects, and who leads or led an ideal and exemplary life.Markus Wriedt2. Christianity 2.1. Ancient and medieval origins“Saint” derives via the French  saint from the Latin  sanctus, meaning “holy” or “consecrated,” “sanctity” being an exclusive quality of God or the divine, in which objects, places, spaces, and people could participa…
Date: 2021-08-02

Saint Monday

(745 words)

Author(s): Buchner, Thomas
Saint Monday (the “saint” here an adjective meaning “sacred”; also “Good Monday”; German Blauer Montag, “Blue Monday”), was the name given to a shortening of the working week or season (usually at the beginning of the week) that is recorded in many European regions, especially in the industrial trades and crafts, from the 14th century on. The shortening consisted of single days or parts of days following important landmarks of the economic or liturgical year (e.g. trade fairs, annual fairs, festivals, holida…
Date: 2021-08-02

Saint’s day

(8 words)

See Name day | Saint
Date: 2021-08-02


(7 words)

See Socialism | Utopian socialism
Date: 2021-08-02

Saints’ lives

(4 words)

See Hagiography
Date: 2021-08-02

Saline worker

(7 words)

See Mining class | Salt
Date: 2021-08-02


(3,944 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Margarete | Rode-Breymann, Susanne | Körner, Hans
1. ConceptThe salon is a quintessential European venue of memory and a sociocultural phenomenon of  longue durée with origins in the 16th century. The connotations of the term, which has a broad semantic range, vary according to period and cultural sphere. In German, they are often pejorative ( Salonliterat, “salon writer”;  Salonkommunist, “champagne communist”). It denotes the reception room, the regular meetings that take place there on a “set day” ( jour fixe), and the group of habitués who practice specific forms of sociability there and often use a salon …
Date: 2021-08-02


(4,179 words)

Author(s): Fessner, Michael | Piasecki, Peter | Denzel, Markus A. | Sanz Lafuente, Gloria
1. Extraction 1.1. IntroductionSalt (sodium chloride, NaCl) is an essential foodstuff (see below, 2.). Sufficient, regular intake of salt is a prerequisite of life for the human organism. The extraction of salt and its trade and distribution have therefore been of outstanding importance since prehistoric times. Historically known as “white gold,” table salt in particular was a valuable commodity (see below, 2.), and for many districts and regions, possession of salt deposits and production areas (M…
Date: 2021-08-02

Salt industry, technology of

(2,305 words)

Author(s): Piasecki, Peter
1. Salt extraction in EuropeThe salt industry was an important branch of the early modern economy, and saw innovative development between the early 16th and late 19th centuries [9]; [3]. This is apparent, for instance, from the frequency with which imperial and territorial patents connected with salt were issued from the 16th century on (see below, 2.4.) [5]. Boiling down natural brines was the predominant method of obtaining salt in the German lands, but sea salt was also extracted in salt gardens at morphologically suitable shallow coastal locatio…
Date: 2021-08-02

Salt mine

(4 words)

See Salt
Date: 2021-08-02


(1,063 words)

Author(s): Priesner, Claus | Meinel, Christoph
1. Scientific classification As used today, “salt” denotes a chemical compound made up of positively charged cations and negative anions. However, the theory of ionic bonding that defines the salt as a type was described only in 1915 by the German physicist Walther Kossel. Up to the 19th century, salts were identified primarily on the basis of their taste, solubility in water, and resistance to fire; on the basis of their resemblance to ordinary edible salt, they were grouped together as “salt-like substances.”While the specific differences between individual salts rem…
Date: 2021-08-02

Salus publica

(9 words)

See Common good | State, purpose of
Date: 2021-08-02
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