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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Tableau vivant

(952 words)

Author(s): Scheibe, Eric
Tableaux vivants (French “living pictures”) are posed and composed group scenes showing significant moments from mythology, Christian “history of salvation,” or national history. Consisting of silent and motionless arrangements of people, they were often set up to imitate famous works of art, and presented on special occasions. Tableaux vivants based on specific paintings emerged in the late 18th century, but free scenic arrangements in a pictorial style were already known in classical antiquity. During the early modern period, their funct…
Date: 2022-11-07

Table culture

(2,662 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. OverviewIn all cultures, eating together has been of central importance. It establishes community and is an indispensable element of festivals, diplomacy, and peace celebrations, a ritual of solidarity, fraternization, and friendship, an opportunity for extravagance (Representation) and ostentatious or conspicuous consumption. Beginning in the 15th century under the banner of the Renaissance, the style and perception of such meals changed among the elites of Europe. As a manifestation of the n…
Date: 2022-11-07

Table (data)

(2,129 words)

Author(s): Gierl, Martin
1. Definition and significanceA table is a two-dimensional grid in which data and knowledge are sorted according to predefined categories and entered into lists – including taxes, flocks, cardinal numbers, and star positions even in early antiquity. Such tables are attested in Mesopotamia since approximately 2500 BCE. They already exhibit the essential merits of tables [12]: they list, arrange, categorize, compare, and quantify things and associate them with places and times aong with relevant attributes. With their aid, things are given their “ad…
Date: 2022-11-07

Table fellowship

(1,087 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
1. OverviewTable fellowship – shared dining at common meals, is an important element and symbol of community formation in many cultures. For social institutions like families, monasteries, boarding schools, courts, and guilds, table fellowship in the early modern period was part of the daily ritual of the members. Regular participation in at least one common meal a day was considered an important feature of membership in a household. In the military, the term  company (from Latin  companium, “bread fellowship”) still preserves an original term for table fellowship [2.…
Date: 2022-11-07


(1,407 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. Definition and beginningsThe term  Tacitism, coined in 1921, denotes a specific style of politico-ideological skepticism between approximately 1570 and 1650 that was sparked by the works of the Roman historian Publius Cornelius Tacitus (c. 100 CE). Its guiding principle and keynote was  similitudo temporum (similarity of historical periods). In the intrigues and power struggles of the Roman imperial court, which Tacitus depicted as signs of increasing political and moral decadence, contemporaries of the wars of religion (Religion, …
Date: 2022-11-07


(2,393 words)

Author(s): Rink, Martin
1. Overview 1.1. TerminologyThe term tactics (French  tactique, from Greek  taktikḗ [ téchne], “art of arrangement and deployment”) denotes both the use of troops in battle and the theory of that use. By the disposition of military forces for combat in time and space and their leadership in combat, it confers superiority without regard to physical combat strength. The early modern study of tactics therefore emphasized surprise as an essential feature. The term tactics first appeared in 18th-century sources and was clearly defined by the mid-19th century. Which of t…
Date: 2022-11-07


(824 words)

Author(s): Kremer, Joachim
1. Concept and meaning Tafelmusik (German “table music”) is a field of occasional, functional music that until the late 16th century or so remained a customary practice not associated with the aspirations of composition deliberately created and recorded in writing (Occasional composition). It was a form of improvised instrumental music (with or without a vocal element) that was performed to accompany feasts or festivals.Many pictorial and literary sources document the performance of Tafelmusik dating back to the high Middle Ages [4. 143]; [2]. However, the term itself (…
Date: 2022-11-07


(1,400 words)

Author(s): Stöger, Georg | Reith, Reinhold
1. OverviewIn the early modern period, the personal creation of apparel at home was limited to simple types and fabrics. Since superior fabrics were expensive and there was great danger of ruining them by improper cutting, specialists were employed [16. 153 f.]. Everyday needs necessitated an extensive clothing trade; in this period, therefore, tailors (French  tailleurs, German  Schneider, Italian  sarti) constituted one of the largest urban trades (Crafts and trades), especially in cities with a high population density. In Paris in the late 1770…
Date: 2022-11-07

Taiping Rebellion

(2,430 words)

Author(s): Kuhfus, Peter
1. Introduction The Taiping Rebellion gave rise to the  Taiping Tianguo, the “Celestial Kingdom of Great Peace,” a revolutionary regime and military theocracy that endured across central and southern China from 1851 to 1864. It centered on Nanking, renamed Tianjing or “Celestial Capital”. The guiding force of the Taiping Rebellion was Hong Xiuquan, a son of impoverished peasants from a village not far from Canton. Taiping (Great Peace) was a topos of the Chinese tradition, but could also refer to the “Thousand-Year Peace,” the biblical millennium (see Mil…
Date: 2022-11-07


(938 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Konrad
Today  taler (or  taler  coin) serves as a generic term for a series of large silver coins (Coin, silver; Coin) minted since the late 15th century when silver production began to surge in Central Europe, especially in Tyrol, the Ore Mountains of Bohemia and Saxony, and the Harz. The first talers were issued by Archduke Sigismund as Count of Tyrol in 1484/1486, when he had silver equivalents (first half, then whole) to the gold guilder minted, which were therefore also called guldiners or guldengros…
Date: 2022-11-07


(5 words)

See Punishment, object of
Date: 2022-11-07


(6 words)

See Judaic law | Judaism
Date: 2022-11-07


(2,154 words)

Author(s): Jülch, Thomas | Mittag, Achim
1. TermThe term “Taoism” (or “Daoism,” following the pinyin transliteration in general use today), which originated in the 19th century, has two senses. It denotes the philosophical teachings associated with the sage Lao Tzu (Laozi, Lao-Tze, 6th/5th centuries BCE), which are named after the  tao or  dao (Chinese “way,” often also translated as “logos,” “method,” “nature,” or “meaning”), but which – in contradistinction to other rival philosophical schools of ancient China (5th-3rd centuries bce) – also embrace the two concepts of the complementary principles of  yin and yang (…
Date: 2022-11-07


(947 words)

Author(s): Froeßl, Felicitas
1. Concept and originsThe tarantella is a folk dance originating in southern Italy (Taranto), and the word also denotes the music accompanying it. It has been performed mostly as a couples’ or courtship dance since the early modern period, the dancers moving in three-eight time while the tempo steadily increases to reach a “passionate frenzy” [9. 112]. The accompanying music is generally played on the fiddle, guitar, tambourine, accordion, and mandolin. Female dancers play castanets in time with the music.The tarantella began in the Middle Ages as a curative dance to a…
Date: 2022-11-07


(1,867 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit | Kanz, Roland
1. DefinitionOf the five senses, the one associated with the mouth (taste; Latin  gustus or  sapor, Italian and Spanish  gusto, French  goût, German  Geschmack) became by the 17th century, at the latest, a universal term for the ability to perceive beauty, to prize it, to assess it, and in some cases to (re)produce it. In this sense, it also stood for the ability to do or embody what is appropriate (Latin  aptum; Decorum) and worthy in any situation.Gerrit Walther2. Tastemakers, functions, placesThe concepts and guiding ideals of taste were supplied by classical rhetoric, …
Date: 2022-11-07


(3 words)

See Cossacks
Date: 2022-11-07


(4 words)

See Public house
Date: 2022-11-07

Tavern music

(960 words)

Author(s): Stahrenberg, Carolin
1. Prevalence Music and dance are already attested in European public houses in 15th-century sources. The 19-year-old Andrea de Franceschi, for example, mentions singers and actors (including female singers and instrumentalists) in almost every guesthouse he describes in the diary of his journey across the Alps from Venice (1492). Hans Sachs, around 1527/28, refers to the “Kallen, juchtzen, singen und schreyen” (“bawling, shouting, singing, and screaming”) in connection with a tavern carouse marking a church consecration festival (see also Kermis, with fig.) [1. vol…
Date: 2022-11-07


(4,816 words)

Author(s): 't Hart, Marjolein | Troßbach, Werner
1. Definition In the late Middle Ages, urban communities (Town) usually had better developed fiscal systems than the states (Public finances). A few Italian city states developed an advanced and sophisticated tax system relatively early on. The commune of Siena introduced a kind of wealth tax, the  alliramento, between 1168 and 1175. In the 15th and 16th centuries, however, more and more territorial states followed the urban example and started to levy taxes themselves.Taxes are sometimes divided into direct and indirect taxes. The meaning of these terms can vary …
Date: 2022-11-07

Taxes, authorization to collect

(2,429 words)

Author(s): Quarthal, Franz
1. Origin of taxes Taxes are a relatively late form of the levies developed in the Middle Ages to meet the financial needs of rulers – alongside a variety of other sources of revenue such as regalities, feudal incidents, customs duties, and court fees (see Public finances). Paid primarily in cash, taxes (in southern Germany usually called  Bede, “simple tax,” or  stüre) are associated with a comparatively late stage in the victory over the barter economy. The origin and nature of taxes are among the most controversial questions of European (and espec…
Date: 2022-11-07
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