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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Everyday world

(7,635 words)

Author(s): Behringer, Wolfgang
1. Theoretical aspects 1.1. The everyday world as a key historical categoryThe everyday world is both a universal and a particular category. It encompasses material circumstances and their subjective perception and interpretation in thought and feeling (Mentality), recurring behavioral routines (Rituals, games [Play, game], Sports), in some cases beings concentrated to become a habitus (Honors, Festivals, Popular culture); in a more extended sense, it also encompasses the media of perception and symbol sys…
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,841 words)

Author(s): Toepfer, Georg
1. Terminological historyThe term “evolution” (Latin  evolutio, “unrolling”, “opening”) became a technical term, primarily in biology, only around 300 years ago. At first, it referred to the individual development of an organism, that is, the entire developmental process of an individual from the ovum to adulthood (ontogenesis). In the mid-18th century, one side in the fundamental theoretical dispute within embryology laid terminological claim to the word. According to the theory of evolution or “pref…
Date: 2019-10-14

Ewiger Landfriede

(5 words)

See King’s peace
Date: 2019-10-14

Examination (public licensing)

(11 words)

See Civil servants, training of | Degree, academic | Referendariat
Date: 2019-10-14

Exchange bank

(817 words)

Author(s): Denzel, Markus A.
1. Denotation Unlike bureaux de change, which already existed in Upper Germany in the late Middle Ages, exchange banks were public clearing- and deposit banks, usually established by a town to function as a clearinghouse with a multilateral system of accounting, in order to better regulate the increasingly common practice of cashless payment transactions. At the same time, by means of the introduction of a currency of accounting (bank currency), exchange banks stabilized the existing cash and curr…
Date: 2019-10-14

Exchange, medium of

(11 words)

See Money economy | Money, theory of
Date: 2019-10-14

Exchange, territorial

(6 words)

See Purchase, territorial
Date: 2019-10-14


(960 words)

Author(s): 't Hart, Marjolein
The excise was a tax levied on consumer goods (Consumption). Liability for payment did not fall directly on an individual or household, since the amount was only payable upon purchase of a specific product. As such, it can be considered a form of indirect taxation (Tax) charged for services (the so-called stamp duty) or on trade in goods (public scale tax, tollbooths, customs duties). Conversely, direct taxation was levied on individuals (e.g. poll tax), their incomes (e.g. income tax, salary tax), or their wealth or property (e.g. land tax, hearth tax, house tax).In the early mod…
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,447 words)

Author(s): Hering Torres, Max Sebastián
1. Definition“Outside is whatever is not inside” [2. 23]. The boundary between out and in, between in-group and out-group, is a constructed one, sometimes geographical, but usually symbolic, ideological, and fictional. Exclusion is not a static condition, but a process leading to the removal of an individual or a collective from a defined geographical, economic, legal, or social structure. Boundaries are constructed in order to establish principles of differentiation, classification, power, or distribut…
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,133 words)

Author(s): Schlinker, Steffen
1. Definition In all confessional bodies, excommunication means the separation of Christians from the ecclesiastical community [6. Art. I, Nr. 1]. Excommunicates lose their rights of membership while their obligations to the church remain. It does not mean exclusion from the church, because the membership bestowed on Christians through baptism (Sacrament) cannot be revoked. It is the most severe punishment available to the church [3. § 863]. Therefore excommunication represented the final option; it was not used until other forms of  penance had failed t…
Date: 2019-10-14


(4 words)

See Death penalty
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,192 words)

Author(s): Wilbertz, Gisela
1. Medieval beginningsThe state of the trade of executioner at the dawn of the early modern period was the result of a process of transformation through the Middle Ages. From the late 12th century, civic sources (e.g. town charters, court regulations) begin to record an official whose tasks included execution (“hangman,” “executioner;” French  bourreau, exécuteur des hautes œuvres; Dutch beul, scherprechter, German  officiatus ad cippum, Trier c. 1190; bodel, fron, Lübeck c. 1230; nachrichter, Nuremberg 1265; henker, Augsburg 1276; scarperichter, Braunschweig 1312). The ta…
Date: 2019-10-14

Execution, musical

(908 words)

Author(s): Möller, Hartmut
1. ConceptExecution (German Vortrag) as a term from rhetoric began to be taken up in musical lexicography and instrumental music tutors from the mid-18th century. In the first place, according to Johann Mattheson and Johann Joachim Quantz, the oratorical system was to be imitated in execution (Rhetoric 4.). The article on Vortrag contributed by Johann A.P. Schulz to Sulzer's Allgemeine Theorie der Schönen Künste (1774), Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Dictionnaire de musique (1767), and Daniel Gottlob Türk's Klavierschule (1789) added “expression” ( Ausdruck) to the co…
Date: 2019-10-14

Executive (government)

(11 words)

See Cabinet | Minister | Parliament | Prime Minister
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,134 words)

Author(s): Witulski, Thomas
1. Humanism and Reformation In early Christianity and in the early church, as in early Judaism, exegesis of the “Sacred Scriptures,” – initially the Old Testament, after the 2nd century the New Testament as well – played an important role [10. 442–448]; [4. 459–467]; [1. 1786–1787]; [7. 473–478]; [6. 1517–1519]. At the beginning of the early modern period, the technical and methodological premises of exegesis were substantially improved, thanks primarily to the work of Humanist scholars of the 15th and early 16th centuries (Humanism; Bibli…
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,175 words)

Author(s): Heß, Gilbert
1. ConceptAn exemplum is an exemplary narrative, of variable content and length, intended to clarify a general (descriptive or normative) statement by recounting a specific individual instance. It was used as a short literary form in scholarly, religious, edificatory, theological, homiletic, technological, and scientific writing.The exemplum does not constitute a genre in its own right, but can only be defined in relation to its function, which it fulfills in the particular contextual setting as a technique of argumentation. Although the term (Latin exemplum: literally “that …
Date: 2019-10-14

Exercises, spiritual

(817 words)

Author(s): Ruhstorfer, Karlheinz
1. General In classical philosophy, the term  exercise (Latin  exercitium, “vigorous  activity,” “training”) already denoted spiritual and intellectual exercise intended to help individuals master their own lives and concentrate on God [2]. In Christian asceticism and monasticism, the goal of such exercises was  imitatio Christi, the imitation of Christ. With the mysticism that flourished in the late Middle Ages and the incipient gulf between spirituality and rationality, spiritual exercise emphasizing the affective element became in…
Date: 2019-10-14

Exhibition, art

(1,429 words)

Author(s): Kanz, Roland
1. Introduction An art exhibition is a presentation of art objects in a context, the location and duration of which may vary. It is subject to organizational conditions, a particular purpose or occasion. Unlike an art collection or museum, presentation is temporary, and the works in an art exhibition are not associated with the location [6]. Boundaries between the art exhibition and the museum of art were fluid in the early modern period [4], but limited duration was the characteristic of the exhibition. Older and contemporary works of art might be exhibited toge…
Date: 2019-10-14


(2,511 words)

Author(s): Esser, Raingard
1. IntroductionThe word “exile” (Latin  exilium, “banishment”) denotes the absence of a person or a group from their own homeland by reason of banishment, deprivation of citizenship, or religious, political, or ethnic persecution. Unlike the wider concept of emigration, exile implies departure under coercion. Exile involves crossing an administrative frontier, or in the early modern period a national or territorial boundary. “Exile” and “exiles” (those living in exile) came to be terms used of themse…
Date: 2019-10-14


(825 words)

Author(s): Labouvie, Eva
Exorcism was part of the magical repertoire of both the scholar and the church, and of popular practices (Magic). Its value lay in its effect of bringing about change, associated with rituals of compulsion or command as opposed to beseeching, blessing, or prayer. Exorcisms were used in cases of sickness, material loss, the averting or elimination of danger, and dealings with various forces (the dead, demons, ghosts, the Devil, saints). They reinforce and authorize their coercive character by enl…
Date: 2019-10-14
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