Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(1,833 words)

1. Definition and traditions

Early modern automata were refined mechanical constructions intended to evoke astonishment at their movements, performed apparently without external sources of energy. They often imitated people or animals. Valuable automata were displayed in private or public, with theatrical staging. There was no clear definition of an automaton The Gr…

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Popplow, Marcus, “Automaton”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 05 February 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_030974>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

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