Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(827 words)

The term biography (from the Greek bíos, “life,” and gráphein, “to write”) in the sense of a description of a life is first attested in English in 1683, and is found in the German-speaking world from the 18th century. Literary biographies are among the oldest written expressions in human history, and their origins lie in the practices of memorialization of the dead and ruler panegyric that are widespread in all cultures. The spectrum of biographical forms ranges from funerary inscriptions, obituaries,…

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Viehöver, Vera, “Biography”, 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 March 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_017675>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160907

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