Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(1,502 words)

1. Concept

At the beginning of the early modern period, the Greek term charaktḗr (‘stamp’ or ‘engraving’), which Patristic writers includingAugustine had been the first to introduce into literary Latin, had an abstract and technical meaning. As in the writings of Aristotle’s pupil Theophrastus, it denoted both a permanent mark, distinguishing feature, or symbol, and a prevailing moral quality [5]. The combination of the two senses proved so inspiring and fruit…

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Walther, Gerrit, “Character”, 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 06 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_017990>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160907

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