Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

Get access

(689 words)

The word clan comes from Scottish Gaelic (clann), which in turn goes back to Old Irish (cland), ultimately borrowed from Latin (planta). Clan was a term for progeny or family. Since the Late Middle Ages, the term in English and Gaelic alike has been used almost exclusively to refer to Scottish extended families. There is little evidence of its use in early modern Ireland [1].

Modern ethnological and anthropological literature applies the term not only to the Scottish family groups, but also to other societies, such as the North American tlingit[5] and African, Chinese, and Japanese k…

Cite this page
Gestrich, Andreas, “Clan”, 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 07 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_018086>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160907

▲   Back to top   ▲