Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(1,017 words)

1. Definition

For early modern people, darkness was both a powerful symbol and a daily reality. As a symbol, it could represent evil, death, or the Devil, but also the divine or the distinguished. In its reality as an absence of light or as a skin color, darkness was an inescapable part of daily experience. In medieval culture its associations were overwhelmingly negative, but by 1700 positive views supplemented the traditional view…

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Koslofsky, Craig, “Darkness”, 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 01 August 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_018485>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20170626

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