Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Decadence
(1,413 words)

1. Concept

The idea that empires and cultures, having risen to power and greatness, must necessarily undergo decline, commonplace among ancient historians after Polybius, was revisited and reformulated by the Humanists. Until around 1800, “decadence” (also “decline”; Latin  inclinatio, ruina, depravatio; Italian decadenza, declino,caduta; French déclin,décadence; German Verfall, Dekadenz) was therefore a basic category of poli…

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Walther, Gerrit, “Decadence”, 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 19 August 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_018205>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20170626



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