Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(3,912 words)

1. Definition

In medicine and demography, fertility (from Latin fertilis, “fruitful, productive, fertile”) refers to human fertility, the ability (in the biological sense) to produce offspring (“fruit”; cf. fruit of the womb as a designation of the human fetus). The term fertility is firmly rooted in human history; the central role of the ability to father and to bear …

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Schröter, Wilko, “Fertility”, 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 21 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_019197>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180126

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