Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Fertility rites
(780 words)

Fertility rites are ritual actions of many different kinds that aim to improve the fertility of plants, animals, or people. They are attested in many periods and a great many different regions, and their universal distribution is explained by the immense importance to human existence of fertility in plants and other living things. They played a key role in the preindustrial agrarian societies of the early modern period, particularly when climate change at the onset of the so-called Little Ice Age brought more frequent failed harvests and famines that threatened human and animal …

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Gareis, Iris, “Fertility rites”, 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 05 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_019529>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180126

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