Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(1,127 words)

1. Concept

The term incest generally denoted criminal relations between relatives. The definition narrowed to sexual relations only around 1600, before narrowing further to relations between blood relatives in the modern sense around 1800. Studies on the first centuries of the early modern period in particular show that legal and real-world positions regarding the legitimacy of such relations differed and relate to the wider context of the importance of kinship and material and emotional interests.

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Jarzebowski, Claudia, “Incest”, 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 29 January 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_021514>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180915

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