Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Loci communes
(677 words)

1. Concept

Loci communes (Latin; literally “commonplaces,” i.e. “finding places,” “key references,” corresponding to the Greek tópoi) were a universal method of scholarly classification developed within the educational movement of Humanism that contributed to replacing the formal logic nurtured in scholasticism with a new kind of practical dialectics. Called by Philipp Melanchthon the “Urbilder und Normen aller Dinge” (“archetypes and norms of all things”), they were used to classify…

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Töpfer, Thomas, “Loci communes”, 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 18 November 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_023458>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190801



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