Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

Get access

(2,867 words)

1. Concept

The attractive power of natural magnets (i.e. lodestones; Latin magnes; German Magnetstein; French aimant; Italian magnete) was already reported in antiquity. In the 12th century, the north-south alignment of magnetized iron needles became known in Europe, and magnetism acquired its first eminent practical application in the form of the compass. Often mentioned in a single breath in antiqu…

Cite this page
Jonkers, Art Roeland Theo and Steinle, Friedrich, “Magnetism”, 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 24 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_023594>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190801

▲   Back to top   ▲