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Orient (Morgenland)
(688 words)

When Martin Luther, making his translation of the New Testament (1522), rendered the “magi ab oriente” (“magi from the Orient”) in the Nativity story (Mt 2,1) as “Weise vom Morgenland” (“wise men from the morning-land”), he cannot have known that he was coining a term that would continue to be used in Germany for the next five hundred years. In geographical terms, “Morgenland” thus originally denoted the regions to the east of the biblical Holy Land, but it soon came to refer, like “Orient” in other European languages, to whatever lay in the direction of the “rising sun” (Latin: oriens) f…

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König, Hans-Joachim, “Orient (Morgenland)”, 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 October 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_024304>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721



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