Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(3,469 words)

1. To the late 18th century

Like modern German Volk (“folk, people”), Old High German and Middle High German folc/volc are associated etymologically with the basic meaning “multitude” and stand primarily for a military host or band, more generally for a “crowd” of people. Unlike the Latin word populus, the medieval usage of Volk – apart from military contexts – and English people was already…

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Stauber, Reinhard and Kerschbaumer, Florian, “People”, 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 23 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_029824>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721

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