Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Physical exercise
(1,161 words)

1. Terminology

In the early modern period, physical exercise was understood to mean voluntary bodily activity in which, unlike tournaments and sports, the emphasis was not on contest and display but on health benefits and – in a broader sense – pedagogical and military benefits. In 1569, Hieronymus Mercurialis made a distinction between gymnastica medica, bellica, and athletica (medical, martial, and athletic gymnastics), citing the classica…

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Mallinckrodt, Rebekka von, “Physical exercise”, 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 30 January 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_023305>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721

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