Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(4,991 words)

1. Christianity

1. Terminology

The German abstract noun Frömmigkeit (piety) and the adjective it is based on – fromm (pious, devout) – were long polysemous. Until the late 19th century, they preserved their original meaning: OHG fruma meant “benefit,” “usefulness”; the derived MHG adjective vrum (frumb) was used in the sense of “beneficial,” “useful” (e.g. ein frommes Pferd [a useful horse]; zum Nutz und Frommen [to the benefit (of someone)]). As an expression of orderliness, God himself is extolled as fromm in hymns (Hym…

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Beutel, Albrecht and Leicht, Reimund, “Piety”, 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_019515>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721

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