Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(861 words)

The roots of the term “race” can be traced back to the Middle Ages, although the etymology is disputed. The earliest attestations are found in Italian (razza), French (race), and Spanish (raza) texts of the early 15th century, and refer initially to domesticated animals (Animal breeding), and later to agnatic (i.e. recognizing only legitimate male descendants) lineages of the nobility. While some trace the word back to the Latin ratio (reckoning, cause), others suggest the MHG reiƺ (line) or the Arabic râz (origin, leading, head) [1]. The term acquired increasing scientific …

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Müller-Wille, Staffan, “Race”, 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 25 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_026128>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20210107

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