Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Republic of Letters
(1,345 words)

1. The term

As a core element of utopian thought (Utopia) and a reflection of the social and political processes institutionalizing the advance of text-based intellectual culture, the republic of letters was among the central defining concepts of the early modern epoch. The term is the English equivalent of Latin res publica li(t)teraria (French république des lettres, German Gelehrtenrepublik) and denotes the fabric of public academic literacy (Literacy and orality). From the outset, the focus was esse…

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Gierl, Martin, “Republic of Letters”, 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 21 July 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_019811>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20210601



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