Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(2,289 words)

1. Definition

The term subject (Latin subditus, subiectus, French sujet, German Untertan) was a central relational term of medieval and early modern political and legal language; in the broad sense, it denoted a person who was subjected to a higher authority (divine, ecclesiastical, feudal, domestic, governmental, or legal). In the narrower sense, ever since development of territorial sovereignty in the late Middle Ages a subject w…

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Holenstein, André, “Subjects”, 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 20 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_029381>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180208

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