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[German Version]

(᾿Εποχή/epochḗ) derives from the Gk verb ἐπέχειν/epéchein, “to stay,” “to hold back.” The noun epochḗ was originally a term from astrology and there indicated either the position a heavenly body occupied in its course, or the constellation of two heavenly bodies. Analogously, the word can also designate the point in time from which it can be reckoned. In the Enlightenment, the meaning of the term changed: the epoch was now a historically significant period of time. The word epochḗ first acquired philosophical significance in ancient skepticism, where it designated…

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Figal, Günter, “Epoch”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 22 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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