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Grandparents

(755 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
The term grandparents (French  grand-parents, Ger.  Großeltern) as a compound noun is attested in German since the 16th century [1. 532]. It was probably created by analogy to the terms  grandfather and  grandmother, already found in 12th-century texts. Initially, though,  grandparents was used as a general term for ancestors, like Old High German  ano and  ana (cf. Ger.  AhnAhnin). Not until the 18th century was the range of meanings restricted to the parents of one’s parents. Unlike many older Germanic kinship terms (e.g.  OheimOnkel, uncle), the term does not di…
Date: 2019-10-14

Household

(2,289 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
1. History of the termThe term  household (German haushalt, haushaltung, French  ménage) first became current in the late-14th century as a compound of the two nouns “house, hold” [4]. Primarily, this refers to the activity of “managing the affairs of a house” [4], or, as Krunitz’  Enzyklopädie has it, “the government of a domestic society and all the business related to it” [2]. The German terms haushalt and  haushaltung were often used as if they meant the same thing as “Haushaltungs-Kunst” (“the art of keeping house”), that is, the ability “to preside over…
Date: 2019-10-14

Godparenthood

(949 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
1. Definition In the early modern period, godparenthood (French  parrainage, Ger.  Patenschaft, Ital.  padrinaggio, Span.  compadrazgo) was understood to be associated with baptism and in the Catholic Church with confirmation as well (Sacrament). The German term  Pate (“godparent”) is derived from Latin  pater, “because the one who lifts the child up at baptism enters into a spiritual relationship with the child, becoming his spiritual father ( pater spiritualis).” The word’s metaphorical use outside the church in the sense of a broad voluntary assumption o…
Date: 2019-10-14

Matrimony

(1,760 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
1. German HeiratThe German word Heirat (“marriage”) is in part used synonymously with  Eheschließung (“nuptials”; Marriage, contraction of) and Hochzeit (“wedding”). Under Heirat many earlier encyclopedias merely provide references to these parallel terms [2]. At the same time, though, Heirat is also a broader term for both  Ehe (“marriage”; French  mariage, Italian  matrimonio) and Hochzeit (“wedding”; French  les noces, Italian  nozze). Etymologically the German word Heirat is cognate with the Gothic word heiv (“house, family”); initially it meant “provisi…
Date: 2019-10-14

Kinship, terminology of

(812 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
1. Basics and linguistic typologyTerminology is an important source for reconstructing the changes in structure and significance of historical kinship relationships. Anthropology and ethnology (see Ethnography) early on drew on kinship terminology for the analysis of social structure [5], on the assumption that changes in kinship terminology are the result of socio-structural change. In many cultures, if certain degrees of kinship are not named, presumably they are not assigned a specific function. It is also true, however, tha…
Date: 2019-10-14

Ganzes Haus

(890 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
1. Term and concept As a scholarly term, the phrase  Ganzes Haus (literally “whole house/household”) goes back to the cultural scientist and conservative social critic W.H. Riehl (1823–1897) [10. 164]. Riehl interpreted the two-generation nuclear family as a symptom of the decline of modern civilization and distinguished it from the earlier term  Haus (Eng. household, French  maisonnée, Ital . casa), where not only several generations of blood relatives but also farmhands (Servants in husbandry) and other lodgers lived and worked together under a …
Date: 2019-10-14

Marriage, consanguineous

(884 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
1. Legal frameworkThe canon law of the Catholic Church severely restricted the contraction of marriage (Marriage, contraction of) between relatives (Kinship).  Marriage was originally prohibited up to the seventh degree of kinship, but this limitation was reduced to the fourth degree at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 (see Incest 2.), albeit with a stricter calculation of degrees. In principle this regulation of Catholic canon law is still in force.The canon law prohibiting marriage within certain degrees of kinship included in-laws. Marriage to the relative…
Date: 2019-10-14

Infanticide

(928 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
1. DefinitionThe term  infanticide (Latin  infanticidium) denotes the culpable, usually intentional killing of a child by its mother, father, or both parents. It can involve active violence, neglect, or abandonment of a newborn child [3. 353]. In Europe, however, as a rule it concerns primarily the killing of a newborn illegitimate child (Illegitimacy) at or immediately after childbirth (neonaticide) by its mother. For this narrower definition of the crime, German scholars usually use the term  Kindsmord (“child murder, infanticide”); the 17th- and 18th-century so…
Date: 2019-10-14

Acta eruditorum

(761 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
In 1682, Otto Mencke, professor of philosophy at Leipzig, published the first German scholarly journal under the title Acta eruditorum (Periodical). It contained notices, summaries, and reviews of new publications in all areas of science. Acta eruditorum appeared monthly, but was provided with an Index auctorum ac rerum at the end of each year and thus was bound into annual volumes. From 1689 on, supplement volumes were published to expand the coverage [8]. After Otto Mencke’s death, Acta eruditorum was first carried on by his son Johann Burkhard Mencke [10], and then by his grands…
Date: 2019-10-14

Marriage brokering

(747 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
Marriage brokering could be accomplished through private contacts or operated as a professional business. Neither Church nor State in Europe ever raised any objections to private marriage brokering through parents or relatives, but professional brokering was continually subject to a degree of criticism on theological, legal, and moral grounds. The boundaries between private and professional marriage brokering are sometimes difficult to discern, however, since in many regions it was customary to compensate even private arrangements when they resulted in a marriage.Private m…
Date: 2019-10-14

Family life cycle

(733 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
To historians of the family, the term “family life cycle” refers to the fact that families pass through different phases, entailing specific respective tasks, forms, and functions in family coexistence, in connection with the life cycles of family members. In the contemporary European family, a general distinction is made between a phase in which a couple has children and brings them up, and a later phase determined by cohabitation with the adolescent children, followed by an “empty nest” phase,…
Date: 2019-10-14

Kiltgang

(757 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
1. Definition and distribution Kiltgang is a term, particularly prevalent in the Alemannic dialect region, for a nocturnal courting custom among young men (Marital choice). The word kilt, already attested in OHG, originally denoted the late evening, later coming to refer to staying up late at night or working late at night. The verbs kilten and  kelten, in Alsace, for instance, had a general reference to the custom of meeting after the working day to work or socialize in the Lichtstube or  Spinnstube, that is, for a tradition that involved girls and, in some regions, also adults [1. 70…
Date: 2019-10-14

Marriage, civil

(805 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
1. FoundationsCivil marriage refers to a form of marriage that was not based on a religious definition of marriage and was not enacted via religious ceremony. Whereas the Catholic Church saw marriage as a sacrament and the Protestant denominations saw it as symbolizing the ties between Christ and the Church (see Occasional services), civil marriage was based on the idea that marriage represented a private-law contract between two parties. It was contracted before representatives of bourgeois soci…
Date: 2019-10-14

Love letter

(891 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
The text genre of the love letter (Latin  littera amatoria, German Liebesbrief, French  lettre d'amour or billet doux; the latter also entering German and English as a loanword from the 18th century) has existed as both an everyday text and a literary genre since Greco-Roman antiquity. The most famous literary work, Ovid's collection of fictional love letters by renowned heroines of Greek mythology (Latin Heroides) was a lasting influence on the European tradition of the artistic love letter [4]. Some medieval manuscripts contain rhymed love letters as an artistic form [15]. In 17t…
Date: 2019-10-14

Frérèche

(633 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
The frérèche (a household with several married brothers; French  frères) is one of the forms of so-called complex or multiple households, which are composed of several nuclear family units. In Western Europe, the usual form of a multiple household was the life-estate family, in which the parents lived with a married child and his or her family Other forms of multiple household were found in Western Europe, especially in many regions of  Southern France [1]. In these households, often referred to as  frérèches or  communautés, several families (usually related) lived un…
Date: 2019-10-14

Ledige

(785 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
In early modern German,  Ledige (“single, unmarried”) was a specialized collective term for the unmarried youth of a location, especially in rural communities (still common in the 20th century in southern German villages) [5. 76]. In everyday use, it referred primarily to the totality of unmarried male young people (alongside other regional terms like  Buben [1. 459], Burschen [2. 548], Knaben[3. 1313], and  Knechte [4. 1381] in German-speaking areas; also French garçons and varlets or Italian  garzóni). That we are dealing with a term for youth groups is shown…
Date: 2019-10-14

Clan

(689 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
The word clan comes from Scottish Gaelic ( clann), which in turn goes back to Old Irish ( cland), ultimately borrowed from Latin ( planta). Clan was a term for progeny or family. Since the Late Middle Ages, the term in English and Gaelic alike has been used almost exclusively to refer to Scottish extended families. There is little evidence of its use in early modern Ireland [1].Modern ethnological and anthropological literature applies the term not only to the Scottish family groups, but also to other societies, such as the North American  tlingit[5] and African, Chinese, and Japan…
Date: 2019-10-14

Foundling hospital

(983 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
A foundling hospital (Latin  hospitium expositorum, German Findelhaus, French  hôpital des enfants trouvés) is an institution that takes in abandoned children (so-called foundlings). In ancient Greek and Roman society, the exposure of sickly, excess, or unwanted newborns was the father’s decision; in early Christianity, it was condemned by the church, and beginning the late 4th century it was also prohibited by imperial law. When an infant was abandoned in a church, however, the crime was not punished. Care for such infants fell within the range of functions of monasteries [6]. B…
Date: 2019-10-14

Family

(8,781 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas | Berger, Ruth
1. IntroductionThe family rests on the biological fact that every individual has a mother and a father, and that a relationship of provision and emotion generally exists beyond childbirth at least between the mother and child (Parental love; see below, 6.1.). The family is also a social institution through which much of not only the biological, but also social reproduction in a society comes about. Work, the distribution and consumption of food (Dining), education, and sociability all largely too…
Date: 2019-10-14