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Eastern European religious cultures

(3,815 words)

Author(s): Nolte, Hans-Heinrich
1. Religious diversityAlthough none of the three great Abrahamic revealed religions originated in Eastern Europe, all three had many millions of devotees here (until the eradication of the Jews by a western power, Germany), and as shamanism survived alongside them, there were also even Lamaist groups (Lamaism; cf. fig. 1). In early modern Eastern Europe, then, people followed the teachers of Jerusalem, Constantinople, Rome, Mecca, Wittenberg, and Lhasa, but did not systematically “cleanse” the sta…
Date: 2019-10-14


(871 words)

Author(s): Nolte, Hans-Heinrich
The earliest Russian law code ( Russkaya Pravda), dating from the 11th century, lists “boyars,” feudal lords, below the ruling princes but above the court nobility [12]; they had similar status among the Bulgars and Romanians [3]. In Russian the word was used colloquially like barin (“lord”) [11]; derivation from Indo-European *bher (“to carry”) as in German urbar seems natural, but other etymologies have been discussed [16].In the principality of Moldavia, it is easy to reconstruct how boyars begin to appear as landowners in the late Middle Ages durin…
Date: 2019-10-14

Russian Empire

(9,271 words)

Author(s): Nolte, Hans-Heinrich
1. Concept The Russian (Russian  rossiyskiy) Empire is once again under discussion, just after a Russian ( russkiy) politician for the first time in history established a national state, even though it has once more become a multi-ethnic Russian Federation ( Rossiyskaya Federatsiya). But the discussion is now more restrained than it was during the Cold War as the politicization of that period is diminishing, and the formation of nation-states in the western reaches of the former Soviet Union from 1991 on has further distanced Russia fro…
Date: 2021-08-02


(842 words)

Author(s): Nolte, Hans-Heinrich
A kholop in the early modern period was a feudally dependent person in Russia (Russian Empire). The term was translated at the time as “bondsman” or “serf” (Serfdom). A modern translation as “slave” [2] is fallacious, for the kholop had the capacity to bring proceedings and to take oaths, even against his lord, and enjoyed protection under ecclesiastical law. Kholops also received a rouble in compensation for injury to their honor, as laid down in the 1649 Sobornoye Ulozheniye (legal code) [1. 10.94; 20 et al.]. Limited as their legal status was, then, they were certainly no…
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,003 words)

Author(s): Nolte, Hans-Heinrich
1. Introduction Kazaki [2] were armed, free Muslim farmers of the Tatar Khanate between the Crimea and Siberia, who in the course of the steppe wars of the 13th and 14th centuries demonstrated their military potency especially in ambitious raids behind enemy lines, where they sowed panic in the population and disrupted lines of communication. Learning from the enemy from the 14th century, not only did Lithuania (Poland-Lithuania from 1386), the Russian principalities, and increasingly the Grand Duc…
Date: 2019-10-14

Eastern Europe

(9,352 words)

Author(s): Nolte, Hans-Heinrich
1. Methodological introductionTo a large extent, the present-day subdivision of the European continent dates back to the 18th century. Concepts of the European Enlightenment are often only of limited value in the 21st century. The explanatory value of the very word “continent” is contested [37]; [40]. In spite of all confessional divisions, the foundation of early modern Europe was Christianity, and it was not until 1856 and the Treaty of Paris that a non-Christian realm, the Ottoman Empire, was admitted “to the advantages of general law and the European compact” [3. 100].To exp…
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,324 words)

Author(s): Nolte, Hans-Heinrich
1. The title of Tsar The monarchical apex of the Roman Empire, which lasted without interruption until 1453 in the east and until 1804 (albeit with several regenerations) in the west, was defined as a tetrarchy after the reforms of Emperor Diocletian, with two  Imperatores Augusti, ranking above two  Caesares. The Greek basileús replaced the title  imperator augustus at Constantinople in the 7th century. On several occasions, the emperors at Constantinople named Slavic princes  kaísar (the Greek form of Caesar), which indicated the latter’s affiliation or even subjugat…
Date: 2022-11-07


(1,350 words)

Author(s): Nolte, Hans-Heinrich
1. History of terminology and scholarshipThe term “periphery” (Greek  periphéreia, “circumference”) was already used in Greco-Roman antiquity to refer to conditions in regions remote from the center. In historiography, it is applied in an attempt to describe the historical dynamic of geographical definitions. Ancient Greeks regarded the peripheries of their own cultural sphere as being populated by “barbarians” (a term that marks cultural distance), while the debilitation of the Western Roman Empire in i…
Date: 2020-10-06

World history

(6,345 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit | Nolte, Hans-Heinrich
1. Universal history 1.1. Concept and purpose World history is the genre of historiography that seeks to present the history of all countries, nations, peoples, and cultures in an overall context – in other words, a complete history of humankind – if possible from the earliest beginning to the present. It shares this aspiration with universal history (from Greek  kathólu historía, Latin  historia universalis), an earlier term (c. 310 used by Eusebius of Caesarea [14]), while  world history (initially only in the plural) first appeared in the late 17th century. Initially,  world…
Date: 2023-11-14

Russia, societies in

(6,995 words)

Author(s): Nolte, Hans-Heinrich | Marasinova, Elena
1. Ways of life and social structures color::1.1. Autonomous spheresThe foundation of Russian society during the entire early modern period was thepeasants. In the 18th century, in the center of the empire around Moscow they mostly farmed according to the rules of three-field crop rotation; to the north and east, they traversed the forests, clearing them for agriculture; in the south and southwest, they worked so-called migrating fields, which reverted to steppe after two or three years [2]. The peasantry generally lived in small widely-separated hamlets with a popul…
Date: 2021-08-02


(11,708 words)

Author(s): Bruning, Jens | Lohmann, Ingrid | Nolte, Hans-Heinrich | Reichmuth, Stefan
1. General survey 1. Definition and functionToday the word school (from Latin  schola, from Greek  scholḗ, “freedom from tasks”; see Leisure) denotes a public or private institution charged with using systematic instruction to convey knowledge, insight, and the ability to reach reasoned conclusions – primarily to children and adolescents, but also to adults. The functions of a school thus involve the acquisition of qualifications, adaptation to socio-cultural systems (socialization), screening by means of tes…
Date: 2021-08-02


(4,040 words)

Author(s): Bley, Helmut | Nolte, Hans-Heinrich | Reichmuth, Stefan | Hölck, Lasse
1. IntroductionIt is striking in the context of the world history of the early modern period and the global interaction that characterized it that the dominance of nomadic and cattle-farming societies over sedentary peasant societies waned from around the 15th century. Nomads had become strong in Asia and Africa thanks to the military superiority of their mounted armies, generally in combination with the recruitment of sedentary peasants [28], the conquest of cities, the seizure of administrative structures, and the securing of major transregional tradin…
Date: 2020-04-06


(8,686 words)

Author(s): Bley, Helmut | König, Hans-Joachim | Ahuja, Ravi | Nolte, Hans-Heinrich
1. Introduction 1.1. Early modern and modern colonialismAnalysing early modern colonialism within the context of European expansionism is of necessity an attempt to highlight the differences between early modern colonialism and its successors of the late nineteenth and early 20th centuries. As a rule the term colonialism tends to be more widely associated with its varieties of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.This kind of colonialism, especially its late 19th and early 20th century brands, differed from the early modern type as a result of the increa…
Date: 2019-10-14

Historical traditions beyond Europe

(7,316 words)

Author(s): Rinke, Stefan | Mittag, Achim | Berkemer, Georg | Sievert, Henning | Nolte, Hans-Heinrich | Et al.
1. Introduction The understanding of history and the resultant historiography depend for the most part on a European self-image that was concerned to impose a certain interpretation and order on the past in accordance with European norms and categories (Eurocentrism).Outside Europe, however, such concerns had no part to play for much of the early modern period. Rather, many different views of history held sway, distinct not only from the European, but also from each other. Although European techniques and conventions were certainly a…
Date: 2019-10-14


(9,984 words)

Author(s): Bley, Helmut | Faroqhi, Suraiya | Nolte, Hans-Heinrich | König, Hans-Joachim | Rinke, Stefan
1. Introduction 1.1. European expansion in the context of world historyEuropean expansion from the mid-16th century is rightly regarded as a key event of world history in the early modern period and of epoch-making significance. It is of relevance to Europe itself, doing much to shape its power structures, economy, politics and world view. The explorations that began along the west coast of Africa, then proceeded with the discovery of the New World and the ensuing occupation of important trading posts in …
Date: 2019-10-14

Knowledge, global exchange of

(10,574 words)

Author(s): Nagel, Jürgen G. | Nolte, Hans-Heinrich | König, Hans-Joachim | Harries, Patrick
1. Introduction 1.1. Concept The global exchange of knowledge is a diffuse concept that first and foremost depends on what is meant by knowledge. Exchange relations can affect very different spheres, from scientific knowledge of high specialization to the practical everyday knowledge of a broad population. Global exchange of knowledge thus includes several complexes of exchange and transfer, including technology transfer and industrial espionage, which cannot always be clearly distinguish…
Date: 2019-10-14

Settler colony

(6,012 words)

Author(s): Rüther, Kirsten | Rinke, Stefan | Stange, Marion | Wendt, Reinhard | Nolte, Hans-Heinrich
1. Introduction Colony (from the Latin  colere, “to cultivate”, “to till”) originally meant a human “plantation” or “offshoot” of the original society, and hence essentially a settlement. The word became more closely associated with foreign rule in the 19th century [5. 47 f.] (Colonialism). Since then, “settler colony” has become a sub-category of colony (alongside, for instance, “colony of control” and “trading colony” [8. 16–18]), particularly associated with aspects of inequality, difference, and gradients of authority. Until the 19th century and long…
Date: 2021-08-02

Town, global

(7,801 words)

Author(s): Rinke, Stefan | Nolte, Hans-Heinrich | Reichmuth, Stefan | Mittag, Achim | Mathias, Regine | Et al.
1. IntroductionDespite the lengthy tradition of research beginning with Max Weber and Georg Simmel, there is still no consensus on what constitutes a town or city in Europe. Given the hyperabundance of settlement forms across the world, the task is simply impossible outside Europe [2]. There is much sense, however, in following Jürgen Osterhammel’s minimal definition: “A ‘town’ is a way of organizing space as a society” [3. 355].Towns and cities formed, each with their own cultures, in almost all regions of the world long before cultural contact (Cultura…
Date: 2022-11-07