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Concluding chapter 7: Bildung, culture and communication

(5,284 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit | Behringer, Wolfgang
A. Bildung and culture 1. Epochs 1. 1. The year 1450: an appropriate beginning?The question whether the middle of the 15th century marked the beginning of a new epoch can clearly be answered affirmatively for the history of European culture and  Bildung. From the perspective of other historical disciplines such as economic history, social history, or gender studies, there may be good reasons to challenge such a definition; for the domain of culture and Bildung, however, any expert will agree. Seen historically, the current concept of the early modern period as …
Date: 2023-11-14

Greek studies

(3,561 words)

Author(s): Landfester, Manfred | Walther, Gerrit
1. Definition and function The term  Greek studies, which did not come into common use until the second half of the 20th century, denotes academic study of the classical Greek language and Greek belletristic, philosophical, and technical literature from the 8th century BCE to the 6th century CE. Since the 19th century, Greek studies together with Latin studies or Latin philology have constituted classical philology. The Renaissance defined the academic study of both Greek and Latin and their literatures as  studia humanitatis (“studies of humanity”; C. Salutati, L. Bru…
Date: 2019-10-14

Order (association)

(3,188 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit | Mertens, Benedikt
1. DefinitionIn the early modern period, order (from Latin  ordo, which denoted such central political and social categories as order [system], the estates of the realm, and rank [3. 935 f.], then in Christian Latin “clergy” and “monastic community”) was an ambiguous term, but always associated with high prestige. Generally speaking it denoted an exclusive community, whose members had joined together under the leadership of an aristocratic or charismatic personality and had bound themselves by oath to work together for c…
Date: 2020-10-06


(1,952 words)

Author(s): Grünberger, Hans | Walther, Gerrit
1. Concept This term, already used by Homer,…
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,806 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit | Schliesser, Eric
1. Concept and meaningA method - a planned, standardized procedure for obtaining and verifying information and arranging it into a knowledge system, is an indispensable element of learned activity in all knowledge societies. The development of method in early modern Europe was characterized by its gradual emancipation from knowledge content. To begin with, method served as a procedure of teaching and demonstrating (Proof) theories, dogmas, …
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,567 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit | Christophersen, Alf
1. Overview 1.1. ConceptSince the late 18th century, the term  subjectivity (from Latin subiectum, “something placed underneath”; as a term of classical rhetoric: “basis [of a statement]”) has bee…
Date: 2022-08-17


(1,867 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit | Kanz, Roland
1. DefinitionOf the five senses, the one associated with the mouth (taste; Latin  gustus or  sapor, Italian and Spanish  gusto, French  goût, German  Geschmack) became by the 17th century, at the latest, a universal term for the ability to perceive beauty, to prize it, to assess it, and in some cases to (re)produce it. In this sense, it also stood for the ability to do or embody what is appropriate (Latin 
Date: 2022-11-07


(2,488 words)

Date: 2019-10-14


(4,192 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit | Gierl, Martin
Date: 2021-08-02


(2,589 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit | Graf, Klaus
1. Concept and forms Ever since Hecataeus of Miletus collected genealogíai (“information about [noble] families”) in the 6th century BCE, the term ‘genealogy’ has denoted the art of ascertaining the place of a subject within his or her biological kin (Latin genus or  gens), or of reconstructing and portraying the succession of generations within a family. The genealogical perspective may be the world's oldest and most widespread method for determining the class (Estates of the realm) and rank of a person in society and for recalling, recording, and presenting the past.In the early modern period, all this was mostly done for legal reasons. Because systems of law and rank rested on lineage and tradition, genealogy primarily served to affirm a family's privileges and claims to property by prov…
Date: 2019-10-14

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 history appears to have suggested more the geographical compass of the presentation, while  universal history  meant the depth of the approach and coverage of the material; in practice, though, “no generally recognized distinction was ever established” between the terms [12]. What they have in common is that traditionally such histories were les…
Date: 2023-11-14


(2,106 words)

Author(s): Blanke, Horst Walter | Walther, Gerrit
1. General 1.1. Terminology Most 19th- and 20th-…
Date: 2019-10-14


(4,340 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit | Lück, Heiner | Biller, Josef H.
1. Definition, origin, and forms In the Western society of estates (see Estates, society of) of the Middle Ages and early modern period, (coats of) arms (German Wappen from Middle High German  wâpen, French armoiries [1]) were important symbols of rank and status, the descent and relationships of an individual, a family (Family coat of arms), or a corporate body. They came into being around 1100 in the regions of (Central) Europe where feudal society had its deepest roots: (northern) France, Burgundy, England, Scotland, and th…
Date: 2019-10-14


(3,730 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit | Kanz, Roland | Riedl, Peter Philipp
1. History 0-1.1. ConceptThe Greek word epochḗ (“suspension, pause”) in everyday speech in Antiquity meant a lull in a speech or a movement, in astronomy the conjunction of two celestial bodies, and in philosophy the suspen…
Date: 2019-10-14

Catholic Reformation

(5,118 words)

Author(s): Decot, Rolf | Walther, Gerrit | Kanz, Roland
1. Terminology The response of the Catholic Church (usually called the “Old Church” in the Reformation period) to the Reformation began gradually. Historians have coined various terms for it. Today there is still no term that covers both the efforts at reform within the Church during the 16th century and the attempt to win back the Church’s lost socio-political terrain. The competing terms include  Catholic Reformation,   Counter-Reformation, Catholic confessionalization, and recatholization.The reaction of the Old Church (and the states and territories that …
Date: 2019-10-14


(3,188 words)

Author(s): Klippel, Diethelm | Walther, Gerrit | Klein, Birgit E.
1. General 1.1. OverviewThe term emancipation, which exists in all European languages, comes from Roman private law (Latin emancipatio), and originally meant release from the patria potestas (Parental rights and obligations). The concept had an extraordinary career from the dawn of the early modern period, though the original family law sense survived in jurisdiction long into the 19th century in Europe. While outside legal usage it initially had an overtone of moral egoism, it increasingly became a subject of reflection…
Date: 2019-10-14


(3,917 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit | Müller-Wille, Staffan | Kalusok, Michaela
1. ConceptThe prototype and model for all early modern museums was the Museíon, which the Egyptian king Ptolemy I had established around 320 BCE in the same part of the palace at Alexandria that also housed his world-famous library. It was an academy where scholars, who were paid a salary by the government, met for research, discussion, and banqueting. Only in the early modern period did “museum” acquire a more topographical and material meaning. In the 18th century, it was defined as “a place where things are kept that have direct reference to the arts and Muses” [1. 893]. By the 19th century, it denoted a collection, organized according to scholarly principles, “of rare and interesting objects from the whole world of natural history and the arts, exhibited in a building for the scrutiny of connoisseurs, the enjoyment of friends of art, the satisfaction of curiosity, and the instruction of scholars and masters” …
Date: 2020-04-06


(11,561 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit | Mahoney, Dennis F. | Büttner, Frank | Eichhorn, Andreas
1. ConceptIn the most general sense, “Romanticism” (German  Romantik, French  romantisme, Spanish/Italian  romanticismo) today denotes the dominant intellectual attitude among European intellectuals of the transitional early-modern to modern Sattelzeit (c. 1770-1830) and the aesthetics they preferred. Unlike “Humanism” or “Enlightenment,” Romanticism was not a cultural movement, but a trend, mentality, or attitude in art and aesthetics that influenced many spheres of life (e.g. religion, politics, the famil…
Date: 2021-08-02


(5,717 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit | Walter, Peter | Leppin, Volker | Reichmuth, Stefan
1. History and culture 1.1. IntroductionTradition (Latin traditio, via Old French  tradicion, “handing over,” “delivery”) denotes customs, beliefs, and the like, that are “handed down” from generation to generation. In theory, it is understood as a specific reservoir of knowledge, techniques, technologies, mores, customs, perspectives, attitudes, norms, and institutions residing within a community and passed down relatively unchanged by one generation to the next, thereby lending continuity and identity to…
Date: 2022-11-07


(3,821 words)

Author(s): Busch-Salmen, Gabriele | Walther, Gerrit | Rode-Breymann, Susanne
1. Introduction Dance - a sequence of stylized rhythmical steps and movements performed by individuals, couples, or groups - was one of the most widespread and popular forms of nonverbal communication and public representation in the early modern period. As an indispensable component of free time and festivals of all kinds, it formed part of the everyday world of almost all ranks and groupings, in both elite and popular culture (see also e.g. Kermis, fig. 1; Music, fig. 3). Many had their own danc…
Date: 2019-10-14
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