Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Subject: History

Executive editor of the English version: Graeme Dunphy

The Encyclopedia of Early Modern History is the English edition of the German-language Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. This 15-volume reference work, published in print between 2005 and 2012 and here available online, offers a multi-faceted view on the decisive era in European history stretching from ca. 1450 to ca. 1850 ce. in over 4,000 entries.
The perspective of this work is European. This is not to say that the rest of the World is ignored – on the contrary, the interaction between European and other cultures receives extensive attention.

New articles will be added on a regular basis during the period of translation, for the complete German version see Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit Online.

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Gaffeln (Cologne guilds)

(6 words)

See Council (administrative)
Date: 2016-09-21

Galant literature

(1,278 words)

Author(s): Niefanger, Dirk
1. Galantry as a European concept Within the cultural history of the early modern period, the term  galant literature denotes an important European literary movement (Literature) of the 17th and early 18th centuries; in Germany it dominated poetry between the Baroque and the Enlightenment. It reduced the Baroque rhetoricality of texts, decreased learned allusions, and thus focused on increased intelligibility of poetic language. For music, see galant style.Fundamental to galant literature is galantry, an ideal of conduct and converse (Communication) based on the courtier literature of the Renaissance (e.g. Baldassare Castiglione’s Il libro del Cortegiano, 1528; Giovanni della Casa’s Galateo, 1558; Stefano Guazzo’s
Date: 2018-02-14

Galant style

(731 words)

Author(s): Waczkat, Andreas
Historiographers of music (Music, historiography of) use the term  galant style to describe compositions from the transitional period between Baroque and Classical (Classics, European). It is characterized by its rejection of the academ…
Date: 2018-02-14


(954 words)

Author(s): Hoppe, Stephan
1. Introduction The gallery as an early modern type of space in European castle and palace architecture was an elongated promenade and display room. In contrast to the typologically and functionally related loggia in Italy (e.g. the Vatican loggias, c. 1518), a gallery is enclosed. At least one long side is heavily fenestrated and can provide well-designed landscape vistas. Although a gallery can serve as a corridor linking two areas of the palace, its primary function is to invite visitors to linger comfortabl…
Date: 2018-02-14

Galley slafe

(4 words)

See Penalty
Date: 2016-09-21


(736 words)

Author(s): Wassilowsky, Günther
1. Definition The term Gallicanism (from Middle Latin gallicanus, hence French  gallicanisme) was coined by 19th-century Ultramontanism. It encapsulates a variety of theories and practices intended to justify and realize the freedom and independence of the French church vis-à-vis the papacy’s claim of universal jurisdiction. There were two basic types of Gallicanism: a more theologically based  “episcopal Gallicanism” (Episcopalianism), which derived the independence of the territorial church from the dignity of the episcopate, and more juridically oriented “political Gallicanism,” in which the church of France was represented as the national church and the sphere of influence of the French king (Latin  rex christianissimus “most Christian king”). Both types are characterized by basing the special position of France on…
Date: 2018-02-14


(4 words)

See Death penalty
Date: 2016-09-21


(801 words)

Author(s): Hochadel, Oliver
The term galvanism denotes a group of phenomena, experiments, and tentative explanations that emerged around 1780 and split after c. 1800 into the fields of electrochemistry and electrophysiology. Beginning in the 1740s, natural scientists began inquiring into the significance of electricity for organisms. In electrical medicine, attempts were made to employ this remarkable “fluid” therapeutically. Experiments on human beings and animals initially left the question whether electricity was somethin…
Date: 2018-02-14


(1,059 words)

Author(s): Fenske, Michaela
1. Definition Gambling is participation in a game in which assets are won or lost depending on chance. The contrast between the everyday world and the world of play and games (Play, game) posited in current theories of play by writers like Johan Huizinga [4] and Victor Turner [8] appears to be particularly true for games of chanc…
Date: 2018-02-14

Ganzes Haus

(906 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) …
Date: 2018-02-14


(12 words)

See Refuse | Sanitation | Sewage, disposal of | Urban sanitation
Date: 2016-09-21


(5,762 words)

Author(s): Bischoff, Harald | Kalusok, Michaela | Wiener, Jürgen
1. Kitchen gardens and ornamental gardens 1.1. General developmentThe English term “garden” is is a medieval borrowing from French, which in turn takes the word from Old Frankish. Like the native English equivalent, “yard”, it ultimately derives from Proto-Germanic *gardaz, which denotes an enclosed courtyard.. Gardens provide space for crop plants and orn…
Date: 2018-02-14


(3 words)

See Textiles
Date: 2018-02-14

Garrison town

(802 words)

Author(s): Kroll, Stefan
The word  garrison a French loanword. In the 18th century, Krünitz defined it as “the squad or body of soldiers stationed in a town to defend it against enemies or to guard it and at the same to keep the people obedient” [1. 143 f.]. During the Thirty Years’ War, numerous European states and territories began to create permanent troop formations that were no longer demobilized at the end of a campaign (Standing army). Strategically important sites, normally towns, were assigned a permanent body of hired mercenaries or conscripted soldiers, i.e. a garrison.…
Date: 2018-02-14


(2,760 words)

Author(s): Meinel, Christoph | Bleidick, Dietmar
1. From vital chaos to the gas of chemists The concept that air is a weighable substance consisting of various gases gained acceptance only in the course of the 18th century. Until then it had been considered one of the four Aristotelian elements and was neither heavy nor light, as long as it remained in its natural place. In his  Ortus Medicinae (Amsterdam 1648; Ger. Aufgang der Artzney-Kunst, Sulzbach 1683), the Flemish Paracelsist Jan Baptista van Helmont conceived an alternative, vitalistic theory of matter (Vitalism), according to which all substances …
Date: 2018-02-14


(760 words)

Author(s): Wenzel, Silke
The word  Gassenhauer is attested as a proper name around 1413 and was common in the 16th century as a pejorative term for “worthless vagrants” [2]. Its earliest use in a musical sense was in 1517 in the Latin grammar of J.A. Turmair. In the first centuries of the early modern period, 
Date: 2018-02-14


(4 words)

See Public house
Date: 2016-09-21

Gauntlet, running the

(7 words)

See Military jurisdiction
Date: 2016-09-21


(4 words)

See Recycling | Second-hand trade
Date: 2018-02-14


(2,312 words)

Author(s): Salatowsky, Sascha
1. Roots of the term The German word  Geist (translated in English most commonly as  spirit or  mind) is one of the most polyvalent terms in the history of science, not least because it translates two different ancient Greek words: pneúma (Lat. spiritus, “spirit, breath, Geist”) and nus/nous (Lat. intellectus, mens, “intellect, mind, Geist”). In ancient medicine, p neúma denoted the vital spirits (Lat.  spiritus vitalis et animalis), which as aerial, material instruments of the soul produce the physiological activities of living beings. In the Old Testament,…
Date: 2018-02-14
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