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Local time

(808 words)

Author(s): Behringer, Wolfgang
Local time is the time related to the meridian of the place of observation, the same for all places of the same geographical longitude. “True local time,” as shown for instance by a sundial, is dictated daily by the culmination of the sun, and fluctuates with the rhythm of the equation of time. “Mean solar time,” that is, the solar time calculated in reference to the ecliptic and the elliptical shape of the Earth's orbit, as yet had no practical role, but the social acceleration in communication…
Date: 2019-10-14

Emotion

(2,539 words)

Author(s): Behringer, Wolfgang | Leppin, Volker
1. General 1.1. Problems of definitionEmotions are deeply rooted in human developmental history. As a fundamental phenomenon of subjective experience, they were common to humans and higher animals, and are based on a physiological state with measurable physical reactions (e.g. changes in pulse or breathing, motor expression in mime and gesture). However, they are characterized by cultural variation [4] in the expression and moral evaluation of emotions, as well as in their precise definition and frequency. To this extent, emotions are also subject …
Date: 2019-10-14

Frühe Neuzeit

(3,015 words)

Author(s): Behringer, Wolfgang
1. Definition In German-language scholarship, Frühe Neuzeit (literally “early new era”; cf. Italian prima età moderna; French and English lack equivalent terms) is a term denoting a subdivision of the early modern period (in the definition followed in this encyclopedia, equivalent to the German  Neuzeit, from  neue Zeit, literally “new era”), with which it shares a common start date ( c. 1450) and many defining characteristics. Among these is the precondition of the conceptual triad of a splendid Antiquity ( aetas antiqua), dark Middle Ages ( media aetas), and a radiant pres…
Date: 2019-10-14

Material culture

(2,204 words)

Author(s): Behringer, Wolfgang
1. DefinitionMaterial culture is a constitutive element of the real everyday world; it is “the most conspicuous and tangible element of culture” [16]. Its production is dependent on intellectual and mental processes and ultimately on specific forms of social organization (Society [community]) – economics, language, religion, ethics, and law [16. 72]. Material culture comprises such diverse things as food (Sustenance) and clothing (Apparel), architecture and domestic culture, tools and weapons, utensils and machines, jewelry and luxury goods, …
Date: 2019-10-14

Ego documents

(1,336 words)

Author(s): Behringer, Wolfgang
1. Concept and subject Unlike autobiographies, ego documents are not intentionally manufactured testimonies of individuals. They therefore encroach from the conscious tradition into the sphere of what J.G. Droysen called the Überreste (“remains”). The type can include documents created in the context of administrative procedures and legal proceedings (e.g. Supplication, interview records, witness interrogations) as well as products of arts and crafts. Decipherment of the factual “remains” often requires knowledge of the hist…
Date: 2019-10-14

Landespost

(958 words)

Author(s): Behringer, Wolfgang
1. DefinitionThe Landespost (“territorial mail”) was a form of mail service, peculiar to the Holy Roman Empire, that unlike the empire-wide Reichspost was limited to a single princely territory or group of territories. Competition between the two institutions was a consequence of the dualistic structure of the Holy Roman Empire and the transfer of most regalities to the territorial princes. The contradiction did not arise in empires or monarchies with strong central authority, such as the Ottoman …
Date: 2019-10-14

Challenge

(952 words)

Author(s): Behringer, Wolfgang
1. DefinitionThe challenge was a ritualized (Ritual) form of private “declaration of war,” to test the readiness of competitors in everyday life (Everyday world) to defend their honor. In early modern Europe it was a basic form for the settling of interpersonal conflicts and social control. Documentation is found in the huge number of trial procedures before the lower territorial courts of law.In local Weistum[7. 58–60], village orders and Police the challenge was subsumed either under “crimes, acts of violence, and injuries” (High Court of Augsburg 1534) [1. Bd. 1, 199f.] or under…
Date: 2019-10-14

News agency

(820 words)

Author(s): Behringer, Wolfgang
1. News market of the RenaissanceThere were no news agencies in the institutional sense in the early modern period, but there were key figures in the news business who grew into the role of professional agent. They were based at places where news often arrived in the form of the reports characteristic of the early modern period (Port, Capital city), or where events that became news actually took place (Rome, courts, residences, theaters of war, etc.). The demand for information grew throughout the pe…
Date: 2020-04-06

Eye

(1,356 words)

Author(s): Stolleis, Michael | Behringer, Wolfgang
Platonic natural science (Platonism) and the medical theory of the ancient physician Galen (Humoralism) held vision to be an active process. A cold fire glowed in the eye, and its rays were emitted towards objects. As in India and Arabia, the idea formed from this in Europe that optical perception (Optics) came about as the ray emitted by the eye illuminated the object. In this context, there also emerged ideas of the sharp gaze with which some people dominate others, see through them, or influence their mood, and superstitious notions of the evil eye (Latin  invidia), with which those w…
Date: 2019-10-14

Messrelation

(957 words)

Author(s): Behringer, Wolfgang
1. Definition and originThe  Messrelation was a new 16th-century literary genre that contributed to the emergence of a political public sphere: news books (News book) that were produced for the fall session of the Frankfurt book fair and a bit later for the Easter session as well – that is, twice a year. The  Messrelationen did not take on the genre of the  Newe Zeitung but promoted the printing of newspapers (Aviso) written by serious correspondents and agents (News agency). Like the  Fuggerzeitung, they were noted for their elevated style and the geographical and …
Date: 2019-10-14

Lie

(913 words)

Author(s): Behringer, Wolfgang
1. An age of dissimulationAnyone setting out to compare discourses of the early modern period in the postmodern manner, i.e. on the basis of texts, is doomed to failure [1]. In a period riven with religious violence, absolutist pressure of conformity, and later the rationalist ideology (Reason) of the Enlightenment, it was often imperative to conceal one’s true opinion. Guidance in the interpretation of early modern texts should therefore be sought in the words written by Niccolò Machiavelli to Francesco Guicciardini on …
Date: 2019-10-14

Mercuries

(975 words)

Author(s): Behringer, Wolfgang
1. Concept and derivation“Mercuries” was the name given in the 17th century to political newspapers, because in England in particular such publications were generally named after the Roman messenger of the gods, Mercurius. The name  coranto (“Courant”) was commonplace in the 1620s, but from 1641, “Mercury” titles were so dominant that the name became genericized to refer to periodicals in general. Only after 1660, following the Stuart Restoration, did “Gazettes” also become established, then from the 1690s newspaper titles maki…
Date: 2019-10-14

Dirt

(1,031 words)

Author(s): Behringer, Wolfgang
1. ConceptDirt is matter in the wrong place at the wrong time, “something misplaced” [5. 52], undesirable remains (abundant synonyms including refuse, muck, rubbish, garbage, trash, detritus, feculence etc.), or pollution coming about through lack of hygiene and sanitation by mechanical, biological (e.g. menstruation), physical, or chemical processes (e.g. oxidation, rust) and capable of contaminating an organism or system with undesirable or harmful materials. The term is also used in metaphorical and symbolic senses.Wolfgang Behringer2. ReligionAccording to the B…
Date: 2019-10-14

Heating

(1,315 words)

Author(s): Behringer, Wolfgang
1. GeneralThe necessity for heating varies with geographical latitude; there were great regional and historical variations in its practical development. In the cold years of the Little Ice Age (ca. 1300-1900; especially 1560-1710), there was a pressing need for adequate heating. The hypothermia poor people suffered from when fuel (wood, peat, charcoal, in England also black coal) was too expensive made them more susceptible to illness [3. 430 f., 456f.]. Heating standards improved during the early modern era as part of a general cultural development. Wherea…
Date: 2019-10-14

Flight

(761 words)

Author(s): Behringer, Wolfgang
1. Development of the theoryBy the 14th century, several thinkers had independently concluded, based on Aristotelian physics, that the sublunar airspace must be navigable by vessels. During the 15th century, the principle of aeronautics was sometimes replaced by attempts to achieve flight by imitating birds (see Aviatics, with fig.). At the beginning of the 16th century, in his manuscript Sul volo degli uccelli (1505; “On the Flight of Birds”), Leonardo da Vinci observed that bird flight required great powers of propulsion in order to take to the air f…
Date: 2019-10-14

News book

(784 words)

Author(s): Behringer, Wolfgang
1. Concept and origins English-language scholarship uses the term “news book” to refer to books that were systematically bound in order to present newspaper stories from the preceding year [4]. Although some authors assume that this text genre first appeared only in the 1640s [7. 5], others call the weekly London corantos of the 1620s “the first news books” [5]. Corresponding to the concept in German is the   Zeitungs-Buch (“News[paper] book”), a term used by the Hamburg publisher Georg Greflinger, imitating the English model, when he offered the first year of his Nordischer Merc…
Date: 2020-04-06

Aerial voyage

(953 words)

Author(s): Behringer, Wolfgang
1. General In the modern period, theoretical reflections and experiments devoted to flight were flanked by reports of supposed or actual aerial voyages, which could serve as a narrative framework for the presentation of scientific observations or a social utopia. They reflected the cosmological notions of the period and—especially in the era of the Scientific Revolution—the transition from the geocentric to the Copernican model of the world (Copernican Revolution) or from Aristotelian physics to the world view of Giordano Brunos and Isaac Newtons [3]. With the progress …
Date: 2019-10-14

Aeronautics

(1,286 words)

Author(s): Behringer, Wolfgang
1. Terminology The term “aeronautics” means literally “traveling by ship [Latin  nautare] through the air [Latin  aer].” Possibly inspired by mythological accounts, 14th-century proponents of Aristotelian physics (Albert of Saxony and Nicole d’Oresme) had already suggested the possibility that the accepted theory of the elements implied that a ship filled with a fiery substance could sail upon the sea of the air. The discussions of flying in the 15th and 16th centuries were focused entirely on the principle of …
Date: 2019-10-14

Ball game

(1,106 words)

Author(s): Behringer, Wolfgang
1. Educational ideal From the Renaissance on, Humanist pedagogues attempted to associate the love of ball games with ancient traditions (e.g. Galen), but the modern term derives not from the Latin pila but from the Germanic  ball (Italian  palla). Humanist teachers and princes’ tutors of the 15th century, like Vittorino da Feltre and Guarino da Verona, ennobled the ball game by placing it alongside equestrian exercises. Baldassare Castiglione’s Courtier ( Cortegiano, 1528) admitted it to the Olympus of noble education. Ball games went to the heart of the ed…
Date: 2019-10-14

Calendar

(5,291 words)

Author(s): Behringer, Wolfgang | Schostak, Désirée | Messerli, Alfred | Sieglerschmidt, Jörn
1. Term The word calendar derives from the name of the first day of the month in Ancient Rome (Latin Kalendae). From Latin kalendarium (‘debt-book’), it later came to refer to the whole system of reckoning time (Time, reckoning of). All known calendars are based on the alternation of day and night, the recurrent phases of the Moon (OE mona = “Moon”; monađ = “month”), and the course of the seasons through the solar year.Wolfgang Behringer 2. Chronology: early manifestations In all cultures, astronomical phenomena (Astronomy) determine the chronological units of year, month,…
Date: 2020-01-13
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