Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

Get access 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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(3,565 words)

Author(s): Laß, Heiko
1. Term and concept In the strict sense, a castle is a building belonging to a territorial lord and having a residential function while physically embodying his sovereignty. The term is also used in England of aristocratic country houses that were built on the site of a former military installation (e.g. Castle Howard). Buildings belonging to the nobility in the early modern period were generally called Hall or House in England. This distinction, which did not apply at all in France but certainly did in the German-speaking world (where Castle = Schloss, House/Hall = Haus), became largel…
Date: 2019-03-20

Castle of grief

(7 words)

See Castrum doloris
Date: 2019-03-20

Cast, natural

(886 words)

Author(s): Marek, Kristin
In the language of sculpture (Sculpture, techniques of),  natural cast denotes a cast made from nature (usually of a person, animal, or plant). A natural cast differs from a plaster cast (Cast, plaster) in that in principle its template can be made from any material. It can be produced not only with plaster but with other plastic materials such as clay or wax. To produce a natural cast, first a negative mold must be made, using the lost wax or lost mold technique (so called because as a rule the mold must be broken to retrieve the cast).In the Renaissance, natural casting was employed fo…
Date: 2019-03-20

Cast, plaster

(773 words)

Author(s): Sölch, Brigitte
Plaster casting is a mechanical means of reproducing three-dimensional works of art and natural objects (Sculpture [modeling]). The quality of such a cast depends on the negative mold, the making of which demands the highest craftsmanship. A distinction must be made between casting in which the mold is lost (one-time copying of a model) and casting using partial or elastic molds (multiple casts). Plaster casts were used as models or intermediate steps in the creation of works of art b…
Date: 2019-03-20


(793 words)

Author(s): Grotjahn, Rebecca
1. Term and vocal characteristics The term castrato (Italian, from Latin castratus, ‘emasculated’) refers in general to a man who has been castrated, and in particular to a type of singer that appeared in European music between around 1550 and 1900. When carried out before puberty, castration restricts the growth of the larynx because of reduced testosterone production, so that it reaches a size about halfway between the averages for adult females and (uncastrated) males. This would certainly cause a muta…
Date: 2019-03-20

Castrum doloris

(1,236 words)

Author(s): Knopp, Katrin Simona
1. Definition A  castrum doloris (‘castle of grief’; German Trauergerüst, in Grimm also Trauerburg, Trauerbühne – ‘sepulchral scaffold/tower/stage’ [1]) is an architectural structure that was increasingly used from the beginning of the early modern period for the public viewing of deceased prominent personalities or their effigies (see below, 2.). This was thus a form of ephemeral festival decoration as an element of sepulchral culture, since it was only put up for the duration of the funeral rites (exequies) inside a space that was generally consecrated and open to the public. The  c…
Date: 2019-03-20


(841 words)

Author(s): Münch, Roger
1. Definition A catalogue (from Greek  katálogos, “list,” “register”) is a register of the contents of a collection of objects available for personal inspection, arranged according to various organizing principles and usually published in book form. Besides living creatures and objects of all kinds, catalogues are particularly devoted to the print media. The Hellenistic scholar and librarian Callimachus of Cyrene (3rd century BCE) is usually considered the father of cataloguing.In the 16th century, the register of the works in a library and in the book trade w…
Date: 2019-03-20


(8 words)

See Demographic Catastrophe | Natural catastrophe
Date: 2019-03-20


(763 words)

Author(s): Schröder, Bernd
The term “catechetics  (for etymology see Catechism) denotes the academic discipline within Protestant and Catholic theology that is devoted to reflection on education and instruction in the Christian religion, to the extent that they are understood as the task of the church or its members (pastors, teachers, parents). Both the term and the discipline it represents are not documented in Germany and Austria until the last third of the 18th century. In the early modern period, no comparable form of…
Date: 2019-03-20


(2,277 words)

Author(s): Fischer, Michael | Albrecht, Christian | Hauptmann, Peter
1. General In Late Antiquity, the term “catechism” (Latin  catechismus from Greek  katéchesis, “oral instruction”) came into use for the instruction of adult catechumens; when infant baptism was introducted in the 2nd/3rd century, it was applied to the instruction of the faithful (Catechetics). In the early modern era, the term came to be applied to systematically organized works designed for elementary religious instruction. Other terms used included  ench( e) iridion (Greek, “small handbook”),  institutio (Latin, “instruction”), and  summa (Latin, “sum”). Catec…
Date: 2019-03-20


(4 words)

See Church architecture
Date: 2019-03-20

Catholic Church

(8 words)

See Catholicism | Roman Catholic Church
Date: 2019-03-20

Catholic confessionalization

(5 words)

See Catholic Reformation
Date: 2019-03-20

Catholic Enlightenment

(1,174 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. Term The concept of Catholic Enlightenment developed in German historiography from the early 20th century, and has since the 1970s established itself as a specialist term [3. 40–53]; [5. 76–85]. In its general and internationally current sense, it denotes all the efforts undertaken within European Catholicism before around 1820 to adapt the ideas and accomplishments of the Enlightenment and to implement them in culture, education, scholarship, economics, and political organization [1]; [6]. In the specific sense widely used in German scholarship, it refers above …
Date: 2019-03-20


(1,766 words)

Author(s): Wassilowsky, Günther
1. Definition Modern scholars use the term  Catholicism as a collective term for all the sociocultural manifestations of the Roman Catholic Church, from the forms of its institutional constitution through individual and collective manifestations of religiosity to ideal-typical ethicopolitical attitudes, patterns of economic behavior, artistic styles, interpretive mental models, and theological meanings. The first and most fundamental feature of Catholicism is probably its claim – unlike the “heretical …
Date: 2019-03-20

Catholic League

(6 words)

See Thirty Years’ War
Date: 2019-03-20

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: 2019-03-20


(1,782 words)

Author(s): Poppinga, Onno
1. Origins The ancestors of European domestic cattle came from Syria and Anatolia. They spread through Southern, Central, Northern, and Eastern Europe within just a few human generations. They are not descendants of the European aurochs, which was intensively hunted: the last individual died in a game park in Poland in 1627 [5. 264].Onno Poppinga 2. Use Where cattle were farmed on a large scale (e.g. Austria and Switzerland), beef was an important element in the diet and dining culture (Meat consumption). In southern Germany and the Alps in particular…
Date: 2019-03-20


(2,207 words)

Author(s): Riekenberg, Michael
1. History of the concept The term caudillismo or caudillo (Span. for “chief, leader”) derives from Lat. caput (“head”) [8. 237 ff.]. C audillo originally meant generally the leader of an irregular army, as in the time of the reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula occupied by the Moors (Refugees of conscience; Conquista); around 1500 the term was applied to the Spanish Conquistadors in Latin America (Conquest). The term came back into widespread use in Latin America only in the 19th century in the context of theLatin…
Date: 2019-03-20


(2,343 words)

Author(s): Smith, Kurt
1. Definition The question of what is meant when something is referred to as the cause “cause” (Lat. causa) of something else, and to what this might correspond in the things themselves, was studied already by the philosophers of Antiquity. For early modern discussion the predominant theories of causality employed the Aristotelian theory of four causes: causa formalis, materialis, finalis and efficiens (formal, material, final and efficient). However, there was no coherent, unified interpretation of Aristotle’s Philosophy (Aristotelianism). In the course …
Date: 2019-03-20
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