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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(4,133 words)

Author(s): Ehmer, Josef | Scholz-Löhnig, Cordula
1. DefinitionThe opprobrium attached to illegitimacy (from Latin illegitimus, “unlawful”) in the early modern period (when it was used more often as an adjective, as in “illegitimate child,” “illegitimate birth”) finds expression in synonyms like bastard and euphemisms like  love child). The German adjective u nehelich (“out of wedlock”) is still usually treated as synonymous with illegitim (English  illegitimate, French  illégitime). The terms  bastard and bastardy were also common in the early modern period; they, too, denigrate what was considered …
Date: 2019-03-20

Illegitimate children

(5 words)

See Illegitimacy
Date: 2019-03-20


(786 words)

Author(s): Prass, Reiner
1. MeasurementIlliteracy is the partial or total inability to read and write. This inability was widespread at the beginning of the early modern period. Not until the 19th century was reduction of illiteracy an explicitly stated educational goal. Until the early 19th century, small rural and urban schools were dominated by religious instruction, and the educational reformers of the Enlightenment strove primarily to change students’ mindsets and to communicate “useful” knowledge. Of course childre…
Date: 2019-03-20


(2,447 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Concept Until the mid-17th century, the early modern concept of illness was still primarily shaped by classical humoralism and dietetics. The ideas of humoral physiology were gradually replaced by other concepts of illness, which from the 18th to the early 19th century were based on mechanistic, animistic, and vitalist notions of human life in health and illness. Around the middle of the 19th century, thanks to the development of scientific physiology, cellular pathology, and bacteri…
Date: 2019-03-20


(1,348 words)

Author(s): Markner, Reinhard
1. History In 1776, Adam Weishaupt founded a secret society at Ingolstadt in Bavaria, calling it the Orden der Illuminati (“Order of the Illuminati”; literally the “Illuminated Ones”). The society sought to achieve its goal, which in the broadest sense was the triumph of the Enlightenment, by subversive means. After flourishing briefly, it was banned as a threat to the state in Palatinate Bavaria in 1785, and by 1788 it had also ceased its activities elsewhere in the Empire and Europe.At first, the only members of the secret society were a few pupils of Weishaupt, who was a…
Date: 2019-03-20

Illumination (books)

(5 words)

See Book illustration
Date: 2019-03-20


(1,120 words)

Author(s): Kanz, Roland
1. Concept Illusionism relies on an intentional effect of deceiving the senses in a work of art. The illusion is usually based on tricking the sense of vision by means of precise naturalistic imitation and perspective techniques. The aim is to elicit momentary confusion between art and reality in the viewer. The illusion is not intended to be lasting, but to elicit an ensuing revelation that the seen effect is a work of art [5]; [6]. Artists also use illusionism to demonstrate that they are capable of surpassing nature by conjuring an appearance of reality.An ancient artist anecdote on …
Date: 2019-03-20


(33 words)

See Altarpiece |  Genre painting | Historical painting | Iconography | Landscape painting | Mimesis | Miniature (painting) | Portrait | Representation | Statue | Town image | Veneration of images
Date: 2019-03-20

Image, coin

(4 words)

See Coin
Date: 2019-03-20

Imagerie populaire

(712 words)

Author(s): Brückner, Wolfgang
In German  Bilderbogen is a generic term used in studies of mass media (see [1]) that deal with popular graphics of all kinds since paper production began in Central Europe shortly before 1400 and its use in printing. The word (usually combined with the place of production, e.g.  Neuruppiner BilderbogenMünchner Bilderbogen) did not come into general use as a term for the products of specialized graphic printshops until the early 19th century. Reflecting French practice ( Imagerie d'Epinal, Imagerie rue Saint-Jacques in Paris), the term  imagerie populaire has gained acceptan…
Date: 2019-03-20


(1,141 words)

Author(s): Dürbeck, Gabriele
1. Concept and approaches of scholarship It was Paracelsus who turned to the Latin imaginatio (which he translated to German as Einbildungskraft, literally “power of fancy”) for a term distinct from the traditional “fantasy” (Greek  phantasía). In its most general sense, imagination denotes the ability to reproduce the conceptual content of something that is absent and to generate new ideas. The use of the term in the first centuries of the early modern period, however, which often relied on concepts from antiquity and the Midd…
Date: 2019-03-20

Imitatio, imitation

(6 words)

See Mimesis | Rhetoric
Date: 2019-03-20


(3 words)

See Transcendence/immanence
Date: 2019-03-20


(2,026 words)

Author(s): Lucassen, Jan | Lucassen, Leo
1. Definition Immigration means the settlement of individuals or groups in a new place of residence. In modern usage, immigration usually suggests crossing international borders, but in the early modern period the term had primarily local meaning. A distinction must be made between urban and rural immigration. In early modern Europe, geographical mobility was closely associated with processes of urbanization. The various patterns of migration together with their geographical, social, an…
Date: 2019-03-20


(4 words)

See Neighbor law
Date: 2019-03-20


(1,820 words)

Author(s): Salatowsky, Sascha
1. Concept and ancient origins The two reference points for the variegated early modern discussions concerning the immortality of the human soul (Greek  psychḗ, Latin  anima) were the New Testament, which promises either eternal life or resurrection of the intact individual (Mt 22,23 ff.; 1 Cor 15,12 ff.), and the philosophy of Greek Antiquity. On the basis of his dialogues  SymposiumPhaedon, and  Phaedrus, Plato was regarded as a clear proponent of immortality, while Aristotle in De anima emphasized the interdependent unity of body and soul, which appeared in a …
Date: 2019-03-20


(746 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Gerald
The term immunity (from Latin  immunitas, originally meaning freedom from public duties, munera) generally indicates freedom from interference in a specific legal area. Persons who enjoy immunity, as well as potentially other people or objects, thereby are not subject to the authority of others (especially their norms and powers of execution). Immunity appears in a variety of contexts in the early modern period.(a) In the Holy Roman Empire, the districts that enjoyed immunity in the Middle Ages persisted in the early modern period: if one proved able to a…
Date: 2019-03-20


(694 words)

Author(s): Pörtner, Regina
1. DefinitionThe term impeachment originated in medieval English law. Especially in Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland, and the United States, it denotes a parliamentary procedure for removing a member of the government or a high-ranking civil servant from office for a serious offense. In the United Kingdom, impeachment serves to initiate a formal hearing and investigation; actual removal from office requires a separate act of Parliament. By contrast, American federal law prescribes removal of …
Date: 2019-03-20

Impediment to marriage

(13 words)

See Marital consent (Holy Roman Empire) | Marriage, contraction of
Date: 2019-03-20

Imperative mandate

(4 words)

See Mandate
Date: 2019-03-20
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