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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(723 words)

Author(s): Koch, Ernst
The theological term irenicism (“peaceful attitude/behavior,” from Greek  eirenikós, “peaceful”), called “syncretism” by its opponents, goes back to the end of the 17th century and denotes a stance oriented toward balance and peace and aimed at bringing about cooperation among the Christian denominations [3]; [4].The background for this movement was Humanist; Erasmus of Rotterdam, especially, idealized unity within the Church. In the 16th century, it received early support from the German reformer Martin Bucer, initially focused on th…
Date: 2019-03-20


(4,564 words)

Author(s): Bingener, Andreas
1. Iron ore reserves Iron ore fields are found throughout Europe, as well as nearby in North Africa, Jordan, Turkey, and elsewhere. During antiquity and the Middle Ages, reserves exploited were usually those that were easily accessible, such as lodes that reached the surface or fields of bog iron ore (precipitates of iron ore just under the vegetation layer of the soil).Iron production favored mineral deposits with a high concentration of minerals. These provided the raw material for the manufacture of high-quality wrought iron, and from the late 12th c…
Date: 2019-03-20

Iron architecture

(5 words)

See Engineer architecture
Date: 2019-03-20


(1,588 words)

Author(s): Gorißen, Stefan
1. Concept Ironmongery (German Kleineisenprodukten) comprises utility objects made of forged iron and steel, such as cutting-tools, tools for crafts and trades and agriculture, iron fittings, nails and needles, and small household objects. The emergence of a specialist ironmongery industry concentrated in industrial regions and producting for transregional and international markets was part of a general process of differentiation in the  iron producing and refining industrial trades and crafts in re…
Date: 2019-03-20


(780 words)

Author(s): Naschert, Guido
The term irony (Greek  eironeía, “dissimulation”, “pretense”) is first found in the 4th century BCE in Plato’s dialogue  Republic. The disparaging remarks of the Sophist Thrasymachus about the “notorious dissimulation ( eironeía) of Socrates” (337a) established a usage that spawned the tradition of irony as feigned dissimulation (Latin  dissimulatio), to be distinguished from the sense of the word in the theory of rhetorical figures. Somewhat later, the rhetorical figure of irony was defined in the manual  Rhetorica ad Alexandrum (attributed to Anaximenes of Lampsacus), …
Date: 2019-03-20


(4 words)

s. Water
Date: 2019-03-20


(916 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. The concept“Irritability,” from Latin  irritabilis, irritabilitas (see also “sensibility” from Latin  sensibilis, sensibilitas), is a medical description of the condition of the body with regard to its ability to respond to (external) sensory stimuli and to react to them. Abnormalities of irritability and sensibility were considered symptomatic of illness.Around 1700, the Cartesian-mechanistic conception of life came in for increased criticism (Mechanism). Although physical-mechanistic reductionism initially held great attraction as an expl…
Date: 2019-03-20


(9,689 words)

Author(s): Reichmuth, Stefan | Bobzin, Hartmut
1. Introduction By the dawn of the early modern period, Islam was the religion of the overwhelming majority of the populations of its historic heartlands in the Near and Middle East and North Africa. It was also growing in South and Southeast Asia as far as China, and in sub-Saharan Africa. It was also represented in Europe in Spain, the Balkans, and the Tatar Khanates. Prior to the end of Islamic rule in Spain (1492) and the beginning of European expansion and the Christian mission in the America…
Date: 2019-03-20

Islamic art and architecture

(5,200 words)

Author(s): Gierlichs, Joachim
1. Art 1.1. Concept and definition “Islamic art,” “art of Islam,” or “art of the Islamic peoples” - even the correct terminology is controversial and lays bare the difficulties of identifying and defining the subject. Islamic art is understood as meaning the artistic production created by peoples or societies in which a majority or dominant minority felt indebted to Islamic religion and culture. Individual artists might well be of a different religion (Christian artisans, for example, might…
Date: 2019-03-20

Islamic law

(4 words)

See Sharia
Date: 2019-03-20

Islamic literature

(11 words)

See Language, literary | Literate cultures beyond Europe
Date: 2019-03-20

Islamic society

(5 words)

See Muslim societies
Date: 2019-03-20


(7 words)

See Islam | Religious interaction, global
Date: 2019-03-20

Italia illustrata

(965 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gernot Michael
1. The first national geography The Latin  Italia illustrata (“Italy illumined [by fame]”), written from 1448 by Flavio Biondo, papal secretary and clerk of the apostolic chancellery, and published unfinished in 1453, was the first Humanist description of Italy, indeed of any European country, and a model of national self-definition that resonated across Europe. Abandoning the universal perspective of the medieval geographies and world chronicles, and hence also their salvific implications, but going fa…
Date: 2019-03-20

Italy, Kingdom of (Holy Roman Empire)

(922 words)

Author(s): Schnettger, Matthias
The “Kingdom of Italy in the Holy Roman Empire” (German Reichsitalien) was the name for the remnants of the originally Langobardic  regnum Italiae, which from the reign of Otto I in the 10th century was in personal union with the Kingdom of Germany and which formed part of the medieval Holy Roman Empire. Despite neither being crowned with the Iron Crown of the Langobards (last instance Charles V, 1530) nor holding the title King of Italy, the early modern emperors continued to exert feudal and other imperial rights …
Date: 2019-03-20


(711 words)

Author(s): Lucassen, Jan | Lucassen, Leo
A great many groups and activities come under the category of itinerancy. In essence, itinerants were migrants moving into a particular region as traveling tradespeople intending to sell their wares and services. Like most migrants (or vagrants, as they were often called), they tended to come from poorer regions, such as mountainous areas, where opportunities for employment were insufficient and it was necessary to augment income by traveling away to work (Occupational migration) [1]; [2]; [6].A distinction can be drawn between itinerants who traveled without their fa…
Date: 2019-03-20

Itinerant trade

(8 words)

See Migratory labor | Pedlary
Date: 2019-03-20


(787 words)

Author(s): Didczuneit, Veit
One of the most important travel aids of the early modern period, which contributed to making Europe better and more clearly connected, was the itinerary, a description of a particular route including information specifically useful for following it alone. The term comes from the Latin  itinerarium (“account of a journey”). In antiquity and the Middle Ages, itineraries were only available to select groups of people (e.g. those on military or political business). The best-known example in map form is the ancient Tabula Peutingeriana. The rising demands of communication in the…
Date: 2019-03-20

Itio in partes

(5 words)

See Reichstag
Date: 2019-03-20

Iura maiestatis

(892 words)

Author(s): Pahlow, Louis
Iura maiestatis (“rights of majesty”) is an early modern term for the sovereign rights of a ruler. Across Europe, in the 17th century, they became the focus of the philosophical and legal discussion concerning the state (State, general theory of); they were highly important as the organization of the early modern state took shape.Beginning in the 16th century, different kinds of iura maiestatis emerged across Europe from a comprehensive philosophical discourse of the state. The starting point was maiestas, which in the early modern period indicated not only the exalte…
Date: 2019-03-20
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