Ancestors, veneration of
(929 words)

The concept of lineage was of growing importance in Western Europe at the beginning of the early modern period. Reference to ancestry (Noble birth, proof of) served the nobility and other social groups as they sought legitimacy and the enforcement of their claims to higher status within an increasingly differentiated social structure. This idea of lineage must be functionally distinguished from the veneration of ancestors that was widely practiced in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe.

The veneration of ancestors as a practice of sustaining the relation to deceased male…

Cite this page
Kaser, Karl, “Ancestors, veneration of”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 24 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

▲   Back to top   ▲