Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Harness
(1,057 words)

Before the invention of the steam engine and above all the internal-combustion engine, in most European countries transport and tillage were accomplished with horses or oxen as draft animals. In the Mediterranean world, mules could be employed, less frequently donkeys, sometimes teamed with oxen [5. 21]. There were various ways of harnessing the animal traction. In the case of oxen, the withers yoke had been in use since the early Middle Ages, usually in the form of a double yoke. Under such a  yoke, the oxen did not actually pull but pushed, as the German vernacular verb schieben sug…

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Troßbach, Werner, “Harness”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 21 July 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_016873>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180915



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