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Dogs, keeping of

(2,042 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. Types and functions The dog was widespread in all social classes in the early modern period, and undertook a range of functions. It was according to these, and not the breed (a concept that only achieved currency as a system of classification after 1850) that dog types were distinguished.Hounds used for hunting were of particular interest to contemporaries, following on from ancient authors, such as Xenophon ( Kynegetikós, c. 400 BCE; “On Hunting [With Dogs]”), M. Terentius Varro ( Rerum rusticarum libri tres, c. 50 BCE; “Three Books on Agriculture”), and Oppian ( Kynegetiká, c. 200…
Date: 2018-02-14

German New Humanism

(1,372 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. The phenomenonThe German term  Neuhumanismus (“Neohumanism, New Humanism”), coined by Friedrich Paulsen in 1885 [11. 191–195], denotes an educational movement (Bildung) that originated in the 1770s in Germany in reaction against utilitarian concepts of education rooted in the Enlightenment. In contrast to education in Germany’s western and eastern neighbors, it celebrated the ancient Hellenic world as the epitome of true, good, and beautiful humanity (Antiquity, reception of). In the first half of the 19t…
Date: 2018-11-28

Dictionary

(1,622 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. ConceptA dictionary (Latin  dictionarium; Italian  dizionario, vocabulario; French dictionnaireglossaire, Spanish  diccionario, German Wörterbuch) is a usually alphabetical register presenting the vocabulary of a language in whole or in part, either to comment on each word as such or to present its equivalent(s) in one or more other language(s). Dictionaries in the early modern period were by no means confined to pragmatic purposes of language tuition or mutual understanding in contexts of travel, pilg…
Date: 2018-02-14

Fate, destiny

(1,439 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. Meaning and conceptThe idea of fate or destiny (French  fortune, destin, destinée; Italian  fato, destino; Spanis  fortuna, suerte, destino; German Schicksal) became in the early modern period a preferred mode for discussing the relationship between autonomy and necessity, that is, the question of freedom of will, and the driving forces of history and politics, in a secular context. As a synonym for whatever was peculiar, unalterable, and perhaps inexplicable in the course of the history of an individual, a peopl…
Date: 2018-02-14

Civilization

(1,508 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. Concept The term “civilization”, which appeared in French and in English shortly after 1750 and by 1820 was established in all Western European languages (French civilisation, German Zivilisation, Italian civilizzazione, Spanish civilisación), marks an ideal of the Enlightenment: a polity which has implemented, as much as possible, enlightened values - ranging from political freedom and a modern political economy (Economy, political) to humanity, education and urbanity -  und goes on perfectioning them. In this respect civi…
Date: 2017-02-14

Humanity

(866 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. Humanist rootsThe term humanitas (Humankind, human being, “humaneness,” “sphere of human affairs”) adopted from Cicero in the 15th century achieved currency in European languages in the heyday of Humanism and remains to this day (English humanity; French  humanité; Italian  umanità; Spanish  humanidad) - especially in the context of literary-rhetorical education (Bildung) as originally delineated by the Humanist term  studia humanitatis (“studies of human affairs”). From the 16th century on, preliminary education was called  humanités in French; in English, hu…
Date: 2018-11-28

Criticism

(2,610 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. Concept and terminological historyCriticism (or, in earlier English usage, “critique”) as the art of “testing a given matter for authenticity, truth, correctness, or beauty, and forming a judgement based on the findings obtained” (“einen vorgegebenen Sachverhalt auf seine Echtheit oder Wahrheit, seine Richtigkeit oder Schönheit hin zu befragen, um aus der gewonnenen Erkenntnis heraus ein Urteil zu fällen”) [11. 86], developed through the early modern period into the European elite's preferred form of intellectual discourse. From the Enlightenment, i…
Date: 2017-02-14

Enlightenment history

(1,643 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. DefinitionThe modern term is a collective designation for all works of history, historiography, and philosophy of history (History, philosophy of) published during the Enlightenment by authors subscribing to Enlightenment ideas and values.Walther, Gerrit2. Questions and modelsThe Enlightenment shaped a fundamentally new conception of history. It broke with the Christian-theological view of history that had only recently reached its virtuoso apogee in Jacques Bénigne Bossuet’s Discours sur l’Histoire universelle (1681). Bossuet characterized history as the…
Date: 2018-02-14

Club

(1,326 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. Concept and phenomenonThe club developed from the 16th century as a specifically  British form of urban sociability. The eccentric term - at the time, the word only had its original sense of “thick stick” - hints at the exclusive, masculine character of these societies, in which gentleman kept their own company and women were almost entirely excluded. The club differed from traditional forms of socializing (e.g. fraternity, guild, sect, academy) in being an “expression of a dynamic, visibly urba…
Date: 2017-02-14

Hero, heroine

(1,761 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. OverviewIn most cultures, heroes (Greek  hḗros, Latin  heros, Italian  eroe, French  héros, German Held) – mythical figures between the divine and human worlds – have great significance for the self-conceptions of the groups, classes (Estates of the realm), and nations (Nation, nationalism) that venerate them. By embodying the value system of these groups and representing it as victorious in the heroes’ adventures, they make it visible and attractive. By pushing the value system to its limit, thus revealin…
Date: 2018-11-28

Individuality

(1,883 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. General observations 1.1 DefinitionUntil the end of the 18th century, “individual” and “individuality” (from Lat. individuum; “indivisible”) was a technical term in philosophy that could denote “smallest unit” or “special character.” Consequently, it could also refer - as it does to this day in many European languages - to a single thing or person. In Germany during Idealism and Romanticism it acquired an emphatic tone; individuality became a synonym for the unmistakable uniqueness of a concrete personality,…
Date: 2018-11-28

Gemmology

(1,086 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. Concept Ancient engraved gems (from the Latin gemma, “precious stone”) are small reliefs inscribed into semiprecious stones (generally chalcedony, carnelian, agate, onyx, or hematite), rock crystal, or glass, depicting portraits, mythological figures and scenes, and often inscriptions or magical symbols (Character). Because they often show the legendary creature known from gnosticism, the so-called Abraxas (or Abrasax), with armored body and a cockerel's head, they were sometimes called “Abraxas ston…
Date: 2018-02-14

Greatness

(1,523 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. The term In antiquity the attribute of greatness associated with gods, heroes, and kings had already been extended to leading members of the elite in city states and republics and elevated to the status of a universal virtue possessed by rulers. In the early modern period, greatness (Lat.   magnificentia, Ger. Größe, Ital. grandezza, Span. grandeza, French  grandeur) became the guiding ideal of the European aristocracy, the goal of noble ambition, and a central topic of discussion among the nobility. There proved to be a productive tension betwe…
Date: 2018-11-28

Conversation

(1,141 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. ConceptThe term conversation (from Latin conversari, “to have dealings with”, “to have intercourse with”; literally “to be engaged [in something] together”), adopted into most of the European languages in the 16th century, denotes a ritual that was typical of early modern European scholars: an informal discussion in a small group, the most important purpose of which was to explore the subject in question as thoroughly, elegantly, and entertainingly as possible. Unlike in institutionalized forms of …
Date: 2017-02-14

Bildung

(7,094 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. Terminology During the early modern period, the languages of the civilized European world had a wide range of words to express the process of formation designed to transform individuals through education and their own efforts into persons conformed as well as possible to the norms defined by society. From the beginning, the vernacular derivatives of Latin educatio (“education,” German Erziehung), eruditio (“literacy,” German Belesenheit), and scientia (“knowledge," German Wissen) were dominant. The English and French terms formation—a combination of learning and outw…
Date: 2017-02-14

Educational policy

(2,304 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. DefinitionThe term educational policy, which did not come into common use until the 1960s, denotes the sphere of cultural policy that involves the educational system: the efforts of the government (Supreme power) and elite leadership to promote their goals by establishing and favoring institutions of Bildung and instruction and to combat the corresponding institutions of the opposition. In this sense, educational policy was an important area of early modern politics, an essential element in the f…
Date: 2016-09-26

Character

(1,509 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. ConceptAt the beginning of the early modern period, the Greek term charaktḗr (‘stamp’ or ‘engraving’), which Patristic writers includingAugustine had been the first to introduce into literary Latin, had an abstract and technical meaning. As in the writings of Aristotle’s pupil Theophrastus, it denoted both a permanent mark, distinguishing feature, or symbol, and a prevailing moral quality [5]. The combination of the two senses proved so inspiring and fruitful that by the end of the 18th century, ‘character’ had undergone a rapid change of meaning in…
Date: 2017-02-14

Counter-Enlightenment

(1,556 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. Concept and problemThe term Counter-Enlightenment is first attested, as a synonym for Romanticism, in an 1877 note by Friedrich Nietzsche (“Der Höhe der Aufklärung entspricht die Höhe der Gegenaufklärung in Schopenhauer und Wagner”; “The peak of enlightenment corresponds to the peak of the Counter-Enlightenment in Schopenhauer and Wagner”) [16. 26]. Isaiah Berlin then introduced it to the international discourse as the Counter-Enlightenment from the 1950s, to denote - not without a philosophical value judgment - opponents of the Enlight…
Date: 2017-02-14

Antiquarianism

(2,191 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. Terminology and form Before 1800 the Latin word antiquitates (“antiquities”; French antiquités, German Antiquitäten), made popular by the famous (but fragmentary) antiquarian treatise Antiquitates rerum humanarum et divinarum (“Antiquities of Human and Divine Institutions”) of the Roman scholar Marcus Terentius Varro (116–27 BCE) was used synonymously with archaeology. It referred to written accounts or material remains (such as coins, monuments, works of art, everyday objects) that could provide information about cults…
Date: 2017-02-14

Anglophilia

(976 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. Terminology The term  Anglophilia first appeared around 1750. It and the stronger form  Anglomania refer - from a critical distance - to the “(unsophisticated) fondness for England, the English, and all things English” [7. 18] that appeared among the continental elite after 1713 and became a general vogue in the 1730s. Admiration for English politics, economics, philosophy, science, culture, and lifestyle led to wholesale imitation, triggering one of the most momentous transfers of culture in European history.Anglophilia was a concomitant of the Enlightenment an…
Date: 2017-02-14
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