Chambers of Art and Wonders in Early Modern Europe

The Archduke Leopold Wilhelm in His Gallery at Brussels, by David Teniers the Younger (1610-1690) 1651. / Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna As collection rooms based on a universalist approach to art and artifacts, the chambers of art and wonders (Wunderkammern) were characteristic of the pre-modern era. By Gabriele Beßler / 07.16.2015 Art Historian Abstract As collection[…]

Dynastic Networks and Interdependence in Early Modern Europe

Queen Victoria / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Daniel Schönpflug / 12.03.2010 Professor of History Universität Berlin Abstract The kinship ties of Europe’s royal houses were part of a specific technique of maintaining power. To secure and extend their authority European dynasties made use of inheritance and marriages, as well as communication and cooperation among relatives. Their[…]

European Colonialism and Imperialism, 1450–1950

Vasco da Gama / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Benedikt Stuchtey / 01.24.2011 Professor of History Philipps-Universität Marburg Abstract The colonial encirclement of the world is an integral component of European history from the Early Modern Period to the phase of decolonisation. Individual national and expansion histories referred to each other in varying degrees at different[…]

The Impact of Early Modern Immigration on Food and Drink, and Vice Versa

A Boyar Wedding Feast, by Konstantin Makovsky, 1883 / Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens via Wikimedia Commons    By Dr. Gunther Hirschfeld and Dr. Manuel Trummer / 08.20.2013 Hirschfeld: Lecturer in Cultural Anthropology, Universität Regensburg Trummer: Lecturer in Cultural Anthropology, Universität Regensburg Abstract There is scarcely an aspect of daily cultural practice which illustrates the processes of transformation[…]

Horsemanship and Masculinity in Early Modern England

From The Annals of Horsemanship (1791) by Geoffrey Gambado, Esq. / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Monica Mattfeld / 03.20.2018 Assistant Professor of English and History University of Northern British Columbia For much of human history, horses have been our travelling companions, our weapons of war, our industrial machines, our shoe leather, and our dog food. They have[…]

Dutch Anatomy and Clinical Medicine in 17th-Century Europe

Entrance to Boerhaave Museum, Leiden, Netherlands / Photo by Erik Zachte, Wikimedia Commons By Dr. H.G. (Rina) Knoeff / 06.20.2012 Associate Professor of Early Modern History University of Groningen Introduction The Leiden University medical faculty was famous in 17th-century Europe. Students came from all over Europe to sit at the feet of the well-known medical teachers Peter[…]

The History of the Mobilization of Land in Early Modern Europe

The Pyrenees as seen from orbit / NASA, Public Domain By Dr. Frank Uekötter / 05.03.2012 Reader in Environmental Humanities University of Birmingham Abstract In the history of land, different dimensions overlap which are, strictly speaking, not interdependent. Land was simultaneously sovereign territory, the basis of agricultural production, a repository of mineral resources, a space to[…]

The Decline of Wood as an Economic Force with the Rise of the Industrial Revolution

The trail of the Centenary Walk in Epping Forest, south of High Beach, Essex – England / Photo by Diliff, Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Bernd-Stefan Grewe / 12.05.2011 Chair Holder and Director Institute of History Didactics and Public History University of Tübingen Introduction For centuries, the woodlands of Europe were not only used for wood production, but[…]

Royal Cavities: The Bitter Implications of Sugar Consumption in Early Modern Europe

Dentist (detail), 1659–81, Jan van der Bruggen. Engraving, 26.6 x 18.7 cm. Image courtesy of Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam The exploding popularity of sugar among the European rich led to an unprecedented form of affluenza: dental decay. By Dr. Joseph Imorde / 01.19.2016 Professor of Art History Universitaet Siegen In early modern Europe, the opulence of princely festive dinners[…]

The Beginning and Growth of European Overseas Imperial Ambitions in the 16th Century

Hernán Cortés / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Reinhard Wendt / 12.03.2010 University Professor Head of the Department of Modern European and Non-European History University of Hagen Introduction The development of European world rule, founded in the 16th century, exhibited considerable regional and temporal deviation in terms of its extent and character. The framework of colonialism and[…]

Censorship and Freedom of the Press in the Early Modern Period

Illustration showing a printing press designed in 1850 by Hippolyte Marinoni and called L’Universelle (the Universal) / Public Domain By Dr. Jürgen Wilke / 05.08.2013 Professor of Journalism and Communications Johannes Gutenberg University Introduction Censorship as a means of controlling communication has existed since classical antiquity. However, it became significantly more important in the early modern period[…]

Early 18th-Century European ‘Spectators’, or ‘Moral Weeklies’

Combined image of Beer Street and Gin Lane, by William Hogarth / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Klaus-Dieter Ertler / 06.28.2012 Institute for Romance Studies University of Graz Introduction The early eighteenth century witnessed the birth in England of the “Spectators”, a journalistic and literary genre that developed in the wake of the Glorious Revolution (1688). Beginning in 1709[…]

A Brief History of Economic Networks in the Early Modern and Modern Worlds

By Dr. Christian Marx / 09.28.2012 Professor of Economic History University of Trier Abstract This article discusses various network structures in which commercial transactions occurred and economic actors organized their activities. Simultaneous membership of multiple networks means that it is not possible to draw a sharp distinction between economic networks and political, cultural and religious[…]

Economy and Trade in the Western World from the Early Modern to Modern Periods

Waldseemüller (Martin Waldseemüller) map from 1507 is the first map to include the name “America” and the first to depict the Americas as separate from Asia. There is only one surviving copy of the map, which was purchased by the Library of Congress in 2001 for $10 million. By Dr. Philipp Rössner / 02.03.2017 Lecturer in Early Modern History The[…]

Deciphering a Central European Plague Amulet

By Dr. Don C. Skemer / 10.14.2016 Curator of Manuscripts Rare Books & Special Collections Department Princeton University Library From the ancient world to the present, people have turned to powerful words, symbols and images as magical shields against bad luck, evil spirits, debilitating illness and sudden death. In medieval and early modern Europe, textual[…]

The Scandinavians ‘Hitchhiked’ Their Way to the Boons of Empire

Plantation Høgensborg on St Croix in the former Danish West Indies (1833) / Wikimedia Commons By Miles Macallister / 01.31.2018 PhD Canidate in History Princeton University For many of the most successful imperialist countries, empire was just not worth the trouble. Scandinavian monarchies in the 17th and 18th centuries endeavoured to build empires that would[…]

Anglophilia in the Early Modern World

Image from Rebloggy By Dr. Michael Maurer / 12.03.2010 Professor of Philosophy Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena Abstract In the 18th century, Great Britain became a European – indeed world – power. Following the “Glorious Revolution”, the kingdom seemed to represent an interesting alternative to absolutist rule and the primary Protestant power in Europe. It began to exert a[…]

The Emergence of the Early Modern Commons: Technology, Heritage, and Enlightenment

A photograph of the War Scroll, found in Qumran Cave 1, photographed by Eric Matson of the Matson photo service / Wikimedia Commons    By Dr. Antonio Lafuente García and Dr. Nuria Valverde Pérez Researchers Centro de Ciencas Humanas y Sociales Instituto de Historia (CSIC)   Introduction Our age is rediscovering the importance of commons. Every day we[…]

Landscape and Garden Design in 18th-Century Europe: Architectural Use of the Natural

Landscape Gardens at Stowe, Buckinghamshire, UK | View of Palladian Bridge, Gothic Temple / By UKGardenPhotos, Flickr, Creative Commons By Dr. Iris Lauterbach / 07.03.2017 Professor of History Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte (ZI) Abstract The history of landscape design in the 18th century offers numerous examples of transfer processes. This article investigates the emergence of the[…]

The “South Sea Bubble”: London’s Financial Crash of 1720

“Des waerelds doen en doolen, is maar een mallemoolen,” engraving from Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid, 1720 / Harvard Business School, Creative Commons By Dr. Helen J. Paul / 11.04.2015 Lecturer in Economics and Economic History University of Southampton Abstract The South Sea Bubble of 1720 was a major financial crash in London. It immediately followed[…]

The Early Modern “Spanish Century”

The city of Salamanca. / Photo by Laura Tomàs Avellana, Flickr, Creative Commons By Dr. Thomas Weller / 02.03.2010 Professor of Early Modern History Leibniz Institut für Europäische Geschichte Mainz Abstract The Spanish monarchy can be regarded as Europe’s leading power in the 16th century. This article pursues the question to what extent Spain’s predominance[…]

Medieval and Early Modern Warfare and Cultural Transfer, 1450-1789

By Dr. Aaron Graham / 09.22.2015 Professor of History University College London Abstract Warfare was one of the few experiences between 1453 and 1789 that almost every European had in common. Although new causes and technologies emerged during this period there were also strong continuities, and although it caused death and destruction warfare could also[…]

Religious, Vagabonds, and Gypsies in Early Modern Europe

Gypsies in the Market, by Hans Burgkmair the Elder, c.1510 / Nationalmuseum, Stockholm By Dr. Shulamith Shahar Professor Emeritus of History Tel Aviv University Introduction Western Europe was made up of diverse tribes and ethnic groups, which settled there at different times.[1] Historians generally concur that nationalist ideology came into being in Europe only in[…]