Darkness
(1,031 words)

1. Definition

For early modern people, darkness was both a powerful symbol and a daily reality. As a symbol, it could represent evil, death, or the Devil, but also the divine or the distinguished. In its reality as an absence of light or as a skin color, darkness was an inescapable part of daily experience. In medieval culture its associations were overwhelmingly negative, but by 1700 positive views supplemented the traditional view…

Cite this page
Koslofsky, Craig, “Darkness”, 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 18 October 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_018485>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20151216



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