- The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern European History, 1350–1750
- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- List of Maps
- List of Illustrations
- List of Contributors
- Introduction: ‘Early Modern’ Europe and the Idea of Early Modernity
- The Cartographic Emergence of Europe?
- Weather, Climate, and the Environment
- Disease and Medicine
- Historical Demography
- Travel and Communications
- Languages and Literacy
- Printing and Printedness
- A Revolution in Information?
- Economic and Social Trends
- The Social Order
- Households and Family Systems
- Social Roles and Individual Identities
- Consumption and Material Life
- The Agrarian West
- The Agrarian East
- Country and Town in Mediterranean Europe
- Towns and Urbanization
- The Christian Church, 1370<i>–</i>1550
- Protestantism and its Adherents
- Early Modern Catholicism
- The World of Eastern Orthodoxy
- The Transformations of Judaism
- Islam and Muslims in Europe
- Cultures of Peoples
- Belief and its Limits
- Index of Names and Places
- Index of Subjects
Abstract and Keywords
The appearance of mechanical clocks has long been regarded as a decisive development for the emergence of the modern world. At the turn of the fourteenth century an escapement mechanism was developed from monastic alarms. The invention of an automatic hour-striking mechanism originated in Northern Italy about two generations later. Thereafter large turret clocks in all major cities sounded twenty-four hours of equal length for the urban population, and gradually rendered obsolete the unequal hours tolled from churches and abbeys. The introduction of the pendulum and the balance spring during the seventeenth century brought about a quantum leap in precision time keeping. The rise of highly differentiated clockwork manufacture enabled private individuals to acquire timepieces showing minutes and seconds. Industrial production processes, sports, and deep sea navigation benefited in many ways. Careful employment of time and punctuality became high-ranking social values.
Gerhard Dohrn-van Rossum, Technische Universität Chemnitz, Germany
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