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Chapter Summary

Between 1200 and 1700, various clearly distinguishable forms of literary and learned association developed in the core urban regions of late medieval and early modern Europe. Despite some earlier experiments from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, only the fifteenth century witnessed the Europe-wide take-off of literary and learned associations. In the course of the seventeenth and early eighteenth century, or so it seems, the landscape of literary and learned association was again transformed fundamentally. The book The Reach of the Republic of Letters: Literary and Learned Societies in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe (2 vols.) enables a overview of the full landscape that came into being in the fifteenth century, and continued to flourish throughout the sixteenth, and sometimes until the late seventeenth century. With some regional deviations, the heyday of these early types of literary and learned association lasted for about two centuries, from 1450 to about 1650.

Keywords: early modern Europe; late medieval Europe; learned societies; literary



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