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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book, which contributes to the burgeoning field of water studies. It examines the topic of historical water use and ideology both diachronically and crosses regionally, from antiquity to the Early Modern era and from historical study of water use. The book explores the ways in which our ideas about the nature and function of water were shaped by a multitude of societies to create and strengthen social relationships, and how religion, politics, and science transformed, the manipulation of, uses of, and disputes over water in daily life, ceremonies, and literature. The chapters in the book focuses on the medieval and Early Modern periods also attempt to locate the significance of water, both literally and figuratively, in the lives and mentalities of medieval and Early Modern peoples.

Keywords: Early Modern era; water use

10.1163/ej.9789004173576.i-538.4
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