Spheres of Life

From a European perspective, the world had just been discovered at the beginning of the 16th century. Together with the Reformation and the new printing press technology, this is today considered to be the turning point from the middle ages to the modern era. The medieval Church offered many different ways to live a devout life. The system of indulgence was one of them. It allowed believers to offer payment for the remission of their sins. During Luther’s time, Germany did not exist in its current form. The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation was not a nation state, but rather a union of people with various representatives, headed by the Emperor.

The world around 1500

Around the beginning of the early modern period, the largest metropolises were not found in Europe, nor was Europe the center of the world. Great empires existed in Asia, Africa, as well as in Central and South America. They boasted well-organized social and administrative structures, rich cultures and sometimes very advanced technology. China was a pioneer in the sciences and led expeditions with huge treasure ships. The Great Wall was built against the Mongols. Different raw materials in the various regions of the world provided the basis for close economic relations and even for maritime trade. The traces of the architecture from that time still bear witness to cultural diversity.



Anne-Simone RousRobert Kluth


Barbara MayerKatharina Schwochow


Grundlage der Weltkarte ist Haywood, John: Der neue Atlas der Weltgeschichte: von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, übers. v. Jobst-Christian Rojahn/ Jochen Grube, Gütersloh, München, 22002.Kennedy, Paul M.: Aufstieg und Fall der großen Mächte: ökonomischer Wandel und militärischer Konflikt von 1500 bis 2000, Frankfurt am Main, 21989.Oliphant, Margaret/Dietzfelbinger, Konrad: Atlas der Alten Welt: eine atemberaubende Reise zu den Hochkulturen der Menschheit, München, 1993.