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» Economics » History of the prostitution » Topics begins with P » Prostitution in the Middle Ages

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Prostitutes were called in the Middle Ages prostibilis, what "itself for sale offer "meant. These as well as further terms as prostibulum (Dirne, brothel) or prostituta (Dirne) or the gemeynen more weyber arose in accordance with the encyclopedia of the Middle Ages in the early modern times. The also common expression of the common more weyber was to be taken quite literally. The prostitutes were obligated to stand for each suitor to the order.


The urban woman house represented the attempt to check and to the cities a potenzielle income possibility open prostitution of offering as well as protection from encroachments for the decent female population. Woman houses or individual prostitute (also Wanderhuren), which for itself to decide wanted, accepted which suitor it, by the town councillor were usually reprimanded. The first brothels in Europe of the Middle Ages are in 12. Century mentions documentary. One of oldest (still claimant) Germany was proven in Minden in Westphalia. Early and high-medieval Web and spin houses, which are considered to so-called Gynaeceen as forerunners of urban brothels. Thus it was located still in some woman house regulation written that the prostitutes working there should for specific occasions or in regulated distances a certain quantity yarn spiders. Referring to it are present also in other Reversen of the woman landlords from With increase of the travel activity in the high Middle Ages also the prostitution in hotels increased along the main traffic routes, where driving women established themselves. Such restaurants can be likewise seen as forerunners of the later urban woman houses. Woman houses were built, from city to city and region to region differently, in more central, in addition, in remote situation in the cities. The direct neighbourhood of churches, monasteries and cemeteries was always avoided, although road prostitution took place also on the cathedral stairs and in the cathedral. Also the ownership structures were very differently regulated just like the forms of the administration of the woman houses. Owner could be the city and/or the town councillor. Often woman houses in private property remained, however by the advice were administered. The woman houses were leased to a so-called woman landlord or a Wirtin. The yield was used pretty often for paying of office-holders. In France and Italy can do the typical brothel prostitution to in 12. Century to be retraced. Thus there were several woman houses, which were within a proven quarter in cities such as Paris, Florenz or Avignon at that time already. In Germany and England the mechanism of official woman houses began against it only in 13. and above all then in 14. Century. In Venice one did not count 1509 among 300.000 inhabitants less than 11,654 Dirnen. On the Konstanzer council (1414-18) 1500 Dirnen are to have been in the city, on the Basler council (1431) 1800. Each small small town possessed several woman houses in such a way specified, where pretty often women also married went. Bath houses, in which naked one bathed, were visited not only by Dirnen, but by normal women. In nun monasteries it happened allegedly in such a manner scandalously that nun and Hure were nearly synonymous terms. Konkubinen were with the largest part of the clerics a matter of course, why one called them "soul cows ". In order to accuse to someone special dissipations, one said: "It hurt like a Karmeliter ". Even in the Vatikan pornographische stories were read out. In 15. Century had to be shifted in Leipzig a woman house on urge of the residents from their neighbourhood into another accomodation.

Marking and stigma

Accordingly, prostitutes were considered to the medieval attitude to the in principle as Medieval prostitutes were assigned the edge-constant and lived outside of the society. They were excluded from the citizen right and often the rape by customers, woman dealers, and woman landlords suspended, because punished in the law practice the rape of a woman from the same social layer moderate, as the rape of a woman from a higher social layer. Prostitution was permitted however with reference to Augustinus, in order to prevent worse. So they had to carry recognizable clothes or an indication. There was the superstition the fact that they had "the bad view ", misfortune brought and was not allowed to affect certain food. So also prostitutes had to leave the city in Pavia beside criminal ones and Ketzern, if the newly selected rule carrier were sworn in on the urban condition. After the Meraner were allowed municipal law around 1400 n. Chr. Prosituierte public Tanzveranstaltungen do not visit, in which respectable women participated. Nevertheless prostitutes within certain ranges of the everyday life of the medieval society enjoyed quite also appreciation. In Vienna it was usual the fact that prostitutes participated in official receipts of high guests and danced with weddings often prostitutes forwards and brought their congratulations. With childlessness the meeting should bring to a prostitute fertility and in Italy should heavy suffering be welfarable, if one excavated secretly three stones from the house entrance of a prostitute and put her on the chest of the patient. In the Leipziger the prostitutes the motive of the luck and the joy of life represented nearly at night custom, with which it concerned to drive death out.

The dress orders differed by the time of the Middle Ages and from city to city. Thus prostitutes in Vienna a yellow at the shoulder had to carry, in Augsburg a veil with two fingers thicken green line in the center, in Frankfurt A.M. a yellow (seam) and in Zurich and Berne a red clarified their low condition affiliation. Likewise carrying certain shoes, volumes or veils was prescribed for them, and/or also forbidden. Usually the coloured markings were red, yellow or green in the so-called Schandfarben. Since tidy (and/or decent and respectable) women in the Middle Ages do not out-deseam themselves ""were allowed or should, prostitutes were called also .

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