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  1. About the author
  2. Bibliography in: Women in England c. –
  3. Prostitution in Medieval Society
  4. HIST.3900.201: Women in the Middle Ages - Fogle

Gillmeister, Heiner, Tennis: A Cultural History. Gillmeister, Heiner. My Account. Log Out. Search for. Advanced Search. Logged In As. Find More. Online Collections. Need Help? YouTube Channel. Uniform Title:. Kulturgeschichte des Tennis. On Shelf. Medieval prostitution oscillated between phases of toleration and integration, and movements of rejec- tion and marginalization.

Rossiaud sees a correspon- dence between periods of tolerance and economic expansion and prosperity, with periods of legislation and constraints marking economic crisis. One of the best-known examples of the latter is the French King Louis IX's expulsion of prostitutes and pimps, broth- el and stews keepers, and the confiscation of their goods.

He relented and allowed them back to Paris two years later. The city of Toulon acted similarly in Authorities specified a day the eleventh of October for "shameless women" to leave the pre- mises under the threat of flogging and confiscation of their garments.

The latter ordinance did not eradi- cate prostitution; during the fourteenth century, citi- zens complained that certain ladies crossed the brook leading into town, strutted in the streets, and washed themselves in public. Public Control The long-term trend saw an evolution toward the institutionalization of brothels controlled by public authorities.

By the fourteenth century most European towns had a red light district where prostitutes were confined, controlled, and regulated. Such districts allowed a clear spatial and social separation. The owners and managers of brothels, stews, and other houses of prostitution ran their establishments in full light of and support of the law.

In fourteenth-century Avignon, for example, a prostitute leased her tene- ment, and paid a cens yearly tax to the diocese. Several prostitutes rented tenements from the convent of Saint Catherine. Wealthy merchants invested in the trade. Marguerite Busaffi, daughter of Thomas Busaffi, a prominent Florentine banker established in Avignon, owned a profitable brothel in the city.

About the author

In papal Avignon, the income and taxes raised by the profession eventually attracted the authorities, who in decided to tax prostitutes and procurers two sols per week. A scandalized Pope Innocent VI annulled the tax in Sumptuary laws prohibited prostitutes from dress- ing like "honest" women and required a recognizable mark on their clothing.

Prostitutes, like Jews, were tolerated to a certain extent as social utility, but this attitude was mixed with bigotry and the stigma of pollution. Many towns decreed that prostitutes and Jews purchase the bread and fruits they had examined or touched in the market. Sumptuary laws were widespread. Since the domi- nant discourse conceived of women as mentally weak, these laws aimed at deterring honest women from their natural inclination to sin. A public decree from Avignon's Temporal Court prohibited prostitutes from wearing coats, silk veils, amber rosaries, and gold rings under penalty of fines and confiscation.

Marseille and Toulon ordered prostitutes to wear single-color gar- ments and Aix-en-Provence ordered them veiled. In London, "common harlots" were required to wear a striped hood and they were not allowed to line their coats with fur. The reasons behind such legislation were multiple. It forced prostitutes to be recognizable and prevented them from blending in with other women.

It also forced prostitutes to hide and not dis- play the rewards of their trade. After all, they could be perceived as successful women who by-passed women's traditional means of success, by birth or marriage. Prostitutes could not serve as models, and parade and tempt other women to take up their way of life. Redemption The reform and rehabilitation of prostitutes was a medieval concern from the twelfth century onward.

Bibliography in: Women in England c. –

She symbolized pen- ance and repentance. Christianity offered many models of repenting prostitutes and the best known was Mary Magdalen. In , Pope Innocent III declared that marrying a prostitute counted as a pious work and he offered the remission of the groom's sins. Marriage presented the double advantage of alleviating poverty and controlling women's sexuality and "natural inclination to sin.

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In addition to marriage, convents could also provide means of social reintegration and salvation for prostitutes. It is important to recognize that convents for re- formed prostitutes were known well before the thir- teenth century. Brundage, some unhappy residents leaped to their death from the convent walls. None- theless, the largest phase of Repentant institutionali- zation Repenties occurred between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, the same period that saw the institutionalization of prostitutes in municipal broth- els. Founded by clergymen, these convents or houses reflected a male Christian ethos and the clergy's defi- nition of required female penance.

Prostitutes were to renounce their previous lives as did the "penitent whores" in the edifying stories of Pelagia, Mary the Harlot, Afra, Thai's and, above all, Mary Magdalen. London: Routledge, Aries, Philippe, and Andre Bejin, eds. Oxford: Blackwell, Cambridge, Mass.

Brundage, James A. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, Bullough, Vern L.

Prostitution in Medieval Society

Brundage, eds. Buffalo: Prometheus, Handbook of Medieval Sexuality. New York: Garland, New York: Garland, " Prostitution: An Illustrated Social History. New York: Crown Publishers, Women and Prostitution: A Social History. Buffalo: Prometheus Books, Cross Dressing, Sex, and Gender. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, Human Sexuality: An Encyclopedia. Mazzo-Karras, Ruth.

HIST.3900.201: Women in the Middle Ages - Fogle

Women played an important part in public affairs. They practiced birth control through abortion and infanticide. Women committed crimes and were indicted. They owned property and administered estates. The drive toward economic growth and expansion abroad rested on the capacity of women to staff and manage economic endeavors at home.

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