Medieval Prostitution

Medieval Prostitution

by Jacques Rossiaud
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

In fifteenth-century France, public prostitution was condoned by all sectors of society. Clerics and municipal officials not only tolerated prostitution, but were often its principal beneficiaries, owning and frequenting brothels quite openly. The explanation of this remarkable state of affairs is just one aspect of Jacques Rossiaud's vivid reconstruction of a part of… See more details below

Overview

In fifteenth-century France, public prostitution was condoned by all sectors of society. Clerics and municipal officials not only tolerated prostitution, but were often its principal beneficiaries, owning and frequenting brothels quite openly. The explanation of this remarkable state of affairs is just one aspect of Jacques Rossiaud's vivid reconstruction of a part of medieval society that has previously received little attention.

Drawing upon extensive research in medieval archives, the author shows that most fifteenth-century Frenchwomen could expect a life of constant subjugation to male desire. Rape, for instance, was common and considered only a minor crime. He then considers whether public prostitution might paradoxically have been seen by the secular and religious authorities as a means of social control, and of preserving marital stability: the virtue of wives and daughters was best protected by the existence of public brothels, where sexual urges could be satisfied without adultery or rape. Jacques Rossiaud also describes the social background of the prostitutes, brothel-keepers, pimps, and their clientele, providing a vivid overview of the context in which medieval prostitution existed.

Medieval Prostitution will be of interest to medieval historians, as well as to students of the history of the family and sexuality.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Rossiaud (history, U. of Lyon) argues that the prevalence of rape, and the church's redefinition of sexual sins because of depopulation by the plague, were factors in the public toleration and support of prostitution in southeastern France in the 1400's. No bibliography. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780760701195
Publisher:
Sterling Publishing
Publication date:
05/06/1996
Pages:
213

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >