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A life of ill repute : public prostitution in the Middle Ages

Author: Maria Serena Mazzi; Joyce Myerson
Publisher: Montreal ; Kingston ; London ; Chicago : McGill-Queen's University Press, [2020]
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Prostitution is often called the oldest profession in the world. Even in the Middle Ages, people believed that there would always be women willing to use their bodies for profit. But who were these women who offered themselves up to men? In A Life of IllRepute Maria Serena Mazzi traces and reconstructs prostitution in the early fourteenth century, describing how in medieval European society women--often extremely  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
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Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Mazzi, Maria Serena.
Life of ill repute.
Montreal ; Kingston : London ; Chicago : McGill-Queen's University Press, 2020
(OCoLC)1126792444
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Maria Serena Mazzi; Joyce Myerson
ISBN: 9780228002086 0228002087 9780228002093 0228002095
OCLC Number: 1126792470
Notes: Translated from the Italian.
Translation of: La mala vita: donne publiche nel Medioevo.
Description: 1 online resource (ix, 160 pages)
Other Titles: Mala vita.
Responsibility: Maria Serena Mazzi ; translated by Joyce Myerson.
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The life of prostitutes in medieval European society.  Read more...

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Even in the Middle Ages, people believed that there would always be women willing to use their bodies for profit. But who were these women who offered themselves up to men? In A Life of IllRepute Maria Serena Mazzi traces and reconstructs prostitution in the early fourteenth century, describing how in medieval European society women--often extremely poor and overwhelmed by debt, or victims either of predatory men full of duplicitous intentions or simply of rape - traded as commodities. Prostitutes, according to Mazzi, were despised and condemned but considered necessary in an ambiguous and contradictory society that tolerated their sexual exploitation to safeguard the virtue of honest women and counter the vice of homosexuality, while allowing men to vent their own impulses. The theory of the lesser evil -encouraged by both the church and the state - is the grounds on which prostitution flourished in medieval Europe. 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