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The Holy HouseholdWomen and Morals in Reformation Augsburg$
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Lyndal Roper

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202806

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202806.001.0001

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Prostitution and Moral Order *

Prostitution and Moral Order *

(p.89) 3 Prostitution and Moral Order*
The Holy Household

Lyndal Roper

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the development in prostitution during the Reformation in Augsburg. The major development in prostitution during the Reformation was caused by the closure of city brothels, an established part of civic life in most large towns for more than two centuries. The closure of these city brothels was caused by the system that administers prostitution. The most distinctive feature was the role of the government in running city brothels. Even though the brothel-keeper ran the business, the civic authority might still be liable for repairs to the premises. In return, during imperial visits, the Emperor was given a complimentary night at the brothel and their evening was celebrated with feasting. During feasting, prostitutes were always invited. The civic authority monitored and inspected these prostitutes to make sure they were suitable, clean, and healthy women. This role of the civic authority was interpreted by reformers as ungodly and this led to the closure of these brothels.

Keywords:   brothel-keeper, prostitution, civic authority, civic life, city brothel, reformers, Reformation, Augsburg

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