Brothel
(1,091 words)

The terms “bordel” and “brothel” which became established in England and elsewhere, both derive from Latin bordellum, “small house.” In England the term stewhouse (“bathhouse”) was also in use in the early modern period. In German, Frauenhaus (“women’s house”) is a euphemism for the brothels established in German cities and towns beginning in the 14th century. Medieval sources distinguished them from other communal residences of women by adding the adjective “open,” “common,” or “proper,” until in the 15th and 16th centuries Frauenhaus became synonymous with a muni…

Cite this page
Schuster, Beate, “Brothel”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 16 August 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_019368>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160907



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