Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(878 words)

Bathing in the early modern period belongs in the context of ideas about Health. People went to the bath-house to wash, but it was above all a place for social contact, and sometimes a practical venue for meeting prostitutes (Prostitution; Bathkeeper). People did swim, but this was rare and regarded as somewhat eccentric behavior. Continental courtesy books, such as Faret’s Honnête homme, honnête femme and Castiglione’s Cortegiano (see also Conduct literature) do list swimming as an acceptable leisure activity, but without particularly recommending it. British t…

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Naphy, William, “Bathing”, 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 29 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_017278>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

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