Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(2,333 words)

1. Introduction

Although prostitution is often called the “oldest profession in the world,” the word “prostitution” became established in the strict sense of modern use only in the 19th century, in the context of discourses of criminal law, public health, medicine, and sexual studies. European towns (and especially larger cities) in the Middle Ages and early modern period played host to women earning their living in gambling houses and brothels, and their work was not described …

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Ulbrich, Claudia, “Prostitution”, 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 02 October 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_025983>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20210107

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