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‘Ill-Liver of Her Body:’ A Legal Examination of Prostitution in Late Medieval Greater London

I will be examining how women—specifically prostitutes—were placed under male authority and marginalized in London and Southwark, despite the divergent legal practices seen in these two adjacent areas of Greater London.

Movie Review: Dangerous Beauty

Late 16th century Venice, where a woman can be a nun, a wife or a courtesan. For Veronica Franco, the free spirited girl scorned by because of her lack of wealth, the choice is an obvious one…

Prostitution in the Medieval City

Prostitution was a vice that was was considered a necessary evil because of “men’s lust”. Ecclesiastics felt that if brothels weren’t available to men in cities, they would find other inappropriate outlets for their entertainment. In an effort to curb potential problems, civic officials permitted prostitution to function within the city walls so long as it was regulated and turned a profit.

Theodora, Aetius of Amida, and Procopius: Some Possible Connections

Behind the purported facts of Theodora’s career as a common prostitute and later as empress are the hidden details of what we might call feminine pharmacology: what were the drugs used by prostitutes and call-girls in sixth-century Byzan- tium? Were there ordinary pharmaceuticals employed by such professionals to stay in business?

An 11th-Century Scandal

Complaints from Damian about the church’s unwillingness to confront the sexual behavior of the clergy, however, met with inaction. In 1049 Damian wrote to Pope Leo IX (1048-54) about the cancer of sexual abuse that was spreading through the church: boys and adolescents were being forced and seduced into performing acts of sodomy by priests and bishops; there were problems with sexual harassment among higher clergy; and many members of the clergy were keeping concubines.

Holy Harlots: Prostitute Saints in Medieval Legend

The prime example of the prostitute saint was Mary Magadelen, probably the most popular saint (after the Virgin Mary) in all of medieval Europe.

The Other Mary: The Absence of Mary Magdalene in the Santa Maria in Trastevere

My research examines the social context throughout Rome during the medieval era, the status of prostitution, spatial analysis of Trastevere, and the inevitable entrance of promiscuity through the Santa Maria Basilica in Trastevere.

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