Medieval prostitutes, concubines, and their relationships

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In late medieval Valencia, city authorities had a problem with prostitutes who were also living as concubines with their partners. Over a period of 35 years, 400 women and 280 men were fined for this infraction – an example being Bartomeu Crespi and the ‘fembra peccadriu’ Johanna, who were together fined 22 sous for being “amich and amiga, staying in the public brothel”. This amusing article in the journal Speculum examines why the city authorities had an issue with this and why many lower-class men and women broke this law so they could be together. Read full article here

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