What role did prostitutes play in the ancient city of Pompeii, where brothels were legal?


Pompeii , an ancient Roman city that flourished around the 1st century in Italy, brothels were operated as a legal service. Sara E. Bond, a professor of history at the University of Iowa, and Margaret Johnson, a professor of classical studies at the University of Newcastle, summarize the role of prostitutes in ancient cities.

The Brothels of Ancient Pompeii | History Today

The grim reality of the brothels of Pompeii

In 1862, archaeologists unearthed the ruins of a two-story brothel between the square of Pompeii and the commercial area in Naples, Italy. When Mark Twain , author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, visited the ruins of a brothel excavated in 1867, 'female tourists avoid the ruins of a brothel because of the vivid murals. '.

In the corridor of the brothel, there were pictures of people visiting and working at the brothel. The brothel was renovated in 2006 and has been visited by thousands of tourists, both male and female, since it was opened to the public.

In the ancient city of Pompeii, brothels were mainly used by men, but it seems that not only women but also men worked as prostitutes. Men and women of prostitutes were slaves, and while marketing services such as sexual activity, they were also expected to serve customers through talks such as small talk and bragging stories. It is also believed that he was tortured, including sexual assault and beatings.

The brothel at that time also served as an inn, restaurant, and tavern. It was suggested that the room where the sexual activity was taking place was separated by something like a curtain rather than a door, and the bed was made of stone.

In Pompeii around the 1st century, sexual services were an integral part of society, especially for successful marriage. For example, marriages in the elite were arranged primarily to give birth to a successor, so a minority of husbands sought sexual pleasure from their wives. Rather, because of his respect for his wife, men did not expect him to have sexual intercourse solely for pleasure. Sexual activity in brothels was used not only to maintain the reputation and masculinity of adult men, but also to maintain the social and moral nature of the marriage system.

Sarah Levin Richardson covered the ruins of a brothel in Pompeii and analyzed the physical and emotional experiences that took place in the area, The Brothel of Pompeii: Sex, Class, and Gender at the Margins. of Roman Society ”is published. In his book, Richardson appeals to readers about the harsh reality of brothel slavery and human trafficking.

Amazon | The Brothel of Pompeii: Sex, Class, and Gender at the Margins of Roman Society | Sarah Levin-Richardson | History

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