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Document Details :
Title: Byzantinische Prostituierte
Subtitle: Zwischen Marginalisierung und Reintegration in die Gesellschaft
Author(s): ARIANTZI, Despoina
Volume: 91 Date: 2021
This article examines forms of social marginalization and reintegration of Byzantine prostitutes documented in saint’s lives and other narrative sources dating between the fifth and the twelfth centuries. The process of marginalization of outsider groups in Byzantium plays out like in other societies on two different levels. The first one comprises official attitudes expressed in public statements, judgments, and regulations issued by secular or ecclesiastical authorities, i.e., the two chief pillars of the Byzantine state. The second results from social conventions and behavioral patterns prevailing among 'normal' people, as well as the attitudes the latter adopt vis-à-vis outsider groups. The sources examined in this article describe perceptions, norms, and actions which reflect two different types of interaction between prostitutes and members of various social groups or saintly figures. By analyzing these encounters, the present article seeks to answer a set of crucial questions lying at the heart of almost all socio-historical studies devoted to outsiders, subcultures, and marginalized people: What were the main mechanisms of marginalization and reintegration of prostitutes in Byzantine society? How were prostitutes perceived in various genres of Byzantine narrative texts? What typological features of prostitutes behaviour can be observed?