Defiled Trades and Social Outcasts: Honor and Ritual Pollution in Early Modern Germany (Cambridge Studies in Early Modern History)

  • Publish Date: 2006-11-02
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: Kathy Stuart
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This book presents a social and cultural history of dishonorable people (unehrliche Leute), an outcast group in early modern Germany. Executioners, skinners, grave-diggers, shepherds, barber-surgeons, millers, linen-weavers, sow-gelders, latrine-cleaners, and bailiffs were among the dishonorable by virtue of their trades. It shows the extent to which dishonor determined the life chances and self-identity of these people. Taking Augsburg as a prime example, it investigates how honorable estates interacted with dishonorable people, and shows how the pollution anxieties of early modern Germans structured social and political relations within honorable society.