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chasity-belts-msg - 9/12/97


Chasity belts in the Middle Ages.


NOTE: See also the files: belts-msg, punishments-msg, jewelry-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given  by the individual authors.


Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear  at this time. If  information  is published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: destry at netcom.com (Fellwalker)

Subject: Re: documenting chastity belts

Date: Fri, 6 Jan 1995 00:14:06 GMT


Peter Volk (qmpvolk at dingo.cc.uq.oz.au) wrote:

: I'm trying to assemble a paper on chastity belts - not your standard

: bunch of titillating recycled myths and 500 year old jokes, but something

: from reliable sources. So far I am having absolutely no luck whatsoever.

: No major library or Museum in Australia seems to have anything they

: consider to be reliable info on this subject. (Not too surprising.

: Chastity never caught on down here :-)


: If anyone can recommend me a source or reference on this subject that

: wasn't put together for a joke or as an exercise in erotica, I would be

: very greatful. Failing this, if you can pass on any interesting bits of

: info you have on this subject, perhaps I can salvage something from the

: subject after all. (maybe I can call it "Collected gossip and rumour on

: chastity belts...)


    I haven't seen the original source, but I know chastity belts are

briefly mentioned in Le Seigneur de Brantome's (lives of Fair and Gallant

Ladies) "Vies des dames gallants"  (late 1500's)


--  ...with rings on her fingers and bells on her toes... <destry at netcom.com>



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: documenting chastity belts

From: amethysta at eric.stonemarche.org (Amethysta of Kensingto)

Date: Mon, 09 Jan 95 01:08:51 EST


David/Cariadoc writes:


> 2. So far as I can determine, there are no medieval chastity belts

> surviving.


> 3. So far as I could determine, the first reference to such a thing

> was fairly late in our period, in a German book--I would guess c.

> 1500.


        There is a chastity belt at the Higgin's Armory in Mass. I don't

remember if it was an actual medieval item or some kind of

reconstruction. Can anyone from over that way help my memory?




From: markh at risc.sps.mot.com (Mark Harris)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Chasity Belts

Date: 16 Apr 1995 18:21:25 -0500

Organization: Motorola, Inc. -- Austin,TX

Summary: A book on chasity belts.


Greetings to those wandering upon this bridge,


A while back there was a thread on chasity belts. At the time,

I mentioned I had a book on the subject but it took me a while to

uncover it. Anyway, here's the citation:


The Girdle of Chasity, A History of the Chasity Belt. by Dr. Erie

John Dingwall, ISBN 1-56619-031-2 Dorset Press 1992.


about 168 pages. It does include footnotes and photographs. Most

of the surviving devices appear to be late in period, but the author

details a number of contemporary reports many dating to earlier times.

A lot of the book deals with the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries as

well as medieval times.


Stefan li Rous

Barony of Bryn Gwlad




Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: svanwie at davlin.net (Stonewall Van Wie III)

Subject: Re: wanted chastity belt

Date: Mon, 15 Jan 1996 05:46:50 GMT

Organization: ABSnet Internet Services, Inc. - info at abs.net - (410)-361-8160


Blankenshield Armoury carries one in their catalogue.  It is modeled after one

in the Henry VII collection.  They say it is a hot seller???????



Stonewall Van Wie III        svanwie at davlin.net

Office: (512) 886-1491

Home: (512) 985-2855          FAX:(512) 985-2855

SnailMail: 414 Monette Dr., Corpus Christi, TX 78412



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: wanted chastity belt

From: amethysta at eric.stonemarche.org (Amethysta of Kensingto)

Date: Sat, 20 Jan 96 12:07:46 EST

Organization: ENTROPY


Melanie de la Tour wrote:


> On Tue, 16 Jan 1996, Conrad Leviston wrote:


> >    It was my understanding that chastity belts were the invention of a

> > twisted mind whose only supporting evidence were eighteenth century fakes.

> > Can somebody give me reliable sources if I am wrong. I got my information

> > off a T.V. show on the Crusades by Terry Jones.

> >

>     Please, if anyone has a period reference, let us know.


There is an example of a medieval chastity belt at the Higgin's Armory in

Worchester, Mass. I seem to remember that they described it as being

somthing akin to a joke gift, existing but not really used.




From: ddfr at best.com (David Friedman)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: wanted chastity belt

Date: 22 Jan 1996 17:06:29 GMT

Organization: Best Internet Communications


As I think I posted the last time this issue came around, my memory, from

researching the question a few years back, is that there is a drawing of a

chastity belt in a German book within our period--maybe late fifteenth or

sixteenth century. Whether the object really existed I do not know. I have

never come across any references to it in medieval literature, which

suggests that if it existed it was uncommon.




ddfr at best.com



From: nqf2312 at is2.nyu.edu (Norman J. Finkelshteyn)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: wanted chastity belt

Date: 23 Jan 1996 20:25:00 GMT

Organization: New York University


Elaine Ragland (er37 at columbia.edu) wrote:

: On Tue, 16 Jan 1996, Conrad Leviston wrote:


: >    It was my understanding that chastity belts were the invention of a

: > twisted mind whose only supporting evidence were eighteenth century fakes.

: > Can somebody give me reliable sources if I am wrong. I got my information

: > off a T.V. show on the Crusades by Terry Jones.


I saw that show, even bought the companion book. I don't remember that quote.


:     Thank you.  I was hoping someone would point this out.  The

: antique dealers I know confirm this.  All the extant chastity belts are

: Victorian.  


That's not true (see below)


:     Also, I don't recall ever seeing a reference to a chastity belt

: anywhere in medieval literature.  I know that this is an argument from

: silence, but there are medieval gynecological manuals, which would

: certainly refer to such an object.

:     Please, if anyone has a period reference, let us know.

:                       Melanie de la Tour


Michael Leitner, the master of Marcan Armoury (to whom I was aprenticed

when he armoured at the Ren. Faire at Tuxedo NY), carried a replica of an

existing 15-16 century piece.

In London, when I visited the "Clink" (the prison which spawned the slang

word for all prisons) I saw a replica of the same original, done by the

fellow who runs the Clink's museum (he bills himself as the only

authentic armourer in England).


I'm sorry that I've forgotten which collection they both saw it in, but

it does exist.


As to the person who posted originally, remember they were invented as,

essentially devices of torture - devices to keep women servile and

humble. To "Keep them in their place".

Hence, it's bloody unlikely that you can find one that's both comfotible

and at all authentic.


Sides, it's pretty useless for giving more authenticity to gear since

generally folks wont see it (unless its the obliging armourer, come to

your bower to give you comfort while your husband's gone to war).


I personally recomend that you perfect your kit down to shoes and ribbons

and get your camp perfect before you even look into this siliness.

(unless you are just doing it for kicks like another poster thought, then

have fun).





From: "ysabeau" <ysabeau at mail.interquest.de>

To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG

Date: Wed, 23 Jul 1997 07:38:08 +0000

Subject: Re: Condoms


> From:         Tim McDaniel <tmcd at crl.com>


> On Mon, 21 Jul 1997 galenbv at ix.netcom.com wrote:

> > So how about a compromise, and we have the chiurgeons stock up on

> > chastity belts?


> 1) Do you have solid documentation of their existance, much less their

> use, in period?


Just visited the Kriminal Museum in Rothenburg  Ob Der Tauber and saw

the real thing, with accompanying books declaring when (according to

the law) they were to used as a discipline device for wayward wives

or when there was the threat of rape. Further details available if

you want. You should see what they did to bakers who baked their

bread light!


Ysabeau of Prague

Lisa Sawyer

Ysabeau at interquest.de



<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org