1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

Other guild material

Discussion in 'Research' started by skip.knox, Jan 26, 2022.

  1. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    As with my other post, though here I'll put any other tidbits I think folks might find of interest. It's very nearly the notes as I took them, edited a bit for clarity.

    This first is about bathhouse keepers. It's from Deutsches Badewesen in vergangenen Tagen, by Alfred Martin. In case anyone cares. <g>

    Bathhouses were public buildings, like mills, bakeries, slaughterhouses, and the like; that is, they were privileged and the creation of a bathhouse required a government grant or license [64]. Baders thus were often servants, with Leibeigenschaft. In some places the boys and maids were paid directly from the city treasury. Other places leased the Stube (rooms) to the Bader [67]. Baders were granted permission to fell trees, or were exempted from the wood tax. They were required to heat the Stube on prescribed days. In 1347, in Augsburg, Baders and Barbers were exempted from all public duties so they might be able to pursue their profession day and night. In some towns the Baders were responsible for keeping on hand a supply of water for fires.

    Bathhouses had water baths and steam baths, and also toilets. The lines between Badern and Barbers were always drawn but were never clear and consistent.

    Combs and brushes were common. After shaving came washing the head. Washing the head was important and was required part of certain monastic regimes.

    Schröpfen (bleeding) was closely associated with Bathhouses and the service was sometimes included in the price of the bath. Haircutters (Scherern) were not allowed to do bleeding.

    Aderlassen was the opening of a vein in the arm. [79] Schröpfen was often done with a horn that funneled the blood out. [80]

    Bathhouse employees might include women. The Knecht (journeyman) cut hair, did bleeding and surgery, and other functions. The Bader stood very low on the social ladder and could never attain a high degree of respectability. It was generally agreed that married couples could bathe together, singles could not. Some places were strictly for women and run by them. Others were for women but were staffed by men.

    Baders came from low status. In the 17th century some guilds managed to get the stain removed by city decree. Imperial ordinances to this effect were passed in 1548 and 1577. Augsburg’s first Lutheran preacher, Dr Frost, married the daughter of a poor Bader in 1525. And some Badern struggled against their low social status. The fundamental difference between a Bader and a Scherer (barber) is that the latter had no bathhouse. There were many difficulties in keeping the two crafts distinct.

    The bathhouse could double as a hospital in cases of individual or common necessity. It also served as a first-aid station, where the wounded were brought before being passed on to a surgeon proper.

    In Nuremberg a Bader could cut hair only if the customer actually bathed and washed there.

    Home baths ranged from wooden tubs to spectacular indoor pools such as the one at the Fuggerpalast in Augsburg.

    Baths were publicly advertised by criers who sang jingles. Some rang bells too. They also hung out signs. Inside the bath, little or nothing was worn, so clothes were kept in a special dressing room. Heating water was usually by an oven. Some places even had running hot and cold water.

    Some bathhouses had no water but were only steambaths, with air heated by hot stones--a sauna.

    A bathhouse produced unhealthy wastes. In some places, windows were not allowed. The waste water was not allowed to run open through the city, but had to go underground.

    Badern also gave massages.

    Workers went to the baths each weekend.

    Customers not only paid for the bath, they paid for massage, haircut, and paid the various attendants what can only be called tips. Prices were in pennies and heller. At the bath there was also music, singing, dancing, drinking. Even some hairdressing.

    The bathhouse was only open during certain days of the week. A “marriage bath” was a general custom. There was a meal and dancing as well as the bathing. It could be before or after the marriage.

    The rising price and scarcity of wood drove up operating expenses in the 16th century.

    That's all. Fairly random, but plenty of nuggets.
  2. Prince of Spires

    Prince of Spires Archmage

    Thanks for the fairly random nuggets. It's a great insight into an unexplored (from a fiction point of view) piece of medieval culture.
    skip.knox likes this.
  3. Rosemary Tea

    Rosemary Tea Archmage

    Hmmm, this is giving me some ideas! Not sure what to do with them yet....
    skip.knox likes this.

Share This Page