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Who invented the chastity belt?

September 11 2010

Around the chastity belt was always hovered a lot of myths. Many believe that heavy metal shackles put on their wives, knights, going to the Crusades, so missus not to disgrace the name and honor of her husband, fighting on the battlefield.

In fact, however, until the 15 th century there was no evidence of the existence of chastity belt. For the first time about them mentioned only in the Renaissance, after more than a hundred years after the last crusade. And, in fact, the use of chastity belt in the Middle Ages, if such cases do have a place to be, it would be very limited.

First, the knights in such campaigns are usually killed (in one of the campaigns involved 300,000 knights, of whom 260,000 have died from plague and other diseases, 20,000 were killed in action, and only 20,000 have returned home). And most importantly - chastity belt could not be more than a few days: the friction of iron on the skin, and even combined with the constant pollution in this place, would have caused blood poisoning.

The first mention of the chastity belt is dated 15 th century. The book «Bellifortis», written in 1405 by Conrad Kaiser von Eyshtattom contains graphic with the comment "This is a heavy iron girdle, which is close women of Florence. The text also mentioned and other Italian cities - Rome, Venice, Milan, Bergamo - as places where chastity belt. Nevertheless, there is no confirmation that the reference is not an invention of the author.

In 1889, the belt of leather and iron, found a German antiquarian AM Pahinger. His find, he discovered in the Austrian city of Linz on the skeleton in the grave young woman. The woman was buried in about the 12th century. Pahinger, however, could not find a record of the funeral of a woman in the city archives. Much of the collection of antiquarian and including belt has been lost.

Later in the Paris National Museum of the Middle Ages were exposed to two belts.

The first was a simple velvet-covered hoop and plate of iron. It is assumed that it was of Catherine de 'Medici. The second probably belonged to Anne of Austria. It was made of two plates on hinges, attached to the waist with metal straps. Anna had a belt engraved Adam and Eve. There are other similar zones in Nuremberg, and London. Most belts are not on display, as their authenticity is questionable.

It is curious that more than 200 years of chastity belt used in "medical purposes". Since the 1700th to 1930th Western doctors were convinced: Masturbation is injurious to health! In the medical journals of this period are quite common recipes of treatment and prevention of this "ailment". In particular, the doctor advised to wear a chastity belt on teenagers, so they are not subjected to the "devil's temptation." In the U.S. Patent Office received a number of projects before the chastity belt in the early 1930's masturbation ceased to be a problem of mental health.

Xenia Obraztsova

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