The History of Prostitution

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CHAPTER I.



THE JEWS.



Prostitution coeval with Society.-Prostitutes in the Eighteenth Century B.C.-Tamar and Judah.-Legislation of Moses.-Syrian Women.-Rites of Moloch.-Groves.-Social Condition of Jewish Harlots.-Description by Solomon.-The Jews of Babylon.

Our earliest acquaintance with the human race discloses some sort of society established. It also reveals the existence of a marriage tie, varying in stringency and incidental effects according to climate, morals, religion, or accident, but every where essentially subversive of a system of promiscuous intercourse. No nation, it is believed, has ever been reported by a trustworthy traveler, on sufficient evidence, to have held its women generally in common. Still there appear to have been in every age men who did not avail themselves of the marriage covenant, or who could not be bound by its stipulations, and their appetites created a demand for illegitimate pleasures, which female weakness supplied. This may be assumed to be the real origin of prostitution throughout the world, though in particular localities this first cause has been assisted by female avarice or passion, religious superstition, or a mistaken sense of hospitality.

Accordingly, prostitution is coeval with society. It stains the earliest mythological records. It is constantly assumed as an existing fact in Biblical history. We can trace it from the earliest twilight in which history dawns to the clear daylight of to-day, without a pause or a moment of obscurity.

Our most ancient historical record is believed to be the Books of Moses. According to them, it must be admitted that prostitutes were common among the Jews in the eighteenth century before Christ.

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