chapter  6
14 Pages

Clothing Courtesans: Fabrics, Signals, and Experiences

This exploration of clothing forms part of my broader research into the material culture, economic strategies and professional relationships of women who prostituted themselves in late sixteenth-and early seventeenth-century Rome. My analysis draws to a great extent on a micro-historical approach to the use of court records, using single cases as clues to a broader paradigm of experience. Yet I couple this with a quantitative analysis of some 124 notarial documents relating to the material possessions of courtesans, drawn up between 1594 and 1609 in Rome.1