Ancient Near East
Images & Art
Maps & Geography
Mythology & Beliefs
People in History
Timelines & Charts
Beer Houses and Brothels
Kings and the wealthy lived luxuriously and spent much time feasting. This is made very clear on the excavated Assyrian reliefs. The citizens spent most the time working their farms or other form of labor, and often spent their social life at the "beer houses" and the "brothels." There were lots of small beer houses and they were usually managed by women. There was a large variety of beers and especially wines available and it is evident that there was much drunkenness and prostitution.
Hammurapiís code of laws, for example, provides for the protection of drunk customers against extortion by the management.
Love and sex was very common and practiced everywhere, even in the streets, the parks, and the public squares. In the Gilgamesh Epic (first tablet) there is dramatic detail of an affair between Enkidu and the prostitute. There were even many devices created, especially among the Babylonian's, that prevented pregnancy.
The brothels were literally called "places of pleasure" or "Phallos-Houses." There were two known kinds of prostitutes, the street harlots and the brothel harlots. It is not known exactly what the fee was, but it was clearly an occupation and the fee was satisfactory for the prostitute.
"To give the people an example of the power of Ashur, my lord, I hung the heads of Sanduarri and Abdi-Milkutti round the necks of their most prominent citizens, whom, thus adorned, I made walk in procession along the streets of Nineveh, to the strains of singers accompanying themselves on harps." [King Essarhaddon]
Ancient Assyrian Social Structure
The Story of the Bible
© Bible History Online (http://www.bible-history.com)