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History of England
Middle Ages
Berlin Wall

Did medieval people keep clean?

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November 25, 2010 10:57PM

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Medieval people were very clean. They believed that you could tell the condition of people's souls by the way they kept their bodies; cleanliness is next to godliness. Cities, towns, and larger villages had public baths, where people bathed in wooden tubs. It seems this was all done without regard to sex, and the Church was always at odds with itself over the benefits of people being clean versus the benefits of their being modest.

The Renaissance brought perfume, and the reformation brought repression. The result was that people gave up cleanliness and talked about how bad things used to be.

The link below is to a section of a Wikipedia article dealing with the history of bathing in the West.

Actually, medieval Europeans were very suspicious of bathing. They associated it with Roman pagans. They did have baths, but those were not for keeping clean. I don't know how old you are, but medieval baths were places where people did naughty things.