Dirty story

Dirty story

How does the toilet Chukchi? These are two sticks. One - to hang a fur coat, the other - to drive away wolves. Laughing at the Chukchi? Then ask, what did the Europeans toilet look like some 200 years ago? No way! He was not there at all. And a toothbrush, and deodorant, and toilet paper. How did the Europeans observe hygiene and who was called “God's pearls”?

Unwashed Europe was in the Middle Ages. So many people think. And they are mistaken. On the contrary, until the 15th – 16th centuries, the Europeans still washed. Unforgivably often - once every six months. And in the Renaissance, paradoxically, they left this “nasty” habit altogether. The traditions of ancient Rome with its cult of water and the famous terms were forgotten.

Louis XIV washed only twice in his life. And after each healer, so that the courtiers prepared a will. The same “record” - for Queen Isabella of Castile, who was terribly proud that the water touched her body for the first time - at baptism, and the second - before the wedding

For the Slavs, ablutions had not so much hygienic as sacral meaning. Bath is generally our national project. She and soap, and warmed, and sins forgiven.But in Russia there were no problems with firewood. Not like in Europe. What was there, even for the Inquisitorial fires, there was not enough firewood. And this is holy, not like your hygiene.

Do not steal, do not kill, do not wash


A woman takes a bath with a cup of chocolate. Unknown artist. France, XVII century


Matrimonial bath. Memo di Filippucho. Fresco. Around 1320

And it would be fine if only firewood. The Catholic Church forbade any ablution except those that occur during baptism (which was to wash the Christian once and for all) and before the wedding. All this, of course, had nothing to do with hygiene. It was also believed that when a body is immersed in water, especially in hot water, pores open through which water enters the body, which then will not find a way out. Therefore, ostensibly the body becomes vulnerable to infections. This is understandable, because in the same water everything was washed - from the cardinal to the cook. So after the water treatments, the Europeans were really sick. And much.

Louis XIV washed only twice in his life. And after each healer, so that the courtiers prepared a will. The same “record” is with Queen Isabella of Castile, who was terribly proud that the water touched her body for the first time - at baptism, and the second - before the wedding.

The church prescribed not to care about the body, but about the soul, therefore for the hermits the dirt was a virtue, and nudity was a shame (to see the body, not only someone else’s, but also one’s own, sin). Therefore, if washed, then in shirts (this habit will continue until the end of the XIX century).

Lady with a dog


Hunting. Gerrit van Honthorst. 1628


A woman looking for fleas. Giuseppe Maria Crespi


fleahead, eighteenth century


A woman looking for fleas. Giovanni Battista Piazzetta

Lice were called "pearls of God" and considered a sign of holiness. The troubadours in love took off the fleas and sat down on the lady of the heart so that the blood, mixed in the insect's stomach, united the hearts of the sweet couple. In spite of all their “holiness”, the insects of the people did reach. That is why everyone had with him a flea dog or a small dog (in the case of women). So, dear girls, carrying with them a pocket dog in a pink blanket, remember where the tradition came from.

Lice were disposed of differently. Soaked a piece of fur in the blood and honey, and then put it in the hair. Sensing the smell of blood, insects had to rush to the bait and get stuck in honey. They also wore silk underwear, which, by the way, became popular precisely because of its “slipperiness”. “God's pearls” could not cling to such a smooth fabric.This is what! Hoping to escape lice, many practiced a more radical way - mercury. She rubbed into the scalp, and sometimes ate. True, people were dying from this in the first place, not lice.

National unity


Illustration from the book Awnings


Public toilet for ladies. Figure 1788 from the collection of the British Library


Typical medieval toilet in a knight's castle


Medieval toilets

In 1911, archaeologists excavated ancient buildings of baked bricks. These were the walls of the fortress of Mohenjo-Daro - the most ancient city of the Indus Valley, which emerged in about 2600 BC. er Strange holes around the perimeter of the buildings were toilets. The oldest found.

Then the toilets, or latrins, will be with the Romans. Neither in Mohenjo-Daro, nor in the Queen of the Waters (Ancient Rome), by the way, they did not involve solitude. Sitting on their “pushes” located along the perimeter of the hall opposite each other (just as the metro seats are arranged today), the ancient Romans indulged in conversations about Stoicism or Seneca's epigrams.

At the end of the XIII century in Paris, a law was issued that, pouring out a chamber pot from a window, you need to shout: “Be careful, water!”

In Medieval Europe there were no toilets at all.Only the highest nobility. And that is very rare and the most primitive. It is said that the French royal court periodically moved from castle to castle because there was literally nothing to breathe in the old one. Human waste was everywhere: at the door, on the balconies, in the courtyards, under the windows. With the quality of medieval food and unsanitary conditions, diarrhea was a common thing - you just could not reach the toilet.

At the end of the XIII century in Paris, a law was issued that, pouring out a chamber pot from a window, you need to shout: "Caution, water!". Even the fashion for wide-brimmed hats appeared supposedly only to protect expensive clothes and wigs from what was flying from above. According to the descriptions of many guests in Paris, such as Leonardo da Vinci, there was a terrible stench in the streets. What is there in the city - in the Versailles! Once there, the people tried not to go out until they met with the king. There were no toilets, so the "little Venice" smelled not like roses. At the very Louis XIV, however, was a closet. The Sun King could ride him, even receiving guests. To be present at the toilet of high-ranking persons in general was considered to be “honorable Kausa” (especially honorable).


The Battle of Maslenitsa and Fasting - Painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1559)

The first public toilet in Paris appeared only in the XIX century. But it was intended exclusively ... for men. In Russia, public restrooms appeared under Peter I. But also for courtiers only. True, both sexes.

A 100 years ago, the Spanish campaign began to electrify the country. It was called simple and clear - "Toilet". Translated from Spanish, this means "unity." Other earthenware products were also produced together with insulators. Those whose descendants are now in every home are toilet bowls. The first toilet bowl with a flush cistern, in the late 16th century, was invented by the courtier of the English royal court, John Harington. But the water closet was not popular - due to the high cost and lack of sewage.

And tooth powder, and thick scallop


The lady behind the toilet. Francois Boucher


First deodorant


Vintage Toothbrushes

If there were no such benefits of civilization as an elementary toilet and a bath, then there is no need to speak about a toothbrush and deodorant. Although sometimes for brushing used brushes from branches. In Kievan Rus, in oak, in the Middle East and in South Asia, it is made of arak wood.In Europe, used cloths. And even if the teeth were not cleaned. True, a toothbrush was invented in Europe, and more precisely, in England. In 1770, it came up with William Addison. But mass production was not immediately - in the XIX century. At the same time, tooth powder was invented.

And what about toilet paper? Nothing, of course. In ancient Rome, it was replaced by sponges soaked in salt water, which were attached to the long arm. In America, corn cobs, and Muslims have plain water. In Medieval Europe and in Russia, common people used leaves, grass and moss. Know used silk cloth.

It is believed that the spirits were invented only in order to drown out the eerie street stench. Like it or not - is unknown for certain. But the cosmetic, which now would be called a deodorant, appeared in Europe only in the 1880s. True, as early as the 9th century, someone Ziryab proposed using deodorant (apparently, of its own production) in Iberia in Mauritania (parts of modern France, Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar), but no one paid attention to this.

But in ancient times, people understood: if you remove the hair in the armpit - the smell of sweat will not be so strong.The same if to wash them. But in Europe, as we have said, this was not practiced. As for depilation, the hair on the female body did not irritate anyone until the 1920s. Only then did European ladies think for the first time: to shave or not to shave.

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