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Report No. 64

2.5. Prostitution in ancient civilisations.-

As is shown by the discussion in Chamber's Encyclopaedia,1 religious prostitution was a feature of many ancient civilisations, including those of Persia, Babylonia, Assyria, Egypt and Phoenicia. Among most of these peoples the priests and priestesses were a special class of prostitutes. In Babylonia, however, a compulsory single act of prostitution was required of every woman as part of the worship of the goddess Mylitta. The most plausible explanation of religious prostitution is the belief of the ancients that benefits would be conferred on any one who had intercourse with a god or with one of the god's servitors.2

1. Chambers Encyclopaedia, (1961), Vol. II, p. 257.

2. Chambers Encyclopaedia, (1961), Vol. II, p. 257.



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