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By B. Ann Tlusty

Lining the streets contained in the city's gates, clustered in its middle, and thinly scattered between its again quarters have been Augsburg's taverns and consuming rooms. those associations ranged from the poorly lit rooms of backstreet wine to the frilly marble halls frequented by means of society's such a lot privileged participants. city ingesting rooms supplied greater than foodstuff, drink, and accommodation for his or her visitors. additionally they conferred upon their viewers a feeling of social identification commensurate with their prestige. like several German towns, Augsburg throughout the 16th and 17th centuries had a background formed via the political occasions attending the Reformation, the post-Reformation, and the Thirty Years' conflict; its social and political personality was once additionally mirrored and supported by way of its private and non-private consuming rooms.

In Bacchus and Civic Order: The tradition of Drink in Early smooth Germany, Ann Tlusty examines the social and cultural services served by means of consuming and tavern lifestyles in Germany among 1500 and 1700, and demanding situations present theories approximately city id, sociability, and gear. via her reconstruction of the social historical past of Augsburg, from beggars to council contributors, Tlusty additionally sheds mild on such different themes as social ritual, gender and loved ones relatives, scientific perform, and the worries of civic leaders with public overall healthiness and poverty. Drunkenness, dueling, and other kinds of tavern comportment which could seem ''disorderly'' to us at the present time change into the inevitable, even fascinating results of a society functioning in response to its personal rules.

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23 The power of the wealthy innkeepers at the end of the sixteenth century was sufficient to allow them to represent themselves as an institution with exclusive rights to public hospitality on the Wine Market. When the former wine clerk (Weinschreiber)24 Elias Mair requested a license for an inn on the Wine Market in , the six existing innkeepers petitioned against the new establishment. Mair responded by claiming that their facilities were not sufficient to meet the needs of the many wine merchants who traded at the market, and they were especially inadequate for stabling their horses.

Particularly during the years before the war, many struggling craftsmen in need of supplemental income ran wine taverns on a temporary basis in addition to practicing their 39 Augsburg’s Tavern Keepers craft. Anyone who could afford to purchase a stock of wine and provide beds and stables for guests could obtain a license to operate a wine tavern; all that remained was taking the required civic oath to serve only unadulterated, properly taxed wine; paying a fee to the city; and hanging a sign over the door.

34 It is no surprise, then, that the Lords’ Drinking Room served not only as a social center but as a potential hub of political power. The membership of the Lords’ Drinking Room Society was more broadly defined than the membership of the patriciate. The patrician class, with few exceptions, was closed to new members from the end of the s until . 35 Membership in the Lords’ Drinking Room, although still an extremely restricted society, was somewhat more accessible. In addition to Augsburg patricians, membership was open to titled nobility and patricians from the imperial cities of Strasbourg, Nuremberg, and Ulm, and to those who married into the society.

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