I therefore, my friends and messmates, have not, as is said in the Auræ of Metagenes, or in the Mammacythus of Aristagoras,
Told you of female dancers, courtesansbut I have been speaking of regular professional Hetæræ— that is to say, of those who are able to preserve a friendship free from trickery; whom Cynulcus does not venture to speak ill of, and who of all women are the only ones who have derived their name from friendship, or from that goddess who is named by the Athenians Venus Hetæra: concerning whom Apollodorus the Athenian speaks, in his treatise on the Gods, in the following manner:—“And they worship Venus Hetæra, who brings together male and female companions (ἑταίρους καὶ ἑταίρας）—that is to say, mistresses.” Accordingly, even to this day, freeborn women and maidens call their associates and friends their ἑταῖραι; as Sappho does, where she says—
Who once were fair; and now I do not tell you
Of flute-playing girls, just reaching womanhood,
Who not unwillingly, for adequate pay,
Have borne the love of vulgar men;
And now with tuneful voice I'll singAnd in another place she says—
These pleasing songs to my companions (ἑταίραις).
Niobe and Latona were of old[p. 914] They also call women who prostitute themselves for money, ἑταῖραι. And the verb which they use for prostituting oneself for money is ἑταιρέω, not regarding the etymology of the word, but applying a more decent term to the trade; as Menander, in his Deposit, distinguishing the ἑταῖροι from the ἑταῖραι, says—
Affectionate companions (ἑταῖραι) to each other.