previous next

And did not Themistocles, as Idomeneus relates, harness a chariot full of courtesans and drive with them into the city when the market was full? And the courtesans were Lamia and Scione and Satyra and Nannium. And was not Themistocles himself the son of a courtesan, whose name was Abrotonum? as Amphicrates relates in his treatise on Illustrious Men—
Abrotonum was but a Thracian woman,
But for the weal of Greece
She was the mother of the great Themistocles.
But Neanthes of Cyzicus, in his third and fourth books of his History of Grecian Affairs, says that he was the son of Euterpe.

And when Cyrus the younger was making his expedition against his brother, did he not carry with him a courtesan of Phocæa, who was a very clever and very beautiful woman? and Zenophanes says that her name was originally Milto, but that it was afterwards changed to Aspasia. And a Milesian concubine also accompanied him. And did not the great Alexander keep Thais about him, who was an Athenian courtesan? And Clitarchus speaks of her as having been the [p. 922] cause that the palace of Persepolis was burnt down. And this Thais, after the death of Alexander, married Ptolemy, who became the first king of Egypt, and she bore him sons, Leontiscus and Lagos, and a daughter named Irene, who was married to Eunostus, the king of Soli, a town of Cyprus. And the second king of Egypt, Ptolemy Philadelphus by name, as Ptolemy Euergetes relates in the third book of his Commentaries, had a great many mistresses,—namely, Didyma, who was a native of the country, and very beautiful; and Bilisticha; and, besides them, Agathoclea, and Stratonice, who had a great monument on the sea-shore, near Eleusis; and Myrtium, and a great many more; as he was a man excessively addicted to amatory pleasures. And Polybius, in the fourteenth book of his History, says that there are a great many statues of a woman named Clino, who was his cupbearer, in Alexandria, clothed in a tunic only, and holding a cornucopia in her hand. “And are not,” says he, “the finest houses called by the names of Myrtium, and Mnesis, and Pothina? and yet Mnesis was only a female flute-player, and so was Pothine, and Myrtium was one of the most notorious and common prostitutes in the city.”

Was there not also Agathoclea the courtesan, who had great power over king Ptolemy Philopator? in fact, was it not she who was the ruin of his whole kingdom? And Eumachus the Neapolitan, in the second book of his History of Hannibal, says that Hieronymus, the tyrant of Syracuse, fell in love with one of the common prostitutes who followed her trade in a brothel, whose name was Pitho, and married her, and made her queen of Syracuse.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (Kaibel)
load focus Greek (Charles Burton Gulick, 1927)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: