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[16]

Now the sacred rites of the Persians, one and all, are held in honor by both the Medes and the Armenians; but those of Anaïtis are held in exceptional honor by the Armenians, who have built temples in her honor in different places, and especially in Acilisene. Here they dedicate to her service male and female slaves. This, indeed, is not a remarkable thing; but the most illustrious men of the tribe actually consecrate to her their daughters while maidens; and it is the custom for these first to be prostituted in the temple of the goddess for a long time and after this to be given in marriage; and no one disdains to live in wedlock with such a woman. Something of this kind is told also by Herodotus1 in his account of the Lydian women, who, one and all, he says, prostitute themselves. And they are so kindly disposed to their paramours that they not only entertain them hospitably but also exchange presents with them, often giving more than they receive, inasmuch as the girls from wealthy homes are supplied with means. However, they do not admit any man that comes along, but preferably those of equal rank with themselves.

1 1. 93, 199.

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load focus English (H.C. Hamilton, Esq., W. Falconer, M.A., 1903)
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