Through the course of the proceedings, Neaira’s life was detailed, and it tells a very different tale to the comparatively glamorous accounts of Aspasia’s time with Pericles.
As a little girl, Neaira was sold to a woman by the name of Nicarete and trained as a sex worker in her brothel in Corinth (in southern Greece). She must, of necessity, smile so that the men present may see what an elegant mouth she has.
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While Aspasia may not have been a typical hetaira, but rather an exceptionally successful and fortunate one, there is ancient evidence to attest that this class of women was educated in literary arts, philosophy, and rhetoric.
In this sense, they could converse with men in a way that traditional wives could not, owing to the limited access to formal education afforded Athenian girls and women of citizen families. From a wealthy family from Miletus (in modern-day Turkey), she seems to have acquired her extensive education through virtue of their prominence and her father’s decision to allow her tuition.
When the Athenian politician Pericles delivered his famous Funeral Oration at the end of the first year of the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC), commemorating those who had fallen during the course of the year, a rumour emerged that his companion, Aspasia was the real author.
The claim was made by no other than Socrates, whose testimony was recorded by Plato.
As with females, youthful men were the most desired, with a preference for those between the ages of 12 to 17.
These young men also worked alongside the women often referred to as “flute girls” at the male gatherings called symposia. If reading things about what gay men do sexually with one another bothers you - you should not read this blog. And baby, trust me - I am gonna spill it all over your pretty little party dress. In an extract preserved from a comic play from the 4th or 3rd century BC, the lengths to which a pimp would go to alter the appearance and behaviour of new girls is recorded: One girl happens to be small? Once courted by elite men, and described as having a haughty disposition, the aged Lais is depicted in this comedic passage as roaming the streets, taking on any client she could get, and having become “so tame …Cork is stitched to the sole of her delicate shoes. She wears a flat slipper, and goes out drooping her head on her shoulders, thus taking away some of her height. She puts on a girdle with padded hips under her clothes so that men, on seeing her beautiful derriere, call out to her. that she takes the money out of your hand.” The existence of so-called “temple prostitution” in Greek, Italian and Near Eastern antiquity has been recorded by several ancient authors, including Strabo in his Geography, written in the first century BC, which details “temple slaves” in the precincts of Aphrodite at Eryx (Sicily) and Corinth.List contains detailed information about each entity, may include Name, Address and DOB.