History: hetairai

Posted on Sun 29 August 2021 in history

Greek: literally "female companions." An elite class of prostitutes or courtesans. Hetairai were usually ex-slaves or foreign nationals with a certain level of sophistication as compared with other 'prostitutes.' Hetairai were dancers, musicians and entertainers. Prostitution was not generally frowned upon in ancient Greece, and therefore Hetairai also provided sex. Some hetairai also grew wealthy and famous, one known as Aspasia was a friend of Socrates. She was renowned for her learning, she was the mistress of Pericles and eventually became his wife.