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Lais

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Lais was a beautiful and very expensive courtesan thought to have come from Corinth. The orator Demosthenes is said to have asked for the services of Lais, but when she stated her price, ten thousand drachmas, he thought better of it. Lais lived around the fourth century B.C.
Diogenes Laertius says Lais lived with the philosopher Aristippus.

Quotations about Lais:


From Aristophanes Plutus

    Chremylus
    [175] And of the needle-seller's with Pamphilus?

    Cario
    It is not because of you that Agyrrhius farts so loudly?

    Chremylus
    And that Philepsius rolls off his fables? That troops are sent to succour the Egyptians? And that Lais is kept by Philonides?

Pausanias Description of Greece (Loeb)

    [2.2.4] As one goes up to Corinth are tombs, and by the gate is buried Diogenes1 of Sinope, whom the Greeks surname the Dog. Before the city is a grove of cypresses called Craneum. Here are a precinct of Bellerophontes, a temple of Aphrodite Melaenis and the grave of Lais , upon which is set a lioness holding a ram in her fore-paws.

    [2.2.5] There is in Thessaly another tomb which claims to be that of Lais , for she went to that country also when she fell in love with Hippostratus. The story is that originally she was of Hycara in Sicily. Taken captive while yet a girl by Nicias and the Athenians, she was sold and brought to Corinth, where she surpassed in beauty the courtesans of her time, and so won the admiration of the Corinthians that even now they claim Lais as their own.

Plutarch Nicias (Loeb)


    [15.4] Finally, he went back to Catana without effecting anything at all except the overthrow of Hyccara, a barbarian fastness. From this place it is said that Lais the courtesan was sold as a prisoner of war, being still a girl, and brought into Peloponnesus.

Plutarch Alcibiades (Loeb)


    [39.4] Thus he fell, and when the Barbarians were gone, Timandra took up his dead body, covered and wrapped it in her own garments, and gave it such brilliant and honorable burial as she could provide. This Timandra, they say, was the mother of that Lais who was called the Corinthian, although she was a prisoner of war from Hyccara, a small city of Sicily.

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