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Phryne the Courtesan
What the ancient writers had to say
 Related Resources
• Lais
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It's told of the courtesan Phryne that the unconventional orator Hyperides successfully defended her by revealing her breasts to the jurors.

From Pausanias Description of Greece
[1.20.1] Leading from the prytaneum is a road called Tripods. The place takes its name from the shrines, large enough to hold the tripods which stand upon them, of bronze, but containing very remarkable works of art, including a Satyr, of which Praxiteles is said to have been very proud. Phryne once asked of him the most beautiful of his works, and the story goes that lover-like he agreed to give it, but refused to say which he thought the most beautiful. So a slave of Phryne rushed in saying that a fire had broken out in the studio of Praxiteles, and the greater number of his works were lost, though not all were destroyed.

[1.20.2] Praxiteles at once started to rush through the door crying that his labour was all wasted if indeed the flames had caught his Satyr and his Love. But Phryne bade him stay and be of good courage, for he had suffered no grievous loss, but had been trapped into confessing which were the most beautiful of his works. So Phryne chose the statue of Love; while a Satyr is in the temple of Dionysus hard by, a boy holding out a cup. The Love standing with him and the Dionysus were made by Thymilus.

Pausanias Description of Greece 9.27.3

Pausanias Description of Greece 9.27.5

Pausanias Description of Greece 10.15.1

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This resource page is copyright © 2002-2002 N.S. Gill.

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