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Documentation Of Prostitution At Corinth

Geography of Strabo 8.6.20

And the temple of Aphrodité was so rich that it owned more than a thousand templeslaves, courtesans, whom both men and women had dedicated to the goddess. And therefore it was also on account of these women that the city was crowded with people and grew rich; for instance, the ship-captains frecly squandered their money, and hence the proverb, “Not for every man is the voyage to Corinth.” Moreover, it is recorded that acertain courtesan said to the woman who reproached her with the charge that she did not like to work or touch wool: “ Yet, such as I am, in this short time I have "taken down three webs" (meaning "sensually indulged 3 sea captains").

Geography of Strabo 6.2.6

It has a temple of Aphrodite that is held in exceptional honor, and in early times was full of female temple-slaves, who had been dedicated in fulfillment of vows not only by the people of Sicily but also by many people from abroad; but at the present time, just as the settlement itself,3 so the temple is in want of men, and the multitude of temple-slaves has disappeared. In Rome, also, there is a reproduction of this goddess, I mean the temple before the Colline Gate4 which is called that of Venus Erycina and is remarkable for its shrine and surrounding colonnade.

Geography of Strabo 12.3.36

Now Comana is a populous city and is a notable emporium for the people from Armenia; and at the times of the "exoduses" of the goddess people assemble there from everywhere, from both the cities and the country, men together with women, to attend the festival. And there are certain others, also, who in accordance with a vow are always residing there, performing sacrifices in honor of the goddess. And the inhabitants live in luxury, and all their property is planted with vines; and there is a multitude of women who make gain from their persons, most of whom are dedicated to the goddess, for in a way the city is a lesser Corinth, for there too, on account of the multitude of courtesans, who were sacred to Aphrodite, outsiders resorted in great numbers and kept holiday. And the merchants and soldiers who went there squandered all their money so that the following proverb arose in reference to them: “Not for every man is the voyage to Corinth.” Such, then, is my account of Comana.

Athenaeus, The Deipnosophists 13.32

I will now mention to you, O Cynulcus, an Ionian story (spinning it out, as Aeschylus says,) about courtesans, beginning with the beautiful Corinth, since you have reproached me with having been a schoolmaster in that city. It is an ancient custom at Corinth (as Chamæleon of Heraclea relates, in his treatise on Pindar), whenever the city addresses any supplication to Venus about any important matter, to employ as many courtesans as possible to join in the supplication; and they, too, pray to the goddess, and afterwards they are present at the sacrifices. And when the king of Persia was leading his army against Greece (as Theopompus also relates, and so does Timæus, in his seventh book), the Corinthian courtesans offered prayers for the safety of Greece, going to the temple of Venus. On which account, after the Corinthians had consecrated a picture to the goddess (which remains even to this day), and as in this picture they had painted the portraits of the courtesans who made this [p. 917] supplication at the time, and who were present afterwards, Simonides composed this epigram:—
These damsels, in behalf of Greece, and all
Their gallant countrymen, stood nobly forth,
Praying to Venus, the all-powerful goddess;
Nor was the queen of beauty willing ever
To leave the citadel of Greece to fall
Beneath the arrows of the unwarlike Persians.
And even private individuals sometimes vow to Venus, that if they succeed in the objects for which they are offering their vows, they will bring her a stated number of courtesans

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