1st Edition

Courtesans at Table Gender and Greek Literary Culture in Athenaeus

By Laura McClure Copyright 2003
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    254 Pages
    by Routledge

    Witty nicknames, crude jokes, public nudity and lavish monuments, all of these things distinguished Greek courtesans from respectable citizen women in ancient Greece. Although prostitutes appear as early as archaic Greek lyric poetry, our fullest accounts come from the late second century CE. Drawing on Book 13 of the Athenaeus' Deipnosophistae--which contains almost all known references to hetaeras from all periods of Greek literature--Laura K. McClure has created a window onto the ways ancient Greeks perceived the courtesan and the role of the courtesan in Greek life.

    TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION The Courtesan as Fetish / Ancient Greek Terms for Prostitutes Distinguishing the Hetaera from the Porne The Pallake The Auletris and Other Female Entertainers The Eromene Conclusion CHAPTER ONE Genres of Courtesans: Athenaeus and Nostalgia Athenaeus and the Literary Symposium Genres of Courtesans: Athenaeus and the Literary Quotation Book 13 and the Discourse on Hetaeras Cynulcus' Invective against Hetaeras Myrtilus' Encomium of Hetaeras Conclusion CHAPTER TWO The Women Most Mentioned: The Names of Athenian Courtesans The Problem of Names The Names of Athenian Women / Attic Identity, Foreign Birth The Names of Hetaeras The Names of Slaves The Use of the Metronymic Conclusion CHAPTER THREE Parody and Subversion: The Witticisms of Courtesans Flattery, Riddles, and Double Entendres Hetaeras as Poets and Poets as Hetaeras Sympotic Mocker The Laughter of Hetaeras The Chreia as a Literary Genre Tragic Humor, Comic Obscenity Philosophers and Courtesans / Conclusion CHAPTER FOUR


    Laura K. McClure is Associate Professor of Classics and Chair of the Integrated Liberal Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has edited two essay collections on women and sexuality in ancient Greece, and has written a book on speech and gender in Greek drama.