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Biographies (5)

Courtesans

Phryne

Phryne (Phrune), one of the most celebrated Athenian hetairae, was the daughter of Epicles, and a native of Thespiae in Boeotia. She was of very humble origin, and originally gained her livelihood by gathering capers; but her beauty procured for her afterwards so much wealth that she is said to have offered to rebuild the walls of Thebes, after they had been destroyed by Alexander, if she might be allowed to put up this inscription on the walls : "Alexander destroyed them, but Phryne, the hetaira, rebuilt them." She had among her admirers many of the most celebrated men of the age of Philip and Alexander, and the beauty of her form gave rise to some of the greatest works of art. The orator Hyperides was one of her lovers, and he defended her when she was accused by Euthias on one occasion of some capital charge; but when the eloquence of her advocate failed to move the judges, he bade her uncover her breast, and thus ensured her acquittal. The most celebrated picture of Apelles, his "Venus Anadyomene", is said to have been a representation of Phryne, who, at a public festival at Eleusis, entered the sea with dishevelled hair. The celebrated Cnidian Venus of Praxiteles, who was one of her lovers, was taken from her, and he expressed his love for her in an epigram which he inscribed on the base of a statue of Cupid, which he gave to her, and which she dedicated at Thespiae. Such admiration did she excite, that her neighbours dedicated at Delphi a statue of her, made of gold, and resting on a base of Pentelican marble. According to Apollodorus (ap. Athen. xiii. p. 591, e.) there were two hetairae of the name of Phryne, one of whom was surnamed Clausilegos and the other Saperdium; and according to Herodicus (Ibid.) there were also two, one the Thespian, and the other surnamed Sestus. The Thespian Phryne, however, is the only one of whom we have any account. (Athen. xiii. pp. 590, 591, 558, c. 567, e, 583, b. c. 585, e. f.; Aelian, V. H. 32 ; Alciphron, Ep. i. 31; Plin. H. N. xxxiv. 8. s. 19. § 10; Propert. ii. 5; Jacobs, Att. Alus. vol. iii. pp. 18,36)


Phryne. A celebrated Athenian courtesan, born at Thespis in Boeotia. She flourished in the times of Philip and Alexander the Great, and was the mistress of some of the most distinguished men of the day. She became so wealthy that she is said to have offered to rebuild the walls of Thebes, when destroyed by Alexande:--an offer which was rejected. The famous painting of Apelles, entitled "Aphrodite Anadyomene", or Aphrodite rising from the sea, is said to have had Phryne for its model. Praxiteles, the sculptor, who was another of her lovers, used her as a model for his "Cnidian Aphrodite". At one time she was accused of profaning the Eleusinian Mysteries, and was brought before the court of the Heliasts; but her advocate, Hyperides, threw off her veil, and exposed her breasts to the judges, who at once acquitted her amid the applause of the people, by whom she was carried in triumph to the temple of Aphrodite.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Phryne (Phrune), one of the most celebrated Athenian hetairae, was the daughter of Epicles, and a native of Thespiae in Boeotia. She was of very humble origin, and originally gained her livelihood by gathering capers; but her beauty procured for her afterwards so much wealth that she is said to have offered to rebuild the walls of Thebes, after they had been destroyed by Alexander, if she might be allowed to put up this inscription on the walls : "Alexander destroyed them, but Phryne, the hetaira, rebuilt them". She had among her admirers many of the most celebrated men of the age of Philip and Alexander, and the beauty of her form gave rise to some of the greatest works of art. The orator Hyperides was one of her lovers, and he defended her when she was accused by Euthias on one occasion of some capital charge; but when the eloquence of her advocate failed to move the judges, he bade her uncover her breast, and thus ensured her acquittal. The most celebrated picture of Apelles, his "Venus Anadyomene", is said to have been a representation of Phryne, who, at a public festival at Eleusis, entered the sea with dishevelled hair. The celebrated Cnidian Venus of Praxiteles, who was one of her lovers, was taken from her, and he expressed his love for her in an epigram which he inscribed on the base of a statue of Cupid, which he gave to her, and which she dedicated at Thespiae. Such admiration did she excite, that her neighbours dedicated at Delphi a statue of her, made of gold, and resting on a base of Pentelican marble. According to Apollodorus (ap. Athen. xiii.) there were two hetairae of the name of Phryne, one of whom was surnamed Clausilegos and the other Saperdium; and according to Herodicus (Ibid.) there were also two, one the Thespian, and the other surnamed Sestus. The Thespian Phryne, however, is the only one of whom we have any account. (Athen. xiii.; Aelian, V. H. 32 ; Alciphron, Ep. i. 31; Plin. H. N. xxxiv. 8. s. 19.10; Propert. ii. 5)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited July 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Generals

Demophilus

commanding Thespian force at Thermopylae.


Hegesander

While the Peloponnesians and their allies in Attica were engaged in the work of fortification, their countrymen at home sent off, at about the same time, the heavy infantry in the merchant vessels to Sicily; the Lacedaemonians furnishing a picked force of Helots and Neodamodes ‘or freedmen), six hundred heavy infantry in all, under the command of Eccritus, a Spartan; and the Boeotians three hundred heavy infantry, commanded by two Thebans, Xenon and Nicon, and by Hegesander, a Thespian.


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