Brill’s New Pauly

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(740 words)

[German version]

A. Definition

Literally translated, the Greek term ἑταίρα (hetaíra) means ‘female companion’. It was first used by Herodotus (2,134,1) to describe a Thracian woman named Rhodopis, who was sexually available to men and thus became rich. In scholarly research, hetaerae were therefore often identified with prostitutes, with a comment that their being named ‘female companions’ was euphemistic. Davidson [1], on the other hand, stresses that, on the evidence of…

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Hartmann, Elke (Berlin), “Hetaerae”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 22 May 2022 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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