Lais of Corinth

Lais of Corinth in Wikipedia

Lais of Corinth was a famous hetaera or courtesan of ancient Greece who was probably born in Corinth. Another hetaera (a younger one) with the same name was Lais of Hyccara. Since ancient authors in their -usually indirect- accounts often confuse them or do not indicate which they refer to, the two are inextricably linked. Lais lived during the Peloponnesian War and was said to be the most beautiful woman of the time. Among her clients was philosopher Aristippus (two of his writings were about Lais) and an Olympic champion Eubotas of Cyrene.

Read More

Laïs in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898)

The elder, a native probably of Corinth, lived in the time of the Peloponnesian War, and was celebrated as the most beautiful woman of that age. She was notorious also for her avarice and caprice. One of her lovers was the Cyrenaic philosopher Aristippus, two of whose works were inscribed with her name. In her old age she took to drink. At her death she was buried in Corinth, and over her was placed a monument representing a lioness tearing a ram. So much was her reputation a part of that of her city that there arose the proverb οὐ Κόρινθος οὔτε Λαΐς. A number of anecdotes regarding her are preserved in Athenaeus.

Read More