One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A courtesan or mistress, especially an educated one in ancient Greece.‘the scene shows the birth of Aphrodite from the sea, and a hetaira, piping’
lover, beloved, significant otherView synonyms
- ‘A number of the women had time to develop their minds in between flaunting their bodies, more like geisha girls, or the hetaerae of ancient Greece, than modern-day porn stars.’
- ‘This has been a traditional marketing angle in the sex industry, dating back to Roman times when the hetaerae, or foreign women, commanded the highest prices for sexual services.’
- ‘In ancient Greece female professional musicians were usually slaves and prostitutes, such as the highly educated hetairai who often sang and accompanied themselves on the lyre.’
- ‘The Barburen and both the Vermeers depict musical performances. Was musical skill expected of Dutch courtesans as it was of Greek hetairai; or was the women's deft play on instruments a bawdy symbol?’
- ‘In the learned, Grecophile culture of the Medici pope's court, courtesans were regarded as latter-day reincarnations of hetairai, the women who entertained men at the symposium in ancient Greece.’
From Greek hetaira, feminine of hetairos ‘companion’.
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