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El Pedagogo, Aspasia y Pericles, by José Garnelo, 1893. Source: Public Domain

Aspasia - The Real-Life Helen of Troy? An Inspirational Courtesan’s Tale

Aspasia, who lived in ancient Greece during the fifth century BC was both admired and infamous in her time. But the truth does not lie in between: hers is a life worthy of admiration. Born in the...
La Courtisane by Thomas Couture (1864) (Public Domain)

Women Of Independent Means, Revered Ancient Courtesans

One day, the 19th-century courtesan, Esther Guimond, was traveling through Naples when she was stopped for a routine examination of her passport. When asked her profession, she quietly and discreetly...
Aspasia The Metiki Who Seduced And Confused Athens’ Powerful Men

Aspasia The Metiki Who Seduced And Confused Athens’ Powerful Men

In his writing on the Athenian Statesman Pericles, Plutarch (c. 46 – c. 119 AD), marvels at the "... great art or power this woman had, that she managed as she pleased the leading men of the state...
A painting depicting a debate between Socrates and Aspasia, by Nicolas André Monsiaux, circa 1800.

Elite Companions, Flute Girls and Child Slaves: Sex Work in Ancient Athens

Marguerite Johnson / The Conversation In this sexual histories series, authors explore changing sexual mores from antiquity to today. When the Athenian politician Pericles delivered his famous...