Lais of Corinth, Hans Holbein the Younger, 1526, Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland

(Right side Venus and Amor, Hans Holbein the Younger as a symbol of true love)

Hyccara in North Sicily

Lais of Corinth (Ancient Greek: Λαΐς and Λαΐδα) (fl. 425 BC) was a famous hetaira or courtesan of ancient Greece, who was probably born in Corinth. She shared a name with the younger hetaira Lais of Hyccara; as ancient authors (in their usually indirect accounts) often confused them or did not indicate which one they referred to, the two women became inextricably linked. Lais lived during the Peloponnesian War and was said to be the most beautiful woman of her time. Among her clients were the philosopher Aristippus (two of his alleged writings were about Lais) and the Olympic champion Eubotas of Cyrene.

Aelian relates a tradition that either she or the other Lais held the nickname "Axine" ("axehead"), for the sharpness of her cruelty.

Anne Robertson referenced Corinth for its one thousand temple prostitutes most notably Lais. The city's reputation “added a new word to the Greek language. Korinthiazesthai (to live like a Corinthian) meant to live a life of wealthy, drunken debauchery.”[1]
See also

Lais of Corinth (Hans Holbein the Younger)


Robertson, Anne (2014). Introducing the New Testament (Exploring the Bible: The Dickinson Series (Student Guides: 2nd Edition) Book 3). Massachusetts Bible Society. p. 148.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Charles Peter Mason (1870). "Lais". In Smith, William (ed.). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Vol. 2. p. 712.

I Lais, once of Greece the pride,
For whom so many suitors sigh'd,
Now aged grown, at Venus' shrine
The mirror of my youth resign ;
Since what I am I will not see,
And what I was I cannot be
. Greek Anthology

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