What the hetaira did, but the courtesan did not

Everything that women do is somehow connected with men. They need noble mothers of families for procreation, and prostitutes - for sensual pleasures. But neither one nor the other can satisfy another need (purely human) in easy communication with pleasant people.

In societies that strictly regulate any contact between men and the fair sex, as a rule, there is a demand for beautiful and educated women who create a pleasant atmosphere with their presence. In ancient times they were called getters, and in the Renaissance they were called courtesans. Despite the unconditional similarity between these concepts, they are not identical. So how does a getter differ from a courtesan?

Heterosexuals are free women

The word "hetera" is translated from Greek as "girlfriend or companion." She was a free woman who did not depend on anyone. As a rule, getters were distinguished by intelligence and education. They were taught not only the art of love, but also the ability to conduct small talk. They were respected in society.

The main difference between heterosexuals and mothers of families, and from prostitutes was their personal independence. These women lived off meetings with men in their own homes, owned slaves. They could afford beautiful, immodest outfits and expensive jewelry. And besides, getters had the right to speak freely with strangers and unfamiliar men, which in ancient times were deprived of other women who did not have the right to their own opinion.

During the heyday of Athenian democracy, on a special wall called Ceramics, men left the getters with dating offers. If the beauty agreed to the specified amount, she signed the time of the meeting below.

As a rule, the ancient Greeks did not skimp on money, they even boasted of meetings with famous getters. One of them - named Meticha - was so busy that sharp-tongued "colleagues" gave her the nickname Clepsydra (water clock). With the help of this device, the woman measured the time of the meeting with each client.

The fates of the heterosexuals were, like all women, different. Some managed to achieve popularity due to beauty, intelligence and various talents, while others did not. For example, the ancient Greek commander and statesman Pericles (about 494-429 BC) divorced his wife and took Geter Aspasia as his wife.

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And another famous beauty, whose name was Phryne, posed for the genius sculptor Praxiteles for the statue of the goddess Aphrodite. Generals, politicians, philosophers, orators and artists often enjoyed the favor of heterosexuals and drew inspiration from them.

High society courtesans

The French word courtisane, like the Italian cortigiana, means "courtier." Initially, this was the name of noble ladies living in palaces of royalty and nobles. They performed various representative functions, followed etiquette, and had to look smart. And during receptions in honor of foreign guests and ambassadors - to entertain guests with pleasant conversations.

Courtesans should not be confused with the favorites and mistresses of kings. During the Renaissance, this term extended to all women who moved in high society, using the patronage of influential and famous men. And they did not have to be of noble birth at all.

Wealthy patrons paid considerable expenses for the courtesans. Many of these ladies lived in exceptional luxury. They arranged receptions for which the cream of society gathered: representatives of bohemians, diplomats, politicians, and the military. The responsibility of the hostesses of such salons was to create a pleasant atmosphere. Men could relax here, have a good time, listen to music, talk with smart and educated women.

Interestingly, the courtesans were divided into two categories: oneste - honest ladies; di lume - providing sexual services to their patrons.

Representatives of the first category were the elite of women of their time. They were talented, intelligent, educated - real muses and inspirers of men who often consulted oneste when making important decisions. The combination of intelligence, interest in art and social life made them incredibly attractive in the eyes of gentlemen.

The second category of courtesans - di lume - included beauties and women of fashion, also educated, but not brilliant with special charm. These ladies were not prostitutes in the literal sense of the word, they cost their gentlemen a lot of money, but still they were valued by society much less than honest courtesans.

Sometimes, fearing gossip and gossip on the part of the champions of Christian morality, di lume married men of lower social status than their patrons. Such marriages were often fictitious.

Well-known honest courtesans were often employees of the special services, passing on secret information obtained in intimate conversations with foreign ambassadors, diplomats, politicians and military leaders to their curators from the authorities.

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For example, the Italian Tullia d'Aragona (circa 1510-1556) was a famous writer and poetess whose works were published during her lifetime and after her death. She was born in Rome, lived in Venice and Florence, enjoying the patronage of the most famous and influential men of her time. Some historians associate her frequent and unexpected transfers from city to city with her work for the secret service.

And the Frenchwoman Marion Delorme (1611-1650) was the beloved of poets, ministers, princes. In her Paris salon, representatives of the opposition, the so-called Fronde, gathered, who initiated several anti-government uprisings. During one of these troubles, the courtesan's house turned into a kind of headquarters for the leaders of this political movement, who opposed Cardinal Mazarin.

What's the difference?

If we talk about the courtesans of the di lume category, then they practically did not differ from the getters. Is that the era. At their core, these were elite prostitutes who delighted men, in addition to making love, also with pleasant communication, singing and dancing, and sometimes playing musical instruments. True, not everyone was pleased.

But the courtesans oneste (honest women) did not always make love even with their patrons, what to say about the fans. For creative people, they played the role of muses and inspirers, and for noble nobles they were a symbol of prestige. The men fought for the courtesan's favor, they tried to please them. Someone dedicated sonnets, someone gave gold jewelry, and someone secretly told state secrets.

Despite the ignoble origins of many famous courtesans, they were never the personal property of the feudal lords. But future heterosexuals were brought up from slave girls bought in slave markets. As a rule, a popular getter prepared a change for herself from such a girl. She was taught oratory, singing and dancing, the ability to conduct intellectual conversations, communicate with men.

Another serious difference lies in the ideological aspect: getters were considered servants of the goddess of love Aphrodite, they donated part of the money they earned to her temple. Courtesans never associated their activities with religion, trying to stay as far as possible from fanatics fighting for the faith. Often, educated girls from impoverished aristocratic families began to engage in this type of activity, who quickly found patrons for themselves.