The Mimes of the Courtesans (Forgotten Books)

9781605063485: The Mimes of the Courtesans (Forgotten Books)
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"Living at the height of the Roman Empire, the audience Lucian wrote for was hardly shocked by these short dialogues of the Greek hetaerae. However, two millenia of ensuing prudery made it impossible to acknowledge this part of the Lucian corpus, a set of humorous vignettes set in the context of the 'oldest profession,' let alone translate it into a vernacular language. These comedic sketches are timeless: working girls competing for clients, dishing gossip and candid tips of the trade, men trying to keep their girls' attention with expensive gifts. It also portrays the dark side of the hetaera's life: out-of-control parties, blowhard men, and putting up with rough treatment by clients.

Notably lacking is one modern reality. The hetaerae of Lucian are not constantly wondering whether their next client is going flash a badge and haul them off to jail. Sex workers in antiquity were another just legal occupation, like the butcher, the baker and the sandal maker. At that time, pagan temples throughout the eastern Mediterranean had sacred prostitutes, and patronizing them was considered a sanctified act. The hetearae actually had a lot more freedom than other women in Greek society, particularly the sequestered wives.

With the dawn of the 20th century, it finally became feasible to publish English translations of the 'naughty bits' of Lucian. This one was published during the roaring 1920s in a deluxe art-deco illustrated version. The identity of the author is only known by the initials 'A.L.H.' on the Translator's Foreword page.

This translation includes three chapters not included in the Fowler and Fowler translation, The Education of Corinna, The Lesbians, and The Philosopher. There are three gaps in the numbering of Fowler: V, VI and X, so these are probably the missing dialogues. The table on the left shows the correspondences between Fowler and this version. At issue here is the obviously the subject matter of these pieces: the first has a mother 'turning out' her daughter, the other two depict female and male homosexual characters respectively. However, they are far from explicit. It is an interesting to note that these were considered untranslatable in an academic edition in 1905, but could be published in a popular edition in 1928." (Quote from

Table of Contents:

Publisher's Preface; Translator's Foreword; The Education Of Corinna; Sweetheart; The Pleasure Of Being Beaten; The Mistake; The Incantation; The Terror Of Marriage; The Lesbians; The Return Of The Soldier; The Little Flute Player; There Is A Time For Lying; At Night; A Poor Sailor's Love; A Mother's Advice; Abandoned; The Philosopher

About the Publisher:

Forgotten Books is a publisher of historical writings, such as: Philosophy, Classics, Science, Religion, Esoteric and Mythology.

Forgotten Books is about sharing information, not about making money. All books are priced at wholesale prices. We are also the only publisher we know of to print in large sans-serif font, which is proven to make the text easier to read and put less strain on your eyes.

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About the Author:

About the Author:

"Lucian, Greek satirist of the Silver Age of Greek literature, born at Samosata on the Euphrates in northern Syria. He tells us in the Somnium or Vita Luciani, that, his means being small, he was at first apprenticed to his maternal uncle, a sculptor of the stone pillars called Hermae. Having made an unlucky beginning by breaking a marble slab, and having been well beaten for it, he absconded and returned home. Here he had a dream or vision of two women, representing Statuary and Literature. Both plead their cause at length, setting forth the advantages and the prospects of their respective professions; but the youth decides to pursue learning. For some time he seems to have made money following the example of Demosthenes, on whose merits and patriotism he expatiates in the dialogue Demosthenis Encomium. He was very familiar with the rival schools of philosophy, and he must have well studied their teachings; but he lashes them all alike, the Cynics, perhaps, being the chief object of his derision. Lucian was not only a skeptic; he was a scoffer and a downright unbeliever. He felt that men's actions and conduct always fall far short of their professions and therefore he concluded that the professions themselves were worthless, and a mere guise to secure popularity or respect. Of Christianity he shows some knowledge, and it must have been somewhat largely professed in Syria at the close of the 2nd century. In the Philopatris, though the dialogue so called is generally regarded as spurious, there is a statement of the doctrine of the Trinity, and the "Galilaean who had ascended to the third heaven", and "renewed" by the waters of baptism, may possibly allude to St. Paul. The doctrines of the "Light of the world" and that God is in heaven making a record of the good and bad actions of men, seem to have come from the same doubtful authorship. To understand them aright we must source, though the notion of a written catalogue of human actions to be used in judgment was familiar to Aeschylus and Euripides." (Quote from

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Published by Forgotten Books (2007)
ISBN 10: 1605063487 ISBN 13: 9781605063485
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
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Revaluation Books
(Exeter, United Kingdom)

Book Description Forgotten Books, 2007. Paperback. Condition: Brand New. 79 pages. 7.87x5.20x0.31 inches. This item is printed on demand. Seller Inventory # zk1605063487

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