Lais of Hyccara

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1902 print of Lais

Lais of Hyccara (died 340 BC) was a courtesan of Ancient Greece. She was probably born in Hyccara, Sicily (in the place of modern Carini) and died in Thessaly. Another hetaira (courtesan) with the same name was Lais of Corinth. Since ancient authors in their (usually indirect) accounts often confuse them or do not indicate which they refer to, the two are inextricably linked.

There are a number of anecdotes about her. For example, it was said Demosthenes was willing to pay 1,000 Greek drachmas for a night with her, but she raised her price to 10,000 drachmas after viewing him,[1] while she gave herself to Diogenes for nothing.[2]

She was the daughter of Timandra (Damasandra acc. to Athenaeus). She was a contemporary and a rival of Phryne. She fell in love with a Thessalian named Hippostratus or Hippolochus, who brought her to Thessaly. It is said that Thessalian women out of jealousy lured her into the temple of Aphrodite and stoned her to death. She was buried on the banks of Peneus.


  1. ^ Wallechinsky, David (1978). The People's Almanac Presents the Book of Lists. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell. pp. 328–9. ISBN 0-553-11150-7. 
  2. ^ "Athenaeus: Deipnosophists - Book 13 (b)". Retrieved 2008-11-01. 

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