Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The hetaira in the ancient Greek world
Author: Christodoulou, D.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1997
Availability of Full Text:
Full text unavailable from EThOS.
Please contact the current institution’s library for further details.
This thesis is a study of the image and idea of the hetaira in Greek antiquity. I argue that the hetaira was primarily a product of classical Athenian democratic ideology, especially in terms of the construction of the Athenian politeia as an exclusive and impenetrable body. Using a wide range of sources, I relate the discourse and imagery of the hetaira to the Athenian cultural context and forms of social organisation. The image of the hetaira, I argue, belongs to a specifically democratic ideological rhetoric, and, as such, may not have been a category of identity used by the women who were actually described as hetairai. Instead, the hetaira was a strategically mobilised symbol, which acted as rhetorical 'other' to the Athenian wife. Hetairai became a highly resonant figure in the Athenian social imaginary. When democracy was effectively ended, in the late fourth century, images of hetairai, and women in general, became far more ambiguous. Conversely, I also argue that our sources present a particularly skewed perception of Athenian society, being the products of a politically active elite minority. In this sense, another aim of the thesis has been explore approaches to the study of Athenian democratic society, speculating on the other sub-cultures and discourses which may have been possible. An additional aim has been to investigate some of the assumptions, both ancient and modern, which surround the hetaira. During the Second Sophistic, the image of the hetaira was reappropriated as a specifically Athenian paradigmatic figure in an archaising discourse. These later images of the hetaira often act as a filter through which modern scholars read the classical Athenian hetaira, further complicating modern perceptions of, and the approaches to the hetaira.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available