Lais was a legendary prostitute or courtesan of ancient Greece who was active in Corinth. She was born in Hyccara in Sicily and was carried away by the Athenian general Nicias. The fees she charged for her sexual favors were legendary (10,000 drachmas when she began). She was well known not only for her beauty and fee, but also for her conversation and charm. Her services and attention were sought intensely by the greatest philosophers and leaders of her day. Demosthenes (who left when he found that her cost was the equivalent of 1,200 British pounds in today's money), Diogenes, and the sculptor Myron all sought her out. She ridiculed the social pretensions of Corinth and observed that the philosophers were as often at her door as the rest of Athens.
She moved to Thessaly and took up with a favorite youth named Hippostratus. The women of the area banded together and had her assassinated in the Temple of Aphrodite around 340 BC. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lais [Oct 2004]
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