Alciphron, Letters 4. Letters of Courtesans

LCL 383: 250-251

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Liber IV



1 [frag. 3]

Φρύνη Πραξιτέλει2

. . . μὴ δείσῃς· ἐξείργασαι γὰρ πάγκαλόν τι χρῆμα, οἷον δή τι οὐδεὶς εἶδε πώποτε πάντων τῶν διὰ3 χειρῶν πονηθέντων,4 τὴν σεαυτοῦ ἑταίραν ἱδρύσας ἐν τεμένει. μέση γὰρ ἕστηκα ἐπὶ τῆς Ἀφροδίτης καὶ τοῦ Ἔρωτος ἅμα τοῦ σοῦ. μὴ φθονήσῃς δέ μοι τῆς τιμῆς· οἱ γὰρ ἡμᾶς θεασάμενοι ἐπαινοῦσι Πραξιτέλη, καὶ ὅτι τῆς σῆς τέχνης γέγονα οὐκ ἀδοξοῦσί με Θεσπιεῖς μέσην κεῖσθαι θεῶν. ἓν ἔτι τῇ δωρεᾷ λείπει, ἐλθεῖν σε πρὸς ἡμᾶς,

  • 1Ἀλκίφρονος ῥήτορος ἐπιστολαὶ ἑταιρικαί added by Rycke.
  • 2Φρύνη Πραξιτέλει added by Jacobs.
  • 3δή τι οὐδεὶς εἶδε πώποτε πάντων τῶν διὰ Seiler: ἤδη τίς σοι τῶν πάνποτε οὐδεὶς τῶν κατὰ Vat.2, ἤδη τίς σοι τῶν πάν οὐδεὶς τῶν κατὰ Flor., ἴδη τίς σοι τῶν πώποτε οὐδεὶς τῶν κατὰ Π Δ. ἤδη γ᾿ ἀντισοῖτ᾿ ἄν ποτε οὐδεὶς τῶν κατα- L. A. Post.
  • 4-χειροτονηθέντων L. A. Post (CW 40 [1946], 32).

Book IV

Alciphron the Rhetor’s

Letters of Courtesans

Letter 1 [frag. 3]

Phrynêa to Praxiteles

. . . have no fear; for you have wrought a very beautiful work of art, such as nobody, in fact, has ever seen before among all things fashioned by men’s hands: you have set up a statue of your own mistress in the sacred precinct. Yes, I stand in the middle of the precinct near your Aphrodite and your Eros too. And do not begrudge me this honour. For it is Praxiteles that people praise when they have gazed at me; and it is because I am a product of your skill that the Thespians do not count me unfit to be placed between gods.b One thing only is still lacking to your gift: that you come to me, so that we may lie

  • aFamous courtesan of the fourth century b.c., mistress of the sculptor Praxiteles. See below, Letters 3 and 4.
  • bFor these statues at Thespiae see Pausanias ix. 27. 3–5; Athenaeus xiii. 591 b; Raubitschek in RE s.v. Phryne, Spp. 898–899.
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.alciphron-letters_book_iv_letters_courtesans.1949