What Were Brothels Called in Ancient Greece?

Brothels, or houses of prostitution, were a common sight in ancient Greece. They were known by various names depending on the region and time period. Let’s dive deeper into what these establishments were called.

Prostitution in Ancient Greece

Prostitution was a legal and accepted practice in ancient Greece. It was considered a necessary part of society, especially for unmarried men who needed an outlet for their sexual desires. Prostitution was regulated by the state and women who worked in brothels had to register with the authorities.

What Were Brothels Called?

Brothels in ancient Greece were known by different names depending on the region. In Athens, they were called “dicterion” which means “place of delights”. In Corinth, they were known as “hetaeraion” which means “house of companionship”.

The Role of Hetaerae

Hetaerae were high-class prostitutes who entertained their clients with dance, music and intellectual conversations. They were educated and trained to be skilled conversationalists as well as sexual partners. Hetaerae lived outside of brothels and often had wealthy patrons who supported them financially.

Other Names for Brothels

In addition to “dicterion” and “hetaeraion”, there were other names used for brothels in ancient Greece. In Sparta, they were called “porneion” which means “place of prostitutes”.

In Crete, they were known as “taverns” or “cafes”. These places served food and drink along with sexual services.

The Legacy of Ancient Greek Prostitution

The practice of prostitution continued long after ancient Greece fell to Rome and beyond. The legacy of hetaerae can still be seen today in high-end escort services where clients pay not just for sex, but for companionship and social status.

Conclusion

Brothels in ancient Greece were known by different names depending on the region and time period. They were an accepted part of society and regulated by the state.

Hetaerae were high-class prostitutes who lived outside of brothels and entertained their clients with conversation as well as sex. The legacy of ancient Greek prostitution can still be seen today in modern escort services.