The Cinderella Syndrome - from swineherd to Emperor - prostitute to Empress

Sep 2019
54
Toronto
That is a weird way of writing it: "prostitute to Empress." A prostitute is not necessarily a poor person. ($200/hour? Now that's big wage) Anyway, that's forbidden taboo discussions. But, if you think about "to marry for money" that is another way of describing it.
 
Jul 2017
247
Neverland
Well yes, there are different classes of prostitutes - the street walker(have a pimp..err..manager, who takes most of the cash), freelance artists, escort agency executive level divas hauling 8-10K per weekend.

As to the " marry for money" types we have an ancient example, with the prototype for the Cinderella story tale - Rhodopis the Thracian hetaera that rose up to become wife(or concubine) of the last Egyptian pharaoh, before Persia ended the 16th dynasty.
Rhodopis was so famous in the ancient world, that her name is still borne by a mountain in the Balkans...probably her native place of birth.

 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,886
T'Republic of Yorkshire
That is a weird way of writing it: "prostitute to Empress." A prostitute is not necessarily a poor person. ($200/hour? Now that's big wage) Anyway, that's forbidden taboo discussions. But, if you think about "to marry for money" that is another way of describing it.
Is that how much they charge? I wouldn't know...
 
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Jul 2017
247
Neverland
the 16th dynasty existed long before the persian conquest... perhaps you mean a later one?
the 26 th dynasty....my bad.
Persia conquers Egypt in 525 BCE and ends the 26 th dynasty with Pharaoh Psamtik III. According to later historians
Rhodopis(Dorika according to Sappho) comes to Egypt to practice her trade(prostitution) during the reign of Pharaoh Amasis(father of Psamtik) .The brother of Sappho buys out the slave girl
Rhodopis and she is a free person.Marries Psamtik and her fate is unknown after that.Probably killed by the Persians.
 

Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,722
Netherlands
It is not that uncommon. Caesar was a lowly infantry soldier. Some of the Chinese dynasties were started by lowborns. Genghis Khan didn't do too well in his youth (he was a slave, his family was expelled etc).
 

Kirialax

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
4,959
Blachernai
A common thread seems to be getting close to power (Basil, Justin, Theodora) and then either seizing it (Basil), or letting others put you in place (Justin). The article doesn't mention that Theodora's family was associated with one of the hippodrome factions, and thus about as close in physical proximity to imperial power as one can get in an age of non-campaigning emperors. And to be pedantic about Basil, whose origins were subject to ninth-century re-writing: slavery was a legal status. I don't know anything about its legal status in Bulgaria at the time, but he would have ceased to be slave if he had ever been one upon crossing the Roman border.

Is that how much they charge? I wouldn't know...
It doesn't help that Prokopios speaks of three-obol girls, as if the value of the Athenian currency was commonly-known a thousand years later. Still, the implication is pretty cheap. There's a good book that includes a lot of the relevant details, but is slightly earlier than Justinian's era.