Saturday, May 13, 2006

Today's history lesson

Phryne the courtesan was so beautiful that she posed for several of antiquity's most famous statues of Aphrodite, including one at Delphi. A travel book dubbed it a "monument to Greek lust."

Phryne was brought to trial accused of a crime that called for the death penalty.... When her lawyer Hypereides realized he was losing the case, and that the judges meant to convict her, he summoned her to the center of the courtroom; then he tore off her skimpy tunic and revealed her naked breasts for all to see. And he started wailing hysterically at the sight of her spectacular beauty. The judges were flustered and awestruck by this handmaiden of Aphrodite and, feeling merciful, they didn't put her to death.

But once they acquitted her, a decree was passed that no lawyer may ever wail hysterically during a plea, and that no accused man or woman may ever be stripped in the courtroom ---Athenaues

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