The original Phryne (of Athens), not the contemporary TV character of the same first name…
“Phryne” is a beautiful coral with strong gold and copper chrome effects.
“Phryne was a Greek Hetaira in classical Athens. She lived after the laws of Solon, a misogynistic statesman who passed laws curtailing the advancement of women in Athenian society. With Solon’s death, the life of a sex worker in Athens improved, though they were still fairly crappy compared to a time before him. They were allowed to own property and often made enough money to retire on their own.
Phryne was a stage name, referring to the yellowish color of her skin. She was considered very beautiful and modeled for contemporary artists. Phryne was an incredibly successful courtesan. At one time she had enough money that she offered to restore the walls of Thebes after they’re destruction by Alexander the Great. The city refused because of the condition that the restoration would include writing “destroyed by Alexander, restored by Phryne the Courtesan” on the walls. Of course, since Phryne was so successful she became very popular socially. She became incredibly influential and even powerful, so much so that politicians of the city began to fear her.
During a festival for Poseidon, Phryne stripped down and made an offering to the god by wading into the water in front of all the festival goers. This was used as a convenient excuse to bring the lady to court. She was charged with profaning at a festival, something that could earn one a death sentence. She was defended by one of her clients, a lawyer named Hypereides.
Phryne was subject to a great deal of prejudice from the court. She was in a desperate situation and in an effort to clear her name, Hypereides stripped her down again and said “How could a festival in honor of the gods be desecrated by beauty which they themselves bestowed? x” Much to the surprise of everyone, the nudity defense succeeded. The court did not want to anger the gods so they let Phryne walk, they made sure to ban the nudity defense in all further trials though.
Phrynes story is one of the most popular from Greek history. It has inspired many paintings and literary works by artists such as Baudelaire, Saint-Saëns and Gérôme.”
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