Athens Is Like A Prostitute (According to Isocrates): Aelian, 12.52

“The orator Isokrates used to say that the city of Athens was like prostitutes: men who are taken in by the beauty want to have sex with them, but no one is so totally insane that he wants to stay and live with them. In the same way, the Athenian city was a pleasurable place to visit and was quite different from all the other cities in Greece. But it was not a safe place to inhabit any more. In saying this he was indicating all of the flatterers who came from abroad and the various plots of the demagogues.”

᾿Ισοκράτης ὁ ῥήτωρ ἔλεγεν ὑπὲρ τῆς ᾿Αθηναίων πόλεως ὁμοίαν εἶναι ταῖς ἑταίραις. καὶ γὰρ τοὺς ἁλισκομένους ὑπὸ τῆς ὥρας αὐτῶν βούλεσθαι συνεῖναι αὐταῖς, ὅμως δὲ μηδένα εὐτελῶς οὕτω παραφρονεῖν, ὡς ὑπομεῖναι ἂν συνοικῆσαί τινι αὐτῶν. καὶ οὖν καὶ τὴν ᾿Αθηναίων πόλιν ἐνεπιδημῆσαι μὲν εἶναι ἡδίστην, καὶ κατά γε τοῦτο πασῶν τῶν κατὰ τὴν ῾Ελλάδα διαφέρειν· ἐνοικῆσαι δὲ ἀσφαλῆ μηκέτι εἶναι. ᾐνίττετο δὲ διὰ τούτων τοὺς ἐπιχωριάζοντας αὐτῇ συκοφάντας καὶ τὰς ἐκ τῶν δημαγωγούντων ἐπιβουλάς.

And twitter has taught me that this is a common motif:

Leave a Reply