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 Herodotus, Bk. I, Ch. CXCIX; Baruch, Ch. VI, p. 43. Modern scholars
confirm the statements of Herodotus from the study of Babylonian
literature, though inclined to deny that religious prostitution occupied
so large a place as he gives it. A tablet of the Gilgamash epic, according
to Morris Jastrow, refers to prostitutes as attendants of the goddess
Ishtar in the city Uruk (or Erech), which was thus a centre, and perhaps
the chief centre, of the rites described by Herodotus (Morris Jastrow,
_The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria_, 1898, p. 475). Ishtar was the
goddess of fertility, the great mother goddess, and the prostitutes were
priestesses, attached to her worship, who took part in ceremonies intended
to symbolize fertility. These priestesses of Ishtar were known by the
general name Kadishtu, "the holy ones" (op. cit., pp. 485, 660).
 It is usual among modern writers to associate Aphrodite Pandemos,
rather than Ourania, with venal or promiscuous sexuality, but this is a
complete mistake, for the Aphrodite Pandemos was purely political and had
no sexual significance. The mistake was introduced, perhaps intentionally,
by Plato. It has been suggested that that arch-juggler, who disliked
democratic ideas, purposely sought to pervert and vulgarize the conception
of Aphrodite Pandemos (Farnell, _Cults of Greek States_, vol. ii, p. 660).
 Athenaeus, Bk. xiii, cap. XXXII. It appears that the only other
Hellenic community where the temple cult involved unchastity was a city of
the Locri Epizephyrii (Farnell, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 636).
 I do not say an earlier "promiscuity," for the theory of a primitive
sexual promiscuity is now widely discredited, though there can be no
reasonable doubt that the early prevalence of mother-right was more
favorable to the sexual freedom of women than the later patriarchal
system. Thus in very early Egyptian days a woman could give her favors to
any man she chose by sending him her garment, even if she were married. In
time the growth of the rights of men led to this being regarded as
criminal, but the priestesses of Amen retained the privilege to the last,
as being under divine protection (Flinders Petrie, _Egyptian Tales_, pp.
 It should be added that Farnell ("The Position of Women in Ancient
Religion," _Archiv fuer Religionswissenschaft_, 1904, p. 88) seeks to
explain the religious prostitution of Babylonia as a special religious
modification of the custom of destroying virginity before marriage in
order to safeguard the husband from the mystic dangers of defloration.
E.S. Hartland, also ("Concerning the Rite at the Temple of Mylitta,"
_Anthropological Essays Presented to E.B. Tyler_, p. 189), suggests that
this was a puberty rite connected with ceremonial defloration. This theory
is not, however, generally accepted by Semitic scholars.
 The girls of this tribe, who are remarkably pretty, after spending
two or three years in thus amassing a little dowry, return home to marry,
and are said to make model wives and mothers. They are described by
Bertherand in Parent-Duchatelet, _La Prostitution a Paris_, vol. ii, p.
 In Abyssinia (according to Fiaschi, _British Medical Journal_, March
13, 1897), where prostitution has always been held in high esteem, the
prostitutes, who are now subject to medical examination twice a week,
still attach no disgrace to their profession, and easily find husbands
afterwards. Potter (_Sohrab and Rustem_, pp. 168 et seq.) gives references
as regards peoples, widely dispersed in the Old World and the New, among
whom the young women have practiced prostitution to obtain a dowry.
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