servant or slave -- often a temple prostitute
. As far back as ancient Babylonia
prostitution was not only legal, but often run by the local government or a religious temple. Both the epic of Gilgamesh
and the Code of Hammurabi
have references to hierodules.
In the book of Deuteronomy -- in the Old Testament -- the admonitions quoted by conservatives against homosexuals are better translated as against hierodules -- or temple holy men or holy women.
In ancient Greece there were three officially recognized classes of prostitutes: the dicteriades, auletrides, and hetairae. These corresponded to the lower, middle, and upper classes. The most famous and powerful of these prostitutes were Lamia and Aspasia -- each of whom became, through their lovers, the unofficial rulers of Athens.