Jan Filipský filipsky at RZONE.CZ
Mon Apr 28 09:28:59 UTC 2008

Dear List:

It depends on what one means by "courtesans":
The list can start with "classic" accounts like
"Liebe und Erhe im alten und modernen Indien" by Richard Schmidt, Verlag von
H. Barsdorf, Berlin 1904, esp. Chapter 6. Die Prostitution, pp. 543-566;
"Indische Erotik nach den wichstigsten Quellen erstmallig dargestellt" by
the same author, Hermann Barsdorf Verlag, Berlin 1901, Ch. 12 Die Hetären,
pp. 568-577
and, naturally, with the relevant source texts (The Kamasutra, Ksemendra's
Samayamatrika - see, e.g. the translation by Johann Jacob Meyer, Das
Zauberbuch der Hetären, Lotus-Verlag, Leipzig 1903; original text The
Samayamatrika of Kshemendra edited by Pandit Durgaprasad and Kasinath
Pandurang Parab, 2nd ed., Pandurang Jawaji, Bombay 1925; The Kuttanimata of
Damodaragupta, German translation (again) by Johann Jacob Meyer, Lehren
einer Kupplerin, Lotus-Verlag, Leipzig 1903; see also Ajaya Mitra Sastri,
India as seen in the Kuttani-mata of Damodaragupta, MLBD, Delhi 1975, etc.)
Similarly, there are numerous historical overviews like that of
S. N. Simha & N. K. Bose, History of Prostitution in Ancient India (upto 3rd
cent. A.D.), Shree Balaram Prakasani, Kolkata 2003;
S. C. Banerji, R. Banerji, The Castaway of Indian Society. History of
Prostitution in India since Vedic Times based on Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit and
Bengali Sources, Punthi Pustak, Calcutta 1989; etc.
Or, one may concentrate on the the devadasis, the "sacred prostitutes",
dealt with in numerous studies, like
Saskia C. Kersenboom, Nityasumangali. Devadasi Tradition in South India,
MLBD, Delhi 2002;
Kay K. Jordan, From Sacred Servant to Profane Prostitute. A History of the
Changing Legal Status of the Devadasis in India, 1857-1947, Manohar, New
Delhi 2003;
A. K. Prasad, Devadasi System in Ancient India. A Study of Temple Dancing
Girls of South India, H. K. Publishers and Distributors, Delhi 1991;
Kakolee Chakraborthy, Women As Devadasis. Origin and Growth of the Devadasi
Profession, Deep & Deep, New Delhi 2000; or
Priyadarshini Vijaisri, Recasting the Devadasi. Patterns of Sacred
Prostitution in Colonial South India, Kanishka Publishers Distributors, New
Delhi 2004, to mention just a few titles I have at hand. 
There are also numerous sociological studies of prostitution in modern
India, but one could hardly call the poor abused women "courtesans".
Jan Filipsky

On Sat, 26 Apr 2008, Harsha Dehejia wrote:

> Friends:
> Could someone please refer me to any material on Courtesans in India?
> Regards.
> Harsha.
> Harsha V. Dehejia
> Ottawa, ON., Canada.

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