A once undeniable beauty, Thais the Harlot was an Athenian hetaera who accompanied Alexander the Great on his conquest of Persia. In 330 BC, Alexander placed Thais as the person to start the destruction of Persepolis. After Alexander's death, Thais married her lover, Ptolemy who was one of Alexander's generals and the recently crowned Pharaoh of Egypt. Thais is now stricken and broke. She frolicked in the joy of watching many men kill one another over the chance to embrace her bodily desires.
- In The Inferno, Dante and Virgil behold the shade of Thais in the second pit of the Malebolge, condemned for her acts of flattery.