Thais


Asteroid 1236, Thais, was discovered on November 6, 1931 by Grigory Neujmin at Simeis, Ukraine. It has a period of 3 years, 288 days and is 22.34 kilometers (slightly less than 14 miles) in diameter.

It was named for the Athenian hetaera (courtesan) Thais who accompanied Alexander the Great to Asia. She later married one of his generals, Ptolemy I Soter, founder of the last dynasty of Egyptian pharaohs. She instigated the burning of the Persian capital Persepolis in revenge for the Persian burning of the Acropolis of Athens. Dante put her in his Inferno for an alleged act of fulsome flattery.

Thais of Athens With Torch by British painter Joshua Reynolds (1781)

The meaning of asteroid Thais seems to be: trying to impress someone, butter someone up, gain influence over someone.


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