Cotyttia originated with the Edones as a celebration of the rape of Persephone. Throughout Thrace it was celebrated secretly in the hills at night, and was notorious for its obscenity and insobriety.
Through influence of trade and commerce, the Edonian form of the festival spread to Athens, Corinth, and Chios, where its mark became so pronounced that "companion of Cotytto" became synonymous with "slut".
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