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Scene on a third-century A.D. sarcophagus depicting an orgia

Cotyttia (Greek: Κοτύττια, Kotuttiā) was an orgiastic, nocturnal religious festival of ancient Greece and Thrace in celebration of Kotys, the goddess of sex, considered an aspect of Persephone.[1][2]


Cotyttia originated with the Edones as a celebration of the rape of Persephone.[2][3] Throughout Thrace it was celebrated secretly in the hills at night,[4][5][6][7] and was notorious for its obscenity and insobriety.[3]

Through influence of trade and commerce, the Edonian form of the festival spread to Athens, Corinth, and Chios,[1][2][7] where its mark became so pronounced that "companion of Cotytto" became synonymous with "slut".[6]

In Sicily the rites of Cotyttia were much more mundane, celebrating the waxing aspect of Persephone.[2][3]


  1. ^ a b Simpson, D. P. (1968). Cassell's Latin Dictionary. U.S.A.: Macmillan Publishing Co. p. 156. ISBN 0-02-522570-7.
  2. ^ a b c d Bell, John (2003). Bell's New Pantheon or Historical Dictionary of the Gods, Demi Gods, Heroes. Kessinger Publishing. p. 156. ISBN 0-7661-7834-X.
  3. ^ a b c Peck, Harry Thurston (1897). Harper's Dictionary of Classical Literature and Antiquities. New York: Harper & Brothers Pub. pp. 421–422.
  4. ^ Verity, A. Wilson. Milton's Arcades and Comus. New York: Macmillan and Co. p. 94.
  5. ^ Kennedy, Charles Rann (1856). The Orations of Demosthenes Against Leptines, Midias, Androtian, and Aristocrates. London: Henry G. Bohn. p. 276.
  6. ^ a b Gow, James (1895). Q.horati Flacci Epodon liber. Cambridge: J. and C. F. Clay. p. 52.
  7. ^ a b "Kotys". Theoi Greek Mythology. 2008. Retrieved Feb 4, 2009.