Kotys

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Greek vase painting depicting a goddess, probably either Bendis or Kotys, adorned in Thracian garb approaching a seated Apollo. Red-figure bell-shaped krater by the Bendis Painter, c. 380–370 BCE

Kotys (Ancient Greek: Κότυς Kótys), also called Kotytto (Κοτυττώ), was a Thracian goddess whose festival, the Cotyttia, resembled that of the Phrygian Cybele, and was celebrated on hills with riotous proceedings and orgiastic rites, especially at night.

Etymology[edit]

The name Kotys is believed to have meant "war, slaughter", akin to Old Norse Höðr "war, slaughter".[1]

Worship[edit]

Worship of Kotys was apparently adopted publicly in Corinth (c. 425 BC),[2][3] and perhaps privately in Athens about the same time, and was connected, like that of Dionysus, with licentious frivolity. It then included a baptismal ceremony. Kotys was often worshipped during nocturnal ceremonies, which were associated with rampant insobriety and obscene behaviour.[4]

Her worship appears to have spread even as far as Italy and Dorian Sicily. Later relief sculptures from Thrace showed her as a huntress-goddess similar to Artemis, but in literature she was instead compared with the Oriental-Greek-Roman Cybele (Great Mother of the Gods).[5]

Those who celebrated her festival were called βάπται or baptes, which means "bathers,"[6] from the purifications which were originally connected with the solemnity: the pre-worship purification ceremony involved an elaborate bathing ritual.

Some Greeks considered Kotys to be an aspect of Persephone,[7] and her cult shares similarities with that of Bendis. She was particularly worshipped among the Edones.[8] The Suda mentions that she was also worshiped among the Corinthians.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Also cognate: Irish cath "war, battle", early German Hader "quarrel", Greek kótos "hatred", Old Church Slavonic kotora "fight, brawl", Sanskrit śatru "enemy, nemesis", and Hittite kattu "spiteful". See Orel, Vladimir. A Handbook of Germanic Etymology. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2003: 165.
  2. ^ Suda Encyclopedia,kappa 2171
  3. ^ Suda Encyclopedia, theta 381
  4. ^ Cobham Brewer, Ebenezer (1894). Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable - Revised and Updated Edition. New York: Harper & Brothers. pp. 73.
  5. ^ Strab. x. p.470; Hesych. Suid. s. vv. Κότυς, Διασώτης; Horat. Epod. 17.56; Juv. 2.92; Virg. Catal. 5.19.
  6. ^ βάπτω, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Detschew, Dimiter. Die Thrakische Sprachreste. Wien, 1957: p. 258 (in German)
  9. ^ Suda, ka.2171

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]