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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) was a prominent Thracian goddess who was worshipped in a festival known as the Cotyttia. She was particularly worshipped among the Edones.[1] Suda mentioned that is was worshiped among the Corinthians.[2] The Greeks considered Kotys to be an aspect of Persephone.[3]


The name Kotys is believed to have meant "war, slaughter", akin to Old Norse Höðr "war, slaughter".[4]


Kotys's followers were known as baptes, which means "bathers,"[5] because their pre-worship purification ceremony involved an elaborate bathing ritual. Kotys was often worshipped during nocturnal ceremonies, which were associated with rampant insobriety and obscene behavior.[6] Her cult was very similar to the cult of the goddess Bendis.

Kotys was also worshiped at Corinth.[7][8]


  1. ^ Detschew, Dimiter. Die Thrakische Sprachreste. Wien, 1957: p. 258 (in German)
  2. ^ Suda, ka.2171
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ βάπτω, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  6. ^ Cobham Brewer, Ebenezer (1894). Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable - Revised and Updated Edition. New York: Harper & Brothers. pp. 73.
  7. ^ Suda Encyclopedia,kappa 2171
  8. ^ Suda Encyclopedia, theta 381

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