Kotys is a Greek goddess whose name can also be spelled Kotus, Cotys, or Cotytto. It’s unknown who her parents were. She also doesn’t have any known offspring. As a goddess, her domain was over the wilds and wilderness. She was similar to the Greek goddess Bendis, and in some literature, her name was used interchangeably with that of Bendis.
Kotys was a divinity primarily based in Thracia. She did have a festival each year called the Cotyttia. The festival would be celebrated on the hills with vivid and energetic proceedings. Most worship of Kotys was primarily of a sexual nature.
Later, the worship of Kotys would be introduced to both Corinth and Athens. Her worship was similar to the worship of Dionysus in that it involved frivolity of a sexual nature. Some accounts place worshipers even as far as Sicily and Italy.
People who celebrated the festival of Kotys were referred to as baptai. This was a reference to purification rituals that had originally been connected with solemnity.
Kotys appears in a number of pieces of classical Greek literature.
Kotys is a unique goddess because of her Thracian nature. Her name doesn’t have a Greek translation. It’s unknown whether her name ever had a direct translation in any other languages. It’s also unusual that no information is known about her parentage or potential offspring, as so many Greek gods and goddesses had complex family trees. Some experts theorize that Kotys was worshiped more as a spiritual personification of desire than as a literal goddess.
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