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p201 Bendideia

Article by Leonhard Schmitz, Ph.D., F.R.S.E., Rector of the High School of Edinburgh
on p201 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

BENDIDEIA (Βενδίδεια), a festival celebrated in the port town of Peiraeeus in honour of Bendis, a Thracian divinity, whose worship seems to have been introduced into Attica about the time of Socrates, for Plato (De Re Publ. init.) introduces Socrates giving an opinion on the Bendideia, and saying that it was then celebrated for the first time. It was celebrated on the 20th, or according to others, on the 19th of Thargelion (Schol. ad Plat. Repub. I p354; Proclus, ad Plat. Tim. pp9‑27). The festival resembled, in its character, those celebrated in honour of Dionysus (Strab. X p470), though Plato (l.c. p354) mentions only feasting; but the principal solemnities seem to have consisted in a procession held by the Thracians settled in Peiraeeus, and another held by the Peiraeans themselves, which, according to Plato (De Re Publ. init.), were held with great decorum and propriety, and a torch race on horseback in the evening. The Athenians identified Bendis with their own Artemis (Hesych. s.v. Βένδις), but the temple of Bendis (Βενδίδειον) at Peiraeeus was near that of Artemis, whence it is clear that the two divinities must have been distinct (Xenoph. Hellen. II.4 § 11; comp. Liv. XXXVIII.41; Ruhnken, ad Tim. Gloss. p62; Clinton, F. H. vol. II p402, 3d edit.).


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