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Bendis horseback is described at the beginning of

Plato’s Republic. By the third century BCE,
there was also a sanctuary of Bendis in Athens
itself, and a club of her devotees existed at
Bendis was a Thracian goddess who was equated Salamis also. Members of the organization of
with Greek ARTEMIS, HEKATE, or Persephone. In her worshippers at Athens were called orgeones
Greek iconography she resembles Artemis, since and some (or all?) of them were Thracians.
she is represented as a huntress, with hunting
boots, two lances, deerskin, and a Phrygian cap.
She was especially popular at Athens, where her REFERENCES AND SUGGESTED READINGS
cult was officially introduced in 430 BCE; how-
Gočeva, Z., and Popov, D. (1986) “Bendis.”
ever, it is possible that the goddess was vener-
Lexicon iconographicum mythologiae classicae
ated there even before that date (Parker 1996: 3.1: 95–7.
172). Bendis had a sanctuary, the Bendideion, Parker, R. (1996) Athenian religion: a history.
in Piraeus. Several Attic inscriptions testify to Oxford.
the importance of the cult there, and a great Simms, R. R. (1988) “The cult of the Thracian
festival of Bendis on 19/20 Thargelion with goddess Bendis in Athens and Attica.” Ancient
twin processions and a nightly torch-race on World 18: 59–76.

The Encyclopedia of Ancient History, First Edition. Edited by Roger S. Bagnall, Kai Brodersen, Craige B. Champion, Andrew Erskine,
and Sabine R. Huebner, print page 1081.
© 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Published 2013 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
DOI: 10.1002/9781444338386.wbeah17072