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, B.C. 429, 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
i. p. 354; Proclus,
pp. 9-27.) The
festival resembled, in its character, those celebrated in honour of Dionysus
(Strab. x. p.470
), though Plato (l.c.
p. 354) 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.
were held with great decorum and [p. 1.296]
propriety, and a
torch-race on horseback in the evening. The Athenians identified Bendis with
their own Artemis (Hesych. sub voce
), but the temple of Bendis
) at Peiraeeus was near
that of Artemis, whence it is clear that the two divinities were distinct.
2.4.11; comp. Liv. 38.41
; Ruhnken, ad Tim. Gloss.
p. 62; Clinton, F. H.
vol. ii. p. 402, 3rd edit.)