a Thracian divinity in whom the moon was worshipped. Hesychius (s. v. dilonchon) says, that the poet Cratinus called this goddess dilonchos, either because she had to discharge two duties, one towards heaven and the other towards the earth, or because she bore two lances, or lastly, because she had two lights, the one her own and the other derived from the sun. In Greece she was sometimes identified with Persephone, but more commonly with Artemis. (Proclus, Theolog. p. 353.) From an expression of Aristophanes, who in his comedy "The Lemnian Women" called her the megalê theos (Phot. Lex. and Hesych. s. v.), it may be inferred, that she was worshipped in Lemnos; and it was either from this island or from Thrace that her worship was introduced into Attica; for we know, that as early as the time of Plato the Bendideia were celebrated in Peiraeeus every year on the twentieth of Thargelion.


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.) 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.

The festival resembled, in its character, those celebrated in honour of Dionysus, though Plato 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, were held with great decorum and propriety, and a torch race on horse­back in the evening. The Athenians identified Bendis with their own Artemis, but the temple of Bendis at Peiraeeus was near that of Artemis, whence it is clear that the two divinities must have been distinct.

From the Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.