Greek goddess of the hunt, the wilderness, wild animals, the Moon, and chastity
|Member of the Twelve Olympians|
|Symbol||Bow, arrow, quiver, hunting knives, Moon, deer, cypress|
|Parents||Zeus and Leto|
|Siblings||Apollo, Aeacus, Angelos, Aphrodite, Ares, Athena, Dionysus, Eileithyia, Enyo, Eris, Ersa, Hebe, Helen of Troy, Hephaestus, Heracles, Hermes, Minos, Pandia, Persephone, Perseus, Rhadamanthus, the Graces, the Horae, the Litae, the Muses, the Moirai|
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|Ancient Greek religion|
Artemis is the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. She was the patron and protector of young girls, and was believed to bring disease upon women and relieve them of it. Artemis was worshipped as one of the primary goddesses of childbirth and midwifery along with Eileithyia. Much like Athena and Hestia, Artemis preferred to remain a maiden and is sworn never to marry.
Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities, and her temple at Ephesus was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Artemis' symbols included a bow and arrow, a quiver, and hunting knives, and the deer and the cypress were sacred to her. Diana, her Roman equivalent, was especially worshipped on the Aventine Hill in Rome, near Lake Nemi in the Alban Hills, and in Campania.
The name Artemis (noun, feminine) is of unknown or uncertain etymology, although various sources have been proposed. R. S. P. Beekes suggested that the e/i interchange points to a Pre-Greek origin. Artemis was venerated in Lydia as Artimus. Georgios Babiniotis, while accepting that the etymology is unknown, also states that the name is already attested in Mycenean Greek and is possibly of Pre-Greek origin.
The name may be possibly related to Greek árktos "bear" (from PIE *h₂ŕ̥tḱos), supported by the bear cult the goddess had in Attica (Brauronia) and the Neolithic remains at the Arkoudiotissa Cave, as well as the story of Callisto, which was originally about Artemis (Arcadian epithet kallisto); this cult was a survival of very old totemic and shamanistic rituals and formed part of a larger bear cult found further afield in other Indo-European cultures (e.g., Gaulish Artio). It is believed that a precursor of Artemis was worshipped in Minoan Crete as the goddess of mountains and hunting, Britomartis. While connection with Anatolian names has been suggested, the earliest attested forms of the name Artemis are the Mycenaean Greek 𐀀𐀳𐀖𐀵, a-te-mi-to /Artemitos/ (gen.) and 𐀀𐀴𐀖𐀳, a-ti-mi-te /Artimitei/ (dat.), written in Linear B at Pylos.
According to J. T. Jablonski, the name is also Phrygian and could be "compared with the royal appellation Artemas of Xenophon. Charles Anthon argued that the primitive root of the name is probably of Persian origin from *arta, *art, *arte, all meaning "great, excellent, holy", thus Artemis "becomes identical with the great mother of Nature, even as she was worshipped at Ephesus". Anton Goebel "suggests the root στρατ or ῥατ, "to shake", and makes Artemis mean the thrower of the dart or the shooter".
Ancient Greek writers, by way of folk etymology, and some modern scholars, have linked Artemis (Doric Artamis) to ἄρταμος, artamos, i.e. "butcher" or, like Plato did in Cratylus, to ἀρτεμής, artemḗs, i.e. "safe", "unharmed", "uninjured", "pure", "the stainless maiden".
Leto bore Apollo and Artemis, delighting in arrows,
Both of lovely shape like none of the heavenly gods,
As she joined in love to the Aegis-bearing ruler.— Hesiod, Theogony, lines 918–920 (written in the 7th century BCE)
Various conflicting accounts are given in Classical Greek mythology regarding the birth of Artemis and Apollo, her twin brother. However, in terms of parentage, all accounts agree that she was the daughter of Zeus and Leto and that she was the twin sister of Apollo. In some sources, she is born at the same time as Apollo, in others, earlier or later.
According to Callimachus, Hera, angry with her husband Zeus for impregnating Leto, forbade her from giving birth on either terra firma (the mainland) or on an island, but the island of Delos disobeyed and allowed Leto to give birth there. According to the Homeric Hymn to Artemis, however, the island where she and her twin were born was Ortygia. In ancient Cretan history Leto was worshipped at Phaistos and, in Cretan mythology, Leto gave birth to Apollo and Artemis on the islands known today as Paximadia.
A scholium of Servius on Aeneid iii. 72 accounts for the island's archaic name Ortygia by asserting that Zeus transformed Leto into a quail (ortux) in order to prevent Hera from finding out about his infidelity, and Kenneth McLeish suggested further that in quail form Leto would have given birth with as few birth-pains as a mother quail suffers when it lays an egg.
The myths also differ as to whether Artemis was born first, or Apollo. Most stories depict Artemis as firstborn, becoming her mother's midwife upon the birth of her brother Apollo.
The childhood of Artemis is not fully related to any surviving myth. A poem by Callimachus to the goddess "who amuses herself on mountains with archery" imagines a few charming vignettes of a young Artemis. While sitting on the knee of her father, she asks him to grant her ten wishes:
- to always remain a virgin
- to have many names to set her apart from her brother Phoebus (Apollo)
- to have a bow and arrow made by the Cyclopes
- to be the Phaesporia or Light Bringer
- to have a short, knee-length tunic so she could hunt
- to have 60 "daughters of Okeanos", all nine years of age, to be her choir
- to have 20 Amnisides Nymphs as handmaidens to watch her hunting dogs and bow while she rested
- to rule all the mountains
- to be assigned any city, and only to visit when called by birthing mothers
- to have the ability to help women in the pains of childbirth.
Artemis believed she had been chosen by the Fates to be a midwife, particularly as she had assisted her mother in the delivery of her twin brother Apollo. All of her companions remained virgins, and Artemis closely guarded her own chastity. Her symbols included the golden bow and arrow, the hunting dog, the stag, and the moon.
Callimachus then tells how Artemis spent her girlhood seeking out the things she would need to be a huntress, and how she obtained her bow and arrows from the isle of Lipara, where Hephaestus and the Cyclopes worked. While Oceanus' daughters were initially fearful, the young Artemis bravely approached and asked for bow and arrows. Callimachus then tells how she visited Pan, god of the forest, who gave her seven female and six male hounds. She then captured six golden-horned deer to pull her chariot. Artemis practiced archery first by shooting at trees and then at wild game.
Relations with men
The river god Alpheus was in love with Artemis, but as he realized he could do nothing to win her heart, he decided to capture her. When Artemis and her companions at Letrenoi go to Alpheus, she becomes suspicious of his motives and covers her face with mud so he does not recognize her. In another story, Alphaeus tries to rape Artemis' attendant Arethusa. Artemis pities the girl and saves her, transforming her into a spring in the temple Artemis Alphaea in Letrini, where the goddess and her attendant drink.
Bouphagos, son of the Titan Iapetus, sees Artemis and thinks about raping her. Reading his sinful thoughts, Artemis strikes him down at Mount Pholoe.
In another story, Siproites is a boy who, either because he accidentally sees Artemis bathing or because he attempts to rape her, is turned into a girl by the goddess.
Multiple versions of the Actaeon myth survive, though many are fragmentary. The details vary but at the core, they involve the great hunter Actaeon whom Artemis turns into a stag for a transgression, and who is then killed by hunting dogs. Usually, the dogs are his own, but no longer recognize their master. Occasionally they are said to be the hounds of Artemis.
According to the standard modern text on the work, Lamar Ronald Lacey's The Myth of Aktaion: Literary and Iconographic Studies, the most likely original version of the myth portrays Actaeon as the hunting companion of the goddess who, seeing her naked in her sacred spring, attempts to force himself on her. For this hubris, he is turned into a stag and devoured by his own hounds. However, in some surviving versions, Actaeon is a stranger who happens upon Artemis. According to the Latin version of the story told by the Roman Ovid having accidentally seen Diana on Mount Cithaeron while she was bathing, he was changed by her into a stag, then pursued and killed by his 50 hounds. Various tellings also diverge in terms of the hunter's transgression: sometimes merely seeing the virgin goddess naked, sometimes boasting he is a better hunter than she, or even merely being a rival of Zeus for the affections of Semele.
In other versions, Artemis killed Adonis for revenge. In later myths, Adonis is a favorite of Aphrodite, who was responsible for the death of Hippolytus, who had been a favorite of Artemis. Therefore, Artemis killed Adonis to avenge Hippolytus's death.
In yet another version, Adonis was not killed by Artemis, but by Ares as punishment for being with Aphrodite.
In yet another version, it is Apollo who sends the deadly scorpion. According to Hyginus Artemis once loved Orion (in spite of the late source, this version appears to be a rare remnant of her as the pre-Olympian goddess who took consorts as Eos did), but was tricked into killing him by her brother Apollo, who was "protective" of his sister's maidenhood.
The twin sons of Poseidon and Iphidemia, Otos and Ephialtes, grew enormously at a young age. They were aggressive skilled hunters and could not be killed unless by each other. The growth of the Aloadae never stopped, and they boasted that as soon as they could reach heaven, they would kidnap Artemis and Hera and take them as wives. The gods were afraid of them, except for Artemis who captured a fine deer (or in another version of the story, she changed herself into a doe) and jumped out between them. The Aloadae threw their spears and so mistakenly killed one another. In another version, Apollo sent the deer into the Aloadae's midst, causing their accidental killing of each other.
Callisto was the daughter of Lycaon, King of Arcadia and also was one of Artemis's hunting attendants. As a companion of Artemis, she took a vow of chastity. Zeus appeared to her disguised as Artemis; or in some stories, it is Apollo who gained her confidence and took advantage of her or (according to Ovid) raped her, resulting in the conception of Arcas.
Enraged, Hera or Artemis (some accounts say both) changed Callisto into a bear. Arcas almost kills the bear, but Zeus stops him just in time and places the bear in the heavens; hence, the origin of Callisto the Bear as a constellation. Some stories say that he placed both Arcas and Callisto into the heavens as bears, forming the Ursa Minor and Ursa Major constellations.
Iphigenia and the Taurian Artemis
Artemis punished Agamemnon after he killed a sacred stag in a sacred grove and boasted that he was a better hunter than the goddess. When the Greek fleet was preparing at Aulis to depart for Troy to commence the Trojan War, Artemis becalmed the winds. The seer Calchas erroneously advised Agamemnon that the only way to appease Artemis was to sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia. Artemis then snatched Iphigenia from the altar and substituted a deer. Various myths have been told about what happened after Artemis took her; either she was brought to Tauros and led the priests there or became Artemis' immortal companion.
A queen of Thebes and wife of Amphion, Niobe boasted of her superiority to Leto, having 14 children (Niobids), seven boys and seven girls, while Leto had only one of each. When Artemis and Apollo heard this impiety, Apollo killed Niobe's sons as they practiced athletics, and Artemis shot her daughters, who died instantly without a sound. Apollo and Artemis used poisoned arrows to kill them, though according to some versions two of the Niobids were spared, one boy and one girl. Amphion, at the sight of his dead sons, killed himself. A devastated Niobe and her remaining children were turned to stone by Artemis as they wept. The gods themselves entombed them.
Chione was a princess of Pokis. She was beloved by two gods, Hermes and Apollo, and boasted that she was more beautiful than Artemis because she had made two gods fall in love with her at once. Artemis was furious and killed Chione with an arrow, or struck her mute by shooting off her tongue. However, some versions of this myth say Apollo and Hermes protected her from Artemis' wrath.
Atalanta, Oeneus and the Meleagrids
Artemis saved the infant Atalanta from dying of exposure after her father abandoned her. She sent a female bear to nurse the baby, who was then raised by hunters. In some stories, Artemis later sent a bear to injure Atalanta because others claimed Atalanta was a superior hunter.
Among other adventures, Atalanta participated in the Calydonian boar hunt, which Artemis had sent to destroy Calydon because King Oeneus had forgotten her at the harvest sacrifices. In the hunt, Atalanta drew the first blood and was awarded the prize of the boar's hide. She hung it in a sacred grove at Tegea as a dedication to Artemis.
Meleager was a hero of Aetolia. King Oeneus ordered him to gather heroes from all over Greece to hunt the Calydonian boar. After the death of Meleager, Artemis turns his grieving sisters, the Meleagrids, into guineafowl that Artemis favoured.
In Nonnus Dionysiaca, Aura was the daughter of Lelantos and Periboia. She was a virgin huntress, just like Artemis and proud of her maidenhood. However, she asserts that Artemis’ body is too womanly and doubts the goddess’ virginity. Artemis asks Nemesis for help to avenge her dignity; she then causes the rape of Aura by Dionysus, after which Aura becomes a deranged killer. When she bore twin sons, she ate one while the other, Iacchus, was saved by Artemis. Iacchus later became an attendant of Demeter and the leader of Eleusinian Mysteries.
Polyphonte was a young woman who fled home in pursuit of a free, virginal life with Artemis to the conventional life of marriage and children favoured by Aphrodite. As a punishment, Aphrodite cursed her, causing her to have children by a bear. Her resulting offspring, Agrius and Oreius, were wild cannibals who incurred the hatred of Zeus. Ultimately the entire family was transformed into birds who became ill portents for mankind.
Artemis may have been represented as a supporter of Troy because her brother Apollo was the patron god of the city, and she herself was widely worshipped in western Anatolia in historical times. In the Iliad she comes to blows with Hera when the divine allies of the Greeks and Trojans engage each other in conflict. Hera strikes Artemis on the ears with her own quiver, causing the arrows to fall out. As Artemis flees, crying to Zeus, Leto gathers up the bow and arrows.
Artemis plays a significant role in the war. Like Leto and Apollo (who was widely worshipped in Troy), Artemis took the side of the Trojans. At the beginning of the Greek's journey to Troy, Artemis stilled the sea, stopping the journey until an oracle came saying they could win the goddess' heart by sacrificing Iphigenia, Agamemnon's daughter. Agamemnon once promised the goddess he would sacrifice the dearest thing to him, which was Iphigenia, but broke that promise. Other sources said he boasted about his hunting ability and provoked the goddess' anger. However, Artemis saved Iphigenia because of her bravery. In some versions of the myth, Artemis made Iphigenia her attendant or turned her into Hecate, goddess of night, witchcraft, and the underworld.
Artemis, the goddess of forests and hills, was worshipped throughout ancient Greece. Her best known cults were on the island of Delos (her birthplace), in Attica at Brauron and Mounikhia (near Piraeus), and in Sparta. She was often depicted in paintings and statues in a forest setting, carrying a bow and arrows and accompanied by a deer.
The ancient Spartans used to sacrifice to her as one of their patron goddesses before starting a new military campaign.
Athenian festivals in honor of Artemis included Elaphebolia, Mounikhia, Kharisteria, and Brauronia. The festival of Artemis Orthia was observed in Sparta.
Pre-pubescent and adolescent Athenian girls were sent to the sanctuary of Artemis at Brauron to serve the Goddess for one year. During this time, the girls were known as arktoi, or little she-bears. A myth explaining this servitude states that a bear had formed the habit of regularly visiting the town of Brauron, and the people there fed it, so that, over time, the bear became tame. A girl teased the bear, and, in some versions of the myth, it killed her, while, in other versions, it clawed out her eyes. Either way, the girl's brothers killed the bear, and Artemis was enraged. She demanded that young girls "act the bear" at her sanctuary in atonement for the bear's death.
Artemis was worshipped as one of the primary goddesses of childbirth and midwifery along with Eileithyia. Dedications of clothing to her sanctuaries after a successful birth was common in the Classical era. Artemis could be a deity to be feared by pregnant women, as deaths during this time were contributed to her. As childbirth and pregnancy was a very common and important event, there were numerous other deities associated with it, many localized to a particular geographic area, including but not limited to Aphrodite, Hera and Hekate. According to Pseudo-Apollodorus, she assisted her mother in the delivery of her twin. Older sources, such as Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo (in Line 115), have the arrival of Eileithyia on Delos as the event that allows Leto to give birth to her children. Contradictory is Hesiod's presentation of the myth in Theogony, where he states that Leto bore her children before Zeus’ marriage to Hera with no commentary on any drama related to their birth.
|O: bare head of Augustus
ΚΑΙΣΑΡ / ΘΕΟΥ ΥΙΟΣ
|R: Artemis Tauropolos riding bull
|bronze coin struck by Augustus in Amphipolis 31 - 27 BCE; ref.: RPC 1626|
As Aeginaea, she was worshipped in Sparta; the name means either huntress of chamois, or the wielder of the javelin (αἰγανέα). Also in Sparta, Artemis Lygodesma was worshipped. This epithet means "willow-bound" from the Gr. lygos (λυγός, willow) and desmos (δεσμός, bond). The willow tree appears in several ancient Greek myths and rituals.
Also in Athens, she was worshipped as Aristoboule, "the best adviser".
As Artemis Isora also known as Isoria or Issoria, in the temple at the Issorium near lounge of the Crotani (the body of troops named the Pitanatae) near Pitane, Sparta. Pausanias mentions that although the locals refer to her as Artemis Isora, he says "They surname her also Lady of the Lake, though she is not really Artemis hut Britomartis of Crete"
She was worshipped at Naupactus as Aetole; in her temple in that town, there was a statue of white marble representing her throwing a javelin. This "Aetolian Artemis" would not have been introduced at Naupactus, anciently a place of Ozolian Locris, until it was awarded to the Aetolians by Philip II of Macedon. Strabo records another precinct of "Aetolian Artemos" at the head of the Adriatic. As Agoraea she was the protector of the agora.
As Artemis Orthia (Greek Ὀρθία) and was common to the four villages originally constituting Sparta: Limnai, in which it is situated, Pitana, Kynosoura, and Mesoa.
As Agrotera, she was especially associated as the patron goddess of hunters. In Athens Artemis was often associated with the local Aeginian goddess, Aphaea. As Potnia Theron, she was the patron of wild animals; Homer used this title. As Kourotrophos, she was the nurse of youths. As Locheia, she was the goddess of childbirth and midwives.
She was sometimes known as Cynthia, from her birthplace on Mount Cynthus on Delos, or Amarynthia from a festival in her honor originally held at Amarynthus in Euboea.
She was sometimes identified by the name Phoebe, the feminine form of her brother Apollo's solar epithet Phoebus.
Alphaea, Alpheaea, or Alpheiusa (Gr. Ἀλφαῖα, Ἀλφεαία, or Ἀλφειοῦσα) was an epithet that Artemis derived from the river god Alpheius, who was said to have been in love with her. It was under this name that she was worshipped at Letrini in Elis, and in Ortygia. Artemis Alphaea was associated with the wearing of masks, largely because of the legend that while fleeing the advances of Alpheius, she and her nymphs escaped him by covering their faces.
As Artemis Anaitis, the 'Persian Artemis' was identified with Anahita. As Apanchomene, she was worshipped as a hanged goddess.
She was also worshiped as Artemis Tauropolos, variously interpreted as "worshipped at Tauris", "pulled by a yoke of bulls", or "hunting bull goddess". A statue of Artemis "Tauropolos" in her temple at Brauron in Attica was supposed to have been brought from the Taurians by Iphigenia. Tauropolia was also a festival of Artemis in Athens. There was a Tauropolion, a temple in a temenos sacred to Artemis Tauropolos, in the north Aegean island of Doliche (now Ikaria). There is a Temple to 'Artemis Tauropolos' (as well as a smaller temple to an unknown goddess about 262 metres (860 feet) south, on the beach) located on the eastern shore of Attica, in the modern town of Artemida (Loutsa). An aspect of the Taurian Artemis was also worshipped as Aricina.
Pausanias at the Description of Greece writes that near Pyrrhichus, there was a sanctuary of Artemis called Astrateias (Ancient Greek: Ἀστρατείας), with an image of the goddess said to have been dedicated by the Amazons. He also wrote that at Pheneus there was a sanctuary of Artemis, which the legend said that it was founded by Odysseus when he lost his mares and when he traversed Greece in search of them, he found them on this site. For this the goddess was called Heurippa (Ancient Greek: Εὑρίππα), meaning horse finder.
One of the epithets of Artemis was Chitone (Ancient Greek: Χιτώνη). Ancient writers believed that the epithet derived from the chiton that the goddess was wearing as a huntress or from the clothes in which newborn infants were dressed being sacred to her or from the Attic village of Chitone. Syracusans had a dance sacred to the Chitone Artemis. At the Miletus there was a sanctuary of Artemis Chitone and was one of the oldest sanctuaries in the city.
The epithet Leucophryne (Λευκοφρύνη), derived from the city of Leucophrys. At the Magnesia on the Maeander there was a sanctuary dedicated to her. In addition, the sons of Themistocles dedicated a statue to her at the Acropolis of Athens, because Themistocles had once ruled the Magnesia. Bathycles of Magnesia dedicated a statue of her at Amyclae.
Artemis was born on the sixth day, which made it sacred for her.
- Festival of Artemis in Brauron, where girls, aged between five and ten, dressed in saffron robes and played at being bears, or "act the bear" to appease the goddess after she sent the plague when her bear was killed.
- Festival of Amarysia is a celebration to worship Artemis Amarysia in Attica. In 2007, a team of Swiss and Greek archaeologists found the ruin of Artemis Amarysia Temple, at Euboea, Greece.
- Festival of Artemis Saronia, a festival to celebrate Artemis in Trozeinos, a town in Argolis. A king named Saron built a sanctuary for the goddess after the goddess saved his life when he went hunting and was swept away by a wave. He held a festival in her honor.
- On the 16th day of Metageitnio (second month on the Athenian calendar), people sacrificed to Artemis and Hecate at Deme in Erchia.
- Kharisteria Festival on 6th day of Boidromion (third month) celebrates the victory of the Battle of Marathon, also known as the Athenian "Thanksgiving".
- Day six of Elaphobolia (ninth month) festival of Artemis the Deer Huntress where she was offered cakes shaped like stags, made from dough, honey and sesame seeds.
- Day 6 or 16 of Mounikhion (tenth month) is a celebration of her as the goddess of nature and animals. A goat was sacrificed to her.
- Day 6 of Thargelion (eleventh month), is the Goddess's birthday, while the seventh was Apollo's.
- A festival for Artemis Diktynna (of the net) was held in Hypsous.
- Laphria, a festival for Artemis in Patrai. The procession starts by setting logs of wood around the altar, each of them 16 cubits long. On the altar, within the circle, the driest wood is placed. Just before the festival, a smooth ascent to the altar is built by piling earth upon the altar steps. The festival begins with a splendid procession in honor of Artemis, and the maiden officiating as priestess rides last in the procession upon a chariot yoked to four deer, Artemis' traditional mode of transport (see below). However, the sacrifice is not offered until the next day.
- In Orchomenus, a sanctuary was built for Artemis Hymnia where her festival was celebrated every year.
An important aspect of Artemis' persona and worship was her virginity, which may seem contradictory given her role as a goddess associated with childbirth. It is likely that the idea of Artemis as a virgin goddess is related to her primary role as a huntress. Hunters traditionally abstained from sex prior to the hunt as a form of ritual purity and out of a belief that the scent would scare off potential prey. The ancient cultural context in which Artemis' worship emerged also held that virginity was a prerequisite to marriage, and that a married woman became subservient to her husband. In this light, Artemis' virginity is also related to her power and independence. Rather than a form of asexuality, it is an attribute that signals Artemis as her own master, with power equal to that of male gods. It is also possible that her virginity represents a concentration of fertility that can be spread among her followers, in the manner of earlier mother goddess figures. However, some later Greek writers did come to treat Artemis as inherently asexual and as an opposite to Aphrodite.
As a mother goddess
Despite her virginity, both modern scholars and ancient commentaries have linked Artemis to the archetype of the mother goddess. Artemis was traditionally linked to fertility and was petitioned to assist women with childbirth. According to Herodotus, the Greek playwright Aeschylus identified Artemis with Persephone as a daughter of Demeter. Her worshipers in Arcadia also traditionally associated her with Demeter and Persephone. In Asia Minor, she was often conflated with local mother goddess figures, such as Cybele, and Anahita in Iran. However, the archetype of the mother goddess was not highly compatible with the Greek pantheon, and though the Greeks had adopted the worship of Cybele and other Anatolian mother goddesses as early as the 7th century BCE, she was not directly conflated with any Greek goddesses; instead, bits and pieces of her worship and aspects were absorbed variously by Artemis, Aphrodite, and others as Eastern influence spread.
As the Lady of Ephesus
At Ephesus in Ionia, Turkey, her temple became one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It was probably the best-known center of her worship except for Delos. There the Lady whom the Ionians associated with Artemis through interpretatio graeca was worshipped primarily as a mother goddess, akin to the Phrygian goddess Cybele, in an ancient sanctuary where her cult image depicted the "Lady of Ephesus" adorned with multiple large beads. Excavation at the site of the Artemision in 1987–88 identified a multitude of tear-shaped amber beads that had been hung on the original wooden statue (xoanon), and these were probably carried over into later sculpted copies. In Acts of the Apostles, Ephesian metalsmiths who felt threatened by Saint Paul's preaching of Christianity, jealously rioted in her defense, shouting "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" Of the 121 columns of her temple, only one composite, made up of fragments, still stands as a marker of the temple's location.
- Bow and arrow
According to the Homeric Hymn to Artemis, she had a golden bow and arrows, as her epithet was Khryselakatos ("of the Golden Shaft") and Iokheira ("showered by arrows"). The arrows of Artemis could also bring sudden death and disease to girls and women. Artemis got her bow and arrow for the first time from The Kyklopes, as the one she asked from her father. The bow of Artemis also became the witness of Callisto's oath of her virginity. In later cults, the bow became the symbol of waxing moon.
- Spears, nets, and lyre
Although quite seldom, Artemis is sometimes portrayed with a hunting spear. Her cult in Aetolia, the Artemis Aetolian, showed her with a hunting spear. The description of Artemis' spear can be found in Ovid's Metamorphosis, while Artemis with a fishing spear connected with her cult as a patron goddess of fishing. As a goddess of maiden dances and songs, Artemis is often portrayed with a lyre.
Deer were the only animals held sacred to Artemis herself. On seeing a deer larger than a bull with horns shining, she fell in love with these creatures and held them sacred. Deer were also the first animals she captured. She caught five golden horned deer called Elaphoi Khrysokeroi and harnessed them to her chariot. The third labour of Heracles, commanded by Eurystheus, consisted of catching the Cerynitian Hind alive. Heracles begged Artemis for forgiveness and promised to return it alive. Artemis forgave him but targeted Eurystheus for her wrath.
- Hunting dog
Artemis got her hunting dogs from Pan in the forest of Arcadia. Pan gave Artemis two black-and-white dogs, three reddish ones, and one spotted one – these dogs were able to hunt even lions. Pan also gave Artemis seven bitches of the finest Arcadian race. However, Artemis only ever brought seven dogs hunting with her at any one time.
The sacrifice of a bear for Artemis started with the Brauron cult. Every year a girl between five and ten years of age was sent to Artemis' temple at Brauron. The Byzantine writer Suidos relayed the legend in Arktos e Brauroniois. A bear was tamed by Artemis and introduced to the people of Athens. They touched it and played with it until one day a group of girls poked the bear until it attacked them. A brother of one of the girls killed the bear, so Artemis sent a plague in revenge. The Athenians consulted an oracle to understand how to end the plague. The oracle suggested that, in payment for the bear's blood, no Athenian virgin should be allowed to marry until she had served Artemis in her temple ('played the bear for the goddess').
Artemis felt pity for the Meleagrids as they mourned for their lost brother, Meleager, so she transformed them into Guinea Fowl to be her favorite animals.
- Buzzard hawk
Hawks were the favored birds of many of the gods, Artemis included.
The oldest representations of Artemis in Greek Archaic art portray her as Potnia Theron ("Queen of the Beasts"): a winged goddess holding a stag and lioness in her hands, or sometimes a lioness and a lion. This winged Artemis lingered in ex-votos as Artemis Orthia, with a sanctuary close by Sparta.
In Greek classical art she is usually portrayed as a maiden huntress, young, tall, and slim, clothed in a girl's short skirt, with hunting boots, a quiver, a bow and arrows. Often, she is shown in the shooting pose, and is accompanied by a hunting dog or stag. When portrayed as a moon goddess, Artemis wore a long robe and sometimes a veil covered her head. Her darker side is revealed in some vase paintings, where she is shown as the death-bringing goddess whose arrows fell young maidens and women, such as the daughters of Niobe.
Artemis was sometimes represented in Classical art with the crown of the crescent moon, such as also found on Luna and others.
On June 7, 2007, a Roman-era bronze sculpture of Artemis and the Stag was sold at Sotheby's auction house in New York state by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery for $25.5 million.
105 Artemis, the Artemis (crater), the Artemis Chasma, the Artemis Corona, and the Artemis lunar program have all been named after the goddess.
Artemis is the acronym for "Architectures de bolometres pour des Telescopes a grand champ de vue dans le domaine sub-Millimetrique au Sol", a large bolometer camera in the submillimeter range that was installed in 2010 at the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX), located in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile.
The taxonomic genus Artemia, which entirely comprises the family Artemiidae, derives from Artemis. Artemia are aquatic crustaceans known as brine shrimp, the best-known species of which, Artemia salina, or Sea Monkeys, was first described by Carl Linnaeus in his Systema Naturae in 1758. Artemia live in salt lakes, and although they are almost never found in an open sea, they do appear along the Aegean coast near Ephesus, where the Temple of Artemis once stood.
In Modern Spaceflight
The Artemis program is an ongoing crewed spaceflight program carried out by NASA, U.S. commercial spaceflight companies, and international partners such as ESA, with the goal of landing "the first woman and the next man" on the lunar south pole region by 2024. NASA is calling this the Artemis program in honor of Apollo's twin sister in Greek mythology, the goddess of the Moon.
References and sources
- "Artemis | Myths, Symbols, & Meaning". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2021-07-06.
- Roman, Luke; Roman, Monica (2010). Encyclopedia of Greek and Roman Mythology. Infobase Publishing. p. 85. ISBN 9781438126395.
- "Artemis". Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Babiniotis, Georgios (2005). "Άρτεμις". Λεξικό της Νέας Ελληνικής Γλώσσας. Athens: Κέντρο Λεξικολογίας. p. 286.
- R. S. P. Beekes, Etymological Dictionary of Greek, Brill, 2009, p. 142.
- Indogermanica et Caucasica: Festschrift fur Karl Horst Schmidt zum 65. Geburtstag (Studies in Indo-European language and culture), W. de Gruyter, 1994, Etyma Graeca, pp. 213–214, on Google books; Houwink ten Cate, The Luwian Population Groups of Lycia and Cilicia Aspera during the Hellenistic Period (Leiden) 1961:166, noted in this context by Brown 2004:252.
- Michaël Ripinsky-Naxon, The Nature of Shamanism: Substance and Function of a Religious Metaphor (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1993), 32.
- Campanile, Ann. Scuola Pisa 28:305; Restelli, Aevum 37:307, 312.
- Edwin L. Brown, "In Search of Anatolian Apollo", Charis: Essays in Honor of Sara A. Immerwahr, Hesperia Supplements 33 (2004:243–257). p. 251: Artemis, as Apollo's inseparable twin, is discussed in pp. 251ff.
- John Chadwick and Lydia Baumbach, "The Mycenaean Greek Vocabulary" Glotta, 41.3/4 (1963:157-271). p. 176f, s.v. Ἂρτεμις, a-te-mi-to- (genitive); C. Souvinous, "A-TE-MI-TO and A-TI-MI-TE", Kadmos 9 1970:42–47; T. Christidis, "Further remarks on A-TE-MI-TO and A-TI-MI-TE", Kadmos 11:125–28.
- Anthon, Charles (1855). "Artemis". A Classical dictionary. New York: Harper & Brothers. p. 210.
- Lang, Andrew (1887). Myth, Ritual, and Religion. London: Longmans, Green and Co. pp. 209–210.
- ἄρταμος. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project.
- Ἄρτεμις. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project.
- ἀρτεμής. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project.
- Hammond. Oxford Classical Dictionary. 597-598.
- Or as a separate island birthplace of Artemis: "Rejoice, blessed Leto, for you bear glorious children, the lord Apollon and Artemis who delights in arrows; her in Ortygia, and him in rocky Delos," says the Homeric Hymn; the etymology Ortygia, "Isle of Quail", is not supported by modern scholars.
- McLeish, Kenneth. Children of the Gods pp 33f; Leto's birth-pangs, however, are graphically depicted by ancient sources.
- "Callimachus – Hymn III to Artemis 1-27".
- Online English translation.
- Callimachus – Hymn III to Artemis 46
- Scholia on Homer, Iliad 18.486 citing Pherecydes
- Heath, "The Failure of Orpheus", Transactions of the American Philological Association 124 (1994:163-196) p. 196.
- Walter Burkert, Homo Necans (1972), translated by Peter Bing (University of California Press) 1983, p 111.
- Ovid, Metamorphoses iii.131; see also pseudo-Apollodorus' Bibliotheke iii. 4
- Chisholm 1911.
- Lacy, "Aktaion and a Lost 'Bath of Artemis'" The Journal of Hellenic Studies 110 (1990:26-42)
- "Another name for Artemis herself", Karl Kerenyi observes, The Gods of the Greeks (1951:204).
- Aratus, 638
- Hyginus, Poeticon astronomicon, ii.34, quoting the Greek poet Istrus.
- Atsma, Aaron J. "FAVOUR OF ARTEMIS: Greek mythology". Theoi.com. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
- Aura does not appear elsewhere in surviving literature and appears to have been offered no cult.
- Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses, 21
- Homer, Iliad 21.470 ff).
- “. . . a goddess universally worshipped in historical Greece, but in all likelihood pre-Hellenic.” Hammond, Oxford Classical Dictionary, 126.
- Golden, M., Children and Childhood in Classical Athens (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990), p. 84.
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- Pausanias, iii. 14. § 2.
- Schmitz, Leonhard (1867). "Aeginaea". In Smith, William (ed.). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 1. Boston. p. 26.
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- Pausanias, Description of Greece 1.29.2
- Leake, William Martin (1830). "Travels in the Morea: with a map and plans". Retrieved 2020-01-16.
- "CALLIMACHUS, HYMNS 1-3 - Theoi Classical Texts Library". Retrieved 2020-01-16. (3, verse 170)
- "Plutarch • Life of Agesilaus". Retrieved 2020-01-16. (32,4)
- Pausanias, x. 38. § 6.
- "Among the Heneti certain honours have been decreed to Diomedes; and, indeed, a white horse is still sacrificed to him, and two precincts are still to be seen — one of them sacred to the Argive Hera and the other to the Aetolian Artemis. (Strabo, v.1.9 on-line text).
- Schmitz, Leonhard (1867). "Alphaea". In William Smith (ed.). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 1. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. p. 133.
- Pausanias, Description of Greece vi. 22. § 5
- Strabo, Geographica viii. p. 343
- Scholiast on Pindar's Pythian Odes ii. 12, Nemean Odes i. 3
- Dickins, G.; Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies (1929). "Terracotta Masks". The Sanctuary of Artemis Orthia: Supplementary Papers. London, England: Macmillan Publishers. p. 172. Retrieved 2009-03-19.
- Pausanias, Description of Greece, § 3.25.3
- Pausanias, Description of Greece, 8.14.5
- Stephanus of Byzantium, Ethnika, Ch694.8
- Artemis Titles
- Athenaeus, Deipnosophists, 14.27
- THE SANCTUARY OF ARTEMIS CHITONE AND THE EARLY CLASSICAL SETTLEMENT ON THE EASTERN TERRACE OF THE KALABAKTEPE IN MILETUS - Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut
- Appian, The Civil Wars Horace White, Ed.
- Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.26.4
- Leucophryne, A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, William Smith, Ed.
- mharrsch (2007-11-04). "Passionate about History: Search continues for temple of Artemis Amarysia". Passionateabouthistory.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
- "SARON, Greek Mythology Index". Mythindex.com. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
- "Ancient Athenian Festival Calendar". Winterscapes.com. 2007-07-24. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
- "Ancient Athenian Festival Calendar". Winterscapes.com. 2007-07-24. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
- "Ancient Athenian Festival Calendar". Winterscapes.com. 2007-07-24. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
- "Ancient Athenian Festival Calendar". Winterscapes.com. 2007-07-24. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
- "Ancient Athenian Festival Calendar". Winterscapes.com. 2007-07-24. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
- Hjerrild, B. (2009). Near Eastern equivalents to Artemis. Tobias Fischer-Hansen & Birte Poulsen, eds. From Artemis to Diana: The Goddess of Man and Beast. Museum Tusculanum Press. ISBN 8763507889, 9788763507882.
- ""Potnia Aswia: Anatolian Contributions to Greek Religion" by Sarah P. Morris". Archived from the original on 2014-01-06.
- Acts 19:28.
- Homer portrayed Artemis as girlish in the Iliad.
- Greek poets could not decide whether her bow was silver or gold: "Over the shadowy hills and windy peaks she draws her golden bow." (Homeric Hymn to Artemis), and it is a golden bow as well in Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.693, where her nymph's is of horn. "And how often goddess, didst thou make trial of thy silver bow?", asks Callimachus for whom it is a Cydonian bow that the Cyclopes make for her (Callimachus, Hymn 3 to Artemis).
- "APEX – Artemis". Apex-telescope.org. 2010-01-11. Retrieved 2013-03-25.
- . NASA. Accessed on 19 May 2019.
- . NASA. Accessed on 23 July 2019.
- Walter Burkert, 1985. Greek Religion (Cambridge: Harvard University Press)
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Actaeon". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 157.
- Robert Graves (1955) 1960. The Greek Myths (Penguin)
- Karl Kerenyi, 1951. The Gods of the Greeks
- Seppo Telenius (2005) 2006. Athena-Artemis (Helsinki: Kirja kerrallaan)
- A handbook of classical drama By Philip Whaley Harsh Page 220 ISBN 978-0-8047-0380-2
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Artemis.|
- Theoi Project, Artemis, information on Artemis from original Greek and Roman sources, images from classical art.
- A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890) (eds. G. E. Marindin, William Smith, LLD, William Wayte)
- Fischer-Hansen T., Poulsen B. (eds.) From Artemis to Diana: the goddess of man and beast. Collegium Hyperboreum and Museum Tusculanum Press, Copenhagen, 2009
- Warburg Institute Iconographic Database: ca 1,150 images of Artemis