Artemis, the Greek goddess of wildlife and fertility, had a very important role in Greek mythology. She did many things to people to protect what she believed in and cared about. Although she was worshipped a very long time ago, she is still very well known today.
The daughter of Leto and Zeus, and the twin of Apollo, Artemis is the goddess of the wilderness, the hunt and wild animals, and fertility. She was often depicted with the crescent of the moon above her forehead and was sometimes identified with Selene (goddess of the moon). Artemis was one of the Olympians and a virgin goddess. Her main job was to roam mountain forests and unoccupied land with her nymphs in attendance, hunting for lions, panthers, hinds and stags. Later, she helped in protecting and seeing to their well-being, also their safety and reproduction. She was always armed with a bow and arrow. Some of the names given to Artemis are: Potnia Theron (mistress of wild animals); Kourotrophos (nurse of youth's); Locheia (helper in childbirth); Agrotera (huntress); and Cynthia (taken from her birthplace on Mount Cynthus on Delos).
Also, Artemis was known for her protection of her virginity. At the very young age of three, she asked her father for eternal virginity. She usually punished anyone who tried to ruin her purity. In one legend, the Greek god Actaeon, while out hunting, accidentally came upon Artemis and her nymphs, who were bathing naked in a secluded pool. The stunned Actaeon stopped and gazed at them, but when Artemis saw him ogling them, she transformed him into a stag. Then, incensed with disgust, she set his own hounds upon him (Leadbetter, www.pantheon.org, Encyclopedia Mythica, 03 March, 1997). It is also very odd that, in spite of her protection of pregnant women, she killed them while they were in labor. Likewise, she was very fond and protective over wildlife. Since she preferred the wild over city life, animals were like friends to her. In another legend, the great...
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