Artemis the Goddess of the Moon and Hunt

Topics: Apollo, Greek mythology, Homeric Hymns Pages: 11 (4455 words) Published: February 17, 2013
ARTEMIS was the great Olympian goddess of hunting, wilderness and wild animals. She was also a goddess of childbirth, and the protectress of the girl child up to the age of marriage. Her twin brother Apollon was similarly the protector of the boy child. Together the two gods were also bringers of sudden death and disease--Artemis targetted women and girls, and Apollon men and boys. In ancient art Artemis was usually depicted as a girl dressed in a short knee-length chiton and equipped with a hunting bow and quiver of arrows. Some of the best known myths featuring the goddess include:-- * Her birth, immediately following which she assisted her mother in the birth of her twin brother Apollon; * The Trojan War where she was beaten by Hera in an angry contest of the gods; * The hunter Aktaion who encountered the goddess whilst she was bathing and was turned into a stag; * The Aloadai giants who attempted to storm Olympos but were tricked by Artemis into killing each other; * The sacrifice of Iphigeneia whom King Agamemnon offered to her for the passage of the Greek fleet to Troy; * The giant Orion, a close companion of the goddess, who was slain by the goddess or her jealous brother; * The Kalydonian boar sent by Artemis to ravage Kaldyon; * The nymph Kallisto, a companion of Artemis, who was seduced by Zeus in the guise of the goddess. This site contains a total of 15 pages describing the goddess, including general descriptions, mythology, and cult. The content is outlined in the table below. Quotes for these pages are still being compiled (see bottom of this page for status). ENCYCLOPEDIAARTEMIS, one of the great divinities of the Greeks. Her name is usually derived from artemês, uninjured, healthy, vigorous; according to which she would be the goddess who is herself inviolate and vigorous, and also grants strength and health to others. (Plat. Cratyl. p. 406, b. ; Strab. xiv. p. 635; Eustath. ad Hom. pp. 32, 577, 1732.) According to the Homeric account and Hesiod (Theog. 918) she was the daughter of Zeus and Leto, whence Aeschylus (Sept. 148) calls her lêtôgeneia. She was the sister of Apollo, and born with him at the same time in the island of Delos. According to a tradition which Pausanias (viii. 37. § 3) found in Aeschylus, Artemis was a daughter of Demeter, and not of Leto, while according to an Egyptian story (Herod. ii. 156) she was the daughter of Dionysus and Isis, and Leto was only her nurse. But these and some other legends are only the results of the identification of the Greek Artemis with other local or foreign divinities. The place of her birth is for the same reason not the same in all traditions : some say that it was the grove of Ortygia near Ephesus (Tacit. Annal. iii. 61; Schol. ad Pind. Nem. i. 1), others that it was Crete (Diod. v. 72), and others again, that she was the sister of Apollo, but born somewhat earlier, so that she was able to assist Leto in giving birth to Apollo. (Orph Hymn. 34. 5; Spanheim, ad Callim. p. 476, &c.)In the description of the nature and character of this goddess, it is necessary to distinguish between the different points of view from which the Greeks regarded her, and also between the really Greek Artemis and certain foreign divinities, who for some resemblance or another were identified by the Greeks with their own Artemis.1. Artemis as the sister of Apollo, is a kind of female Apollo, that is, she as a female divinity represented the same idea that Apollo did as a male divinity. This relation between the two is in many other cases described as the relation of husband and wife, and there seems to have been a tradition which actually described Artemis as the wife of Apollo. (Eustath. ad Hom. p. 1197.) In the character of sister of Apollo, Artemis is like her brother armed with a bow, quiver, and arrows, and sends plague and death among men and animals : she is a thea apollousa. Sudden deaths, but more especially those of women, are described as...
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