Goddess of nature, childbirth, wildlife, the hunt, sudden death, animals, virginity, young women, and archery
Member of the Twelve Olympians
AbodeMount Olympus
Animalsdeer, serpent, dog, boar, goat, bear, quail, buzzard, guineafowl
Symbolbow and arrows, crescent moon, animal pelts, spear, knives, torch, lyre, amaranth
Treecypress, palm, walnut
MountA golden chariot driven by four golden-horned deer
Personal information
ParentsZeus and Leto
SiblingsApollo (twin), and many paternal half-siblings
Roman equivalentDiana
Etruscan equivalentArtume
Statue of Artemis, fresco from Pompeii, 50–1 BCE
Scene from sacrifice in honour of Artemis-Diana. Frecco fom the house of Vettii in Pompeii
Artemis pouring a libation, c. 460-450 BCE.

In ancient Greek religion and mythology, Artemis (/ˈɑːrtɪmɪs/; Greek: Ἄρτεμις) is the goddess of the hunt, the wilderness, wild animals, nature, vegetation, childbirth, care of children, and chastity.[1][2] In later times, in some places, she was identified with Selene, the personification of the Moon.[3] She often roamed the forests of Greece, attended by her large entourage, mostly made up of nymphs, some mortals, and hunters. The goddess Diana is her Roman equivalent.

In Greek tradition, Artemis is the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. In most accounts, the twins are the products of an extramarital liaison. For this, Zeus' wife Hera forbade Leto from giving birth anywhere on land. Only the island of Delos gave refuge to Leto, allowing her to give birth to her children. Usually, Artemis is the twin to be born first, who then proceeds to assist Leto in the birth of the second child, Apollo. Like her brother, she was a kourotrophic (child-nurturing) deity, that is the patron and protector of young children, especially young girls, and women, and was believed to both bring disease upon women and children and relieve them of it. Artemis was worshipped as one of the primary goddesses of childbirth and midwifery along with Eileithyia and Hera. Much like Athena and Hestia, Artemis preferred to remain a maiden goddess and was sworn never to marry, so was one of the three Greek virgin goddesses, over whom the goddess of love and lust, Aphrodite, had no power whatsoever.[4]

In myth and literature, Artemis is presented as a hunting goddess of the woods, surrounded by her followers, who are not to be crossed. In the myth of Actaeon, when the young hunter sees her bathing naked, he is transformed into a deer by the angered goddess and is then devoured by his own hunting dogs, who do not recognize their master. In the story of Callisto, the girl is driven away from Artemis' company after breaking her vow of virginity, having lain with and been impregnated by Zeus.

In the Epic tradition, Artemis halted the winds blowing the Greek ships during the Trojan War, stranding the Greek fleet in Aulis, after King Agamemnon, the leader of the expedition, shot and killed her sacred deer. Artemis demanded the sacrifice of Iphigenia, Agamemnon's young daughter, as compensation for her slain deer. In most versions, when Iphigenia is led to the altar to be offered as a sacrifice, Artemis pities her and takes her away, leaving another deer in her place. In the war that followed, Artemis, along with her twin brother and mother, supported the Trojans against the Greeks, and challenged Hera into battle.

Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities; her worship spread throughout ancient Greece, with her multiple temples, altars, shrines, and local veneration found everywhere in the ancient world. Her great temple at Ephesus was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, before it was burnt to the ground. 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.[5]


The name "Artemis" (n., f.) is of unknown or uncertain etymology,[6][7] although various sources have been proposed. R. S. P. Beekes suggested that the e/i interchange points to a Pre-Greek origin.[8] Artemis was venerated in Lydia as Artimus.[9] 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.[7]

The name may be 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);[10] 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,[11][12] 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.[13][8]

According to J. T. Jablonski, the name is also Phrygian and could be "compared with the royal appellation Artemas of Xenophon.[14] 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".[14] Anton Goebel "suggests the root στρατ or ῥατ, "to shake", and makes Artemis mean the thrower of the dart or the shooter".[15]

Ancient Greek writers, by way of folk etymology, and some modern scholars, have linked Artemis (Doric Artamis) to ἄρταμος, artamos, i.e. "butcher"[16][17] or, like Plato did in Cratylus, to ἀρτεμής, artemḗs, i.e. "safe", "unharmed", "uninjured", "pure", "the stainless maiden".[15][14][18] A. J. Van Windekens tried to explain both ἀρτεμής and Artemis from ἀτρεμής, atremḗs, meaning "unmoved, calm; stable, firm" via metathesis.[19][20]


Minoan seal from Knossos. A goddess flanked by two lionesses, probably the "Mother of the Mountains".
Artemis as Mistress of Animals, Parian pottery, 675–600 BCE

Artemis is presented as a goddess who delights in hunting and punishes harshly those who cross her. Artemis' wrath is proverbial, and represents the hostility of wild nature to humans.[2] Homer calls her πότνια θηρῶν, "the mistress of animals", a title associated with representations in art going back as far as the Bronze Age, showing a woman between a pair of animals.[21]

Artemis carries with her certain functions and characteristics of a Minoan form whose history was lost in the myths.[22] In some cults she retains the theriomorph form of a Pre-Greek goddess who was conceived with the shape of a bear (arktos: bear). Kallisto in Arcadia is an hypostasis of Artemis with the shape of a bear, and her cults at Brauron and at Piraeus (Munichia) are remarkable for the arkteia where virgin girls before marriage were disguised as she-bears.[23]

The ancient Greeks called potnia theron the representation of the goddess between animals; on a Greek vase from circa 570 BCE, a winged Artemis stands between a spotted panther and a deer.[24] "Potnia theron" is very close to the daimons and this differentiates her from the other Greek divinities. This is the reason that Artemis was later identified with Hecate, since the daimons were tutelary deities.[25]

Laphria is the Pre-Greek "mistress of the animals" at Delphi and Patras. The fest at Delphi was introduced by the priests of Delphi "Lab(r)yaden". There was a custom to throw animals alive into the annual fire of the fest.[26] The fest at Patras was introduced from Calydon and this relates Artemis with the Greek heroine Atalanta who symbolizes freedom and independency.[27] Other epithets that relate Artemis with the animals are Amarynthia and Kolainis.

In the Homeric poems Artemis is mainly the goddess of hunting, because it was the most important sport in Mycenean Greece. An almost formulaic epithet used in Iliad and Odyssey to describe her is ἰοχέαιρα iocheaira, "she who shoots arrows", often translated as "she who delights in arrows" or "she who showers arrows".[28] She is called Artemis Chrysilakatos, of the golden shafts, or Chrysinios, of the golden reins, as a goddess of hunting in her chariot.[29] The Homeric Hymn 27 to Artemis paints this picture of the goddess:

I sing of Artemis, whose shafts are of gold, who cheers on the hounds, the pure maiden, shooter of stags, who delights in archery, own sister to Apollo with the golden sword. Over the shadowy hills and windy peaks she draws her golden bow, rejoicing in the chase, and sends out grievous shafts. The tops of the high mountains tremble and the tangled wood echoes awesomely with the outcry of beasts: earthquakes and the sea also where fishes shoal.

— Homeric Hymn 27 to Artemis p.1–9[30]

According the beliefs of the first Greeks in Arcadia Artemis is the first nymph, a goddess of free nature. She is an independent free woman, and she doesn't need any partner.[31] This idea of freedom and skilfulness is expressed in many Greek myths, especially in the myth of the celibate, fierce huntress Atalanta, a local figure allied to the goddess Artemis.[27]

In Peloponnese the temples of Artemis were built near springs, rivers and marshes. Artemis was closely related to the waters and especially with Poseidon, the god of the waters. Her common epithets are Limnnaia, Limnatis (relation with waters) and Potamia and Alfaea (relation with rivers). In some cults she is the healer goddess of women with the surnames Lousia and Thermia.[32]

Artemis is the leader of the nymphs (Hegemone) and she is hunting surrounded by them.[33] The nymphs appear during the fest of the marriage, and they were appealed by the pregnant women.[34] Artemis became goddess of marriage and childbirth. Epheboi and girls who wanted to marry should make a premilinary sacrifice in honour of the goddess[35] with the surname Eukleia.[32] Women consecrated clothes to the goddess for a happy childbirth and she had the epithets Lochia and Lecho.[36]

The Dorians interpreted Artemis mainly as goddess of vegetation who was worshipped in an orgiastic cult with lascivious dances, with the common epithets Orthia, Korythalia and Dereatis.[37] The female dancers wore masks and were famous in antiquity. The goddess of vegetation was also related to the tree-cult with temples near the holy trees and the surnames Apanchomene, Caryatis and Cedreatis.[38]

According to Greek beliefs the image of a god or goddess gave signs or tokens and had divine and magic powers. With these conceptions she was worshipped as Tauria (the Tauric, goddess),[39] Aricina (Italy) and Anaitis (Lydia). In the bucolic (pastoral) songs the image of the goddess was discovered in bundles of leaves or dry sticks and she had the surnames Lygodesma and Phakelitis.[40]

In the Indoeuropean folklore, a wild hunter is chasing an elfish woman who falls in the water. In the Greek myths the hunter is chasing a female deer (doe) and both disappear into the waters. In relation with these myths Artemis was worshipped as Saronia and Stymphalia. The myth of a goddess who is chased and then falls in the sea is related to the cults of Aphaea and Diktynna.[41]

Artemis carrying torches was identified with Hecate the goddess of crossroads and queen of the witches, and she had the surnames Phosphoros and Selasphoros .[42] In Athens and Tegea, she was worshipped as Artemis Kalliste, "the most beautiful".[43] Sometimes the goddess had the name of an Amazon. The female warriors Amazons embody the idea of freedom and women's indepedency.

In spite of her status as a virgin who avoided potential lovers, there are multiple references to Artemis' beauty and erotic aspect;[44] in the Odyssey, Odysseus compares Nausicaa to Artemis in terms of appearance when trying to win her favor, Libanius, when praising the city of Antioch, wrote that Ptolemy was smitten by the beauty of (the statue of) Artemis;[44] whereas her mother Leto often took pride in her daughter's beauty.[45][46]

She has several stories surrounding her where men such as Actaeon, Orion, and Alpheus tried to couple with her forcibly, only to be thwarted or killed. Ancient poets note Artemis' height and imposing stature, as she stands taller and more impressive than all the nymphs accompanying her.[46][47]

Epithets and functions

Artemis in front of the altar. Attic Lekythos 475 BC. Sicily
Artemis, Pergamon Museum, Berlin
Bendis in her Thracian cap, approaches a seated Apollo. Red-figure bell-shaped krater by the Bendis Painter, who c. 380–370 BC
Sacrifice of Iphigenia. Antique fresco from Pompei, probably a copy of a painting by Timanthes.

Artemis is rooted to the less developed personality of the Mycenean goddess of nature. The goddess of nature was concerned with birth and vegetation and had certain chthonic apects. The Mycenean goddess was related to the Minoan mistress of the animals, who can be traced later in local cults,[22] however we don't know to what extent we can differentiate the Minoan from the Mycenean religion.[48] Artemis carries with her certain functions and characteristics of a Minoan form whose history was lost in the myths.[22] According the beliefs of the first Greeks in Arcadia Artemis is the first nymph, a divinity of free nature. She was a great goddess and her temples were built near springs marshes and rivers where the nymphs live, and they are appealed by the pregnant women.[49] In Greek religion we must see less tractable elements which have nothing to do with the Olympians, but come from an old, less organized world -exorcisms, rituals to raise crops, gods and goddesses conceived not quite in human shape. Some cults of Artemis retained the Pre-Greek features which were consecrated by immemorial practices and connected with daily tasks. Artemis shows sometimes the wild and darker side of her character and can bring immediate death with her arrows, however she embodies the idea of "the free nature" which was introduced by the first Greeks.[50] The Dorians came later in the area, probably from Epirus and the goddess of nature was mostly interpreted as a vegetation goddess who was related to the exstatic Minoan tree-cult. She was worshipped in orgiastic cults with lascivious and sometimes obscene dances, which have pure Greek elements introduced by the Dorians.[51] The feminine (sometimes male) dancers wore usually masks, and they were famous in the antiquity. The great popularity of Artemis corresponds to the Greek belief in freedom[52] and she is mainly the goddess of women in a patriarchal society. The goddess of free nature is an independent woman and doesn't need a partner. Artemis is frequently depicted carrying a torch and she was occasionally identified with Hecate. Like other Greek deities, she had a number of other names applied to her, reflecting the variety of roles, duties, and aspects ascribed to the goddess.[53][36]

Aeginaea, probably huntress of chamois or the wielder of the javelin, at Sparta[54] However the word may mean "from the island Aegina", that relates Artemis with Aphaia (Britomartis).[55]

Aetole, of Aetolia at Nafpaktos. A marble statue represented the goddess in the attitude of one hurling a javelin.[56]

Agoraea, guardian of popular assemblies in Athens. She was considered to be the protector of the assemblies of the people in the agora. At Olympia the cult of "Artemis Agoraea" was related to the cult of Despoinai.[57] (The double named goddesses Demeter and Persephone).

Agrotera, the huntress of wild wood, in Iliad and many cults.[58] It was believed that she first hunted at Agrae of Athens after her arrival from Delos. There was a custom of making a "slaughter sacrifice", to the goddess before a battle.[59] The deer always accompanies the goddess of hunting.

Alfaea in Elis and an annual fest at Olympia with a temple near the river Alpheus. At this Letrinoi during the fest girls were dancing wearing masks. In the legend Alfaea and her nymphs covered their faces with mud and the river god Alpheus who was in love with her could not distinguish her from the others. This explains somehow the clay masks at Sparta.

Amarynthia or Amarysia with a famous temple at Amarynthus near Eretria. The goddess was related to the animals, however she was also healer goddess of women. She is identified with Kolainis.

Amphipyros, with fire at each end, a rare epithet of Artemis as bearing a torch in either hand. Sophocles calls her, "Elaphebolos, (deer slayer) Amphipyros", reminding the annual fire of the fest Laphria[60] The adjective refers also to the twin fires of the two peaks of the Mount Parnassus above Delphi (Phaedriades).[61]

Anaitis in Lydia. The fame of Tauria (the Tauric goddess) was very high, and the Lydians claimed that the image of the goddess was among them. The Athenians believed that the image became booty to the Persians and was carried from Brauron to Susa.(Pausanias 3.16.8)

Angelos, messenger, envoy, title of Artemis at Syracuse in Sicily.[62][63]

Apanchomene, hanged, at Caphyae in Arcadia. She was a vegetation goddess related to the exstatic tree-cult. The Minoan tree-goddesses Helene Dentritis and Ariadne were also hanged. This epithet is related to the old traditions where icons and puppets of a vegetation goddess would be hang on a tree. It was believed that the plane tree near the spring at Caphyae, was planted by Menelaus, the husband of Helen of Troy. The tree was called "Menelais".[64] The previous name of the goddess was probably Kondyleatis.

Aphaea or Apha, unseen or disappeared, a goddess at Aegina and a rare epithet of Artemis. Aphaea is identified with Britomartis.[65] In the legend Britomartis (the sweet young woman) escaped from Minos who fell in love with her. She travelled to Aegina on a wooden boat, and then she disappeared. The myth indicates an identity in nature with Diktynna.

Aricina, derived from the town Aricia in Latium, or from Aricia the wife of the Roman forest god Virbius (Hippolytus). The goddess was related with Artemis Tauria (the Tauric Artemis). Her statue was considered the same with the statue that Orestes brought from Tauris.[66] Near the sanctuary of the goddess there was a combat between slaves who had run away from their masters and the prize was the priesthood of Artemis.[67]

Ariste the best, a goddess of the women. Pausanias describes xoana of "Ariste" and "Kalliste" in the way to the academy of Athens and he believes that the names are surnames of the goddess Artemis, who is depicted carrying a torch.[68] Kalliste is not related to Kalliste of Arcadia.

Aristobule, the best advisor", at Athens. The politician and general Themistocles built a temple of Artemis Aristobule, near his house in the deme of Melite, in which he dedicated his own statue.[69]

Hippolytus and Phaedra, antique fresco from Pompeii
A Roman fresco depicting Artemis Diana hunting, 4th century AD, from the Via Livenza hypogeum in Rome.

Astrateias, she that stops an invasion, at Pyrrichos in Laconia. A wooden image (xoanon), was dedicated to the goddess, because she stopped the invasion of the Amazons in this area. Another xoanon represented "Apollo Amazonios".[70]

Basileie at Thrace and Paeonia. The women oferred wheat stalks to the goddess. In this cult which reached Athens, Artemis is relative to the Thracian goddess Bendis.[71]

Brauronia worshipped at Brauron in Attica. Her cult is remarkable for the "arkteia". Young girls dressed with short saffron-yellow chitons imitated the bears (she-bears: arktoi).[72] In Acropolis of Athens the Athenian girls before puberty should serve the goddess as "arktoi".[23] Artemis was the goddess of marriage and childbirth.[72] The name of the small "bears" indicate the theriomorph form of Artemis in an old Pre-Greek cult. In the cult of Baubronia the myth of the sacrifice of Iphigenia was represented in the ritual.[73][74][75]

Boulaia, of the council, in Athens.[76]

Boulephoros, councelling, advising, at Miletus, probably a Greek form of the mother-goddess[77][78]

Caryatis, the lady of the nut-tree, at Caryae on the borders between Laconia and Arcadia. Artemis was strongly related to the nymphs, and young girls were dancing the dance Caryatis. The dancers of Caryai were famous in antiquity.[79] In a legend Carya, the female lover of Dionysos was transformed into a nut tree and the dancers into nuts.[80] The city is considered to be the place of the origin of the bucolic (pastoral) songs.

Chitonia, wearing a loose tunic, at Syracuse in Sicily, as goddess of hunting. The fest was distinguished by a peculiar dance and by a music on the flute.[81]

Cedreatis near Orchomenus in Arcadia. A xoanon was mounted on the holy cedar (kedros).

Chesias from the name of a river at Samos.

Chrisilakatos, of the golden arrow, in Homer's Iliad as a goddess of hunting. Homer refers to the dancing floor of Artemis, and she enjoys hunting surrounded by her nymphs.[82] In Oddysey she descends from a peak and she travels along the ridges of Mount Erymanthos, that was sacred to the "Mistress of the animals".[83] In a legend when the old goddess became wrathful she would send the terrible Erymanthian boar to laid waste the farmers fields.[84] Artemis is the powerful huntress who can sometimes bring an immediate death with her arrows. In Iliad Hera stresses the wild and darker side of her character and she accuses her of being "a lioness between women"[85]

Artemis on her two hind-drawn chariot, (Boeotian red-figure kylix, 450–425 BCE)
Gold ring from Isopata tomb, near Knossos, Crete, 1400–1500 BC. Depicted are female figures dancing among blossoming vegetation; Heraklion Archaeological Museum
Eurynome (far left)

Chrisinios, of the golden reins,as a goddess of hunting in her chariot. In Iliad in her wrath she kills the daughter of the Lycian prince Isander.[29]

Coryphaea, of the peak,at Epidaurus in Argolis. On the top of the mountain Coryphum there was a sunctuary of the goddess. The famous lyric poet Telesilla mentions "Artemis Coryphaea" in an ode.[86]

Cnagia,near Sparta in Laconia. In a legend the native Cnageus was sold as a slave in Crete. He escaped to his country taking with him the virgin priestess of the goddess Artemis. The priestess carried with her from Crete the statue of the goddess, who was named Cnagia.[87]

Cynthia,as goddess of the moon, from her birthplace on Mount Cynthos at Delos. Selene, the Greek personification of the moon, and the Roman Diana were also sometimes called "Cynthia".[88]

Daphnaea,as goddess of vegation. Her name is probably derived from the "laurel-branch" which was used as "May-branch",[89] or an allusion to her statue being made of laurel-wood (daphne)[90] Strabo refers to her annual fest at Olympia. Daphnaea was a goddess of vegetation.

Delia, the feminine form of Apollo Delios

Delphinia, the feminine form of Apollo Delphinios (literally derived from Delphi).

Dereatis, at Sparta near Taygetos. Dancers were performing the obscene da hince "kallabis".[91][92]

Diktynna, from mount Dikti, who is identified with the Minoan goddess Britomartis. She was a very popular goddess, worshipped mainly in west Crete and in Laconia. Her name is derived from the mountain Dikti in Crete. A folk etymology derives her name from the word "diktyon" (net).[93] In the legend Britomartis (the sweet young woman) was hunting together with Artemis who loved her desperately. He escaped from Minos who fell in love with her jumbing in the sea and she fell into a net of fishes.[94]

Eileithyia, goddess of childbirth in Boeotia and other local cults especially in Crete and Laconia. Her name is probably Pre-Greek, however it can derive from the Greek verb eleutho, "to bring" (or "to free")[95] During the bronze age in the cave of Amnisos she was related to the annual birth of the divine child.[96] In the Minoan myth the child was abandoned by his mother and then he was nurtured by the powers of nature.

Elaphia, goddess of hunting (deers). Strabo refers to her annual fest at Olympia.

Elaphebolos, shooter of deers, with the fest "Elaphebolia" at Phocis and Athens,[97] and the name of a month in several local cults. Sophocles calls Artemis "Elaphebolos, Amphipyros", carrying a torch in each hand. This reminds the annual fire of the fest of Laphria at Delphi.[98][99]

Ephesia, at the city Ephesus of Minor Asia. The city was a great center of the cult of the goddess, with a magnificent temple, (Artemision). Ephesia belongs to the series of the Anatolian goddesses (Great mother, or mountain-mother). However she is not a mother-goddess, but the goddess of free nature. In the Homeric Ionic sphere she is the goddess of hunting. The local form of Artemis is identified with Diana. Under Hellenic rule, and later under Roman rule, the Ephesian Artemisia festival was increasingly promoted as a key element in the pan-Hellenic festival circuit. It was part of a definitively Greek political and cultural identity.[100]

Eucleia, as a goddess of marriage in Boeotia and Locris. Epheboi and girls who wanted to marry should make a premilinary sacrifice in honour of the goddess.[101][35] A month at Corkyra was named "Eucleios", and "Eucleia" was the name of a fest at Delphi. During the fest the offerings darata correspond to the offerings gamela (offerings of marriage) during the Apaturia.[102][103]

Mosaic depicting Diana and her nymph surprised by Actaeon. Ruins of Volubilis, 2nd century CE.
The Niobid Krater. Apollo and Artemis kill the children of Niobe, Louvre
Apulian Chous with Callisto turning into a Bear, about 360 BCE, J. Paul Getty Museum

Eupraxis, fine acting. On a relief from Sicily the goddess is depicted holding a torch in one hand and an offering on the other. The torch was used for the ignition of the fire on the altar.[104]

Eurynome, wide ruling, at Phigalia in Arcadia. Her wooden image (xoanon) was binded with a roller golden chain. The xoanon depicted a woman's upper body and the lower body of a fish. Pausanias identifies her as one of the Oceanids daughters of Oceanus and Tethys[105]

Hagemo, Hegemone, leader,[106] as the leader of the nymphs. Artemis was playing and dancing with the nymphs who lived near springs, waters and forests and she was hunting surrounded by them. The nymphs joined the fest of the marriage and then they returned to their original form. The pregnant women appealed to the nymphs for help.[34] In Greek popular culture the commandress of the Neraiden (fairies) is called "Great lady", "Lady Kalo" or "Queen of the mountains".

Heleia, related to the marsh or meadow in Arcadia, Messenia and Kos.[107]

Hemeresia, the soothing goddess worshipped at well Lusoi[108]

Heurippa, horse finder, at Pheneus in Arcadia. Her sunctuary was near the bronze statue of Poseidon Hippios (horse). In a legend Odysseus lost his mares and travelled throughout Greece to find them. He found his mares at Pheneus, where he founded the temple of "Artemis Heurippa".[109]

Hymnia, at Orchomenos in Boeotia. She was goddess of dance and songs especially of female chorouses. The priestesses of Artemis Hymnia couldn't have a normal life like the other women. They were at first virgins and were to remain celibate in the priesthood. They could not use the same baths and they were not allowed to enter the house of a private man.[110][111][112]

Iakinthotrophos nurse of Hyacinthos at Knidos. Hyacinthos was a god of vegetation with Minoan origin. After his birth he was abandoned by his mother and then he was nurtured by Artemis who represents the first power of nature.

Imbrasia from a name of a river at Samos.

Iocheaira, shooter of arrows by Homer (archer queen), as goddess of hunting. She has a wild character and Hera advises her to kill animals in the forest, instead of fighting with her superiors.[85] The powerful goddess of hunting can cause an immediate death with her arrows. Apollo and Artemis kill with their arrows the children of Niobe because she offended her mother Leto.[113][114] In the Indoeuropean and Greek popular religion the arrow-shots from invisible beings can bring diseases and death.

Issora or Isora at Sparta, with the surname Limnaia or Pitanitis. Issorium was a part of a great summit which advances into the level of Eurotas[115] a Pausanias identifies her with the Minoan Britomartis.[116]

Kalliste, the most beautiful, another form of Artemis with the shape of a bear at Tricoloni near Megalopolis a mountainous area full of wild beasts.[117] Kallisto the attendant of Artemis, bore Arcas the patriarch of the Arcaden. In the legend Kallisto was transformed into a bear and in another myth Artemis shooted her. Kallisto is an hypostasis of Artemis with a theriomorph form from a Pre-Greek cult. In Greek popular culture the commandress of the Neraiden (fairies) is called "Great lady", "Kyra Kalo" and "Mistress of the mountains".

'Keladeini, echoing chasing (noisy) in Homer's Iliad because she hunts wild boars and deers surrounded by her nymphs.[118][119]

'Kithone, as a goddess of childbirth at Millet. Her name is probably derived from the custom of clothes consecration to the goddess, for a happy childbirth.

Kolainis, related with the animals at Euboea and Attica. At Eretria she had a major temple and she was called Amarysia.[120] The goddess became healer goddess of women.

Kolias, in a cult of women. Men were excluded because the fertility of the earth was related to motherhood. (Thesmophoria). Aristophanes mentions Kolias and Genetyllis who are accused for lack of restraint. Their cult had a very emotional character.[121][122][123]

Kondyleatis, named after the village "Kondylea", where she had a grove and a temple. In a legend some boys tied a rope around the image of the goddess and said that Artemis was hanged. The boys were killed by the inhabitants and this caused a divine punishment. All the women brought dead children in the world, until the boys were honourable buried. An annual sacrifice was instituted to the divine spirits of the boys[124] Kondyleatis was probably the original name of Artemis Apanchomeni.

Korythalia, derived from "Korythale", probably the "laurel May-branch",[125] as a goddess of vegetation at Sparta. The epheboi and the girls who entered the marriage age placed the "Korythale" in front of the door of the house.[126] In the cult the female dancers (famous in the antiquity) performed boisterous dances and were called Korythalistriai. The fest took place in huts covered with leaves and the net-nurses brought the infants in the sunctuary of the goddess. In Italy, the male dancers wore wooden masks and they were called "kyrritoi" (pushing with the horns).[127][128][129]

Kordaka, in Elis. Τhe dancers performed the obscene dance kordaka, which is considered the origin of the dance of the old comedy. The dance is famous for its nudge and hilarity and gave the name to the goddess.[130][131]

Kourotrophos, protector of young boys. During the Apaturia the front hair of young girls and young boys (koureion) were oferred to the goddess.

Minoan seal from Knossos. A goddess flanked by two lionesses, probably the "Mother of the Mountains".
The swift-footed fierce-huntress Atalanta. Marble, 1703–1705. Copy by Pierre Lepautre of a Roman work after a Hellenistic original.
Armed Amazon, her shield decorates a Gorgon head; Atti ftc kylix, ca. 500 BC, Staatliche Antikensammlungen, Berlin

Laphria, the mistress of the animals (Pre-Greek name) in many cults, especially in central Greece, Phocis and Patras.[132] and the a name of a month in several cities. She is occasionally identified with the Minoan Britomartis.[133] The charαcteristic rite was the annual fire and there was a custom to throw animals alive in the flames during the fest.[26][134] The name is probably derived from the region around Delphi. At Delphi the fest "Laphria" was introduced by the priests of Delphi "Lab(r)yaden".[135] The cult of "Laphria" at Patras was transferred from the city Calydon of Aetolia[136][137] In a legend the Calydonian boar had terrorized the territory because Artemis (the mistress of the animals) was offended. The fierce-huntress Atalanta was more skillful and she was the first who wounded the boar.[138] Atalanta was a local figure allied to the goddess Artemis and she became a Greek heroine, the swift-footed celibate huntress symbolizing the free nature and independency.[139]

Lecho, protector of a woman in childbed, or of one who has just given birth.[36]

Leukophryene, derived from the city Leucophrys in Magnesia of Ionia. The original form of the cult of the goddess is unknown, however it seems that once the character of the goddess was similar with her character in Peloponnese.

Limnaia, of the marsh, at Sparta, with a swimming place Limnaion. (λίμνη: lake).[140]

Limnatis, of the marsh and the lake, at Patras, Ancient Messene and many local cults. During the fest the Messenian young ladies were violated. Cymbals have been found around the temple, indicating that the fest was celebrated with dances.[130][141]

'Lochia, as goddess of childbirth and midwifery.[142] Women consecrated clothes to the goddess for a happy childbirth. Other less common epithets of Artemis as goddess of childbirth are Eulochia and Geneteira.[36]

Lousia, bather or purifier, as a healer goddess at Lusoi in Arcadia, where Melampus healed the Proitiden.

Lyaia at Syracuse in Sicily. (Spartan colony). There is a clear influence from the cult of Artemis Caryatis in Laconhia. The Sicilian songs were transformed songs from the Laconic bucolic (pastoral) songs at Caryai.

Lyceia, of the wolf or with a helmet of a wolf skin,[143] at Troezen in Argolis. It was believed that her temple was built by the hunter Hippolytus who abstained from sex and marriage. Lyceia was probably a surname of Artemis among the Amazons from whom Hippolytus descended from his mother.[144] (Hippolyta).

Lycoatis, with a bronze statue at the city Lycoa in Arcadia. The city was near the foot of the mountain Mainalo, which was sacred to, Pan. On the south slope the Mantineians fetched the bones of Arcas, the son of Kallisto.(Kalliste).[145]

Lygodesma, willow bound, at Sparta (another name of Orthia). Her statue was considered to have been found in a thicket of willows.[40] standing upright (orthia).[146]

Melissa bee or beauty of nature, as a moon goddess. In Neoplatonic philosophy melissa is any pure being of souls coming to birth. The goddess took suffering away from mothers giving birth. It was Melissa who drew souls coming to birth.[147][148]

Molpadia, singer of divine songs, a rare epithet of Artemis as a goddess of dances and songs and leader of the nymphs.[36] In a legend Molpadia was an Amazon. During the Attic war she killed Antiope to save her by the Athenian king Theseus.

Mysia with a temple on the road from Sparta to Arcadia near the "Tomb of the Horse".[149]

Heracles breaking off the golden antler of the Ceryneian Hind, while Athena (left) and Artemis look on black-figure amphora, ca. 540–30 BC)
Archaic representation of the goddess Artemis Orthia (National Archaeological Museum of Athens)
Votive relief with a dedication to Artemis Phosphorus. An exhibit of Varna Archaeological Museum

Munichia in a cult at Piraeus, related to the arkteia of Brauronian Artemis. According to legend, if someone killed a bear, he should be punished by sacrificing his daughter in the sanctuary. Embaros disguised his daughter by dressing her like a bear (arktos), and hid her in the adyton. He placed a goat on the altar and he sacrificed the goat instead of his daughter. The myth is similar to the myth of Iphigenia at Brauron.[150]

Oenoatis, derived from the city Oenoe in Argolis. Above the town there was the mountain Artemisium, with the temple of the goddess on the summit.[151] In a Greek legend the mountain was the place where Heracles chased and captured the terrible Ceryneian Hind, an enormous female deer with golden antlers and hooves of bronze. The deer was sacred to Artemis.[152]

Orthia, upright, with a famous fest at Sparta. Her cult was introduced by the Dorians. She was worshipped as a goddess of vegetation in an orgiastic cult with boisterous dances. The cyclic dances belong to the cult of Orthia. Among the offerings, there were teracotta masks representing grotesque faces. It is suggested that masks imitating the appearance of various animals were used during the fest. Artemis was linked with the bear probably in ways to relation between mothering and birthing of children.[153] In literature there was a great fight for taking the pieces of cheese that were offered to the goddess.[154] The ephoboi could be seen being beaten with whips near the altar of the temple. The whipping of the boys was a ritual of initiation, preparing them for their future life as soldiers.[155] During this ritual the priestess held the wooden image (xoanon) of the goddess under her arms and the altar was full of blood.[156]

Paidotrophos, protector of children at Corone in Messenia. During a fest of Korythalia the wet-nurses brought the infants in the sanctuary of the goddess, to get her protection.

Peitho, Persuasion, at the city Argos in Argolis. Her sanctuary was in the market place, dedicated from Hypermestra. Nearby was the bronze statue of Aeneas.[157]

Pergaia, who was worshipped at Pamphylia of Ionia. There is little information for her cult (Diana, Pergaia).

Pheraia, from the city Pherai, at Argos, Athens and Sicyon. According to Pausanias the Argives and the citizens of Argos and Sicyon believed that the image of the goddess was brought from the city Pherai of Thessaly[158] This conception relates Artemis with the distinctly Thessalian goddess Enodia (the one in the streets, or standing on the road). Enodia was the goddess of the roads, protection (apotropaic), ghosts and cemeteries. Her main cult location was the city Pherai in Ancient Thessaly. A common epithet of Enodia is "Pheraia".[159]

Phakelitis, of the bundle, at Tyndaris in Sicily. In the local legend the image of the goddess was found in a bundle of dry sticks.

Phoebe, bright, as a moon goddess sister of Phoebus.[36] The epithet Phoebe is also given to the moon goddess Selene.[160]

Phosphoros, carrier of light. In Ancient Messene she is carrying a torch as a moon-goddess and she is identified with Hecate. Artemis absorbed the Pre-Greek Potnia Theron who was close to the daimons. In Mycenaean Greece daimons were lesser deities or spirits similar to the ghosts and tutelary deities.[161] This made easier the identification of Artemis with Hecate, who was the goddess of the ghosts, crossroads and queen of the witches.[25]

Polo in Thasos, with inscriptions and statues from the Hellenistic and Roman period. The name is probably related to "parthenos" (virgin).

Potamia, of the river, at Ortygia in Sicily.[162] In a legend Arethusa, was a chaste nymph and tried to escape from the river god Alpheus who fell in love with her. She was transformed by Artemis into a stream, traversed underground and appeared at Ortygia, thus providing water for the city. Ovid calls Arethusa, "Alfeias"[163] (Alfaea) (of the river god).

Representation of Potnia Theron with a Gorgon's head, orientalizing plate, c.600 BC, from Kameiros, Rhodes
Cylinder seal : Master of Animals between lions, griffins, daemons

Potnia Theron, mistress of the animals. The origin of her cult is Pre-Greek and the term is used by Homer for the goddess of hunting.[58] Potnia was the name of the Mycenean goddess of nature.[22] In the earliest Minoan conceptions the "Master of the animals" is depicted between lions and daimons (Minoan Genius). His cult disappeared and he was absorbed by the more powerful Apollo. Sometimes "potnia theron" is depicted with the head of a Gorgon, who is her distant ancestor.[164] Potnia theron is the only Greek goddess who stands close to the daimons and she had a wild side which differentiates her from other Greek gods.[25] In the Greek legends when the goddess was offended she would send terrible animals like the Erymanthian boar and Calydonian boar to laid waste the farmer's land, or voracious birds like the Stymphalian birds to attack farms and humans.[84] During the bronze age the "mistress of the animals" is usually depicted between two lions and a peculiar type of a crown on her head.[165] In Arcadia there is evidence of barbaric animal-sacrifices. During the fest Laphria the animals were thrown alive into the annual fire.[26][134]

Gold ring with Sitting Goddess and row of daimons found in context from Mycenaean Greece
A goddess, probably Hecate (possibly Artemis), is depicted with a bow, dog and twin torches.
Coin from TauricChersonesus with Artemis, deer, bull, club and quiver (c. 300 BC)

Pythia, as a goddess worshipped at Delphi.[166]

Saronia, of Saron, at Troezen across the Saronic gulf. In a legend the king Saron was chasing a doe that dashed into the sea. He followed the doe in the waters and he was drawned in the waves of the sea. He gave his name to the Saronic gulf.[167]

Selasphoros, carrier of light, flame, as a moon-goddess identified with Hecate, in the cult of Munichia at Piraeus.[168]

Soteira (Kore Soteira), Kore saviour, at Phigalia. In Arcadia the mistress of the animals is the first nymph closely related to the springs and the animals, in a surrounding of animal-headed daimons. Artemis is related to Demeter and Persephone in a primitive religion. There is evidence of barbaric animals-sacrifices in the region. At Lycosura Artemis is a great-goddess and she is depicted holding a snake and a torch and dressed with a deer skin, besides Demeter and Persephone. It was said that she was not the daughter of Leto, but the daughter of Demeter.[169]

Stymphalia, of Stymphalus, a city in Arcadia. In a legend the water of the river descented in a chasm which was clogged up and the water overflowed creating a big marsh on the plain. A hunter was chasing a deer and both fell into the mud at the bottom of the chasm. The next day the whole water of the marsh dried up and the land was cultivated.[170] The monstrous man eating Stymphalian birds that were killed by Heracles were considered birds of Artemis.[84] In her cult at Stymphalus they were represented as birds, or as maidens with birds' feet.

Tauria, or Tauro (the Tauric goddess) from Taurians or of the bull. Euripides mentions the image of "Artemis Tauria". According the beliefs of the Greeks, the images of the gods gave signs or tokens.[171] Her image was considered to have been carried from Tauris by Orestes and Iphigenia and was conveyed to Brauron, Sparta or Aricia.[172]

Tauropolos, usually interpreted as hunting bull goddess. Tauropolos was not original in Greece and she has similar functions with foreign goddesses, especially with the mythical bull-goddess. The cult can be identified at Halae Araphenides in Attica. At the end of the peculiar fest a man was sacrificed. He was killed in the ritual with a sword cutting his throat.[173] Strabo mentions that during the night-fest of Tauropolia a girl was raped.[174]

Thermia, as a healer goddess at Lousoi in Arcadia, where Melampus healed the Proitiden.(thermai:bathing places).

Toxia, Toxitis, bowstring in torsion, as goddess of hunting in the island of Kos and at Gortyn. She is the sister of "Apollo toxias".[175][176]

Triclaria at Patras. During the fest the boys bathed in the river Meilichos. Triclaria was a priestess of Artemis who made love with her lover in the sunctuary. They were punished to be sacrificed in the temple and each year the people should sacrifice a couple to the goddess. Europylus came carrying α chest with the image of Dionysus who put an end to the killings.[177]


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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)


Leto with her children, by William Henry Rinehart
Leto with Zeus and their children, 420-410 BC, marble, Archaeological Museum of Brauron

Various conflicting accounts are given in Greek mythology regarding the birth of Artemis and Apollo, her twin brother. In terms of parentage, though, 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; but in others, earlier or later.[5]

Although traditionally stated to be twins, the author of The Homeric Hymn 3 to Apollo (the oldest extant account of Leto's wandering and birth of her children) is only concerned with the birth of Apollo, and sidelines Artemis;[178] in fact in the Homeric Hymn they are not stated to be twins at all.

It is a slightly later poet, Pindar, who speaks of a single pregnancy.[179] The two earliest poets, Homer and Hesiod, confirm Artemis and Apollo's status as full siblings born to the same mother and father, but neither explicitly makes them twins.[180]

Leto with Artemis and Apollo, votive relief, 5th century BC, National Archaeological Museum of Athens
Apollo and Artemis. Tondo of an Attic red-figure cup, circa 470 BCE, Louvre

According to Callimachus, Hera, who was 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 some, this rooted the once freely floating island to one place.

According to the Homeric Hymn to Artemis, however, the island where she and her twin were born was Ortygia.[181][182] 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[183] by asserting that Zeus transformed Leto into a quail (ortux) 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 she lays an egg.[184]

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. Servius, a late fourth/early fifth-century grammarian, wrote that Artemis was born first because at first it was night, whose instrument is the Moon, which Artemis represents, and then day, whose instrument is the Sun, which Apollo represents.[185] Pindar however writes that both twins shone like the Sun when they came into the bright light.[186]

After their troubling childbirth, Leto took the twin infants and crossed over to Lycia, in the southwest corner of Asia Minor, where she tried to drink from and bathe the babies in a spring she found there. However, the local Lycian peasants tried to prevent the twins and their mother from making use of the water by stirring up the muddy bottom of the spring, so the three of them could not drink it. Leto, in her anger that the impious Lycians had refused to offer hospitality to a fatigued mother and her thirsty infants, transformed them all into frogs, forever doomed to swim and hop around the spring.[187]


Roman marble Bust of Artemis after Kephisodotos (Musei Capitolini), Rome.
Artemis of the Rospigliosi type. Marble, Roman copy of the 1st–2nd centuries CE after a Hellenistic original, Louvre.
Depiction of Artemis and a deer on a coin from Bargylia, Caria, 2nd-1st century BC

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 vignettes of a young Artemis. While sitting on the knee of her father, she asks him to grant her 10 wishes:

  1. to forever remain a virgin
  2. to have many names to set her apart from her brother Phoebus (Apollo)
  3. to have a bow and arrow made by the Cyclopes
  4. to be the Phaesporia or Light Bringer
  5. to have a short, knee-length tunic so she could hunt
  6. to have 60 "daughters of Okeanos", all nine years of age, to be her choir
  7. to have 20 Amnisides nymphs as handmaidens so they would watch over her hunting dogs and bow while she rested
  8. to rule over all the mountains
  9. to be assigned any city, and only to visit when called by birthing mothers
  10. to have the ability to help women in the pains of childbirth.[188]

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.[189] 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[190] 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 a bow and arrows. He goes on to describe 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.[190]

Relations with men

Alpheus and Arethusa by Battista di Domenico Lorenzi (1568–70)
Statue of Daphnis, 1st-2nd century CE, Parian marble

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.

Daphnis was a young boy, a son of Hermes, who was accepted by and became a follower of the goddess Artemis; Daphnis would often accompany her in hunting and entertain her with his singing of pastoral songs and playing of the panpipes.[191]

Artemis taught a man, Scamandrius, how to be a great archer, and he excelled in the use of a bow and arrow with her guidance.[192]

Broteas was a famous hunter who refused to honour Artemis, and boasted that nothing could harm him, not even fire. Artemis then drove him mad, causing him to walk into fire, ending his life.[193]

According to Antoninus Liberalis, Siproites was a Cretan who was metamorphized into a woman by Artemis, for, while hunting, seeing the goddess bathing.[194] Artemis changed a Calydonian man named Calydon, son of Ares and Astynome, into stone when he saw the goddess bathing naked.[195]

Divine retribution


Artemis drives a chariot drawn by a team of deer next to the dying Actaeon, Attic red-figure volute crater, ca. 450–440 BCE.

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.[196][197] Usually, the dogs are his own, but no longer recognize their master. Occasionally they are said to be the hounds of Artemis.

Various tellings diverge in terms of the hunter's transgression: sometimes merely seeing the virgin goddess naked, sometimes boasting he is a better hunter than she,[198] or even merely being a rival of Zeus for the affections of Semele. Apollodorus, who records the Semele version, notes that the ones with Artemis are more common.[199]

According to Lamar Ronald Lacey's The Myth of Aktaion: Literary and Iconographic Studies, the standard modern text on the work, 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.

Artemis-Diana surprised by Actaeon, by Jean François de Troy, oil on canvas, 1734

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.

A single line from Aeschylus's now lost play Toxotides ("female archers") is among the earlier attestations of Actaeon's myth, stating that "the dogs destroyed their master utterly", with no confirmation of Actaeon's metamorphosis or the god he offended (but it is heavily implied to be Artemis, due to the title).[200] Ancient artwork depicting the myth of Actaeon predate Aeschylus.[201]

Euripides, coming in a bit later, wrote in the Bacchae that Actaeon was torn to shreds and perhaps devoured by his "flesh-eating" hunting dogs when he claimed to be a better hunter than Artemis.[202] Like Aeschylus, he does not mention Actaeon being deer-shaped when that happens. Callimachus writes that Actaeon chanced upon Artemis bathing in the woods, and she caused him to be devoured by his own hounds for the sacrilege, and he makes no mention of transformation into a deer either.[203]

Diana and Actaeon by Titian (1556–59)

Diodorus Siculus wrote that Actaeon dedicated his prizes in hunting to Artemis, proposed marriage to her, and even tried to forcefully consummate said "marriage" inside the very sacred temple of the goddess; for this he was given the form "of one of the animals which he was wont to hunt", and then torn to shreds by his hunting dogs. Diodorus also mentioned the alternative of Actaeon claiming to be a better hunter than the goddess of the hunt.[204] Hyginus also mentions Actaeon attempting to rape Artemis when he finds her bathing naked, and her transforming him into the doomed deer.[205]

Apollodorus wrote that when Actaeon saw Artemis bathing, she turned him into a deer on the spot, and intentionally drove his dogs into a frenzy so that they would kill and devour him. Afterward, Chiron built a sculpture of Actaeon to comfort his dogs in their grief, as they could not find their master no matter how much they looked for him.[199]

According to the Latin version of the story told by the Roman Ovid, Actaeon was a hunter who after returning home from a long day's hunting in the woods, he stumbled upon Artemis and her retinue of nymphs bathing in her sacred grotto. The nymphs, panicking, rushed to cover Artemis' naked body with their own, as Artemis splashed some water on Actaeon, saying he was welcome to share with everyone the tale of seeing her without any clothes as long as he could share it at all. Immediately, he was transformed into a deer, and in panic ran away. But he did not go far, as he was hunted down and eventually caught and devoured by his own fifty hunting dogs, who could not recognize their own master.[206][207]

Pausanias says that Actaeon saw Artemis naked and that she threw a deerskin on him so that his hounds would kill him, in order to prevent him from marrying Semele.[208]


The Niobid Krater.Apollo and Artemis kill the children of Niobe,Louvre

The story of Niobe, queen of Thebes and wife of Amphion, who blasphemously boasted of being superior to Leto. This myth is very old; Homer knew of it and wrote that Niobe had given birth to twelve children, equally divided in six sons and six daughters (the Niobids).

Other sources speak of fourteen children, seven sons, and seven daughters. Niobe claimed of being a better mother than Leto, for having more children than Leto's own two, "but the two, though they were only two, destroyed all those others."[209]

Leto was not slow to catch up on that and grew angry at the queen's hubris. She summoned her children and commanded them to avenge the slight against her.

A 1772 painting by Jacques-Louis David depicting Niobe attempting to shield her children from Artemis and Apollo

Swiftly Apollo and Artemis descended on Thebes. While the sons were hunting in the woods, Apollo crept up on them and slew all seven with his silver bow.

The dead bodies were brought to the palace. Niobe wept for them, but did not relent, saying that even now she was better than Leto, for she still had seven children, her daughters.[210]

On cue, Artemis then started shooting the daughters one by one. Right as Niobe begged for her youngest one to be spared, Artemis killed that last one.[210] Niobe cried bitter tears, and was turned into a rock. Amphion, at the sight of his dead sons, killed himself. The gods themselves entombed them.

In some versions, Apollo and Artemis spared a single son and daughter each, for they prayed to Leto for help; thus Niobe had as many children as Leto did, but no more.[211]


Daniel Seiter's 1685 painting of Diana over Orion's dead body, before he is placed in the heavens

Orion was Artemis' hunting companion; after giving up on trying to find Oenopion, Orion met Artemis and her mother Leto, and joined the goddess in hunting. A great hunter himself, he bragged that he would kill every beast on earth. Gaia, the earth, was not too pleased to hear that, and sent a giant scorpion to sting him. Artemis then transferred him into the stars as the constellation Orion.[212] In one version Orion died after pushing Leto out of the scorpion's way.[213]

In another version, Orion tries to violate Opis,[214] one of Artemis' followers from Hyperborea, and Artemis kills him.[215]

In a version by Aratus, Orion grabs Artemis' robe and she kills him in self-defense.[216] Other writers have Artemis kill him for trying to rape her or one of her attendants.[217]

Nicolas Poussin (1658) "Landscape with blind Orion seeking the sun"

Istrus wrote a version in which Artemis fell in love with Orion, apparently the only time Artemis ever fell in love. She meant to marry him, and no talk from her brother Apollo would change her mind.

Apollo then decided to trick Artemis, and while Orion was off swimming in the sea, he pointed at him (barely a spot in the horizon) and wagered that Artemis could not hit that small "dot". Artemis, ever eager to prove she was the better archer, shot Orion, killing him. She then placed him among the stars.[218]

In Homer's Iliad, the goddess of the dawn Eos seduces Orion, angering the gods who did not approve of immortal goddesses taking mortal men for lovers, causing Artemis to shoot and kill him on the island of Ortygia.[219]


Artemis (seated and wearing a radiate crown), the beautiful nymph Callisto (left), Eros and other nymphs. Antique fresco from Pompeii.
Apulian Chous with Callisto turning into a Bear, about 360 BCE, J. Paul Getty Museum

Callisto, the daughter of Lycaon, King of Arcadia,[220] was one of Artemis' hunting attendants, and, as a companion of Artemis, took a vow of chastity.[221]

According to Hesiod in his lost poem Astronomia, Zeus appeared to Callisto, and seduced her, resulting in her becoming pregnant. Though she was able to hide her pregnancy for a time, she was soon found out while bathing. Enraged, Artemis transformed Callisto into a bear, and in this form she gave birth to her son Arcas. Both of them were then captured by shepherds and given to Lycaon, and Callisto thus lost her child. Sometime later, Callisto "thought fit to go into" a forbidden sanctuary of Zeus, and was hunted by the Arcadians, her son among them.[222] When she was about to be killed, Zeus saved her by placing her in the heavens as a constellation of a bear.[223]

In his De Astronomica, Hyginus, after recounting the version from Hesiod,[224] presents several other alternative versions. The first, which he attributes to Amphis, says that Zeus seduced Callisto by disguising himself as Artemis during a hunting session, and that when Artemis found out that Callisto was pregnant, she replied saying that it was the goddess's fault, causing Artemis to transform her into a bear. This version also has both Callisto and Arcas placed in the heavens, as the constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.[225]

Hyginus then presents another version in which, after Zeus lay with Callisto, it was Hera who transformed her into a bear. Artemis later, while hunting, kills the bear, and "later, on being recognized, Callisto was placed among the stars".[226] Hyginus also gives another version, in which Hera tries to catch Zeus and Callisto in the act, causing Zeus to transform her into a bear. Hera, finding the bear, points it out to Artemis, who is hunting; Zeus, in panic, places Callisto in the heavens as a constellation.[227]

Diana and Callisto, c. 1556–1559, by Titian. Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh

Ovid gives a somewhat different version: Zeus seduced Callisto once again disguised as Artemis, but she seems to realise that it is not the real Artemis,[228] and she thus does not blame Artemis when, during bathing, she is found out. Callisto is, rather than being transformed, simply ousted from the company of the huntresses, and she thus gives birth to Arcas as a human. Only later is she transformed into a bear, this time by Hera. When Arcas, fully grown, is out hunting, he nearly kills his mother, who is saved only by Zeus placing her in the heavens.[229]

In the Bibliotheca, a version is presented in which Zeus raped Callisto, "having assumed the likeness, as some say, of Artemis, or, as others say, of Apollo". He then turned her into a bear himself so as to hide the event from Hera. Artemis then shot the bear, either upon the persuasion of Hera, or out of anger at Callisto for breaking her virginity.[230] Once Callisto was dead, Zeus made her into a constellation, took the child, named him Arcas, and gave him to Maia, who raised him.[231]

Pausanias, in his Description of Greece, presents another version, in which, after Zeus seduced Callisto, Hera turned her into a bear, which Artemis killed to please Hera.[232] Hermes was then sent by Zeus to take Arcas, and Zeus himself placed Callisto in the heavens.[233]

Minor myths

Artemis and Apollo prevent the rape of Leto, red-figure (circa 515 BCE)
Black-figure pottery showing a wrestling match between Peleus and Atalanta during the funerary games of King Pelias. In the background, the prize of the duel: the skin and the head of the Calydonian boar.

When Zeus' gigantic son Tityos tried to rape Leto, she called out to her children for help, and both Artemis and Apollo were quick to respond by raining down their arrows on Tityos, killing him.[234]

Chione was a princess of Phokis. 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,[235] or struck her mute by shooting off her tongue. However, some versions of this myth say Apollo and Hermes protected her from Artemis' wrath.[citation needed]

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, the daughter of Lelantos and Periboia, was a companion of Artemis.[236] When out hunting one day with Artemis, she asserts that the goddess's voluptuous body and breasts are too womanly and sensual, and doubts her virginity, arguing that her own lithe body and man-like breasts are better than Artemis' and a true symbol of her own chastity. In anger, Artemis asks Nemesis for help to avenge her dignity. Nemesis agrees, telling Artemis that Aura's punishment will be to lose her virginity, since she dared question that of Artemis.

Nemesis then arranges for Eros to make Dionysus fall in love with Aura. Dionysus intoxicates Aura and rapes her as she lies unconscious, after which she becomes a deranged killer. While pregnant, she tries to kill herself or cut open her belly, as Artemis mocks her over it. When she bore twin sons, she ate one, while the other, Iacchus, was saved by Artemis.

The Death of Adonis, by Giuseppe Mazzuoli, 1709. Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Dante-Inferno, the giants (probably the Aloaden)

The twin sons of Poseidon and Iphimedeia, Otos and Ephialtes, grew enormously at a young age. They were aggressive and skilled hunters who could not be killed except 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 that jumped out between them. In another version of the story, she changed herself into a doe and jumped between them.[5]

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.[5] In another version, they start pilling up mountains to reach Mount Olympus in order to catch Hera and Artemis, but the gods spot them and attack. When the twins had retreated the gods learnt that Ares has been captured. The Aloadae, not sure about what to do with Ares, lock him up in a pot. Artemis then turns into a deer and causes them to kill each other.

In some versions of the story of Adonis, Artemis sent a wild boar to kill him as punishment for boasting that he was a better hunter than her.[237] 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 hunter 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.[238]

Apollo and Coronis

Polyphonte was a young woman who fled home in pursuit of a free, virginal life with Artemis, as opposed to the conventional life of marriage and children favoured by Aphrodite. As a punishment, Aphrodite cursed her, causing her to mate and have children with a bear. Artemis, seeing that, was disgusted and sent a horde of wild animals against her, causing Polyphonte to flee to her father's house. 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.[239]

Coronis was a princess from Thessaly who became the lover of Apollo and fell pregnant. While Apollo was away, Coronis began an affair with a mortal man named Ischys. When Apollo learnt of this, he sent Artemis to kill the pregnant Coronis, or Artemis had the initiative to kill Coronis on her own accord for the insult done against her brother. The unborn child, Asclepius, was later removed from his dead mother's womb.[240]

When two of her hunting companions who had sworn to remain chaste and be devoted to her, Rhodopis and Euthynicus, fell in love with each other and broke their vows in a cavern, Artemis turned Rhodopis into a fountain inside that very cavern as punishment. The two had fallen in love not on their own but only after Eros had struck them with his love arrows, commanded by his mother Aphrodite, who had taken offence in that Rhodopis and Euthynicus rejected love and marriage in favour of a chaste life.[241][242]

When the queen of Kos Echemeia ceased to worship Artemis, she shot her with an arrow; Persephone then snatched the still-living Euthemia and brought her to the Underworld.[243]

Trojan War

Artemis slaying a deer, from the courtyard of House III, 125–100 BCE, Archaeological Museum of Delos, Greece.
Bellerophon on Pegasus spears the Chimera, on an Attic red-figure epinetron, 425–420 BC

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. Artemis plays a significant role in the war; like Leto and Apollo, Artemis took the side of the Trojans. In Iliad Artemis on her chariot with the golden reigns, kills the daughter of Bellerophon.[29] Bellorophone was a divine Greek hero who killed the monster Chimera. At the beginning of the Greek's journey to Troy, Artemis punished Agamemnon after he killed a sacred stag in a sacred grove and boasted that he was a better hunter than the goddess.[244]

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. In some version of the myth, Artemis then snatched Iphigenia from the altar and substituted a deer; in others, Artemis allowed Iphigenia to be sacrificed. In versions where Iphigenia survived, a number of different myths have been told about what happened after Artemis took her; either she was brought to Tauris and led the priests there, or she became Artemis' immortal companion.[244]

The Sacrifice of Iphigeneia (1653) by Sébastien Bourdon

Aeneas was also helped by Artemis, Leto, and Apollo. Apollo found him wounded by Diomedes and lifted him to heaven. There, the three deities secretly healed him in a great chamber. During the theomachy, Artemis found herself standing opposite of Hera, on which a scholium to the Iliad wrote that they represent the Moon versus the air around the Earth.[245] Artemis chided her brother Apollo for not fighting Poseidon and told him never to brag again; Apollo did not answer her. An angry Hera berated Artemis for daring to fight her:

How now art thou fain, thou bold and shameless thing, to stand forth against me? No easy foe I tell thee, am I, that thou shouldst vie with me in might, albeit thou bearest the bow, since it was against women that Zeus made thee a lion, and granted thee to slay whomsoever of them thou wilt. In good sooth it is better on the mountains to be slaying beasts and wild deer than to fight amain with those mightier than thou. Howbeit if thou wilt, learn thou of war, that thou mayest know full well how much mightier am I, seeing thou matchest thy strength with mine.

Hera then grabbed Artemis' hands by the wrists, and holding her in place, beat her with her own bow.[246] Crying, Artemis left her bow and arrows where they lay and ran to Olympus to cry at her father Zeus' knees, while her mother Leto picked up her bow and arrows and followed her weeping daughter.[247]


Temple of Artemis at Brauron.The stoa and the sacred spring from the SW.
The Roman Temple of Artemis in Jerash, Jordan, built during the reign of Antoninus Pius.
The site of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. Its final form was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Main article: Cult of Artemis at Brauron

Artemis, the goddess of forests and hills, was worshipped throughout ancient Greece.[248] 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.[249]

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.[250] Artemis could be a deity to be feared by pregnant women, as deaths during this time were attributed 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.[250]

It was considered a good sign when Artemis appeared in the dreams of hunters and pregnant women, but a naked Artemis was seen as an ill omen.[251] According to Pseudo-Apollodorus, she assisted her mother in the delivery of her twin.[252] 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.

Despite her being primarily known as a goddess of hunting and the wilderness, she was also connected to dancing, music, and song like her brother Apollo; she is often seen singing and dancing with her nymphs, or leading the chorus of the Muses and the Graces at Delphi. In Sparta, girls of marriageable age performed the partheneia (choral maiden songs) in her honor.[36] An ancient Greek proverb, written down by Aesop, went "For where did Artemis not dance?", signifying the goddess' connection to dancing and festivity.[253][254]

During the Classical period in Athens, she was identified with Hekate. Artemis also assimilated Caryatis (Carya).

There was a women's cult at Cyzicus worshiping Artemis, which was called Dolon (Δόλων).[255]


Artemis was born on the sixth day of the month Thargelion (around May), which made it sacred for her, as her birthday.[256]



This bronze statue of Artemis in the Archaeological Museum of Piraeus (Athens) dates from the mid-fourth century BCE and was given to sculptor Euphranor.
Star Lore Of All Ages, Artemis-Diana in the Capitoline Museum.

An important aspect of Artemis' persona and worship was her virginity, which may seem contradictory, given her role as a goddess associated with childbirth. The idea of Artemis as a virgin goddess likely 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.[264]

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. Her virginity also possibly 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.[264] Furthermore, some have described Artemis along with the goddesses Hestia and Athena as being asexual; this is mainly supported by the fact that in the Homeric Hymns, 5, To Aphrodite, Aphrodite is described as having "no power" over the three goddesses.[265]

Cybele Potnia theron, Hellenistic art

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, 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.[264]

The archetype of the mother goddess, though, 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 seventh 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.[264]

The Artemis of Ephesus, second century CE (Ephesus Archaeological Museum)
Hairnet with relief bust of Artemis (3rd cent. B.C.) in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens

As the Lady of Ephesus

Main article: Temple of Artemis

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.[266]

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!"[267] Of the 121 columns of her temple, only one composite, made up of fragments, still stands as a marker of the temple's location.

As a lunar deity

Fourth century Praxitelean bronze head of a goddess wearing a lunate crown, found at Issa (Vis, Croatia).
Antalya Museum Selene. Roman statue of Selene ( Diana Pergaia). Marble 2nd century AD

No records have been found of the Greeks referring to Artemis as a lunar deity, as their lunar deity was Selene,[268][269][270] but the Romans identified Artemis with Selene leading them to perceive her as a lunar deity, though the Greeks did not refer to her or worship her as such.[271][272][273] As the Romans began to associate Apollo more with Helios, the personification of the Sun, it was only natural that the Romans would then begin to identify Apollo's twin sister, Artemis, with Helios' own sister, Selene, the personification of the Moon.[3] Evidence of the syncretism of Artemis and Selene is found early on; a scholium on the Iliad, claiming to be reporting sixth century BCE author Theagenes's interpretation of the theomachy in Book 21, says that in the fight between Artemis and Hera, Artemis represents the Moon, while Hera represents the earthly air.[245][274] Active references to Artemis as an illuminating goddess start much later.[275] Notably, Roman-era author Plutarch writes how during the Battle of Salamis, Artemis led the Athenians to victory by shining with the full moon, but all lunar-related narratives of this event come from Roman times, and none of the contemporary writers (such as Herodotus) makes any mention of the night or the Moon.[275]

Artemis' connection to childbed and women's labour naturally led to her becoming associated with the menstrual cycle in course of time, thus the Moon.[276] Selene, just like Artemis, was linked to childbirth, as it was believed that women had the easiest labours during the full moon, paving thus the way for the two goddesses to be seen as the same.[277][274] On that, Cicero writes:

Apollo, a Greek name, is called Sol, the sun; and Diana, Luna, the moon. [...] Luna, the moon, is so called a lucendo (from shining); she bears the name also of Lucina: and as in Greece the women in labor invoke Diana Lucifera,[278]

Association to health was another reason Artemis and Selene were syncretized; Strabo wrote that Apollo and Artemis were connected to the Sun and the Moon, respectively, which was due to the changes the two celestial bodies caused in the temperature of the air, as the twins were gods of pestilential diseases and sudden deaths.[279]

Roman authors applied Artemis/Diana's byname, "Phoebe", to Luna/Selene, the same way as "Phoebus" was given to Helios due to his identification with Apollo.[280] Another epithet of Artemis that Selene appropriated is "Cynthia", meaning "born in Mount Cynthus."[281]

Artemis with a crescent moon and billowing cloak, sandstone medallion from the Arbeithaus in Bremen, 1830

The goddesses Artemis, Selene, and Hecate formed a triad, identified as the same goddess with three avatars: Selene in the sky (moon), Artemis on earth (hunting), and Hecate beneath the earth (Underworld).[282]

In Italy, those three goddesses became a ubiquitous feature in depictions of sacred groves, where Hecate/Trivia marked intersections and crossroads along with other liminal deities.[283] The Romans enthusiastically celebrated the multiple identities of Diana as Hecate, Luna, and Trivia.[283]

Roman poet Horace in his odes enjoins Apollo to listen to the prayers of the boys, as he asks Luna, the "two-horned queen of the stars", to listen to those of the girls in place of Diana, due to their role as protectors of the young.[284] In Virgil's Aeneid, when Nisus addresses Luna/the Moon, he calls her "daughter of Latona."[285]

In works of art, the two goddesses were mostly distinguished; Selene is usually depicted as being shorter than Artemis, with a rounder face, and wearing a long robe instead of a short hunting chiton, with a billowing cloak forming an arc above her head.[286] Artemis was sometimes depicted with a lunate crown.[287]

As Hecate

bell-krater showing Hecate who holds two flaming torches to illuminate Persephone's journey from the Underworld.

Hecate was the goddess of crossroads, boundaries, ghosts and witchcraft. She is the queen of the witches. Artemis absorbed the Pre-Greek goddess Potnia Theron who was closely associated with the daimons.[25] In the Mycenean age daimons were lesser deities of ghosts, divine spirits and tutelary deities.[288]

Some scholars believe that Hecate was an aspect of Artemis prior to the latter's adoption into the Olympian pantheon. Artemis would have, at that point, become more strongly associated with purity and maidenhood on the one hand, while her originally darker attributes like her association with magic, the souls of the dead, and the night would have continued to be worshipped separately under her title Hecate.[289]

Kerameikos Votive relief from Hekateion at Kerameikos in Athens

Both goddesses carried torches, and were accompanied by a dog. It seems that the character of Artemis in Arcadia was original.[290] At Acacesium Artemis Hegemone is depicted holding two torches, and at Lycosura Artemis is depicted holding a snake and a torch. Abitch suitable for hunting was lying down by her side.[291]

Sophocles calles Artemis Amphipyros, carrying a torch in each hand, however the adjective refers also to the twin fire on the two peaks of the mountain Parnassus behind Delphi. In the fest of Laphria at Delphi Artemis is related to the Pre-Greek mistress of the animals, with barbaric sacrifices and possible connections with magic and ghosts since Potnia Theron was close to the daimons. The annual fire was the characteristique custom of the fest.[26][134]

At Kerameikos in Athens Artemis is clearly identified with Hecate. Pausanias believes that Kalliste (the most beautiful ) is a surname of Artemis carrying a torch. In Thessaly the distinctly local goddess Enodia with the surname Pheraia is identified with Hecate.[159] Artemis Pheraia was worshipped in Argos, Athens and Sicyon.[158]


Bow and arrow

Artemis on her two hind-drawn chariot, (Boeotian red-figure kylix, 450–425 BCE)
Silver tetradrachm of the Indo-Greek king Artemidoros (whose name means "gift of Artemis"), circa 85 BCE, featuring Artemis with a drawn bow and a quiver on her back on the reverse of the coin
Heracles and Apollo fight over the Keryneian hind.Athenian plate, c. 560 BC
Didrachm from Ephesus, Ionia, representing the goddess Artemis

In Iliad and Odyssey Artemis, is a goddess of hunting which was a very important sport for the Myceneans. She had a golden bow and arrows and the epithets was Chrisilakatos, she of the golden shaft and Iocheaira, shooter of arrows or archer queen. The arrows of Artemis could also sudden death, a belief which appears also in Indoeuropean folklore and religion (Rudra). The arrows of the goddess bring an immediate and mild death without a previous disease.[292] Apollo and Artemis kill with their arrows the children of Niobe because she offended her mother Leto.[113]


Homer uses the epithet Chrisinios, of the golden reigns, to illustrate the chariot of the goddess of hunting.[292] At the fest of Laphria at Delphi the priestess followed the parade on a chariot which was covered with the skin of a deer.[292]

Spears, nets, and lyre

Artemis is rarely portrayed with a hunting spear. In her cult in Aetolia, the Artemis Aetole was depicted with a hunting spear or javelin.[56] Artemis is also sometimes depicted with a fishing spear connected with her cult as a patron goddess of fishing. This conception relates her with Diktynna (Britomartis).[93] As a goddess of maiden dances and songs, Artemis is often portrayed with a lyre in ancient art.[293]


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 and harnessed them to her chariot.[294] At Lycosura in isolated Arcadia Artemis is depicted holding a snake and a torch and dressed with a deer skin, besides Demeter and Persephone.[291] It seems that the depictions of Artemis and Demeter-Melaina (black) in Arcadia correspond to the earliest conceptions of the first Greeks in Greece.[295] At the fest of Laphria at Delphi the priestess followed the parade on a chariot which was covered with the skin of a deer.[292] The third labour of Heracles, commanded by Eurystheus, consisted of chasing and catching the terrible Ceryneian Hind. The hind was a female deer with golden andlers and hooves of bronze and was sacred to Artemis. Heracles begged Artemis for forgiveness and promised to return it alive. Artemis forgave him, but targeted Eurystheus for her wrath.[296]

Hunting dog

Artemis with a hunting dog pouring a libation, c. 460-450 BCE.

In a legend 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, but Artemis only ever brought seven dogs hunting with her at any one time.[297] In the earliest conceptions of Artemis at Lycosura, a bitch suitable for hunting was lying down by her side.[291]


The bear-goddess feeds a bear (1918)

In a Pre-Greek cult Artemis was conceived as a bear. Kallisto was transformed into a bear, and she is an hypostasis of Artemis with a theriomorph form. In the cults of Artemis at Brauron and at Piraeus Munichia (arkteia) young virgin girls were disguished to she-bears (arktoi) in a ritual and they served the goddess before marriage.[298]

An etiological myth tries to explain the origin of the Arkteia. Every year, a girl between five and ten years of age was sent to Artemis' temple at Brauron. 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).[299]

In a legend of the cult of Munichia if someone killed a bear, then they were to be punished by sacrificing their daughter in the sanctuary. Embaros disguised his daughter dressing her like a bear (arktos), and hid her in the adyton. He placed a goat on the altar and he sacrificed the goat instead of his daughter.[300]

Fresco with a representation of a wild boar hunt. From the later Tiryns palace.


The boar is one of the favorite animals of the hunters, and also hard to tame. In honor of Artemis' skill, they sacrificed it to her. Oeneus[301] and Adonis[302] were both killed by Artemis' boar. In The Odyssey, she descends from a peak and she travels along the ridges of Mount Erymanthos, that was sacred to the "Mistress of the animals".[292][83] When the goddess became wrathful she would send the terrible Erymanthian boar to laid waste the farmer's fields. Heracles managed to kill the terrible creature during his Twelve Labors.[84]

In one legend, the Calydonian boar had terrorized the territory of Calydon because Artemis (the mistress of the animals) was offended. The Calydonian boar hunt is one of the great heroic adventures in Greek legend. The most famous Greek heroes including Meleager and Atalanta took part in the expedition. The fierce-hunter virgin Atalanta allied to the goddess Artemis was the first who wounded the Calydonian boar.[303]

Calydonian boar hunt. A Laconian black-figure cup c. 555 BCE (Louvre)

Ovid describes the boar as follows:[304]

A dreadful boar.—His burning, bloodshot eyes
seemed coals of living fire, and his rough neck
was knotted with stiff muscles, and thick-set
with bristles like sharp spikes. A seething froth
dripped on his shoulders, and his tusks
were like the spoils of Ind [India]. Discordant roars
reverberated from his hideous jaws;
and lightning—belched forth from his horrid throat—
scorched the green fields.
— Ovid, Metamorphoses 8.284–289 (Brookes More translation)

Guinea fowl

Artemis felt pity for the Calydonian princesses Meleagrids as they mourned for their lost brother, Meleager, so she transformed them into Guinea fowl to be her favorite animals.[305]

Buzzard hawk

Hawks were the favored birds of many of the gods, Artemis included.[306]

Coin from Tauric Chersonesus with Artemis, deer, bull, club and quiver (c. 300 BC)
A goddess, probably Hecate (possibly Artemis), is depicted with a bow, dog and twin torches.


Artemis is sometimes identified with the mythical bull-goddess in a cult foreign in Greece. The cult can be identified in Halae Araphenides in Attica, where at the end of the peculiar fest a man was sacrificed.[307]Euripides relates her cult with Tauris (tauros:bull) and with the myth of Iphigenia at Brauron. Orestes brought the image of the goddess from Tauris, to Brauron Sparta or Aricia.[308][309]


Artemis is often depicted holding one or two torches. There is not any sufficient explanation for this depiction. The character of the goddess in Arcadia seems to be original.[290] At Acacesium Artemis Hegemone (the leader) is depicted holding two torches. At Lycosura the goddess is depicted holding a snake and a torch, and a bitch suitable for hunting was lying down by her side[169]Sophocles calls Artemis "Elaphebolos, (deer slayer) Amphipyros (with a fire in each end)" reminding the annual fire of the fest Laphria at Delphi.[310] The adjective refers also to the twin fires of the two peaks of the Mount Parnassus above Delphi (Phaedriades).[61] Heshychius believes that Kalliste is the name of Hecate established at Kerameikos of Athens, who some call Artemis (torch bearing). On a relief from Sicily the goddess is depicted holding a torch in one hand and an offering on the other. The torch was used for the ignition of the fire on the altar.[104]

Archaic and Classical art

Artemis of the Rospigliosi type. Marble, Roman copy of the 1st–2nd centuries CE after a Hellenistic original, Louvre.
Artémis Potnia Theron

During the bronze age the "mistress of the animals" is usually depicted between two lions with a peculiar crown on her head. 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. Potnia theron is the only Greek goddess close to the daimons and sometimes is depicted with a Gorgon head, and the Gorgon is her distant ancestor. 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,[311] with hunting boots, a quiver, a golden or silver bow[312] and arrows.

Often, she is shown in the shooting pose, and is accompanied by a hunting dog or stag. When portrayed as a lunar deity, 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.

Modern art


In astronomy

In taxonomy

The taxonomic genus Artemia, which entirely comprises the family Artemiidae, derives from Artemis. Artemia species 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 species 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 robotic and crewed spaceflight program carried out by NASA, U.S. commercial spaceflight companies, and international partners such as ESA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency.[314] The program has the goal of landing "the first woman and the next man" on the lunar south pole region no earlier than 2025.[315]


Artemis' family tree [316]
Uranus' genitalsCoeusPhoebeCronusRhea
ApolloARTEMIS    a[317]
    a[320]     b[321]

See also


  1. ^ "Artemis | Myths, Symbols, & Meaning". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  2. ^ a b Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature. Merriam-Webster. 1995. p. 74. ISBN 9780877790426.
  3. ^ a b Smith, s.v. Artemis
  4. ^ Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite (5), p.21–32
  5. ^ a b c d Roman, Luke; Roman, Monica (2010). Encyclopedia of Greek and Roman Mythology. Infobase Publishing. p. 85. ISBN 9781438126395.
  6. ^ "Artemis". Online Etymology Dictionary.
  7. ^ a b Babiniotis, Georgios (2005). "Άρτεμις". Λεξικό της Νέας Ελληνικής Γλώσσας. Athens: Κέντρο Λεξικολογίας. p. 286.
  8. ^ a b R. S. P. Beekes, Etymological Dictionary of Greek, Brill, 2009, p.142
  9. ^ Indogermanica et Caucasica: Festschrift fur Karl Horst Schmidt zum 65. Geburtstag (Studies in Indo-European language and culture), W. de Gruyter, 1994, Etyma Graeca, p.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
  10. ^ Michaël Ripinsky-Naxon, The Nature of Shamanism: Substance and Function of a Religious Metaphor (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1993), 32
  11. ^ Campanile, Ann. Scuola Pisa 28:305; Restelli, Aevum 37:307, 312
  12. ^ 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 p.251ff
  13. ^ 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
  14. ^ a b c Anthon, Charles (1855). "Artemis". A Classical dictionary. New York: Harper & Brothers. p. 210.
  15. ^ a b Lang, Andrew (1887). Myth, Ritual, and Religion. London: Longmans, Green and Co. pp. 209–210.
  16. ^ ἄρταμος. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project
  17. ^ Ἄρτεμις. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project
  18. ^ ἀρτεμής. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project
  19. ^ Van Windekens 1986: p.19‒20
  20. ^ Blažek, Václav. "Artemis and her family". In: Graeco-Latina Brunensia vol. 21, iss. 2 (2016). p.40. ISSN 2336-4424
  21. ^ Powell 2012, p. p.225.
  22. ^ a b c d B.C Dietrich (1974), The origins of the Greek religion p.181,182 :p.181–182
  23. ^ a b Suidas s,v : " Arkteusai (being bears) ..... is established for the virgins before marriage at the temples of Artemis Mounychia and Brauronia
  24. ^ Powell 2012, p. 56.
  25. ^ a b c d Nilsson, "Geschichte", Vol I, p.227
  26. ^ a b c d Lane Fox, Robin. Pagan and Christians. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 1989. p.90-91
  27. ^ a b Howell 1989",Howell, Reet A.; Howell, Maxwell L. (1989). "The Atalanta Legend in Art and Literature". Journal of Sport History. 16 (2): 127–139. JSTOR 43609443.
  28. ^ Immendörfer 2017, p. p.225.
  29. ^ a b c Iliad 6.200
  30. ^ Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White
  31. ^ Nilsson, "Geschichte", Vol I, p.498
  32. ^ a b Nilsson, "Geschichte", Vol I, p.492,493
  33. ^ Nilsson, "Geschichte", Vol I, p.499
  34. ^ a b Nilsson, Geschichte, Vol. I, p.251, 252
  35. ^ a b Plutarch Arist.20
  36. ^ a b c d e f g The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome Vol I, 7, Oxford Encyclop, p.268
  37. ^ Nilsson, "Geschichte", Vol I, p.161,490
  38. ^ Nilsson, "Geschichte", Vol I, p.315,486-487
  39. ^ Nilsson, "Geschichte", Vol I, p.83
  40. ^ a b Bremmer, Jan N. (2008). Greek Religion and Culture, the Bible, and the Ancient Near East. ISBN 978-9004164734.
  41. ^ Nilsson, Geschichte, Vol I, p.483
  42. ^ Nilsson, Geschichte, Vol I, p.495
  43. ^ Pausanias 1.29.2 Pausanias 1.29.2
  44. ^ a b Konstan 2014, p. 65.
  45. ^ Lucian, Dialogues of the Gods Hera and Leto
  46. ^ a b Homer, Odyssey 6.102 ff
  47. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses 3.138 ff
  48. ^ Burkert (1985),Greek religion, p.21
  49. ^ Larson, Jennifer (1997). "Handmaidens of Artemis?". The Classical Journal. 92 (3): 249–257. JSTOR 3298110.
  50. ^ Nilsson, Geschichte, Vol I, p.498
  51. ^ A not localized phallic dance of women is connected with the boisterous and nudge dances of the cult of Artemis, as a goddess of vegetation": Nilsson, Geschichte Vol I, p.491
  52. ^ "Hospitality to the strangers and freedom for all": L.H.Jeffery (1976), The city states, c.700-500 BC, p.6, Ernest Benn Limited
  53. ^ Martin Nilsson (1967), "Die Geschichte der Griechischen religion", C.H. Beck Verlag, Munchen, p.481-500
  54. ^ Schmitz, Leonhard (1867). "Aeginaea". In Smith, William (ed.). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Vol. 1. Boston. p. 26. Archived from the original on 11 February 2009. Retrieved 19 October 2007.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  55. ^ Αιγινάίη
  56. ^ a b Pausanias 10.38.12
  57. ^ Pausanias 5.15.4
  58. ^ a b Iliad 21.471
  59. ^ Parker, Robert (2005). Polytheism and Society in Athens. Oxford University Press. pp. 56, 178, 400, 419. ISBN 0-19-921611-8.
  60. ^ Nilsson, "Geschichte", Vol I p.495 A4 :Sophocles, Trach.205 Sophocles Trach.214
  61. ^ a b αμφίπυρος
  62. ^ Heschychius ii 12
  63. ^ άγγελος
  64. ^ Pausanias 8.23.4
  65. ^ K. Pilafidis-Williams, The Sanctuary of Aphaia on Aigina in the Bronze Age (Munich: Hirmer) 1998, describes the distinctive local cult but is cautious in retrojecting the later cul hit of Aphaia to describe Britomartis at Aigina; the explicit identification of Britomartis and Aphaea is in Pausanias
  66. ^ Strabo Geographica vp 239
  67. ^ Pausanias 2.27.4
  68. ^ Heshych : Kalliste..... Hecate established in Kerameikos, who some call Artemis
  69. ^ Plutarch, Themistocles 22
  70. ^ Pausanias 3.25.3
  71. ^ Nilsson, Geschichte, Vol I, p.823
  72. ^ a b Blundell, Sue and Margaret Williamson, eds. The Sacred and the Feminine in Ancient Greece. New York: Routledge, 1998, 33
  73. ^ Stinton, T. C. W. 1976 is. “Iphigeneia and the Bears of Brauron.” The Classical Quarterly 26:11-13
  74. ^ Nelson, Thomas J. (2022). "Iphigenia in the Iliad and the Architecture of Homeric Allusion". TAPA. 152: 55–101. doi:10.1353/apa.2022.0007. S2CID 248236106.
  75. ^ Euripides, "Iphigeneia among the Taurrians", 1446-1468
  76. ^ βουλαία
  77. ^ Artemis the adviser, Skyris. (related to the genus of Skyridai), a form of the mother-goddess: Nilsson, Gerschichte, Vol I, p.498 A1
  78. ^ βουληφόρος
  79. ^ Καρύαι
  80. ^ Sarah Iles Johnston, Restless Dead: Encounters between the Living and the Dead in Ancient Greece. (Berkeley: University of ~California Press), 1999:227
  81. ^ Chitonia
  82. ^ Iliad 16.183
  83. ^ a b Odyssey 6.102
  84. ^ a b c d Kerenyi(1959), "The Heroes of the Greeks", p.150-151 The Heroes of the Greeks, p.148-151
  85. ^ a b Iliad 21.480-21.485
  86. ^ Pausanias 2.28.2
  87. ^ Pausanias 3.18.4)
  88. ^ Imky Panen(2010) : When the bad bleeds, Bonn University Press
  89. ^ Nilsson, Geschichte Vol I, p.124
  90. ^ Daphnaea
  91. ^ Nilsson, Geschichte Vol I, p.161
  92. ^ καλλαβίς
  93. ^ a b Nilsson, Geschichte Vol I, p.311-312
  94. ^ Calimachus: Hymn III V 189
  95. ^ Walter Burkert (1985) Greek Religion. Harvard University Press, p.26 [1]
  96. ^ Dietrich, "The origins of the Greek religion", p.109
  97. ^ Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary. New York: Barnes & Noble. 1994. p. 458. ISBN 1-56619-147-5.
  98. ^ Nilsson, "Geschichte", Vol I, p.495 -A4
  99. ^ Sophocles's Trach.214
  100. ^ Arnold (1972), p. 18, cites Xenophon for marriage-broking at the Ephesian Artemesia
  101. ^ proteleia gamon : sacrifices oferred before the marriage
  102. ^ Burkert, Greek religion, p.255
  103. ^ γάμελα
  104. ^ a b Nilsson, Geschichte, Vol. I, p.80, 81
  105. ^ Pausanias 8.41.4-8.41.6
  106. ^ Pausanias 8.37.1
  107. ^ ελεία
  108. ^ Hemeresia
  109. ^ Pausanias 8.14.5
  110. ^ Nilsson, "Geschichte", Vol I, p.89-90
  111. ^ Brulé, Pierre (2003). "The feminine and the sacred". Women of Ancient Greece. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 18–19. ISBN 9780748679843.
  112. ^ Pausanias 8.13.1
  113. ^ a b Jane Ellen Harrison, A Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion (1903), "The Maiden-Trinities" p.286ff
  114. ^ Iliad 24.603
  115. ^ Leake, William Martin (1830). "Travels in the Morea: with a map and plans". Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  116. ^ Pausanias 3.14.2
  117. ^ Pausanias 8.35,8
  118. ^ Iliad 16.183
  119. ^ Iliad 16.183
  120. ^ κολαινίς
  121. ^ Nilsson, Geschichte Vol I, p.783 :Aristophanes,Lysistr. V 641, V 388
  122. ^ Aristoph. Clouds 52
  123. ^ γενετυλλις
  124. ^ Pausanias 8.23.6
  125. ^ Heshychius: "Korythali.........some call the "eirisione" :ειρισιώνη
  126. ^ A similar custom exists in modern Greece, at the beginning of May. The May-wreath is hanged over the door of house
  127. ^ Nilsson (1967), Geschichte Vol I, p.123, 490
  128. ^ Hesych. Kyrritoi, the buffoons with the wooden faces who celebrate the "Korythalia"
  129. ^ Heshych. Tavris (tavros:bull), a phallic dance of the people of Taras
  130. ^ a b Nilsson, Geschichte Vol I, p.161, 490
  131. ^ κόρδαξ
  132. ^ λαφρία
  133. ^ Antonin. Li.40
  134. ^ a b c Pausanias 7.18.11-7.18.12
  135. ^ Sweeney, Emmet John (2009). Gods, Heroes and Tyrants: Greek chronology in chaos. Algora Publishing. p. 116. ISBN 9780875866826.
  136. ^ Strabo VIII, p.387 : Nilsson, "Geschichte", Vol I, p.130
  137. ^ Pausanias 4.31.7
  138. ^ At birth she was abandoned by her father and then she was nursed by a she-bear (the symbol of Artemis with a Pre-Greek theriomorph form.) "Aelian: Various Histories. Book XIII, Ch. 1". Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  139. ^ Howell, Reet A.; Howell, Maxwell L. (1989). "The Atalanta Legend in Art and Literature". Journal of Sporet History. 16 (2): 127–139. JSTOR 43609443.
  140. ^ λιμναία
  141. ^ Pausanias 4.4.2
  142. ^ λοχία
  143. ^ λυκεία
  144. ^ Pausanias 2.31.4)
  145. ^ Pausanias 8.36.7-8.36.8
  146. ^ Pausanias 3.16.11
  147. ^ Porphyr.Antr 18-19
  148. ^ Gimbutas, Marija (2007). The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe: Myths and Cult Images. University of California Press. p. 182. ISBN 978-0-520-25398-8.
  149. ^ Pausan. 3.20.9
  150. ^ μουνυχία
  151. ^ Euripides Herc. Fur.376
  152. ^ "The Library 2. 5. 3-4". Apollodorus the Library. Vol. 1. Translated by Frazer, Sir James George. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1921. pp. 191 with the Scholiast. ark:/13960/t00012x9f.
  153. ^ Suddaby, Toryn (2014). "Masks and Maidens: Women and the Sanctuary of Artemis Orthia". Constellations. 6 (1). doi:10.29173/cons24110. ISSN 2562-0509.
  154. ^ Plutarch Arist.17
  155. ^ Fischer-Hansen, Tobias; Poulsen, Birte (2009). From Artemis to Diana: The Goddess of Man and Beast. Museum Tusculanum Press. ISBN 9788763507882.
  156. ^ Pausanias 3.16.9-3.16.1
  157. ^ Pausanias 2.21.1
  158. ^ a b Pausanias2.23.5
  159. ^ a b C.D.Graninger "Apollo, Enodia and fourth century Thessaly" Kernos22/2009 p.109-124
  160. ^ Phoebe
  161. ^ "Greek religion", p.179
  162. ^ ποταμία
  163. ^ Alfeias
  164. ^ Image : Nilsson, Geschichte, Vol I, Table 30.1
  165. ^ Nilsson,Geschichte, Vol I, p.295-297
  166. ^ Πύθιος
  167. ^ Pausanias 2.30.7
  168. ^ σέλας
  169. ^ a b Pausanias 8.37.1, 8.37.6
  170. ^ Pausanias 8.228-8.22.9
  171. ^ Euripidis, Iphigenia in Tauris 1170-1179
  172. ^ 3.16.7
  173. ^ Euripides,Iphigeneia in Tauris 1450-1460
  174. ^ Strabo IX, 599
  175. ^ τοξίτης
  176. ^ τοξίας
  177. ^ Pausanias 7.19.1-7.19.6
  178. ^ Shelmerdine 1995, p. 63.
  179. ^ Rutherford 2001, p. 368.
  180. ^ Homer, Iliad 1.9 and 21.502–510; Hesiod, Theogony 918–920
  181. ^ Homeric Hymn 3 to Apollo, 14–18; Gantz, p.38; cf. Orphic Hymn 35 to Leto, 3–5 (Athanassakis & Wolkow, p.31)
  182. ^ Hammond. Oxford Classical Dictionary. p.597-598
  183. ^ 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
  184. ^ McLeish, Kenneth. Children of the Gods pp 33f; Leto's birth-pangs, however, are graphically depicted by ancient sources
  185. ^ Servius, Commentary on Virgil's Aeneid 3.73
  186. ^ Rutherford 2001, pp. 364–365.
  187. ^ Bryce, Trevor R. (1 January 1983). "The Arrival of the Goddess Leto in Lycia". Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte. Franz Steiner Verlag. 32 (1): 1–13. JSTOR 4435828. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  188. ^ Callimachus, Hymn III to Artemis 1-27
  189. ^ Mair, p.62–63 note a
  190. ^ a b Callimachus, Hymn III to Artemis 46 ff.
  191. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Historic Library 4.84.1
  192. ^ Homer, Iliad 5.50
  193. ^ "I think that this is an aetiological myth, intended to explain the rite in which a human effigy was burnt upon a pyre in the festival of the hunters' goddess," observes Martin P. Nilsson, "Fire-Festivals in Ancient Greece", The Journal of Hellenic Studies 43.2 (1923:144-148) p.144 note 2; Pseudo-Apollodorus, Epitome 2.2
  194. ^ Forbes Irving, p.89, 149 n. 1, 166; Fontenrose, p.125; Antoninus Liberalis, 17 (Celoria, p.71; Papathomopoulos, p.31)
  195. ^ Pseudo-Plutarch, De fluviis 22
  196. ^ Heath, "The Failure of Orpheus", Transactions of the American Philological Association 124 (1994:163-196) p.196
  197. ^ Walter Burkert, Homo Necans (1972), translated by Peter Bing (University of California Press) 1983, p.111
  198. ^ Lacy, "Aktaion and a Lost 'Bath of Artemis'" The Journal of Hellenic Studies 110 (1990:26-42)
  199. ^ a b Apollodorus, 3.4.4
  200. ^ Aeschylus fr 135 (244), Aeschylus: Agamemnon, Libation-Bearers, Eumenides, Fragments. Translated by Smyth, Herbert Weir. Loeb Classical Library Volume 146. Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press. 1926, p.464
  201. ^ Mattheson, p.264
  202. ^ Euripides, Bacchae 330-342
  203. ^ Callimachus, Hymn 5 On the Bath of Pallas 109-115
  204. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Historic Library 4.81.3-5
  205. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 181
  206. ^ Chisholm 1911.
  207. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses 3.138 ff.; Grimal, s.v. Actaeon, p.10
  208. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece 9.2.3
  209. ^ Homer, Iliad 24.602 ff, trans. Lattimore
  210. ^ a b Ovid, Metamorphoses 6.146 ff
  211. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece 2.21.9
  212. ^ Pseudo-Eratosthenes, Catasterismi 32 Hesiod, Astronomia fr. 4 Evelyn-White, p.70–73 = fr. 7 Freeman, p.12–13; Hyginus, De Astronomica 2.26.2; Hard, p.564; cf. Hyginus, Fabulae 195
  213. ^ Ovid, Fasti 5.539
  214. ^ Kerenyi 1951 (p.204) says that this is "[a]nother name for Artemis herself"
  215. ^ Apollodorus 1.4.5
  216. ^ Aratus, Phaenomena 638
  217. ^ Callimachus, Hymn III to Artemis 265; Nonnus, Dionysiaca 48.395
  218. ^ Hyginus, De Astronomica 2.34.4
  219. ^ Homer, Iliad 5.121–124; Gantz, p.97; Oxford Classical Dictionary, s.v. Orion; Hansen, p.118
  220. ^ Pseudo-Eratosthenes, Catasterismi 1 [= Hesiod, Astronomia fr. 3 Evelyn-White, p.68–71 = fr. 6 Freeman, p.12; Gantz, p.725; Oxford Classical Dictionary, s.v. Callisto; Pausanias, 1.25.1, 8.2.6; Hyginus, Fabulae 176, 177. According to the Bibliotheca, Eumelos "and some others" called Callisto the daughter of Lycaon, Asius called her the daughter of Nycteus, Pherecydes called her the daughter of Ceteus, and Hesiod called her a nymph. (Apollodorus, 3.8.2 [= Eumelos, fr. 32 (West 2003, p.248–249) = Asius fr. 9 (West 2003, p.258–259) = Pherecydes FGrHist 3 F86 = Hesiod, fr. 163 Merkelbach-West])
  221. ^ Apollodorus, 3.8.2; Gantz, p.98; Tripp, s.v. Callisto, p.145–146; cf. Pseudo-Eratosthenes, Catasterismi 1 [= Hesiod, Astronomia fr. 4 Evelyn-White, p.70–73 = fr. 7 Freeman, p.12–13
  222. ^ Gantz (p.275) notes that "[t]he text here seems to indicate that Arkas (and others) pursued [Callisto] only after she had entered the sanctuary, and only because she had done so"
  223. ^ Pseudo-Eratosthenes, Catasterismi 1 [= Hesiod, Astronomia fr. 3 Evelyn-White, p.68–71 = fr. 6 Freeman, p. 12; Gantz, p. 98, 725–726; cf. Hesiod, Astronomia fr. 3 Evelyn-White, p.68–71
  224. ^ Hyginus, De Astronomica 2.1.1
  225. ^ Hyginus, De Astronomica 2.1.2
  226. ^ Hyginus, De Astronomica 2.1.3; Gantz, p.727. Compare with Hyginus, Fabulae p.177 and Pausanias, 8.2.6
  227. ^ Hyginus, De Astronomica 2.1.4; Gantz, p.727; cf. Apollodorus, 3.8.2
  228. ^ Gantz (p.726) says that "Kallisto realizes the identity (or at least the gender) of her seducer..."
  229. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses 401–530; Gantz, p.726
  230. ^ In the first version, Artemis was not aware the bear was Callisto. (Gantz, p. 727) Of the second version, Gantz (p. 727) says that it "[q]uite probably … implies a variant in which Kallisto does not become a bear at all, as Artemis is not likely to transform her and shoot her, or to slay her for her own reasons after Hera has accomplished the transformation"
  231. ^ Apollodorus, 3.8.2; Gantz, p.727; Tripp, s.v. Callisto, p.145–146; cf. Eumelos, fr. 32 (West 2003, p.248–249) [= Apollodorus, 3.8.2. Gantz (p.727) suggests that this version may have come from Pherecydes, while West 2003 says that Eumelos "must have told the story of how Zeus made love to Callisto and changed her into a bear. Artemis killed her, but Zeus saved her child, who was Arcas." (West 2003, p.249, note 26 to fr. 32)
  232. ^ Pausanias, 8.2.6; Gantz, p.727. Compare with Hyginus, De Astronomica 2.1.3 and Pausanias, 1.25.1
  233. ^ Pausanias, 8.2.6–7; Gantz, p.727; cf. Apollodorus, 3.8.2
  234. ^ Homer, Odyssey 11.580 ff; Pindar, Pythian Odes 4.161–165; Apollodorus 1.4.1; Quintus Smyrnaeus, Posthomerica 3.390 ff; Hard, p.147–148
  235. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 200; Hard, p.192
  236. ^ Grimal, s.v. Aura, p.71
  237. ^ Apollodorus, 3.14.4; cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses 10.652; Hyginus, Fabulae 248; Plutarch, Quaestiones Convivales 4.5.3; Athenaeus, The Deipnosophists 2.80
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  267. ^ Acts 19:28
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  275. ^ a b Budin, p.62
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  278. ^ Cicero, De Natura Deorum 2.68
  279. ^ Strabo, Geographica 14.1.6
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  281. ^ Pannen, p.96
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  301. ^ Homer, the Iliad 9.530
  302. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3.14.4
  303. ^ Hard, p.415, calls it "the greatest adventure in Aetolian legend"
  304. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses 8.284–289
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  306. ^ Aelian, On Animals 12.4
  307. ^ Euripides,Iphigeneia in Tauris 1450-1460
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  311. ^ Homer portrayed Artemis as girlish in the Iliad
  312. ^ Greek poets variously described Artemis' bow as 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)
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  316. ^ This chart is based upon Hesiod's Theogony, unless otherwise noted
  317. ^ According to Homer, Iliad 1.570–579, 14.338, Odyssey 8.312, Hephaestus was apparently the son of Hera and Zeus, see Gantz, p.74
  318. ^ According to Hesiod, Theogony 927–929, Hephaestus was produced by Hera alone, with no father, see Gantz, p.74
  319. ^ According to Hesiod's Theogony 886–890, of Zeus' children by his seven wives, Athena was the first to be conceived, but the last to be born; Zeus impregnated Metis then swallowed her, later Zeus himself gave birth to Athena "from his head", see Gantz, p.51–52, 83–84
  320. ^ According to Hesiod, Theogony 183–200, Aphrodite was born from Uranus' severed genitals, see Gantz, p.99–100
  321. ^ According to Homer, Aphrodite was the daughter of Zeus (Iliad 3.374, 20.105; Odyssey 8.308, 320) and Dione (Iliad 5.370–71), see Gantz, p.99–100