➊ Artemis Moon Goddess
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Artemis: Goddess of the Hunt and the Moon in Greek Mythology
However, it was only her hunting companion, Orion, that won her heart. It is believed that Orion was accidentally killed either by Artemis herself or by Gaia, the primordial goddess of the earth. In one version of the stories of Adonis — who was a late addition to Greek mythology during the Hellenistic period — Artemis sent a wild boar to kill Adonis after he continued to boast that he was a far greater hunter than her. If you use any of the content on this page in your own work, please use the code below to cite this page as the source of the content.
Home » Greek Goddesses » Artemis. Greek Goddess of the Hunt, Forests and Hills, the Moon, Archery Artemis is known as the goddess of the hunt and is one of the most respected of all the ancient Greek deities. Zeus appeared to her disguised as Artemis, or in some stories, Apollo gained her confidence, then took advantage of her. As a result of this encounter, she conceived a son, Arcas. Enraged, Hera or Artemis some accounts say both changed her into a bear. Arcas almost killed the bear, but Zeus stopped him just in time. Out of pity, Zeus placed Callisto the bear into the heavens, thus the origin of Callisto the Bear as a constellation. Some stories say that he placed both Arcas and Callisto into the heavens as bears, forming the Ursa Minor and Ursa Major constellations.
Artemis punished Agamemnon after he killed a sacred stag in a sacred grove and boasted that he was a better hunter than the goddess. The seer Calchas advised Agamemnon that the only way to appease Artemis was to sacrifice his daughter, Iphigenia. Artemis then snatched Iphigenia from the altar and substituted a deer. Various myths have been told around what happened after Artemis took her. Either she was brought to Tauros and led the priests there or became Artemis' immortal companion.
A Queen of Thebes and wife of Amphion, Niobe boasted of her superiority to Leto because while she had fourteen children Niobids , seven boys and seven girls, Leto had only one of each. When Artemis and Apollo heard this impiety, Apollo killed her sons as they practiced athletics, and Artemis shot her daughters, who died instantly without a sound. Apollo and Artemis used poisoned arrows to kill them, though according to some versions two of the Niobids were spared, one boy and one girl. Amphion, at the sight of his dead sons, killed himself. A devastated Niobe and her remaining children were turned to stone by Artemis as they wept.
The gods themselves entombed them. Niobe and Amphion boasted they were better than Leto because they had raised fourteen children and Leto had only raised two. Artemis and Apollo, very angered that the two dared to compare their mortal lives to that of a goddess, killed their children. Apollo killed all the male children and Artemis killed all the female children, each with their bow and arrows. Amphion committed suicide and Niobe wept until she was turned into a rock. This myth is said to be the explanation of why rocks "cry". Khione was a princess of Pokis. She was beloved by two gods, Hermes and Apollo , and boasted that she was prettier than Artemis because she made two gods fall in love with her at once.
Artemis was furious and killed Khione with her arrow or struck her dumb by shooting off her tongue. However, some versions of this myth say Apollo and Hermes protected her from Artemis' wrath. Artemis saved the infant Atalanta from dying of exposure after her father abandoned her. She sent a female bear to suckle the baby, who was then raised by hunters. But she later sent a bear to hurt Atalanta because people said Atalanta was a better hunter. This is in some stories. Among other adventures, Atalanta participated in the hunt for the Calydonian Boar, which Artemis had sent to destroy Kalydon 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 skin. She hung it in a sacred grove at Tegea as a dedication to Artemis. Meleager was a hero of Aetolia. King Oeneus had him gather heroes from all over Greece to hunt the Calydonian Boar. After the death of Meleager, Artemis turned his grieving sisters, the Meleagrids into guineafowl that Artemis loved very much. She was a virgin huntress, just like Artemis and proud of her maidenhood. One day, she claimed that the body of Artemis was too womanly and she doubted her virginity. Artemis asked Nemesis for help to avenge her dignity and caused the rape of Aura by Dionysos. Aura became a mad and dangerous killer. When she bore twin sons, she ate one of them while the other one, Iakhos, was saved by Artemis.
Iakhos later became an attendant of Demeter and the leader of Eleusinian Mysteries. 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 worshiped in western Anatolia in historical times. In the Iliad , she came to blows with Hera , when the divine allies of the Greeks and Trojans engaged each other in conflict.
Hera struck Artemis on the ears with her own quiver, causing the arrows to fall out. As Artemis fled crying to Zeus , Leto gathered up the bow and arrows. Like her mother and brother, who was widely worshiped at Troy, Artemis took the side of the Trojans. At the Greek's journey to Troy, Artemis becalmed the sea and stopped the journey until an oracle came and said they could win the goddess' heart by sacrificing Iphigenia, Agamemnon's daughter. Agamemnon once promised the goddess he would sacrifice the dearest thing to him, which was Iphigenia but broke the promise.
Other sources said he boasted about his hunting ability and provoked the goddess' anger. In some versions, Artemis saved Iphigenia because of her bravery. In versions of that, Artemis made Iphigenia her attendant or turned her into Hekate , goddess of magic, witchcraft and ghosts. Aeneas was helped by Artemis, Leto, and Apollo. Apollo found him wounded by Diomedes and lifted him to heaven. There, the three of them secretly healed him in a great chamber. 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 leopard in her hands, or sometimes a leopard and a lion.
This winged Artemis lingered in ex-votos as Artemis Orthia, with a sanctuary close by Sparta. In Greek classical art, she is usually portrayed as a maiden huntress, young, tall and slim, clothed in a girl's short skirt with hunting boots, a quiver, a bow, and arrows. Often, she is shown in the shooting pose and is accompanied by a hunting dog or stag. When portrayed as a goddess of the moon, 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.
Only in post-Classical art do we find representations of Artemis-Diana with the crown of the crescent moon, as Luna. In the ancient world, although she was occasionally associated with the moon, she was never portrayed as the moon itself. Ancient statues of Artemis have been found with crescent moons, but these moons are always Renaissance-era additions. The arrows of Artemis could also to bring sudden death and disease to girls and women.
Artemis got her bow and arrow for the first time from The Kyklopes, as the one she asked from her father. The bow of Artemis also became the witness of Callisto's oath of her virginity. In a later cult, the bow became the symbol of the waxing moon. Artemis' chariot was made of gold and was pulled by four golden horned deer Elaphoi Khrysokeroi. The bridles of her chariot were also made of gold. Although quite seldom, Artemis is sometimes portrayed with a hunting spear. Her cult in Aetolia, the Artemis Aetolian, showed her with a hunting spear.
The description about Artemis' spear can be found in Ovid's Metamorphosis, while Artemis with a fishing spear connected with her cult as a patron goddess of fishing. Deer were the only animals held sacred to Artemis herself. On seeing a deer larger than a bull with horns shining, she fell in love with these creatures and held them sacred. Deer were also the first animals she captured.
She caught five golden horned deer called Elaphoi Khrysokeroi and harnessed them to her chariot. The third labor of Heracles, commanded by Eurystheus, consisted in catching the Kerynitis Hind alive. Heracles begged Artemis for forgiveness and promised to return it alive. Artemis forgave him but targeted Eurystheus for her wrath. Artemis got her hunting dogs from Pan in the forest of Arcadia. Pan gave Artemis two black-and-white dogs, three reddish ones, and one spotted one - these dogs were able to hunt even lions. Pan also gave Artemis seven bitches of the finest Arcadian race. However, Artemis only ever brought seven dogs hunting with her at any one time. The sacrifice of a bear for Artemis started with the Brauron cult.
Every year a girl between five and ten years of age was sent to Artemis' temple at Brauron. The Byzantine writer Suites relayed the legend in Arktos e Brauroniois. A bear was tamed by Artemis and introduced to the people of Athens. They touched it and played with it until one day a group of girls poked the bear until it attacked them. A brother of one of the girls killed the bear, so Artemis sent a plague in revenge. The Athenians consulted an oracle to understand how to end the plague. The Oracle suggested that, in payment for the bear's blood, no Athenian virgin should be allowed to marry until she had served Artemis in her temple 'played the bear for the goddess'.
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. Oineus and Adonis were both killed by Artemis' boar. Artemis felt pity for the Meleagrids as they mourned for their lost brother, Meleagor, so she transformed them into Guinea Fowl to be her favorite animals. Citation needed. Hawks were the favored birds of many of the gods, Artemis included. Palm Tree and Cypress Tree trees were connected with the story of their birth to be her birthplace. Other plants sacred to Artemis are Amaranth and Asphodel. It was probably the best-known center of her worship except for Delos. There the Lady whom the Ionians associated with Artemis through interpretation graeca was worshiped 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 rounded breast-like protuberances on her chest.
They have been variously interpreted as multiple accessory breasts, as eggs, grapes, acorns, or even bull testes. Excavation at the site of the Artemision in identified a multitude of tear-shaped amber beads that had adorned the ancient wooden xoanon. 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!
The rest were used for making churches, roads, and forts. A minor planet, Artemis ; a lunar crater; the Artemis Chasma and the Artemis Corona have all been named for her. Artemis is the acronym for "Architectures de bolometers pour des Telescopes a grand champ de vie dans le Domaine sub-Millimetrique as Sol," a large bolometer camera in the submillimeter range that was installed in at the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment APEX , located in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile.
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