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Arthemis In History

Pronounced: Are-tuh-miss

Stats and Facts:

  • Artemis is the goddess of all wild things, the protectress of youth, and the patroness of hunters, childbirth, fisherman, and unmarried girls.

  • All wild animals, especially deer are sacred to Artemis.

  • Artemis' tree is the cypress.

  • Artemis' Roman name is Diana.

Artemis is the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and is the twin sister of Apollo. They were born on the island of Delos, and in some myths, the nine-day-old Artemis is said to have assisted in the delivery of her brother. Both of them were very protective of their mother.

Lovers and Children
Artemis never took a lover, so therefore, never had any children. She is one of the three virgin goddesses and also required perfect chastity of her companions, who were mostly nymphs. In one myth, she turned her companion, Callisto, into a bear as punishment for being seduced by Zeus.

In one myth, she and her companions are bathing when they are spied by Actaeon who is out hunting. Artemis, who detested the love or attention of any man, turned him into a stag. His own hunting dogs chased him down and tore him to pieces.

Not quite as cruel, but almost, is the story of Brontes the Cyclopes. When he began making advances on Artemis, she ripped a patch of hair off his chest that never grew back.

Artemis is also identified as Phoebe or Selene, neither of which are originally her name(s), the moon goddess, as her brother, Apollo, is sometimes referred to as Helios, the sun god.

Thrill of the Hunt
Artemis carried with her a quiver of silver arrows. Women who died during childbirth or quick and painless deaths were said to have been shot by one of her arrows.

Because her love of hunting, she became friends with Orion. Apollo was jealous of this friendship and tricked his sister into killing Orion. She later set his image among the stars.

Agamemnon once killed a stag in Artemis' domain and was forced to sacrifice his own daughter before his fleet was allowed to leave for Troy. In some stories, Artemis saves Iphigenia and makes her a priestess.

One of the seven world wonders
The temple of Artemis was built in the ancient time of Alexander the Great and is situated in the ancient city of Ephese in Turkey.

Arthemis Temple (17556 bytes)

The statue above this page is the Artemis statue that was inside the temple. It is kept in the Selcuk museum in Selcuk, Turkey.