The Greek Goddess Artemis

Artemis, Goddess of Hunt and Nature

The Greek goddess Artemis was the goddess of hunting, wilderness, wild animals and childbirth (Theoi Project.). As well as the protector of young girls, and bringer of sudden death to women and girls (Theoi Project.). In the Greek mainlands, she was worshiped as a secondary goddess, but in the rural areas of ancient Greece she was worshiped as a primary goddess of fertility (Ephesus.). Artemis was a virgin goddess and was depicted wearing a knee-length chiton and having a quiver of arrows and a bow (Theoi Project.). The Roman version of Artemis was Diana (Theoi Project.).

The Birth of a Goddess

Speaking in terms of mythology, Artemis was born from the adulterous relationship of Zeus and Leto (the titan goddess of motherhood) along with her twin brother, Apollo (Encyclopedia Britannica.). In terms of reality, the worship of Artemis most likely began in Crete or the Greek mainland in Pre-Hellenic times (Encyclopedia Britannica.). She lived on Mount Olympus along side the other gods and goddesses (Theoi Project.).

Talents and Skills and Weakness

In myths it is said that after Artemis was born from Leto, she assisted her mother with giving birth to her twin brother Apollo (Theoi Project.). Her natural born talent with helping her mother birth Apollo gave her the privilege of being a goddess of childbirth (Theoi Project.). Artemis also being the goddess of hunt had extraordinary skill with the bow and arrow and is said to never have missed her targets (Theoi Project.). Artemis' virginity was sacred to her, and while not truly violated was implied to be under constant threat throughout the myths she took place in (Richard, 76.).

Symbols of Artemis

Temple of Artemis

A temple was built in honor of Artemis by her cults in 650 B.C in a basin between selcuk and Ephesus (sacred destinations.). It is now one of the 7 ancient wonders of the world (sacred destinations.).

Favor and Wrath

Artemis' favor usually revolved around hunting ( Theoi Project.). Some of her favors were weapons, such as a javelin that never missed its target (Theoi Project). Others were blessings such as better bow accuracy (Theoi Project.). However, Wrath of Artemis was just as powerful as her favors (Theoi Project.). For example, she turned the hunter Actaeon into a deer and then had his own hunting dogs kill him because he watched Artemis bath in a forest lake (Theoi Project.).

The Myth of Orion The Giant (version 3)

In the 3rd version of the myth regarding Artemis and the giant Orion, it is said that Artemis fell in love with her long time hunting companion Orion, and nearly decided to marry him (Theoi Projects.). When Artemis' brother Apollo found out, he was furious and made many attempts to change her mind (Theoi Projects.). When he came to the realization that she wouldn't change her mind, he began to plot Orion's murder (Theoi Projects.). Then one day, Apollo noticed Orion swimming far out in a lake and took advantage of this by challenging Artemis to shoot what he claimed to be "a small floating black object" in the lake (Theoi Projects.). She proudly took up to Apollo's challenge and impeccably stuck her mark, not knowing what it truly was (Theoi Projects.). When Artemis found out the truth, she was so dejected that she strung his body unto the heavens and it became the Orion constellation (Theoi Projects.).

Original Symbol for Artemis

Big image

Works Cited


“Artemis.” Britannica School. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 2015. Web. 24 Apr. 2015. <http://school.eb.co.uk/levels/high/article/9679#>


“Artemis.” Theoi. 2011. Theoi project. Web. 24 Apr. 2015. <http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/Artemis.html>


Buxton Richard. The Complete World of Greek Mythology. New York. Thames and Hudson. 2004. Print.


“Sacred Objects of the Greek Goddess Artemis.” Goddessgift. Web. 27 Apr. 2015. <http://www.goddessgift.com/goddess-myths/goddess_symbols_artemis.htm>


“Temple of Artemis.” Sacred Destinations. 2015. Web. 27 Apr. 2015.

<http://www.sacred-destinations.com/turkey/ephesus-temple-of-artemis>


“The Mythology of Artemis.” Ephesus. 2015. Web. 27 Apr. 2015. <http://www.ephesus.us/ephesus/mythology_of_artemis.htm>