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Artemis

Tales beyond belief

Artemis for kids
Discover the legends and myths surrounding Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt. Artemis was the Greek goddess of the hunt and the moon, she was known as the Virgin goddess. As soon as the young goddess was introduced in Olympus, all of the gods expressed a wish to marry her. But Artemis refused to listen to their entreaties and begged her fatherís permission (Zeus) to remain single all her life. Artemis pleaded her cause so well, that Zeus was forced to grant her request.

Artemis (Roman Counterpart was Diana)
When the Roman Empire conquered the Greeks in 146BC, the Romans assimilated various elements from other cultures and civilisations, including the gods and goddesses that were worshipped by the Ancient Greeks. Many of the Greek gods and goddesses, such as Artemis, were therefore adopted by the Romans but were given Latin names. The Roman counterpart of Artemis was Diana. She is also known as Cynthia, Phoebe and Selene.

Facts about Artemis
The following facts and profile provides a fast overview of Artemis:

  • Personality: Independent, loved sports and the hunt

  • Appearance: Athletic, attractive usually wore a knee length tunic called a chiton

  • Role & Function: The function of Artemis is described as being the goddess of the hunt, archery, animals and the moon

  • Status: A Major goddess and one of the Twelve Olympians

  • Symbols: Bow and Arrow, deer, hounds, bears, snakes, the moon and the cypress tree

  • Gender: Female

  • Roman Counterpart: The Roman name for this goddess was Diana

  • Name of Husband: Unmarried - Artemis was known as the virgin goddess

  • Name of Father: Zeus

  • Name of Mother: Leto. Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo

  • Names of Children: None

The Family of Artemis
According to Greek legends and myths the family of Artemis were as follows:

  • Father:  Zeus
  • Mother:  Leto
  • Brothers:  Apollo
  • Artemis was unmarried

Artemis and Mount Olympus
In Greek Mythology the principle Greek gods, that included Artemis, were referred to as the Twelve Olympians and lived on the summit of Mount Olympus which was protected by a special layer of clouds. The gods and goddesses who lived on Mount Olympus attended sumptuous banquets in the council-chamber of the gods and feasted on ambrosia (the food of the gods) and nectar (the drink of the gods). The names of the other Olympian gods were Zeus, Hera, Athena, Hestia or Dionysus, Apollo, Ares, Aphrodite, Poseidon, Demeter, Hephaestus and Hermes.

The Symbols of Artemis
In the sculptures, vases, mosaics and paintings of Greek Art the goddess Artemis was often illustrated with images representing her symbols - the bow and arrow, deer, hounds, bears, snakes, the moon and the cypress tree.

The symbols of Artemis were:

  • The Bow and Arrow
    • These symbols reflect her love of hunting and her position of Goddess of the hunt
  • The Moon
    • The symbol of the moon is because every evening she mounted her moon chariot, and drove her pure white horses across the heavens
  • Deer, hounds, bears, snakes
    • The symbol of the deer, hounds, bears, snakes were the animals that were sacred to the goddess. The deer relates to the myth about the Ceryneian hind
  • The Cypress Tree
    • The symbol of the cypress tree .has traditionally represented mourning and grief. This symbol relates to Artemis because although associated with healing she could also bring terrible diseases.

Facts about Artemis in Greek Mythology
Discover interesting information and facts about Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt featured in the stories, myths and legends in Greek Mythology.

  • The Ceryneian hind: In Greek mythology and legends, the Ceryneian hind was a deer that was sacred to Artemis, the goddess of the hunt. Her chariot was made of gold and was pulled by four golden horned deer. The fifth deer, known as the Kerynitian Hind, roamed free. The Ceryneian hind performed other tasks for her. The Ceryneian hind was briefly kidnapped by Heracles (Hercules) as part of his 12 labors.

  • Endymon: In Greek mythology she catches sight of the sleeping Endymion, and falls in love with him. But their love was doomed. As he was a man, not a god, their love is forbidden.

  • She was often depicted with the crescent of the moon above her forehead

  • Like her Apollo, her brother, she was also a god of healing, but she could also bring and spread terrible diseases such as leprosy

  • Actaeon: She was bathing in the woods when a hunter named Actaeon stumbled across her. He stopped and stared, amazed at her beauty. The goddess was furious and punished Actaeon. She forbade Actaeon to speak threatening to turn him into a stag if he disobeyed. He ignored her and called to his hunting party, and was changed into a stag. His own hounds then turned upon him and tore him to pieces.

  • On another occasion she was bathing, attended by hand servant nymphs when she was seen by satyrs who tried to ravage them (see above picture).

  • Niobe: Niobe bragged that she was more important than Leto, the mother of Artemis and her brother Apollo, as she had 14 children and Leto only two. In revenge for the insult, the brother and sister killed all of Niobe's children, except two, with their bow and arrows. Niobe wept for her dead children so much that she turned into a pillar of stone.

Gods and Deities
Greek Gods and Goddesses

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