Artemis was heavily identified with Selene, the personification of the Moon, and Hecate, another lunar deity, so was regarded as one of the most prominent lunar deities in mythology, alongside the aforementioned two.
100 Facts About Artemis
Artemis often roamed the forests of Greece, attended by her large entourage, mostly made up of nymphs, some mortals, and hunters.
In Greek tradition, Artemis is the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo.
Usually, Artemis is the twin to be born first, who then proceeds to assist Leto in the birth of the second child, Apollo.
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.
In myth and literature, Artemis is presented as a hunting goddess of the woods, surrounded by her followers, who are not to be crossed.
Artemis demanded the sacrifice of Iphigenia, Agamemnon's young daughter, as compensation for her slain deer.
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.
Artemis' symbols included a bow and arrow, a quiver, and hunting knives, and the deer and the cypress were sacred to her.
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".
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.
The ancient Greeks called potnia theron this sort of representation of the goddess; on a Greek vase from circa 570 BCE, a winged Artemis stands between a spotted panther and a deer.
Artemis has several stories surrounding her where men such as Actaeon, Orion, and Alpheus tried to couple with her forcibly.
Artemis was generally represented as healthy, strong, and active, bearing quiver and bow and accompanied by a dog.
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.
The myths differ as to whether Artemis was born first, or Apollo.
The childhood of Artemis is not fully related to any surviving myth.
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.
All of her companions remained virgins, and Artemis closely guarded her own chastity.
Artemis's symbols included the golden bow and arrow, the hunting dog, the stag, and the moon.
Callimachus then tells 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.
Artemis goes on to describe how she visited Pan, god of the forest, who gave her seven female and six male hounds.
Artemis then captured six golden-horned deer to pull her chariot.
Artemis practiced archery first by shooting at trees and then at wild game.
Bouphagos, son of the Titan Iapetus, sees Artemis and thinks about raping her.
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.
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.
Artemis changed a Calydonian man named Calydon, son of Ares and Astynome, into stone when he saw the goddess bathing naked.
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.
Apollodorus, who records the Semele version, notes that the ones with Artemis are more common.
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.
Artemis summoned her children and commanded them to avenge the slight against her.
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.
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.
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.
Artemis then transferred him into the stars as the constellation Orion.
Istrus wrote a version in which Artemis fell in love with Orion, apparently the only time Artemis ever fell in love.
Artemis meant to marry him, and no talk from her brother Apollo would change her mind.
Callisto, the daughter of Lycaon, King of Arcadia, was one of Artemis' hunting attendants, and, as a companion of Artemis, took a vow of chastity.
Enraged, Artemis transformed Callisto into a bear, and in this form she gave birth to her son Arcas.
Hera, finding the bear, points it out to Artemis, who is hunting; Zeus, in panic, places Callisto in the heavens as a constellation.
Artemis 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.
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.
Artemis 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, or struck her mute by shooting off her tongue.
Artemis saved the infant Atalanta from dying of exposure after her father abandoned her.
Artemis 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.
Artemis hung it in a sacred grove at Tegea as a dedication to Artemis.
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.
The gods were afraid of them, except for Artemis who captured a fine deer that jumped out between them.
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.
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.
Artemis's resulting offspring, Agrius and Oreius, were wild cannibals who incurred the hatred of Zeus.
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.
Artemis plays a significant role in the war; like Leto and Apollo, Artemis took the side of the Trojans.
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.
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 Tauros and led the priests there, or she became Artemis' immortal companion.
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:.
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.
Artemis's best known cults were on the island of Delos, in Attica at Brauron and Mounikhia, and in Sparta.
Artemis was often depicted in paintings and statues in a forest setting, carrying a bow and arrows and accompanied by a deer.
Athenian festivals in honor of Artemis included Elaphebolia, Mounikhia, Kharisteria, and Brauronia.
Artemis demanded that young girls "act the bear" at her sanctuary in atonement for the bear's death.
Artemis was worshipped as one of the primary goddesses of childbirth and midwifery along with Eileithyia.
Artemis could be a deity to be feared by pregnant women, as deaths during this time were attributed to her.
Artemis was worshipped at Naupactus as Aetole; in her temple in that town, there was a statue of white marble representing her throwing a javelin.
Artemis was sometimes known as Cynthia, from her birthplace on Mount Cynthus on Delos, or Amarynthia from a festival in her honor originally held at Amarynthus in Euboea.
Artemis was sometimes identified by the name Phoebe, the feminine form of her brother Apollo's solar epithet Phoebus.
Artemis Alphaea was associated with the wearing of masks, largely because of the legend that while fleeing the advances of Alpheius, she and her nymphs escaped him by covering their faces.
An aspect of the Taurian Artemis was worshipped as Aricina.
Pausanias at the Description of Greece writes that near Pyrrhichus, there was a sanctuary of Artemis called Astrateias, with an image of the goddess said to have been dedicated by the Amazons.
Artemis wrote that at Pheneus there was a sanctuary of Artemis, which the legend said that it was founded by Odysseus when he lost his mares and when he traversed Greece in search of them, he found them on this site.
One of the epithets of Artemis was Chitone or Chitona or Chitonia.
Artemis's cult was conflated with that of Eileithyia and Hecate as childbed goddesses.
Artemis was born on the sixth day of the month Thargelion, which made it sacred for her, as her birthday.
The ancient cultural context in which Artemis' worship emerged held that virginity was a prerequisite to marriage, and that a married woman became subservient to her husband.
Artemis was traditionally linked to fertility and was petitioned to assist women with childbirth.
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 makes any mention of the night or the Moon.
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.
The arrows of Artemis could bring sudden death and disease to girls and women.
Artemis got her bow and arrow for the first time from the Cyclopes, as the one she asked from her father.
The bow of Artemis became the witness of Callisto's oath of her virginity.
Artemis' chariot was made of gold and was pulled by four golden-horned deer.
Artemis caught five golden-horned deer and harnessed them to her chariot.
Artemis got her hunting dogs from Pan in the forest of Arcadia.
The sacrifice of a bear for Artemis started with the Brauron cult.
Artemis felt pity for the Meleagrids as they mourned for their lost brother, Meleager, so she transformed them into Guinea fowl to be her favorite animals.
When portrayed as a lunar deity, Artemis wore a long robe and sometimes a veil covered her head.
Artemis was sometimes represented in Classical art with the crown of the crescent moon, such as found on Luna and others.
The Artemis program is an ongoing robotic and crewed spaceflight program carried out by NASA, US commercial spaceflight companies, and international partners such as ESA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency.