Myth of Artemis (Diana)

Artemis (Diana)

Artemis(Diana) was the Goddess of chastity, hunting and wild animals. She was a daughter of Zeus and Leto, she was the twin sister of Apollo. She was also called Cynthia after the name of her birthplace, Mount Cynthia I. Delos. She was one of the three maiden Goddesses of Olympus, Athena and Hestia being the other two. She was also called Selena ( Luna) , meaning the moon. She was always seen with a bow and arrows which were made by Hephaestus and the Cyclopes. She hunted animals but, quite contradictorily , she was also the protector of animals.

There are many stories about her. When she was about three years old, she requested Zeus, her father, for everlasting virginity which Zeus graciously granted to her. The nymphs who were her regular companies were also virgines. Once she found that Actaeon was looking at her naked body while taking bath with her companies in a pool in the forest. She got so furious that she changed Actaeon into a stage and made his hounds to attack him in the shape of the stag. The hounds chased and killed him.

There is another story about her cruelty. Once Agamemnon killed one of her stags in her sacred grove. She punished him when , as the chieftain of the Greeks , he wanted to start his voyage to Troy to bring back Helen. He  could not start voyage because there was no wind needed for the sails of the ships. Artemis stopped the sea wind as a measure to take revenge against Agamemnon. Calchas, the Greek soothsayer, said that the virgin girl had to be sacrificed to Artemis to calm her anger. Agamemnon sacrificed his own daughter, Iphigenia, and set for Troy. This sacrifice made Agamemnon’s wife Clytemnestra very angry and she killed her husband as soon as he returned from Troy. Aeschylus used these mythological events in “Agamemnon”.

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