Artemis, goddess of hunting and wilderness

artemisArtemis was a Olympian goddess of hunting and wilderness. She was also known as the protector of young girls and their chastities. It was believed that she could bring diseases in women or cleanse them whenever she wanted. Artemis was vengeful and impulsive in nature but also very independent and confident which made her a fierce warrior and often uncontrollable by other gods and goddesses. She was better not to be messed with as many have felt her wrath upon offending her. Artemis also, in contrast to her brother Apollo, represented the night time of the day. She was also known to be spending most of her time in forests and plains, hunting and hanging out with local nymphs. The nymphs were very shy, but enjoyed the company of Artemis who was also their protector.

Appearance in the works of art

She is often depicted as a young beautiful huntress, holding a bow with both hands, aiming at her target. In some art works, she is depicted as a winged goddess, holding a stag and a leopard or a lion. Also other art works associate her with the moon, depicting her sitting on the moon or hunting under the moonlight.

Birth of the twins

Artemis was a daughter of Zeus and titan goddess Leto and had a twin brother called Apollo. She was born in a myth where Leto was constantly pursued by the minions of Hera that chasing her from place to place, preventing her to give birth. However, Leto found refuge at the island of Delos which happened to be her sister Asteria who turned herself into island to escape Zeus's embrace. Artemis was the first who came from her mother's belly. This weakened her mother and the birth of her twin brother was at risk. But Artemis helped her mother to, safely and less painfully, deliver Apollo.

Wraths and Vengeances of Artemis

In a shared myth with her twin brother Apollo, she was sent to kill seven daughters of Niobe who mocked Leto for having only two children, while she was having seven sons and seven daughters. This offended Leto and she sent Apollo and Artemis to kill her children. Artemis cold-bloodedly killed the daughters in a matter of seconds with her bow and arrows, just like her twin brother did with Niobe's sons. She was also involved in killing the giant brothers Aloadai. After she found out their evil intentions for overthrowing the gods and that they had abducted Ares and held him prisoner for over a year, she tricked the giants into killing each other, by planting a deer between them.Diana and Apollo In desire to kill the animal, they struck each other with their javelins. The goddess also seemed to like her privacy. In a myth, where a huntsman Aktaion accidentally saw her naked while bathing, she turned him into a deer, instantly on spot, and the huntsman was consequently eaten by his own dogs because they saw him as prey. In another myth, where Oineus, a king of Calydon, forgot to donate her offerings for annual sacrifice of the first fruits, Artemis sent a powerful wild boar of enormous size in order to ravage the herds and the town. The people of Calydon respectively fought back and, with the help from Atalanta and best hunters from other lands, managed to overcome the beast and kill it. Artemis plotted that thoroughly and later inflicted discord between the camps who helped in hunting down the boar. They couldn't agree on the share of the giant beast and soon the rage broke out between them which resulted in many casualties. Artemis was also wrathful towards Agamemnon who had killed her sacred deer and was praising himself to be a better hunter than the goddess. Therefore, the goddess stopped the winds and made the ships, which were on their way to Troy, motionless. Agamemnon later, on the advice of seer Calchas, sacrificed his daughter Iphigenia to the goddess and made up for his foolishness.

Trojan war

Artemis was also heavily involved in Trojan war, favouring Trojans just like her brother Apollo. She becalmed the sea, preventing the Greeks from sailing for Troy. Later on she demanded Agamemnon's eldest daughter Iphigenia who was on her way to be married with Achilles, in order to motivate him. Artemis transported her in Taurus and made her immortal. In the eyes of Iphigenia, this was merely a salvation from her being sacrificed, by the hands of her father, to Achilles. Artemis also healed a trojan hero Aineias who was wounded on the battlefield and brought by Apollo to his temple where his wounds were tended by Artemis and Leto. She was also mentioned to had been outmatched and hurt by Hera and therefore fled from the battlefield.

Other myths

The goddess was involved in several other myths such as a myth of Orion who was her hunting partner. Artemis was later tricked by jealous Apollo who plotted against Orion and made her sister shoot an arrow at him which led to his death. She also helped Atalanta, when she was abandoned at birth by her father and left to be eaten by wild animals.