The Arcadians believed she was the daughter of Demeter. We are going forward to the Moon to stay. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Artemis was the daughter of Zeus and Leto and the twin sister of Apollo. More than one ancient writer referenced the chastity of Artemis in relation to her appearance. Most girls in the ancient world were married in their teens, so their bodies were often not fully matured before marriage. My name is Mike and for as long as I can remember (too long!) Artemis is the name of NASA's program to return astronauts to the lunar surface by 2024. Among the rural populace, Artemis was the favourite goddess. In vase painting, Artemis, like most figures both male and female, was shown with long draping robes. The goddess’s vow of celibacy was a central aspect of her characterization and mythology. Save 50% off a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. In one story, Artemis was allowed to ask her father, Zeus, for any gifts she desired as a girl. Greek and Roman writers rarely included detailed descriptions of the gods in their works. Artemis, in Greek religion, the goddess of wild animals, the hunt, and vegetation and of chastity and childbirth; she was identified by the Romans with Diana. Her slender frame aided in this. This is emphasized by her clothing. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Artemis, wall painting from Stabiae; in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples. Please like and share this article if you found it useful. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron: "Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals". Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). The ideal image of a virginal woman was one who was slender. In both art and literature, Artemis usually wears an atypical short tunic to give her more freedom to run through the forest as she hunts. Artemis, however, is a goddess who can sometimes be recognized based on her physicality rather than just her symbolism. One of her requests was for a tunic with an embroidered border that ended at the knee so she could run through the forests. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. The virginal sister of Apollo is very different from the many-breasted Artemis of Ephesus, for example. But in Ephesus where she was a great Mother Goddess, she was portrayed as a naked woman with many breasts. Some scholars believe that the name, and indeed the goddess herself, was originally pre-Greek. Throughout the Peloponnese, bearing such epithets as Limnaea and Limnatis (Lady of the Lake), Artemis supervised waters and lush wild growth, attended by nymphs of wells and springs (naiads). The slim frame of Artemis is also reflective of her status as a virgin goddess, however. The frequent stories of the love affairs of Artemis’s nymphs are supposed by some to have originally been told of the goddess herself. How did Epheus benefit financially from the worship of Artemis? She was worshipped across the Greek world, but her most famous cult site was as a fertility goddess at the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. In fact, the goddess herself did not become popular as a subject in the great sculptural schools until the relatively gentle 4th-century-bce spirit prevailed. She is sometimes described as taller than the nymphs who form her retinue, but physical descriptions were rare in ancient literature. She harshly punished those who insulted this vow, so artists were careful to show her in a way that was beautiful but not desirable. She was also a goddess of childbirth, and the protectress of the girl child up to the age of marriage--her twin brother Apollon was similarly the protector of the boy child. The Gigantes: The Giants of Greek Mythology. I have been in love with all things related to Mythology. Aura’s insult to Aphrodite was to specifically say that she looked too curvy and feminine to be a virgin. Artemis, therefore, did not have the ideal body type of an adult woman in ancient Greece. The poets after Homer, however, stressed Artemis’s chastity and her delight in the hunt, dancing and music, shadowy groves, and the cities of just men. Artemis and other virgin goddesses were, therefore, shown with somewhat immature body types. Why How Latest. More often, goddesses were simply described in general terms of beauty and grace. Her character and function varied greatly from place to place, but, apparently, behind all forms lay the goddess of wild nature, who danced, usually accompanied by nymphs, in mountains, forests, and marshes.

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