Artemis goddess

Artemis the greek goddess of hunting

Artemis was one of the most important goddesses of the greek pantheon. Her parents were Zeus and Leto while Apollo being her twin brother.

The naissance of Apollo and Artemis was very difficult for Leto as she had coupled illegally with Zeus and Hera had punished her by prohibiting any place on the earth to accept her when she was to give birth. After great sufferings, a rocky and infertile islet which was not afraid of Hera’s anger, as it was already poor and had nothing to lose, accepted Leto. It is said that the island was in fact Leto’s sister, Asteria, who had transformed herself in order to avoid Zeus who desired her. So, Leto gave birth firstly to Artemis and then to Apollo. Artemis assisted her mother with Apollo’s naissance. This means that Artemis goddess was very clever even from her infancy. She was really young when she decided on what clothes she would wear, on her equipment and the beings that would form her companionship. The most important of all is the fact that she had already decided that her favorite occupation was hunting thus she became the goddess of Hunting.

Artemis goddess had asked Zeus to gift her with eternal virginity and purity. Zeus admired her brightness and her persistence and made her wishes come true. Artemis managed not to ever attaint her morality. She dedicated herself to hunting and to the life in Nature, ignoring any love invitations as well as the pleasure offered by love or marriage. She was austere, severe and prideful as a person. However, far from that, Artemis demanded that her companionship, which consisted of the Nymphs, be virgin and pure as well.

Artemis goddess is usually considered to be a wild maiden. She is widely known as the Goddess of Hunting and as the protector of wild animals. In her depictions she wears a short tunic and a quiver is hanging from her shoulders while she is holding her bow. She was the twin sister of Appolo who was the embodiment of the sun and Artemis that of the moon.

Artemis was unmarried as she chose to run in the forest hunting and enjoying its wild beauty instead of becoming a housewife. She asked her father to release her from getting married and she lived in the mountains where she used to enjoy the company of other young girls with whom she was playing and dancing, until the girls were old enough to get married.

The stag or the deer where sacred to her and if somebody killed such an animal was punished by Artemis. Even though she was depicted as a beautiful woman, her beauty was wild deriving from her occupation with hunting. At the same time, she was taking revenge very often from people who had insulted her. For instance, when Agamemnon, brother of the king of Sparta, Menelaos, killed a stag by mistake while hunting, he was punished by Artemis who asked him to sacrifice his daughter, Iphigeneia.


According to the legends related to the greek goddess Artemis, she was inexorable and unwilling to forgive those who had insulted her, no matter if the insulter was a mortal, an immortal or a hero. It is said that Aktaeonas, son of Aftonoe and Aristaeos, had seen her naken by chance, while she was bathing. Then, Artemis transformed him to a deer that was mangled by his own dogs. She also punished one of her nymphs, Kallisto, by wounding her with her arrows due to the fact that Kallisto had been seduced by Zeus and became pregnant. Ariadne was killed by Artemis because she had been seduced by Thesseus who transferred her to Naxos island. Moreover, Artemis killed Horion, son of Poseidon, because he had boosted about his skills pretending to be better than Artemis in archery.

Despite her demanding character, the greek goddess Artemis was really generous towards young people who preserved their purity and followed the principles set by her. She protected them just like she did with Ippolytos who was dedicated to the goddess and her worship. Being an excellent hunter and horse wrangler, Hypollytos had devoted his life to Artemis and her way of living. He ignored even the prettiest and most charming women making the goddess proud of him. So, Ippolytos was glorified and honored after his death, thanks to Artemis.
In general, the ancient Greeks believed that Artemis was an elegant maiden, tall, beautiful, full of pride and lofty styled.