The Protector of the Wild
Artemis, healer and killer, could always take someone down with the shot of an arrow. Of all the Olympian gods, none matched Artemis’s ferocity and hunting ability. She was known as the goddess of the hunt, a maiden who protected young animals while battling beasts, and taught young girls her way of life. Artemis was one of the twelve main Greek gods and was born on the mystical island of Delos. The goddess hunted with her followers, used magical arrows, and fought many malicious, unworthy enemies.
Artemis was the goddess of the hunt, wild animals, childbirth, and the moon. To the Romans, she was also known as Diana. She was otherwise known as Cynthia, Potnia Theron, Locheia, Agrotera, and Kourotrophus. Her powers included using her special arrows, healing and killing, and protecting women and animals in labor. Apollo was Artemis’s twin and Athena was their half sister because their dad was Zeus. Artemis was the daughter of Leto and Zeus. Symbols that she was associated with were the bear, bow, silver arrows, dog, deer, and the moon. Artemis was friends with Selene (the moon goddess), Hippolytus (son of Theseus), nymphs, and Chiron the centaur. Her foes were Aphrodite and Hera, plus the people that Artemis had killed (Bryant). A
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Artemis shoots a silver arrow
rtemis was usually depicted as a young girl wearing a knee length dress, sandals on her feet, and carrying a bow and quiver (www.theoi.com).

Artemis was the daughter of Leto and Zeus. When Hera discovered that Zeus cheated on her and got Leto, the titan, pregnant, she forbade Leto to give birth on land and for anyone to help her. Leto gave birth to Artemis and Apollo on the previously underwater, sacred island of Delos. Artemis was born before Apollo, making her the older twin. Once she was born, Artemis became midwife to her mother and helped deliver Apollo. Since the twins were the children of Zeus and another woman, Hera hated them and became their enemy. Throughout various myths, the twins protected their mother, Leto (Bryant, Bolton).
Artemis was the leader to nymphs that made the choice to stay a maiden and follow the goddess’s ways of life. The nymphs and Artemis lived and traveled in the wilderness. They hunted the beasts that lingered in the forest and protected the helpless animals. Men that threatened the fact that they were maidens were killed. Artemis was an eternal maiden, a wish that was granted by Zeus. All of her followers were forced to become maidens too. Artemis could heal people and sicken them, which was very useful in protecting herself and her nymphs. Artemis and her nymphs were depicted as young girls in order to symbolize youth (Bryant, Bolton).
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Constellation of Orion

The goddess, Artemis, carried powerful, silver arrows to bring death. The purpose of the arrows was to bring an immediate, calm death to the victim. When Artemis shot her silver arrows, the enemy’s life was ended with no pain. These arrows were only meant to kill women, but other stories say that Artemis utilized them in daily hunting and the silver arrows killed men who were her foes. When a woman died during the time when they give birth, it was said that the woman “took an arrow from Artemis” since Artemis had her silver arrows and was also the goddess of childbirth (Bryant).
Artemis has killed and fought many foes within the stories of Greek mythology. The goddess and her nymphs have destroyed the men that tried to woe them. There were many stories about how Artemis killed Orion, but they were once best friends and hunters. Once Artemis realized Orion’s feelings, she ended his life. Other stories say that Artemis created a giant scorpion to kill him, explaining the reason why there is a scorpion constellation, known as Scorpio, next to the constellation of Orion. Artemis also confronted a mortal hunter named Actaeon. The human hunter watched Artemis and her nymphs bathe in the forest, so she transformed him into a stag. Actaeon fled in stag form, and his own dogs tore him to shreds. The twins killed a mortal named Niobe. Niobe boasted about being a better mother than Leto, Apollo and Artemis’s mother. Apollo and Artemis ambushed Niobe and shot all of her children. Artemis shot the seven girls with her silver arrows and Apollo murdered the seven boys with his own arrows. Afterward, Zeus turned Niobe into stone. Agamemnon, a leader in the Trojan War, offended Artemis so she cursed him with the fate of having unfavorable winds. In order to have better wind, Agamemnon told Artemis that he would sacrifice his daughter to her. Artemis ended up sparing the girl’s life at the last minute. Callisto, a friend of Artemis, and a loyal follower betrayed Artemis, so she was killed. Zeus had an affair with Callisto and Artemis used her powers to turn Callisto into a bear. She became the constellation of Ursa Major and her son, Arcas, became Ursa Minor (Bryant, www.ballpoint.org, www.arthistory.sbc.edu .)
Artemis, goddess of the hunt is smart and cunning. She had many magical abilities and was the daughter of Leto and Zeus. The goddess resided in the forest, and used her silver arrows for death. The myths say that Artemis was a great and powerful goddess. Her stories will be remembered throughout time.



Works Cited

"Artemis - Fun Facts and Information." Fun Trivia Quizzes - World's Largest Trivia and Quiz Site! Web.

"ARTEMIS : Greek Goddess of Hunting & the Wilderness | Mythology, W/ Pictures | Roman Diana." THEOI GREEK MYTHOLOGY, Exploring Mythology & the Greek Gods in Classical Literature & Art. Web. 04 Dec. 2011. <http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/Artemis.html>.

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Bolton, Lesley. "Artemis." The Everything Classical Mythology Book: Greek and Roman Gods, Goddesses, Heroes, and Monsters from Ares to Zeus. Avon, MA: Adams Media, 2002. Print.

Bryant, Megan E. Artemis. She's All That!: a Look-it-up Guide to the Goddesses of Mythology. New York: Franklin Watts/Scholastic, 2010. Print.

Coffey, Melissa. "Artemis." Sweet Briar College { History of Art Program }. 1998. Web. 04 Dec. 2011. <http://www.arthistory.sbc.edu/imageswomen/papers/coffeyartemis/artemis.html>.

Sherman, Josepha. Mythology for Storytellers: Themes and Tales from around the World. Armonk, NY: Sharpe Reference, 2003. Print.