Artemis

Artemis is the twin sister of Apollo and the daughter of Leto and Zeus.  She was born on the island of Delos.  Artemis is associated with archery and the hunt.  She is misanthropic, and very protective of her chastity.  In later myths, she becomes associated with Hyperion's daughter Selene, the moon.

Artemis' primary myth is the slaying of Actaeon.  A hunter out with dogs, he happened to stumble upon Artemis and her attendants while they were bathing.  Outraged, Artemis turned Actaeon into a deer, at which point his own dogs attacked and killed him.

Artemis also played a part in the Trojan War.  While at Aulis, Agamemnon and the Greeks hunted in her sacred grove.  As punishment, Artemis calmed the winds.  The Greeks were marooned at Aulis, unable to sail for Troy.  The seer Calchas informed the Greeks that there would be no favorable wind, until Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter Iphigeneia.  In Aeschylus' version, Agamemnon is forced to sacrifice his daughter, telling her that she is to married so that she would willingly go to the temple.  According to Euripides, Artemis substituted Iphigeneia with a deer at the last moment.

The Romans identified Artemis with their Diana, a goddess of the woods.

Source(s):

  1. HesiodTheogeny.

  2. AeschylusOresteia.

  3. EuripidesIphigeneia e en Aulidi.