Diana (Artemis) by Jean Michelin

Artemis is the goddess of hunt and wild animals in the mythology of Ancient Greece. She is also associated with archery, the Moon and virginity.

Description

Artemis rides a chariot made of silver, and is accompanied by a retinue of woodland creatures. She wields a silver bow, and may shoot mortal women with her arrows, causing disease or death. Like her brother Apollo, she is a gifted healer and can punish as well as offer remedy.

She is the Olympian goddess of the Moon, which somewhat conflicts with Selene. However, Selene is not worshipped by humans while Artemis is.

Artemis is often depicted as a very young maiden or even as a child. 

History

Artemis is the twin sister of Apollo. Her father was Zeus. Her mother, Leto, gave birth to the twins on the island of Delos (also Asteria) after finding refuge from the wrath of Hera, Zeus's wife. 

Artemis was given birth first, and she helped to deliver Apollo. The siblings shared many traits between them, but especially Artemis wanted to be distinguished from her brother. 

As a child Artemis pleaded for Zeus to give her a retinue of oceanids and dryads, a pack of swift hounds and a bow and arrow made from silver (as opposed to Apollo's bow of gold.) She wanted domain over mountains and wilds, when Apollo was more inclined to society. She also asked her father's blessing for her vow of virginity, whereas Apollo had many lovers.

In return Artemis agreed to fulfill her duties as a protector of young children and to ease the pains of childbirth. Zeus agreed to Artemis's plea, and more as he was convinced that Hera wouldn't interfere with such a vow Artemis was taking.

Cyclopes made her bow and arrows, and Pan gifted Artemis with fastest hunting dogs. 

Her proficiency with archery caught the attention of other gods when she sought a prey worthy of bringing down, and wouldn't stop until she shot every person dead in a decadent and immoral city with a single arrow.

Virgin Goddess

Many gods and creatures attempted to woo Artemis, but the goddess turned each suitor down. She did have close bond with the giant called Orion, but Apollo was jealous of their closeness and tricked Artemis into shooting Orion dead. 

She protects her virginity with any means necessary. She offers no mercy for those with rape in their mind, such as the son of Iapetus, Bouphagos, whom she shoots dead because of thoughts alone. Her nakedness is sacred, and when a boy stumbles upon Artemis taking a bath, she turns the boy into a girl so that she doesn't have to kill a child as a consequence of an accident.

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