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a statue of Artemis

Artemis (Greek: Ἄρτεμις) is the goddess of the hunt, the wilderness and wild animals in ancient Greek religion and myth. The daughter of Zeus and Leto, and twin sister of Apollo, Artemis was among the most widely revered of the ancient Greek deities. A virgin goddess (one of her most defining characteristics), Artemis served as both the patroness and protector of young female children before marriage; along with Hera and Eileithyia, Artemis was also a goddess of childbirth, invoked by women during labour. She was also protector of the infant child, both human and animals. A chaste figure, Artemis spent most of her time in the mountains, accompanied by a large procession of attendants and other followers, and, like her brother Apollo, was a bringer of plague and disease. A wild spirit, Artemis' seemingly untameable nature suited her role as the patron of huntsmen and archers. In later Hellenistic times, Artemis became equated with Selene, the Titan goddess of the moon. Her symbols were the bow and arrow, quiver, along with a pair of spears or hunting knives and the deer and bear were her sacred animals. The goddess Diana is her Roman equivalent.

Birth[change | change source]

Hera, who was Zeus's wife, discovered that Leto was pregnant and became very angry. She banned Leto from giving birth on any mainland or island known.

Leto found the island of Delos, which floated and so was not an island nor mainland,and gave birth there. Leto gave birth to Artemis without any problem. However she was in labour with Apollo for nine days and nine nights. Artemis helped Leto to give birth to Apollo.


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