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Description

Artemis, otherwise known as Diana in Roman mythology, is most known for being the goddess of the hunt in Greek mythology. She is also goddess of wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity, fertility, young girls, and disease in women. She is the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and twin sister to Apollo. She is also connected with Selene, a Titan who was also the Greek moon goddess, though many believe that Artemis is goddess of the moon, like her brother Apollo is god of the sun. Her symbol is the bow and arrow.

Birth/Childhood

Many gods, goddesses and heroes are the offspring of Zeus and one of his mistresses, and Artemis is no different. She and her brother were born from Leto, the Greek titan of being unseen. The pregnancy annoyed Hero, Zeus' wife, to no end, and she made it so the children could not be born on the mainland or island. However, a single island, Delos, dissobeyed Hera and allowed Leto to give birth there. The myths also state that Zeus turned Leto into a quail in an attempt to hide his infidelity.

While there are not very many accounts of Artemis as a child, the Iliad mentions one. After being hit by Hera during the Trojan war, in which the gods fought amongst themselves, Artemis climbs into the lap of her father, Zeus. She asks to be granted six wishes, and he accepts. The story says she wishes to remain chaste for eternity, and then wishes for several beings to be in her hunting party, namely lop-eared hounds, stags for her chariot, and nymphs to help her hunt, specifically 60 from the rivers and 20 form the oceans.

Myths

Actaeon

The most famous myth about Artemis is the one involving Actaeon. Actaeon was a Theban prince who stumbled upon Artemis while she bathed, hiding in the bushes to watch. Upon discovering him, Artemis was furious, and turned him into a stag on the spot, then ordering his own dogs to hunt him down and kill him.

Orion

Like many Greek myths, the account of Orion is different based on the source. The only constant is that he was the hunting companion of Artemis, although it is not clear whether she is the one who killed him or a scorpion sent by Gaia. Also, depending on the account, Orion either tried to seduce one of Artemis' followers, or he had grabbed a hold of Artemis' robes and she killed him out of self defence.

In another complete twist, some accounts have Orion being killed by Apollo, again with a scorpion. This account happens before Artemis was the goddess of virginity, and while she was in love with Orion. The story states that Apollo kills him to protect his sisters maidenhood.

Pride

There are several stories where Artemis kills any mortal who claims to be a better hunter than she.

Trojan War

While the Greeks and Trojans fought their war, the Gods picked sides and fought amongst themselves. Artemis is believed to be on the side of Troy because her brother was the patron god of the city. Also, she was well worshiped in the surrounding area. Hera, on the other hand, might have supported the Greeks, bringing the two to blows. The story states that Hera struck Artemis with her own quiver, causing the arrows to fall out. This leads into the story of Artemis asking Zeus for six wishes. At the same time, her mother Leto is said to have gathered up the bow and arrows.

Wonder Woman

Artemis granted Wonder Woman the power of, the eyes of the hunter and unity with beasts at her birth.

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