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Artemis

Artemis

artemis greek goddess

Artemis is the daughter of Zeus and Leto and the twin sister of Apollo. She is the goddess of the hunt and the wild and at some point she replaced Selene, the goddess of the moon. In statues she is shown with deer, bow and arrows usually in a forest setting.

In Ephesus, an ancient Greek city located in the western part of Turkey where she was a principal deity, there is a temple of the goddess which is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and probably the best known center of her worship apart from Delos. Many Athenian festivals such as Elaphebolia, Mounichia, Charisteri, Vravronia were organized in her honor.

Young Athenian girls between the ages of five and ten were sent to the sanctuary of Artemis at Vravron to serve the Goddess for one year. During this time the girls were known as arktoi, bears. The reason that these girls were serving the goddess was the fact that a bear, visiting the city of Vravron to be fed by the locals who had tamed her in time, was killed by the brothers of a girl who was killed or blinded by the bear, an action resulting from teasing. Artemis was so mad for the death of the bear that she demanded young girls acting the bear at her sanctuary.

Virginal Artemis was worshipped as a fertility and childbirth goddess in some places since, according to some myths, she assisted her mother in the delivery of her twin.