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Essay about Artemis and Diana: Goddesses for Woman

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It is said in one legend that the goddess Artemis was born a full day before her brother, Apollo, on the island of Ortygia. The legend also says that immediately after she was born she helped her mother, Leto, cross the straits over to Delos where Artemis helped her mother give birth to her brother. In Greek mythology Artemis is the daughter of Zeus and Leto as well as the goddess of the hunt, wild animals, virginity and childbirth. In Roman mythology there is a goddess named Diana who was the daughter of Jupiter and Latona and was the goddess of the hunt, wild animals, virginity and childbirth. Artemis and Diana are Olympian goddesses, but there place and purpose in the Greco-Roman Parthenon can be interpreted in many different ways from the seemingly inconsistent, varied and complicated areas of responsibility that these goddesses have. Artemis/Diana’s place in the Greco-Roman Parthenon is to represent the powerful, independent woman and her feminine ideals in the Parthenon. Artemis/Diana can be seen as having the ideals of an independent woman by her natural tendencies as a result of her areas of responsibilities and being the only goddess of the Parthenon to be on the side of woman consistently. This is also evident by the actions she took against Actaeon.
In the story of Actaeon he is walking in the forest when he comes across Artemis, in the Greek version and Diana in the Roman version, bathing in a pool of water in a cave with some nymphs. So struck by her beauty Actaeon says and watches her bath for just a moment. Artemis/Diana quickly notices Actaeon watching her.
“At Once, seeing a man, all naked as they were, the nymphs, beating their breasts, filled the whole grove with sudden screams and clustered round Diana to c...


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...nd can be seen this way from her meeting Actaeon and her killing him as well as the high standard of chastity she holds, her willingness to assist all women and her being a one of a kind goddess. All of these things show that Artemis/Diana’s place in the Greco-Roman Parthenon is to represent the powerful, independent woman and her feminine ideals in the Parthenon.



Works Cited

• A.D. Melville. Ovid Metamorphoses. New York. Oxford University Press. 2008.

• Jean Bolen. Goddesses in Everywoman: Powerful Archetypes in Women's Lives. New York. Harper and Row Publishers. 1984.


• Sarah B. Pomeroy. Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves: Women in Classical antiquity. New York. Schocken Books Inc. 1995.

• Tobias Fischer-Hansen and Birte Poulse. From Artemis to Diana: The Goddess of Man and Beast. Denmark. Collegium Hyperborem and Museum Tusculanum Press. 2009.


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