Like most deities, Artemis is rarely given a specific physical description in Greek literature. Even in the finest sculptures, however, common attributes and symbols are used to set the deities apart rather than differences in body type or hair style. Like most Greek deities, Artemis was more identifiable by her attributes and clothing than any details of her face or body. All the gods and goddesses were presented with idealized forms, but the figure of Artemis was a slightly different ideal than the more classically beautiful nymphs or Aphrodite. She harshly punished those who insulted this vow, so artists were careful to show her in a way that was beautiful but not desirable. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Artemis-Greek-goddess, Artemis - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Artemis - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). The Greeks did not place much importance on the physical descriptions of their gods. Please like and share this article if you found it useful. Artemis is the name of NASA's program to return astronauts to the lunar surface by 2024. This was more obvious with the short, sleeveless tunic of Artemis than the demure veiled robes of Hestia or the long gown of Athena. Outside the Peloponnese, Artemis’s most familiar form was as Mistress of Animals. In sculpture, however, Artemis does have a somewhat unique form. From the time of Homer in the 8th century BC to that of Ovid in 1st century Rome, it was agreed that Artemis was taller than her companions. I am the owner and chief researcher at this site. Artemis, in Greek religion, the goddess of wild animals, the hunt, and vegetation and of chastity and childbirth; she was identified by the Romans with Diana. Artemis, in Greek religion, the goddess of wild animals, the hunt, and vegetation and of chastity and childbirth; she was identified by the Romans with Diana. Question: What does Artemis look like? The Arcadians believed she was the daughter of Demeter. Artemis, Athenian red-figure bell krater C5th B.C., Museum of Fine Arts Boston ARTEMIS was the Olympian goddess of hunting, the wilderness and wild animals. Artemis and other virgin goddesses were, therefore, shown with somewhat immature body types. Aura’s insult to Aphrodite was to specifically say that she looked too curvy and feminine to be a virgin. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Many of Artemis’s local cults, however, preserved traces of other deities, often with Greek names, suggesting that, upon adopting her, the Greeks identified Artemis with nature divinities of their own. One of her requests was for a tunic with an embroidered border that ended at the knee so she could run through the forests. How did Epheus benefit financially from the worship of Artemis? Among the nymphs, Homer said, it was immediately apparent who Artemis was. Her short tunic also allowed artists to show the huntress with a slightly more muscular build. This body type can be attributed to physical fitness and an active lifestyle. Yet Greek sculpture avoided Artemis’s unpitying anger as a motif. In both art and literature, Artemis usually wears an atypical short tunic to give her more freedom to run through the forest as she hunts. While artists never showed Artemis in a way that might be mistaken for male, her body and clothing were less traditionally feminine. In vase painting, Artemis, like most figures both male and female, was shown with long draping robes. In parts of the peninsula her dances were wild and lascivious. She is sometimes described as taller than the nymphs who form her retinue, but physical descriptions were rare in ancient literature. Artemis was the goddess of the hunt and was usually said to spend most of her time running through the forest in pursuit of her quarry. She was worshipped across the Greek world, but her most famous cult site was as a fertility goddess at the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Artemis was the Greek goddess of hunting, wild nature, and chastity. Her clothing is unique, but her body type is also often dissimilar to the other goddesses. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. The way she was shown in art reflected both her vow of virginity and her role as a hunting goddess. Artemis embodied the sportsman’s ideal, so besides killing game she also protected it, especially the young; this was the Homeric significance of the title Mistress of Animals. This was, in part, a function of the goddess’s lifestyle. Spread your mental wings in this odyssey of mythical gods, goddesses, and famous characters of Greek mythology. Throughout the Peloponnese, bearing such epithets as Limnaea and Limnatis (Lady of the Lake), Artemis supervised waters and lush wild growth, attended by nymphs of wells and springs (naiads).

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