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Artemis, this is the myth of the most revered (and different) Greek goddess

One of the most revered goddesses of ancient times in the Mediterranean, the Greek goddess Artemis, has managed to ensure that her story and her image as a wild and independent woman have survived even to the present day. This daughter of Zeus and Leto is usually represented with her bow and arrows and in an environment full of animals and nature precisely because of her association with country life.

This goddess was considered the deity of hunting, archery and wild animals, but also associated with childbirth, the harvest and the moon. Artemis was also the guardian of maidens and little children.

But if Artemis and her myth stand out for something, it is because she is one of the most revered goddesses and for representing a unruly, independent and active way of the female figure. A woman who did not tolerate any contact with men and who even avoided her presence. In fact, the only male figure that has relevance in her story is Orion, who is told from when she loved him to when he was simply her hunting and adventure companion.

The myth of Artemis

Although, as in any myth or legend of Greek gods and goddesses, there are several versions, as in the myth of Artemis, all of them highlight that she was the daughter of Zeus and Leto. But to talk about Artemis it is also necessary to first know the story of her origin, starting with how she was conceived. And Zeus fell in love with Leto, but after having tried to rape his sister, who to escape from the god turned into a sparrow.

Hera (wife of Zeus) discovered the romance between her husband and Leto and also found out that she was pregnant, so she decided to pursue her relentlessly, making no one help her. In this way, she managed to get Leto to a desert island to give birth and forbade her daughter Ilithia (goddess of childbirth) to assist Leto at that time. For this reason Leto suffered great pain and the birth was delayed for nine days. After these days, the gods were moved by her suffering and allowed Artemis to be born and this newborn to assist her mother in the birth of her twin brother Apollo.

One version of the myth says that when Artemis was 3 years old and asked her mother for Zeus to grant her nine wishes.: always remain a virgin, have many men, be the “Giver of Light”, have a bow and arrows, a tunic up to the knees, have sixty daughters of Oceanus (all nine years old to be her chorus) and nymphs as maidens to care for her, rule over the mountains and help women in the pain of childbirth.

Wishes that were finally granted, for this reason, Artemis spent her childhood learning the art of hunting and preparing for their life in the forests. But she also became especially jealous of her dominion and implacable towards those who entered her territory or tried to dispute her virtues.

One of the legends surrounding Artemis has to do with the Theban Actaeon, who had the misfortune of encountering the Greek goddess while she was taking a bath. Legend has it that the goddess, angry with him for having sullied her chastity with her gaze, turned him into a deer and encouraged the Theban’s dogs to hunt down her master. Finally, Actaeon ended up devoured by his own canine companions.

Artemis, an indomitable and loveless goddess

There are many myths that tell how there were many men and gods who wanted to have Artemis as a woman, but she never granted this wish to anyone. In fact, there were many who, like Actaeon, had to attack directly with their arrows or with the help of animals. Even so, in the stories it is said that Orion would have been the only man who could enter Artemis’s life.

This became his hunting and life companion for a long time, but eventually he also suffered the consequences of his attachment to the goddess. In fact, on this occasion it was Artemis’s brother (Apollo) who, fearful that his sister would lose her virginity to Orion, devised a plan to get rid of him. Apollo told Gaea (goddess of the earth) that Orion was a vain and arrogant hunter, so she sent a scorpion to kill him.

Orion, trying to escape from the scorpion, began to swim towards an island. At this moment Apollo took the opportunity to tell Artemis that the person fleeing into the distance was a stranger who had tried to rape one of her nymphs. So he incited her sister to shoot him with one of her arrows and the goddess finally shot. Legend has it that when Artemis realized that the person she had killed was Orion, she asked her father to turn him into a constellation.

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