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chapter 10

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Claesson Welsh

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Oct 6, 2010
Chapter 10: Artemis
- “Artemis with a Stag Roman copy (1/2nd C AD) of Greek original (4th C BC); perhaps found at Lake
Nemi, Italy
oWearing loose garments, which is suitable for hunting
oQuiver of arrows over her shoulder
-Virgin huntress; wandered w/ company of nymphs who were pure and chaste
-Artemis in Homeric Hymns
oKey characteristics:
Chaste virgin; exempt from influence from Aphrodites abilities
Huntress: golden arrows, rejoicing in the chase
Similar to old goddess: Potnia Theron: Mistress of Wild Animals
Lover of wilderness; practically nothing to do with city
Destructive; animals fear her, landscape fears her
Graceful, nimble in her movements; dancing across the wilderness
Sister of Apollo, shares attributes of dancing and music
oNote especially: mainland hymn (Delphi) vs Asia Minor (Meles, Smyrna, Claros)
First one presents her as mainly Greek goddess; only mentions Delphi as specific
Second names several places where she is worshipped
-Greek ideas of Artemis was very widespread
-Birth of Artemis and Apollo:
oTitans: Coeus + Phoebe = Leto; Leto + Zeus = Artemis, Apollo
-Artemis: goddess of childbirth
oPopular idea is that she was born first and assists in birth of her bro
oSome of her cult-titles: Locheia (She of the Child-bed) and Kourotrophos (Nurse of the
oArtemis as goddess who holds lives of the babies and the mothers in her hands; can be good
or bad, Artemis is said to be involved in deaths of young women > broader than just goddess
of childbirth
-The Birth: Hymn to Apollo
oLetos travels: the whole (Aegean) Greek world
oFearful places: Constantly turned away from giving birth in a place; cities feared son of
Zeus would be as fearsome and angry
oDelos: Only agrees when Leto promises that theyll be blessed instead of rejected
oThe birth, and the absence of Hera and Eileithyia
9 days and 9 nights; Hera stays away b/c shes jealous and keeps her daughter @
home too
oIris the messenger; Eileithyia arrives; Delos rejoices
oArtemis: born on island of Ortygia; not mentioned much in the beginning
-Niobe and her Children (the Niobids)
oQueen of Thebes; boasts about being better than Leto b/c of having more children than her
oArtemis and Apollo join together to massacre Niobes children
oNiobe tries to shield last daughter, but she is turned to stone which weeps; in another story,
she leaves and weeps forever, til Zeus has pity on her and turns her into a stone
oVengeance on the children > again idea of Artemis having the young life in her hand and
can destroy it or save it
-Artemis and Actaeon
oMany stories of her punishing someone for wronging her
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