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Artemis hunting deer | Greco-Roman mosaic from Utica C3rd A.D. | Bardo National Museum, Tunis
Artemis hunting deer, Greco-Roman mosaic from Utica C3rd A.D., Bardo National Museum

ARTEMIS was the Olympian goddess of hunting, wild animals, children and birth.

This page describes benefactions bestowed by the goddess upon men and women in myth. The most famous of these stories include the placing of the hunter amongst the stars, the rescue of the princess Iphigeneia from the sacrificial altar and the bestowing of magical gifts upon the huntress Prokris.


DAPHNE A Lakonian princess (southern Greece) who spent her time hunting in the wilds of the Peloponnese. Artemis gave her the gift of shooting straight.

HIPPOLYTOS (Hippolytus) A prince of Troizenos in the Argolis (southern Greece) who was a firm devotee of the goddess Artemis. When he was killed through the machinations of the goddess Aphrodite, Artemis persuaded Asklepios to bring him back to life, and then carried him off to Aricia in Italia where he became her temple attendant.

KYRENE (Cyrene) A Thessalian princess (northern Greece) whom Artemis made her companion and bestowed with a pair of fine (perhaps magical) dogs.

ORION A giant of the Aegean Island who was a close companion of Artemis. The pair hunted together on the islands of Delos and Krete, where Orion was felled by a scorpion. Arrtemis was heartbroken at his death and transformed him into a constellation. (In another version of the story Orion was slain by the goddess herself).

PROKRIS (Procris) A lady of Attika (southern Greece) who, as a young girl, was a hunting-companion of Artemis. Later in life, when her husband had abandoned her for love of the goddess Eos, she returned to Artemis who helped her win back his love with a ploy and two fabulous gifts: a hunting-dog whom no prey could escape and a javelin which never missed its mark.


ARETHOUSA (Arethusa) A nymph of Elis and/or Arkadia (southern Greece) and a devotee of the goddess Artemis. When she was pursued by the lusty river-god Alpheios, Artemis transformed her into a spring and carried her off to her holy precinct on the island of Syrakouse (by Sicily). Arethousa was the holy spring of the shrine and its Naias-Nymphe, an immortal companion of the goddess.

ASPALIS A lady of Melite in Phthiotis (northern Greece) who hanged herself to escape a forced loss of virginity before marriage. Artemis, out of pity, turned the girl's body into a statue (and she presumably became an immortal attendant of the goddess, for the girl was worshipped beside Artemis in the shrine).

BRITOMARTIS A nymph of the island of the Krete (Greek Aegean) who was transformed into an immortal companion of the goddess Artemis when she cast herself into the sea to escape the lusty advances of King Minos.

IPHIGENEIA A princess of Mykenai (southern Greece) who was offered up by her father Agamemnon as a sacrifice to appease the goddess Artemis. She, however, pitied the girl and spirited her away from the altar before the death-blow was struck, substituting a deer. Some say Iphigeneia became a priestess of Artemis distant Taurian shrine (on the Black Sea), others that the goddess made her one of her immortal companions.

MAKARIA-EUKLEIA (Macaria-Eucleia) A lady of Boiotia (central Greece), the maiden daughter of the hero Herakles. She died a virgin, having sacrificed herself to save her family and people, and was transformed by Artemis into one of her immortal companions.

OUPIS, LOXO & HEKAERGE (Upis, Loxo & Hecaerge) Three Hyperborean maidens (of the mythical northern realm) who journeyed to the island of Delos with offerings for the goddess Artemis. Upon their premature deaths, the goddess transformed them into her immortal companions.

PHYLONOE A princess of Lakedaimonia (southern Greece) who was a devotee of the goddess Artemis. The goddess carried her away in childhood, to be her immortal companion. (She is probably the same aas Polyboia below.)

POLYBOIA (Polyboea) A princess of Lakedaimonia (southern Greece) who was devoted to the goddess Artemis. She died young and was taken by the goddess to be one of her immortal companions. (Polyboia and Phylone, above, are probably one and the same).


ERIGONE A princess of Argos (isouthern Greece) who was rescued by Artemis when her half-brother was about to slay her along with her parents (Aigisthos and Klytaimnestra).

KALLISTO (Callisto) A princess of Arkadia (southern Greece) and hunting companion of the goddess Artemis, who was seduced by Zeus and transformed by him or his wife into a bear. The goddess was one day hunting and shot the bear-formed girl in error. In grief she turned Kallisto into the constellation Ursa Major. (According to other versions of the story, Artemis was wrothful with the girl and transformed her into a bear and/or deliberately shot her with her arrows).

KLINIS, ARTEMIKHE & ORTYGIOS (Clinis, Artemiche & Ortygius) Three pious Babylonians (West Asia)--father, daughter and son--who worshipped Apollon and Artemis with great devotion. The father witnessed the sacrifice of asses to Apollon amongst the Hyperboreans, and when he told his children, two of his sons decided to do likewise (despite the censure of the god). Apollon was mad and drove the asses mad, devouring the family. Artemis and Leto however intervened to rescue the innocent Klinis, Artemikhe and Ortygios, transforming the three into birds: under-eagle, lark and billy-tit respectively.

MELEAGRIDES Princesses of Aitolia (central Greece) who fell into a state of heart-rending grief when their brother Meleagros was slain in the course of events following on from Artemis' wrath at the impious King Oineus. The goddess, however, felt pity for them (as innocents suffering for their father's wrongs) and transformed the mourning girls into guinea-hens.

PEIRENE A nymph of Korinthos (southern Greece) who fell into a state of unconsolable grief for the death of her son. Artemis, who had accidentally killed the boy, felt sorry for her, and transformed the poor woman into a fountain-spring.

PHOLOE A nymph of Latium (central Italy) who was transformed by Artemis into a pond toescape the lusty pursuit of the god Pan.



LOCALE : Delos (Greek Aegean) OR Krete (Greek Aegean)


For this VERSION of the Orion myth see Artemis Wrath: Orion

VERSION 2 (Orion slain by Gaia, turned into a constellation by Artemis)

Hesiod, The Astronomy Fragment 4 (from Pseudo-Eratosthenes, Catast. 32) (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or 7th B.C.) :
"[The constellation Orion :] Hesiod says that he was the son of Euryale, the daughter of Minos, and of Poseidon, and that there was given him as a gift the power of walking upon the waves as though upon land . . . Orion went away to Crete and spent his time hunting in company with Artemis and Leto. It seems that he threatened to kill every beast there was on earth; whereupon, in her anger, Gaia (the Earth) sent up against him a scorpion of very great size by which he was stung and so perished. After this Zeus, at one prayer of
Artemis and Leto, put him among the stars, because of his manliness, and the scorpion also as a memorial of him and of what had occurred."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 26 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"The constellation [Scorpio] was put in the sky, its is said, for the following reason: Orion, since he used to hunt, and felt confident that he was most skilled of all in that pursuit, said even to Diana [Artemis] and Latona [Leto] that he was able to kill anything the earth produced. Tellus (the Earth) [Gaia], angered at this, sent the Scorpion which is said to have killed him. Jove [Zeus], however, admiring the courage of both, put the Scorpion among the stars, as a lesson to men not to be too self-confident. Diana [Artemis], then, because of her affection for Orion, asked Jove to show to her request the same favour he had given of his own accord to Tellus [Gaia]. And so the constellation was established in such a way that when Scorpion rises, Orion sets."

Ovid, Fasti 5. 493 ff (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"He [the Gigante Orion] grew huge. Delia [Artemis] made him her companion; he guarded the goddess and he served her. Imprudent words incite the anger of gods : ‘There is no beast,’ he said, ‘I cannot beat.’ Tellus (the Earth) [Gaia] unleashed a scorpion. Its urge was to stab the goddess of twins with its hooked stingers. Orion blocked it. Latona [Leto] joined him to the bright stars, and said, ‘Receive your reward for service.’"

VERSION 3 (Orion slain through a trick of Apollon, turned into a constellation by Artemis)

Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 34 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"[The Constellation Orion :] Istrus [Alexandrian poet C3rd B.C.], however, says that Diana [Artemis] loved Orion and came near marrying him. Apollo took this hard, and when scolding her brought no results, on seeing the head of Orion who was swimming a long way off, he wagered her that she couldn't hit with her arrows the black object in the sea. Since she wished to be called an expert in that skill, she shot an arrow and pierced the head of Orion. The waves brought his slain body to the shore, and Diana [Artemis], grieving greatly that she had struck him, and mourning his death with many tears, put him among the constellations. But what Diana did after his death, we shall tell in the stories about her [i.e. she slew Apollon's love Koronis in retalliation]."

For MORE information on this giant see ORION


LOCALE : Troizenos, Argolis (Southern Greece) AND Arikia, Latium (Central Italy)

This story is also the subject of Euripides' play Hippolytos, which is currently not quoted here.

Cinesias, Fragment 774 (from Philodemus, On Piety) (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric V) (C5th to 4th B.C.) :
"Zeus killed Asklepios with his thunderbolt, according to the author of the Naupactica and Telestes in his Asklepios and Kinesias the lyric poet, because he raised Hippolytos from the dead at Artemis' request."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 27. 4 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"When Hippolytos was killed, owing to the curses of Theseus, Asklepios raised him from the dead. On coming to life again he refused to forgive his father rejecting his prayers, he went to the Arikians in Italia. There he became king and devoted a precinct to Artemis."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 31. 4 :
"[At Troizenos in Argolis there is] a temple of Artemis Lykeie (Wolfish) made by Hippolytos. About this surname I could learn nothing from the local guides, but I gathered that either Hippolytos destroyed wolves that were ravaging the land of Troizenos [with the help of Artemis], or else that Lykeia is a surname of Artemis among the Amazones, from whom he was descended through his mother."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 251 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Those who, by permission of the Parcae [Moirai, Fates], returned from the lower world . . . Hippolytus, son of Theseus, by wish of Diana [Artemis]; he was afterwards called Virbius [an Italian god at the shrine of Diana in Arica]."

Ovid, Fasti 6. 735 ff (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"[Hippolytos, a devotee of Artemis, is slain by his father Theseus by the will of Aphrodite:] Diana [Artemis] howled indignation. ‘There's no cause to grieve.' Coronides [Asklepios son of Koronis] says. ‘I'll restore the pious youth to life, unwounded, and the grisly fates will yield to my art.’ At once he takes some herbs from an ivory box. They worked before on the ghost of Glaucus, when an augur resorted to herbs he'd noticed, and a serpent used the help of a serpent. He daubed his breast three times, thrice spoke healing words. The youth raised his drooping head from the ground. The grove and recesses of Dictynna's [Artemis'] wood hide him: he is Virbius of Aricia's lake. Clymenus [Haides] and Clotho resent the threads of life respun and death's royal rights diminished. Jove [Zeus] feared the precedent and aimed his thunderbolt at the man who employed excessive art."


LOCALE : Attika (Southern Greece) AND Krete (Greek Aegean)

Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 19. 1 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"The [magical hunting] hound [Lailaps] given by Artemis to Procris the daughter of Erekhtheus."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 189 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Procris fled to the island of Krete [after discovering that her husband Cephalus was having an affair with the dawn-goddess Eos], where Diana [Artemis] used to hunt. When Diana saw her, she said to her : ‘virgins hunt with me, but you are not a virgin, leave my company.’ Procris revealed to her her misfortune and told her that she had been deceived by Aurora [Eos the Dawn]. Diana, moved by pity, gave her a javelin which no one could avoid, and the dog Laelaps which no wild beast could escape, and bade her go contend with Cephalus. With her hair cut, and in young man's attire, by the will of Diana [Artemis], she came to Cephalus and challenged him, and surpassed him in the hunt. When Cephalus saw that javelin and Dog were so irresistible, he asked the stranger to sell them to him, not knowing she was his wife. She refused. He promised her also a share in his kingdom [of Phokis]; she still refused. ‘But if,’ she said, ‘you really continue to want this, grant me what boys are won to grant.’ Inflamed by desire for the javelin and the Dog, he promised he would. When they had come into the bed-chamber, Procris took off her tunic and showed that she was a woman and his wife. Cephalus took the gifts and came again into her favour."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 7. 732 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"He [Phokos] saw that Cephalus carried in his hand a javelin of unknown wood with point of gold. They talked a while; then Phocus said : ‘Hunting and forestry are in my blood, but I've been wondering what kind of wood that shaft you hold is made of. If of ash, it would be brown, or if of cornel-wood, it surely would be knotted. Whence it comes I cannot tell, but never have my eyes beheld a javelin more beautiful.’
One of the brothers answered : ‘Even more you'll marvel at its flight; it cannot fail to find its mark; chance never guides its course; and red with blood it flies back unrestrained . . .’
Silent and filled with grief for his lost wife, he wept and said in tears : ‘This weapon, heaven-born prince makes me shed tears and long will make me, if fate grants me long to live; this javelin destroyed my darling wife and me; this gift I wish to heaven had never been bestowed . . .’
[Kephalos tries to trick Prokris into committing adultery :] She fled her wicked husband and that house of trickery, and hating for my hurt the sight of men, among the mountains roved, devoted to the arts Diana [Artemis] loved . . . [After begging for Prokris' forgiveness she returned to him and] she gave me [Kephalos] too, as though herself were gift of small account, a hound [Lailaps] her own Cynthia [Artemis] had given her, saying ‘He'll outrun them all.’ The javelin too she gave me which you see."


LOCALE : Krete (Greek Aegean)

Callimachus, Hymn 3 to Artemis 188 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
"And beyond others thou [Artemis] lovest the Nymphe of Gortyn [in Krete], Britomartis, slayer of stags, the goodly archer; for love of whom was Minos of old distraught and roamed the hills of Krete. And the Nymphe would hide herself now under the shaggy oaks and anon in the low meadows. And for nine months he roamed over crag and cliff and made not an end of pursuing, until, all but caught, she leapt into the sea from the top of a cliff and fell into the nets of fishermen which saved her [presumably, through the intervention of Artemis]. Whence in after days the Kydonians call the Nymphe Diktyna (Lady of the Nets) and the hill whence the Nymphe leaped they call the hill of Nets (Diktaion), and there they set up altars and do sacrifice."

Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses 40 (trans. Celoria) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"[Britomartis] went to Krete. When Minos saw her he lusted after her and pursued her. She took refuge among some fishermen who hid her in their nets. Because of this the Kretans call her Diktynna, She of the Nets, and offered sacrifices to her. Having escaped from Minos, Britomartis arrived at Aigina on a boat of the fisherman Andromedes. But he lusted for her and laid hands on her. Britomartis jumped off the boat and fled into a grove, the very spot where today there is a temple of hers. She then disappeared from sight [presumably through the will of Artemis] and they call her Aphaia, the One Who Disappeared. Her statue appeared in the temple of Artemis. The people of Aigina consecrated the spot where Britomartis disappeared, naming her Aphaia and offering her sacrifices as to a god."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 30. 3 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"She [Britomartis] took delight, they say, in running and in the chase, and was very dear to Artemis. Fleeing from Minos, who had fallen in love with her, she threw herself into nets which had been cast (apheimena) for a draught of fishes [probably so rescued through the will of Artemis]. She was made a goddess by Artemis [and presumably introduced the use of nets into hunting], and she is worshipped, not only by the Kretans but also by the Aiginetans."

For MORE information on this goddess see BRITOMARTIS


Artemis, Clytemnestra, sacrifice of Iphigeneia, and Agamemnon | Greco-Roman fresco from Pompeii C1st A.D. | Naples National Archaeological Museum
Artemis holding stag, Clytemnestra, sacrifice of Iphigeneia, and Agamemnon, Greco-Roman fresco from Pompeii C1st A.D., Naples National Archaeological Museum

LOCALE : Aulis, Boiotia (Southern Greece) AND Tauros, Skythia (Eastern Europe)

For the PRELUDE to this story see Artemis Wrath: Agamemnon


This story is also the subject of Euripides' play Iphigeneia at Aulis which is currently not quoted here.

Stasinus of Cyprus or Hegesias of Aegina, Cypria Fragment 1 (from Proclus, Chrestomathy 1) (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th or 6th B.C.) :
"[The seer] Kalkhas told them [the Greek army heading to Troy] of the anger of the goddess and bade them sacrifice Iphigeneia to Artemis. This they attempt to do, sending to fetch Iphigeneia as though for marriage with Akhilleus. Artemis, however, snatched her away and transported her to the Tauroi, making her immortal, and put a stag in place of the girl upon the altar."

Hesiod, Catalogues of Women Fragment 71 (from Pausanias 1. 43. 1) (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or 7th B.C.) :
"Hesiod in the Catalogue of Women represented that Iphigeneia was not killed but, by the will of Artemis, became Hekate."

Stesichorus, Fragment 215 (from Philodemus, On Piety) (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric III) (C7th to 6th B.C.) :
"Stesichorus in his Oresteia follows Hesiod and identifies Agamemnon's daughter Iphigenia with the goddess called Hekate."

Aeschylus, Iphigeneia (lost play) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) :
Part of a lost Aeschylean trilogy the Iphigeneia probably described the heroine's sacrifice to Artemis at Aulis.

Aeschylus, Priestesses or Hiereiae (lost play) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) :
Aeschylus' lost drama The Priestesses was the thrid of a trilogy of plays describing the story of Iphigeneia. The (Taurian?) priestesses of the goddess Artemis formed the chorus.

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca E3. 21 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"[The seer] Kalkhas announced that they [the Greek army headed to Troy] would not be able to sail unless the most beautiful of Agamemnon's daughters was offered as a sacrificial victim to Artemis . . . Agamemnon placed her [Iphigeneia] on the altar and was about to sacrifice her when Artemis spirited her off to the Taurians, where she set her up as her own priestess; she put a deer on the altar in the girl's place. Also, according to some, she made Iphigeneia immortal."

Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses 27 (trans. Celoria) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Theseus and Helene, daughter of Zeus, had a daughter Iphigeneia. Helene's sister Klytaimnestra brought her up . . . When the army of the Akhaians was held up at Aulis for lack of winds, the seers foretold that it would be possible to sail only if they sacrificed Iphigeneia to Artemis. At the insistence of the Akhaians, Agamemnon handed her over to be put to the knife and she was dragged to the altar. But the leaders could not bear to look on and, to a man, they turned their eyes elsewhere.
Artemis made a bull calf appear by the altar instead of Iphigeneia whom she carried off far away from Greece, to the Sea of Pontos with its welcoming name of Euxinos, to Thoas son of Borysthenes [the Dnieper River]. She called the tribe of nomads there Taurians because a bull (tauros) had appeared instead of Iphigeneia on the altar. She also named her Tauropolios.
After the passage of time, Artemis transferred Iphigeneia to what is called the White Island to be with Akhilleus and changed her into an ageless immortal deity, calling her Orsilokhia (Helper of Childbirth) instead of Iphigeneia. She became the companion of Akhilleus."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 43. 1 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"Now I have heard another account of Iphigenia that is given by Arkadians and I know that Hesiod, in his poem Catalogue of Women, says that Iphigenia did not die, but by the will of Artemis is Hekate. With this agrees the account of Herodotos, that the Tauroi near Skythia sacrifice castaways to a maiden who they say is Iphigenia, the daughter of Agamemnon."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 238 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Those who killed their daughters. Agamemnon, son of Atreus, killed Iphigenia, but Diana [Artemis] saved her."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 12. 8 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"The commonwealth of Greece, a thousand ships leagued and allied [assembled at Aulis], and vengeance would have fallen forthwith [on Troy], had stormy wings not made the sea unassailable and held the chafing fleet at fish-famed Aulis in Boeota's bay . . . Storming amid the Aoniae's main Nereus opposed war . . . [the seer Kalkhas], for he knew and announced that by a virgin's blood the Virgin's [Artemis'] wrath must be appeased. Then love yielded to public weal, the father to the king: Iphigenia stood to give her chaste life-blood amid the weeping priests before the altar. Yielding at last, the goddess drew a mist before their eyes, and in the turmoil of the ceremony, the chants and prayers, in place of the princess the tale is told Diana [Artemis] set a hind. Appeased then by that seemly sacrifice, her divine anger and the ocean's rage alike subsided, and those thousand ships welcomed the wind abaft and reached at last after much suffering the shores of Troy."


Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca E6. 26 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"When Orestes asked [the oracle at Delphoi] how he might get rid of his affliction [a madness that inflicted him after he slew his mother Klytaimnestra], the god told him to bring home the wooden statue that was to be found among the Taurians. The Taurians are a division of the Skythians: they murder strangers and throw them into their sacred fire, which blew up from Hades' realm through some rock and is kept in the temenos [of Artemis]. As Orestes arrived with Pylades among the Taurians, he was discovered, caught, and led before King Thoas in chains. The king despatched them both to the priestess, but the Taurian priestess happened to be Orestes' sister [Iphigeneia], who recognised him; so he took the wooden image [of Artemis] and fled with her. The image was taken to Athens, and is now called the Tauropolos."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 33. 1 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"At some distance from Marathon is Brauron, where, according to the legend, Iphigeneia, the daughter of Agamemnon, landed with the image of Artemis when she fled from the Tauroi; leaving the image there she came to Athens also and afterwards to Argos. There is indeed an old wooden image of Artemis here, but who in my opinion have the one taken from the foreigners I will set forth in another place."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 35. 1 :
"There is also [at Hermione in Argos] a sanctuary of Artemis surnamed Iphigenia [presumably reputed to have been founded by the heroine]."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 16. 7 :
"The place named Limnaion [in Lakedaimonia] is sacred to Artemis Orthia (Upright). The wooden image there they say is that which once Orestes and Iphigeneia stole out of the Tauric land."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 7. 26. 3 :
"There stands here [in the temple of Artemis at Aigeira, Akhaia] too an ancient image, which the folk of Aigeira say is Iphigeneia, the daughter of Agamemnon. If they are correct, it is plain that the temple must have been built originally for Iphigeneia."

Ptolemy Hephaestion, New History Book 4 (summary from Photius, Myriobiblon 190) (trans. Pearse) (Greek mythographer C1st to C2nd A.D.) :
"Some authors report that Helene, arrived in Skythia Tauris with Menelaus in search of Orestes, was immolated to Artemis with Menelaos by Iphigenia."


LOCALE : Mykenai, Argolis (Southern Greece)

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 122 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"[Orestes] would have killed [his half-sister] Erigone, daughter of Clytemnestra and Aegisthus, but Diana [Artemis] rescued her and made her a priestess in the Attic land."

The myth echoes that of her half-sister Iphigeneia, above.


LOCALE : Lakedaimonia & Arkadia (Southern Greece)

Parthenius, Love Romances 15 (trans. Gaselee) (Greek poet C1st B.C.) :
"This is how the story of Daphne, the daughter of Amyklas, is related. She used never to come down into the town, nor consort with the other maidens; but she got together a large pack of hounds and used to hunt, either in Lakonia, or sometimes going into the further mountains of the Peloponnese. For this reason she was very dear to Artemis, who gave her the gift of shooting straight."


LOCALE : Thessalia (Northern Greece)

Callimachus, Hymn 3 to Artemis 184 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
"What heroines hast thou [Artemis] taken for thy companions? . . . Kyrene thou madest thy comrade, to whom on a time thyself didst give two hunting dogs, with whom the maiden daughter of Hypseus beside the Iolkian tomb won the prize."

For MORE information on this nymph see KYRENE


LOCALE : Lakedaimonia (Southern Greece)

Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 19. 4 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"On the altar [of Hyakinthos in the temple of Apollon in Sparta] are also [depicted] Demeter, Kore, Plouto, next to them the Moirai (Fates) and the Horai (Seasons) and with them Aphrodite, Athena and Artemis. They are carrying to heaven Hyakinthos and Polyboia, the sister, they say, of Hyakinthos, who died a maid."

For MORE information on this demi-goddess see PHYLONOE


LOCALE : Lakedaimonia (Southern Greece)

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 126 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"The daughters of Tyndareos and Leda were Timandra, whom Ekhemos married; Klytaimnestra, whom Agamemnon married; and Phylonoe, whom Artemis made immortal."

For MORE information on this demi-goddess see POLYBOIA


LOCALE : Arkadia & Elis (Southern Greece) AND Syrakousa (Sicily, Suuthern Italy)

Ovid, Metamorphoses 5. 610 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"[The nymphe Arethousa tells her tale :] ‘One of the Nymphae whose home is in Achais I used to be, and none more keen than I to roam the glades, more keen to place the nets . . . [when the river-god Alpheios pursued her she fled] nor did he gain on me; until, my strength outmatched, the pace was more than I could long endure, and he still fresh. Yet on through moors and tree-clad mountainsides, over crags and cliffs and trackless wastes I ran. The sun was at our backs: I saw in front--or it was fear that saw--a giant shadow. For sure I heard his frightful footfalls, fled his panting breath upon my braided hair. Exhausted, "Save me! Save thy hunting-nymphe Diana [Artemis]," I cried, "to whom so oft thou gavest thy bow to bear, they arrows and thy quiver!"
‘The goddess heard and, choosing a thick cloud, draped it about me; and the Amnis (River), baulked, circled me wrapped in darkness, quested round the hollow cloud, stood twice, at fault, beside my hiding-place and twice called "Arethusa! Hey, Arethusa!" Oh poor wretched me! What heart had I! Was I not like a lamb that hears the wolves howling around the fold, or like a hare that, hiding in the brake, sees the hounds' deadly jaws and dares not stir? Alpheus waited; at that place he saw my footprints stop; he watched the clouds, the place. Trapped and besieged! A cold and drenching sweat broke out and rivulets of silvery drops poured from my body; where I moved my foot, a trickle spread; a stream fell from my hair; and sooner than I now can tell the tale I turned to water. But the Amnis (River) knew that water, knew his love, and changed again, his human form discarding, and resumed his watery self to join his stream with me. Delia [Artemis] cleft the earth. I, sinking down, borne through blind caverns reached Ortygia [the island town of Syrakousa by Sicily], that bears my goddess' name, the isle I love, that first restored me to the air above.’"

For MORE information on this nymph see ARETHOUSA


LOCALE : Delos (Greek Aegean)

Herodotus, Histories 4. 35. 1 (trans. Godley) (Greek historian C5th B.C.) :
"The Delians relate that two virgins, Arge and Opis, came from the Hyperboreans . . . to Delos . . . Arge and Opis, they say, came with the gods themselves [Apollon and Artemis], and received honors of their own from the Delians. For the women collected gifts for them, calling upon their names in the hymn made for them by Olen of Lykia; it was from Delos that the islanders and Ionians learned to sing hymns to Opis and Arge . . . Furthermore, they say that when the thighbones are burnt in sacrifice on the altar, the ashes are all cast on the burial-place of Opis and Arge, behind the temple of Artemis."

For MORE information on these demi-goddesses see OUPIS, LOXO, HEKAERGE


LOCALE : Boiotia (Central Greece) OR Attica (Southern Greece)

Plutarch, Life of Aristides 20. 5 (trans. Perrin) (Greek historian C1st to C2nd A.D.) :
"Eukleia is regarded by most as Artemis, and is so addressed; but some say she was a daughter of Herakles and of that Myrto who was daughter of Menoitios and sister of Patroklos, and that, dying in virginity, she received divine honors among the Boiotians and Lokrians. For she has an altar and an image built in every market place, and receives preliminary sacrifices from would-be brides and bridegrooms [as the goddess of good repute]."

Suidas s.v. Makaria (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Makaria . . . Also a daughter of Herakles, whom the Athenians honored with very expensive funeral rites when she had died on their behalf."

For MORE information on this demi-goddess see EUKLEIA


LOCALE : Melite, Phthiotis (Northern Greece)

The story of Aspalis is related in book 13 of the Metamorphoses of Antoninus Liberalis (not currently quoted here).


LOCALE : Kalydon, Aitolia (Central Greece)

For the PRELUDE to this story see Artemis Wrath: Oeneus

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 172 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"[After the death of Meleagros] his sisters, all except Gorge and Deianira, because of their weeping, were by the will of the gods changed into birds. These are called Meleagrides, ‘guinea hens’."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 8. 531 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Not if a god gave me a hundred mouths . . . could I rehearse his [Meleagros'] sisters' threnodies of woe [at his death, which was brought about incidentally by Artemis]. All decency forgotten, black and blue they beat their breasts, and, while his corpse remained, that corpse they fondled, fondled hour by hour; they kissed their brother, kissed their brother's bier; then ashes - and his ashes in their urn they held tight to their hearts, and threw themselves down on his tomb and clasped his name engraved; and on that name poured forth their flooding tears. At last Latonia [Artemis], sated with the ruin of the house of Parthaonaie [Oeneus], raised up the sisters (all save Gorge and [Deianeira] the wife of Alcmena's son), clothed them in plumage and along their arms spread wings and in their faces, once to fair, set beaks and launched them, changed, into the air [as guinea-fowl, Greek meleagris]."

Other sources of this myth not currently quoted here: Antoninus Liberalis 2.


LOCALE : Arkadia (Southern Greece)

Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 1 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Great Bear [the constellation Ursa Major] Some, too, have said that when Callisto was embraced by Jove [Zeus], Juno [Hera] in anger turned her into a bear; then, when she met Diana [Artemis] hunting, she was killed by her, and later, on being recognised, was placed among the stars."

For an ALTERNATE version of this story see Artemis Wrath: Callisto


LOCALE : Babylon (West Asia)

Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses 20 (trans. Celoria) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"[Klinis of Babylon] arranged by the altar a hecatomb of asses [following a visit to the land of the Hyperboreans, where he witnessed asses being sacrificed to the god]. Apollon appeared and threatened him with death if he did not cease from this sacrifice and did not offer up to him the usual goats, sheep and cattle . . . Now Lykios and Harpasos heard their father [telling them to desist from the sacrifice of asses] but went on telling him to sacrifice the asses . . . they undid the halters of he asses and set to driving towards the altar.
The god inflected the asses with a madness and they began to eat up the children, their servants, Klinis too. As they were perishing they cries out to the gods for help . . . Leto and Artemis saw fit to save Klinis, Artemikhe and Ortygios for they had not been the cause of these impieties.
Apollon granted this favour to Leto and Artemis and changed them all into birds before they could be killed. Klinis became a hypaietos (an under-eagle) . . . Lykios was changed into a raven that was white but later by the wish of Apollon, he became of a sable colour, because he had been the first to announce the marriage of Koronis, daughter of Phlegyas, to Alkyoneus.
Artemikhe became a lark, a bird that gods and humans are fond of. Ortygios became a billy-tit because he had urged his father to sacrifice billy-goats instead of asses to Apollon."


LOCALE : Korinthos (Southern Greece)

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 3. 2 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"[In Korinthos there is] the water of Peirene. The legend about Peirene is that she was a woman who became a spring because of her tears shed in lamentation for her son Kenkhrias, who was unintentionally killed by Artemis [presumably while he was still a child]."

For MORE information on this nymph see PEIRENE


LOCALE : Latium (Central Italy)

Statius, Silvae 2. 3. 1 (trans. Mozley) (Roman poetry C1st A.D.) :
"Frightened troops of [Latin] Nymphae were fleeing from Pan; on he came, as though all were his quarry, yet on [the Naias] Pholoe alone was he bent. By copse and stream she fled, shunning now the hairy following limbs, now the wanton horns . . . she came running a-tiptoe and gained the Caelian wilds; there at last wearied out and fordone with fear she gathered her saffron robe closer about her, and sank down on the edge of the snow-white bank. Swiftly follows the shepherd-god, and deems the maid his bride; already he allays the panting of his fevered breast, already he hovers lightly o'er his prey. Lo! With speedy steps Diana [Artemis] approached, as she ranges the seven hills and tracks the flight of a deer on Aventine; the goddess was vexed to see it, and turning to her trusty comrades : ‘Shall I never keep this unseemly, wanton brood from lustful rapine? Must my chaste band of followers ever grow fewer?’ So speaking she drew a short shaft from her quiver, but sped it not from the bent bow or with the wonted twang, but was content to fling it with one hand, and touched--so 'tis said--the left hand of the drowsy Naiad with the arrow-feathers. She awaking beheld at once the day and her wanton foe, and lest she should bare her snow-white limbs plunged just as she was with all her raiment into the lake, and at the bottom of the mere, believing Pan was following, she wrapped the weeds about her. What could the robber do, so suddenly baffled? . . . The Nais, Phoebe's [Artemis'] votary [escaped]."






A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.