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N.S. Gill

Myth Monday - How Much Do You Know About Artemis?

By November 26, 2012

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Artemis and Stag
Artemis and Stag
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Artemis, another Greek virgin goddess, was more an Amazon than the cultured Athena. She was at home in the woods, hunting with her bows and arrows and protecting the young, than in the city. Although virginal, she had a role in childbirth, which Plato explains in the following passage. After the quotation, you'll find a series of questions to get at what you know about Artemis. Like last week's questions and answers about the goddess Athena, this week's answers take you to information that covers the answer, but doesn't necessarily directly do so, since it's not a quiz.
Plato, Theaetetus 149b-d (trans. Fowler) (Greek philosopher C4th B.C.) :
"Sokrates: Take into consideration the whole business of the midwives . . . For you know, I suppose, that no one of them attends other women while she is still capable of conceiving and bearing but only those do so who have become too old to bear . . . They say the cause of this is Artemis, because she, a childless goddess, has had childbirth allotted to her as her special province. Now it would seem she did not allow barren women to be midwives, because human nature is too weak to acquire an art which deals with matters of which it has no experience, but she gave the office to those who on account of age were not bearing children, honoring them for their likeness to herself . . . Is it not, then, also likely and even necessary, that midwives should know better than anyone else who are pregnant and who are not? . . . And furthermore, the midwives, by means of drugs and incantations, are able to arouse the pangs of labor and, if they wish, to make them milder, and to cause those to bear who have difficulty in bearing; and they cause miscarriages if they think them desirable."
Theoi
  1. Question: What happened to Actaeon?

    Answer: Artemis, Actaeon and the Bath

  2. Question: Before he could sail to Troy, what had Agamemnon done to incur Artemis' wrath and how did he appease the goddess?

    Answer: The Tale of Troy

  3. Question: Who else failed to honor her resulting in a famous boar devastating the countryside?

    Answer: Calydonian Boar Hunt

  4. Question: On which side was Artemis in the Trojan War?

    Answer: Gods and Goddesses in the Iliad

  5. Question: Which baby did Artemis first help deliver?

    Answer: Leto

  6. Question: Which of the Homeric women asks Artemis to kill her, Andromache or Penelope? Before you look, try to figure out why she would ask for death.

    Answer: Transitions Goddess

  7. Question: In what general area was the virginal Artemis worshiped as a mother goddess?

    Answer: Cult Statue of Artemis

  8. Question: Why does Artemis shoot down Orion?

    Answer: Poseidon's Son Orion Shared His Appetite for Women

  9. Question: For what motive may Artemis have killed Ariadne?

    Answer: Theseus Returns From Crete

  10. Question: Why does Artemis take revenge on Arachne's friend Niobe?

    Answer: Niobe

Previous 2012 Myth Mondays:

  1. Hercules Hurls His Guest
  2. Scylla
  3. Olympics Origins II: Myrtilos
  4. Hercules the Giant-Killer
  5. The First Tyrant
  6. The King and the Harpies
  7. The Dawn Goddess Loves a Mortal
  8. Vediovis
  9. Even a Boar Wishes to Kiss Adonis
  10. Hero and Leander
  11. Who Were the Argonauts?
  12. The Chimera
  13. Narcissus and Echo
  14. How Perseus Fits In
  15. Hesiod and the Bestiary
  16. The First Olympics Origins I
  17. Dionysus and the Return of Hephaestus
  18. Zeus, the Recent Victor of the Titanomachy, Wins Once More in Hesiod's 'Theogony'
  19. Atlas, the Titan Who Didn't Shrug
  20. Troilus and ... Polyxena
  21. Who Is the Virgo?
  22. Pandora's Box
  23. Achilles and His Heel
  24. Hercules and His Labors
  25. The First Humans
  26. The Death of Pentheus
  27. Greek Ghosts
  28. One More Underworld God
  29. A Norse God of Winter
  30. "Why Is Gold Called Sif's Hair?"
  31. How Much Do You Know About Athena?

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