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On Artemis

Apollo unveils Artemis. Alexander von Humboldt’s (c. 1807), after a drawing by Bertel Thorvaldsen. The Olymian God, Apollo, unveils the chthonic Goddess, Artemis of Ephesia.

Artemis was a predominate deity worshipped throughout the entire Mediterranean basin into the far reaches of northern Europe. The almighty Goddess arose out of the fertile soils of Anatolia long before the Hellenic Greeks would arrive. She belongs to a mysterious collection of primordial earth Goddesses (including Mater Magna, Kybele, Kubaba and Hecate). These were all-powerful, life-giving and sustaining chthonic (χθόνιος) Goddesses, who were venerated in Asia Minor reaching back millennia. It is believed that these Goddesses were initially worshipped as a tree and, in general, presented in wooden forms.

(Paul addresses the fate of the chthonic Goddess Hera).

Anatolia has proven to be a cultural revolving door, with a constant influx of foreign tribes, nations and empires, often displacing settled communities.

The intrigue, potency and dynamism of the earth Goddesses proved so compelling and awe-inspiring to foreign arrivals that they often adopted the ‘local’ deities as their own. In doing so they would re-fashion a Goddess to suit their needs and sensibilities. The Roman’s took that a step further by melding, and renaming, the Gods according to their belief system. And the Romans made sure to protect Rome by hauling a full array of Goddesses to their city.

One Goddess would stand well above all other Gods and Goddesses. Artemis of Ephesia, well-rooted in ageless chthonic traditions, gracefully emerged from the landscape and psyche of people of Anatolia to nourish, protect and bless her faithful following. She was a deity which served every need of her people. She brought them painlessly in and out of life. She cared for the animal kingdom with kindness and compassion. The waterways, lakes and seas were under her command. The vineyards belong to her, as a gift to us. She cared for the forests and woods, the underworlds. She was the world’s first midwife, and protected the virgins. Her great Temple, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, was also world bank. At her temple, her home, she offered a safe haven of asylum to persecuted and displaced.

She inspired absolute awe as the Alpha and Omega, and in returned temples and sanctuaries were built in her name. Temple and sanctuaries were built as far-flug as present-day Portugal and Germany.

In her manifestation as Artemis of Ephesia she both proceeds and transcends the Gods of Mount of Olympus as an all-mighty and all-encompassing deity.

Confusion arose with the advent of the Odyssee and Iliad of Homer, c. 800BC, as she was casts in an array of veils which resulted in many durable versions of the Goddess, with attributes often contradicting her primal form. The protector the animal kingdom was now the huntress and often vengeful. The Hellenic Greeks celebrated both distinct forms, and the Romans tended to embrace the later. These two distinct strains of the Goddess took on parallel lives.

As much as Emperor Theodosius I tried to censor Artemis from the culture in 389 and 391 with merciless edicts outlawing polytheism, destroying the temples and stactuaries, he was unable to pry the Goddess from the hearts of her followers.

Artemis only began to lose importance in 431AD at the Council of Ephesus, where the Mother Mary was rendered Theotokos (Θεοτόκος, ‘Mother of God’), the partly deifying Mary and rendering Jesus a God-like.  Mother Mary was essentially the last incarnation of Artemis.

Mother Mary arrived in Ephesus, with the Apostle John, after the crucifixion and spent her days in the hill over-looking the city.

400 years after the crucifixion, an age of relative matriarchy drew to a close, and patriarchy was ushered in with the help of pseudo monotheism.

Perhaps it is her great providence to serve all our needs in her many forms.

Artemis in transition: From the Beautiful Artemis, to the Huntress, and into Mother Mary.

As a testimony to how Artemis adapted to her many communities, here is a remarkable list of some of the epitaphs, veils, of the Goddess:

Artemis has at least 291 known epithets, her vasts veils…

  1. Artemis Admetus (untamed)
  2. Artemis Aegenetes (immortal)
  3. Artemis Aegina (wielder of the javelin)
  4. Artemis Aetole (the stormy one)
  5. Artemis Aglauros (from the heroine Aglauros)
  6. Artemis Agoraea (of the market place)
  7. Artemis Agraea (of uncultivated land)
  8. Artemis Agroletera (who wastes the land)
  9. Artemis Agrotera (of the hunt)
  10. Artemis Aguieos (leader on the path)
  11. Artemis Aigeira (from the town of Aigeira)
  12. Artemis Aithiopia (dark-faced)
  13. Artemis Akalanthis (goldfinch)
  14. Artemis Akontistera (hurler of javelins)
  15. Artemis Akontixo (hits with a javelin)
  16. Artemis Akraea (of the hills)
  17. Artemis Alexeteira (champion)
  18. Artemis Alexiares (who keeps off a curse)
  19. Artemis Alexibelemnos (who keeps off arrows)
  20. Artemis Aleximbrotos (who protects mortals)
  21. Artemis Alpheaea (from the river God Alpheius)
  22. Artemis Alpheosia (from the river God Alpheius)
  23. Artemis Alpheusa (from the river God Alpheius)
  24. Artemis Amarynthia (unwithering)
  25. Artemis Amarysia (who brings rain to the channels)
  26. Artemis Ambulia (who delays death)
  27. Artemis Ameilikhas (relentless)
  28. Artemis Amnius (protecting before birth)
  29. Artemis Amphiktyonis (who dwells nearby)
  30. Artemis Amphipyros (holding a torch in each hand)
  31. Artemis Anaetis (similar to Anat)
  32. Artemis Anaxophormige (queen of the lyre)
  33. Artemis Angelos (messenger)
  34. Artemis Apankhomene (the strangled)
  35. Artemis Apaturos (guardian of secrets)
  36. Artemis Aphaea (vanisher)
  37. Artemis Aphesia (releaser)
  38. Artemis Aphetura (archer)
  39. Artemis Apobaterios (protector of those who disembark)
  40. Artemis Aptera (wingless)
  41. Artemis Areia (warlike)
  42. Artemis Argelos (hard)
  43. Artemis Argennis (of the difficult birth)
  44. Artemis Aria (of the oaks)
  45. Artemis Arikina (from the town of Aricia)
  46. Artemis Arista (the best)
  47. Artemis Aristoboulia (the best counsellor)
  48. Artemis Aristobule (the best adviser)
  49. Artemis Arkadia (mountainous)
  50. Artemis Arktokheira (who has bär paws for hands)
  51. Artemis Artio (bearlike)
  52. Artemis Asia (of the lyre)
  53. Artemis Astateia (who stayed the advance)
  54. Artemis Astias (leaving no sign)
  55. Artemis Astrateia (of the host of stars)
  56. Artemis Astynome (possessor of the city)
  57. Artemis Astyokhe (possessor of the city)
  58. Artemis Astyrene (from the town of Astyra)
  59. Artemis Asulos (who protects from marriage)
  60. Artemis Basileis (princess)
  61. Artemis Berekynthia (bringer of wisdom)
  62. Artemis Blaganitis (of the frogs)
  63. Artemis Boulaea (counsellor)
  64. Artemis Boulephoros (bringer of advice)
  65. Artemis Bousbatos (powerful as a bull)
  66. Artemis Brauronia (from the town of Brauron)
  67. Artemis Britomartis (good maiden)
  68. Artemis Damnoyone (who tames)
  69. Artemis Daphnaea (of the laurel)
  70. Artemis Delia (the brilliant)
  71. Artemis Delphinia (of the womb)
  72. Artemis Dereatis (from the town of Dereion)
  73. Artemis Derrhiatis (wearing leather armor)
  74. Artemis Despoena (mistress)
  75. Artemis Diktynna (of the hunting nets)
  76. Artemis Dreneia (holy one)
  77. Artemis Drumenios (haunting the woods)
  78. Artemis Dynatera (all powerful)
  79. Artemis Eidothea (divinely shaped)
  80. Artemis Eileithyia (who brings relief in labor)
  81. Artemis Ekbateria (who provides a means of climbing out)
  82. Artemis Elapheaea (of the deer)
  83. Artemis Elaphebolia (deer shooting)
  84. Artemis Elaphios (deerlike)
  85. Artemis Elasippos (horse driving)
  86. Artemis Elateira (driver of horses)
  87. Artemis Eleusinios (of the place of coming)
  88. Artemis Eleuthera (mother of the bear)
  89. Artemis Eleutho (liberator)
  90. Artemis Emmenaos (the measurer)
  91. Artemis Endendros (of the trees)
  92. Artemis Endiagros (living in a cavernous place)
  93. Artemis Ennodia (gatekeeper)
  94. Artemis Epaulios (camping outdoors)
  95. Artemis Ephesia (from the town of Ephesos)
  96. Artemis Epimelidios (who protects the sheep)
  97. Artemis Epimylidos (of the mill)
  98. Artemis Epoikhomai (who visits with death)
  99. Artemis Erithos (day laborer)
  100. Artemis Eukleia (of good repute)
  101. Artemis Eulinos (good spinner)
  102. Artemis Eulokhia (who aids in childbirth)
  103. Artemis Euonumos (protector of women in childbirth)
  104. Artemis Euploea (who brings good weather)
  105. Artemis Euplokames (with beautiful locks)
  106. Artemis Eupraxia (of great deeds)
  107. Artemis Eupylios (of the gate)
  108. Artemis Eurynome (of the broad pastures)
  109. Artemis Euskopos (keen sighted)
  110. Artemis Eustephanus (well-girdled)
  111. Artemis Gaeeokhus (holder of the earth)
  112. Artemis Gamelii (presiding over marriage)
  113. Artemis Genetaira (who aids in childbirth)
  114. Artemis Genetyllis (protectress of births)
  115. Artemis Geometres (measuring land)
  116. Artemis Gorgopis (the face of death)
  117. Artemis Hagne (chaste)
  118. Artemis Hekaerge (hitting at a distance)
  119. Artemis Hekatebolus (far shooting)
  120. Artemis Hegemone (the leader of the dance)
  121. Artemis Heleia (of the marsh)
  122. Artemis Hellophonos (fawn slaying)
  123. Artemis Hemera (of the evening)
  124. Artemis Hemeresia (the soothing)
  125. Artemis Hemihippos (half horse)
  126. Artemis Hemikynos (half dog)
  127. Artemis Heurippe (the finder of horses)
  128. Artemis Hiereia (priestess)
  129. Artemis Hippolaitis (horse priestess)
  130. Artemis Hipposoa (driving horses)
  131. Artemis Hyakinthropus (nurse of the blume priestesses)
  132. Artemis Hylebatidos (who haunts the wood)
  133. Artemis Hymnia (of the hymns)
  134. Artemis Iasoria (healer)
  135. Artemis Imbraia (from the river Imbrasus)
  136. Artemis Iokheaira (of the showering arrows)
  137. Artemis Iolkia (from the town of Iolcus)
  138. Artemis Iphianassa (strength of the people)
  139. Artemis Iphigenea (from the heroine Iphigeneia)
  140. Artemis Issoria (from Mount Issorion)
  141. Artemis Istria (of the river Ister)
  142. Artemis Kalkaea (the wearer of high boots)
  143. Artemis Kalliste (the fairest)
  144. Artemis Kaprophonos (killer of wild boars)
  145. Artemis Karya (of the nussbaum, walnuss tree)
  146. Artemis Karyatis (of the nussbaum, walnuss tree)
  1. Artemis Katagogis (leading to the underworld)
  2. Artemis Kaukasis (burning sister)
  3. Artemis Kedreatis (keeper of the oil of the coast)
  4. Artemis Kedrinos (of the cedars)
  5. Artemis Keladeina (strong-voiced)
  6. Artemis Keladodromos (running amid the sounds of the hunt)
  7. Artemis Khitone (with her clothing tied back)
  8. Artemis Khrysaor (of the golden sword)
  9. Artemis Khryselakatus (of the golden shafts)
  10. Artemis Khrysenius (of the golden reins)
  11. Artemis Khrysothronus (of the golden throne)
  12. Artemis Kindyas (from the town of Kindye)
  13. Artemis Kleito (the invoked)
  14. Artemis Knakeatis (one who works with the carpenter’s ax)
  15. Artemis Knakalesia (of Mount Knakalos)
  16. Artemis Knagia (burning one)
  17. Artemis Kolaenis (punisher)
  18. Artemis Kondyleates (bare-fisted)
  19. Artemis Kordaea (of the rope dance)
  20. Artemis Koryphaea (of the peak)
  21. Artemis Koryphasia (light maiden)
  22. Artemis Korythaleia (festive maiden)
  23. Artemis Kudros (most esteemed)
  24. Artemis Kurotrophos (accomplished nurse)
  25. Artemis Kynagetis (hunter)
  26. Artemis Kynagon (leader of the dogs)
  27. Artemis Kynthia (from Mount Kynthus)
  28. Artemis Kypharissa (queen of the cypress)
  29. Artemis Kytherea (the hidden one)
  30. Artemis Lakone (of the lake)
  31. Artemis Laphria (despoiling)
  32. Artemis Lathrios (who works in secret)
  33. Artemis Latoea (daughter of Leto)
  34. Artemis Latone (harsh and stony one)
  35. Artemis Lemnos (of the earth)
  36. Artemis Leon (the lion)
  37. Artemis Letogeneia (daughter of Leto)
  38. Artemis Leukione (gleaming white)
  39. Artemis Leukophryne (white toad)
  40. Artemis Leukophrys (white browed)
  41. Artemis Limenia (protectress of the harbor)
  42. Artemis Limnaea (born in a lake oder marsh)
  43. Artemis Limnatides (born in a lake oder marsh)
  44. Artemis Limnatis (born in a lake oder marsh)
  45. Artemis Lokheia (of the blood of childbirth)
  46. Artemis Loxo (ambiguous)
  47. Artemis Lygodesma (surrounded Von willows)
  48. Artemis Lykaena (she-wolf)
  49. Artemis Lykaeus (wolfish)
  50. Artemis Lykoatis (winnower of the coast)
  51. Artemis Lykomeda (cunning like a wolf)
  52. Artemis Lykotharses (bold as a wolf)
  53. Artemis Lysizona (who loosens the girdle)
  54. Artemis Megale (great)
  55. Artemis Meleagria (wild dark one)
  56. Artemis Melissa (honey bee)
  57. Artemis Mesopolitis (inside the city wall)
  58. Artemis Metapontina (guide at life’s changes)
  59. Artemis Mogostokia (helping with birth pains)
  60. Artemis Molpadia (death song)
  61. Artemis Monogisene (unparalleled)
  62. Artemis Munykhia (from the town of Mounykhia)
  63. Artemis Myrine (swiftly bounding)
  64. Artemis Mysia (from the region of Mysia)
  65. Artemis Neleus (relentless)
  66. Artemis Neptunis (of the sea)
  67. Artemis Nikephoros (bringing victory)
  68. Artemis Niktiphoitos (night roaming)
  69. Artemis Oenoatis (from the town of Oenoe)
  70. Artemis Opheltes (wound round with snakes)
  71. Artemis Opis (silent)
  72. Artemis Opitais (who brings up the rear)
  73. Artemis Oraia (protects infants in the womb)
  74. Artemis Orsilokhia (helper of childbirth)
  75. Artemis Orthia (from Mount Orthium)
  76. Artemis Orthosia (upright)
  77. Artemis Ortygia (from the island of Ortygia, the ancient name of Delos)
  78. Artemis Oulios (deadly)
  79. Artemis Paedotrophus (nurse of children)
  80. Artemis Paeonia (healer)
  81. Artemis Pamphylaia (provider)
  82. Artemis Panaghia Arkousdiotissa (holy Goddess of all the bears)
  83. Artemis Paralia (of the sea coast)
  84. Artemis Parthenia (the maiden)
  85. Artemis Pasikrateia (famous strong one)
  86. Artemis Patroea (of the fathers)
  87. Artemis Peitheros (persuader of animals)
  88. Artemis Peitho (persuasive)
  89. Artemis Pergaea (from the town of Perge)
  90. Artemis Pheraea (of the beasts)
  91. Artemis Philomeirax (friend of young girls)
  92. Artemis Phoebe (bright one)
  93. Artemis Phosphoros (light bringer)
  94. Artemis Phthia (the waning moon)
  95. Artemis Pitanatis (from the town of Pitana)
  96. Artemis Polo (foal)
  97. Artemis Polymastis (many breasted)
  98. Artemis Polytheros (of many beasts)
  99. Artemis Potamia (of the rivers)
  100. Artemis Potamene (strength of the river)
  101. Artemis Potnia Theron (lady of the beasts)
  102. Artemis Progoneia (ancestral one)
  103. Artemis Prokathegemon (pioneer)
  104. Artemis Propylaea (of the gate)
  105. Artemis Proseoa (facing the dawn)
  106. Artemis Prostateria (who stands before)
  107. Artemis Prothuraea (who is before the door)
  108. Artemis Protothronia (of the first throne)
  109. Artemis Pyronia (of the fire)
  110. Artemis Pythia (serpent)
  111. Artemis Rhokkaea (from the town of Rhokkha)
  112. Artemis Saronia (of the old hollow oak)
  113. Artemis Sarpedonia (from Cape Sarpedon)
  114. Artemis Selasia (from the town of Selasia)
  115. Artemis Selasphoros (light bringer)
  116. Artemis Skiaditis (maker of shadows)
  117. Artemis Skiatis (of the shadows)
  118. Artemis Skiris (of the shadows)
  119. Artemis Skulakitis (protector of dogs)
  120. Artemis Skythia (from the region of Skythia)
  121. Artemis Soodina (saving during labor)
  122. Artemis Soteira (the savior)
  123. Artemis Stymphalia (of Lake Stymphalos)
  124. Artemis Tainarios (of the strip of land)
  125. Artemis Taurika (of the bulls)
  126. Artemis Taurione (to whom bulls are sacrificed)
  127. Artemis Tauropolos (slayer of bulls)
  128. Artemis Tauropos (riding on bulls)
  129. Artemis Tektone (the carpenter)
  130. Artemis Tharsenike (who is confident of victory)
  131. Artemis Thekla (the famous)
  132. Artemis Themisto (oracular)
  133. Artemis Thermaia (healing fever)
  134. Artemis Theroktonos (killer of wild beasts)
  135. Artemis Theroskopos (hunter of wild beasts)
  136. Artemis Thoantea (from King Thoas of Tauris)
  137. Artemis Throsia (who is murmuring)
  138. Artemis Toxophoreo (bearer of the bow)
  139. Artemis Toxotis (archer)
  140. Artemis Trideria (of three lots)
  141. Artemis Triklaria (of three couches)
  142. Artemis Trivia (of three ways)
  143. Artemis Upis (watcher)
  144. Artemis Xena (stranger)
  145. Artemis Zea (from the harbor of Zea)

This list can be found online: Artemis and her Epithets posted by storm-hawk