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Author Topic: Artemis?  (Read 2087 times)
WhiteSong
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« Topic Start: March 08, 2011, 04:58:39 pm »

Hi, although I am not a Hellenic Recon, I wanted your suggestions for a project based on Greek texts and plays.

I am doing a project on Artemis for my Greek Tragedy class. I plan on looking at Artemis in contemporary society--how people worship her now, what she represents in our contemporary society (environmental issues, women's independence, what kind of social views she has about single mothers or welfare), based upon Classical data. I also plan on considering the ancient Greek association between Artemis and Egyptian Bastet and her relationship with Hecate and Selene.

The finished project will probably end up being illustration, so I am also wondering about what clothing she would adorn herself with and the significance of it.

If anyone has views, personal experiences, or arguments that they would like to share about her, I would love to hear them. Thanks!
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Carnelian
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« Reply #1: March 08, 2011, 10:11:20 pm »

Hi, although I am not a Hellenic Recon, I wanted your suggestions for a project based on Greek texts and plays.

I am doing a project on Artemis for my Greek Tragedy class. I plan on looking at Artemis in contemporary society--how people worship her now, what she represents in our contemporary society (environmental issues, women's independence, what kind of social views she has about single mothers or welfare), based upon Classical data. I also plan on considering the ancient Greek association between Artemis and Egyptian Bastet and her relationship with Hecate and Selene.

The finished project will probably end up being illustration, so I am also wondering about what clothing she would adorn herself with and the significance of it.

If anyone has views, personal experiences, or arguments that they would like to share about her, I would love to hear them. Thanks!


I view Artemis as the goddess of wild nature, the eternally youthful goddess of the moon. She contrasts her brother Apollo as the goddess of wild and untamed nature, while he is the god of civilization and culture. She is related to Hekate and Selene as a deity of the moon, which wasn't an original aspect of her, if I remember correctly. Selene is the titan who personifies the actual moon, while Hekate and Artemis are similar deities syncretized with her, as they are also associated with the moon. Though they are both maiden deities of the hunt and the wild, associated with childbirth and transitions. Artemis' sacred day on the Attic calendar was the 6th day of the waxing crescent moon, while Hekate ruled the dark moon period. Where Artemis is the goddess of childbirth and youth, Hekate stands at the threshold of life into death. Artemis ushers in new life, and Hekate ushers life out, into the realm of the dead.

Artemis also represents the "parthenos", an ancient Greek term for a girl who is not yet married. She is the virgin who of marriageable age, but still untamed and wild. Ancient Greeks viewed women as wild creatures who needed to be tamed through marriage, and Artemis embodied this phase of untamed femaleness. In myth, the Amazons represented what was threatening to the Greek status quo, women who never married, were eternally untamed and never ruled by men, and Artemis was their patroness. Although Artemis represented the unmarried virgin, she was also a goddess of marriage, as the parthenos phase was temporary, and before marriage a girl would dedicate her childhood belongings to this goddess. When she married, she would pass into the patronage of Hera, goddess of married women.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 10:13:47 pm by Carnelian » Logged
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« Reply #2: March 09, 2011, 10:07:07 pm »


Bast and Artemis:
http://per-bast.org/bast/essay10.html
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WhiteSong
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« Reply #3: March 15, 2011, 05:03:24 pm »

Where Artemis is the goddess of childbirth and youth, Hekate stands at the threshold of life into death. Artemis ushers in new life, and Hekate ushers life out, into the realm of the dead.

 When she married, she would pass into the patronage of Hera, goddess of married women.

Thanks, both of you, for your replies. I ended up going with Medea--who has a lot less history, which seems a little more flexible for my paper. But learning about Artemis has been interesting. I had a dream in which I saw a woman, who seemed to lead a hunting party in the snow--she had skins over her back--but her face almost looked dead--like a skull. It was sort of disturbing, but there are those aspects of Artemis, like how, in the classical world, when a woman died unexpected was said to have been struck by Artemis's arrow.

Medea is not so far away from Artemis, because she seems to be associated with Hecate--and she also seems to have a special relationship with Hera--not to mention her problems with her marriage.  She also has a very controversial history--with Euripides painting her with infanticide, and her ability to bring people back to life by cutting them up and boiling them. Interestingly, some say that she was immortal, and that she did not kill her children but that Creon's countrymen did--and there is also some possibility that Hera was supposed to protect the children but somehow failed or refused.  Considering that one of the biggest oaths to be broken in that story, is Jason's wedding vows, the possibility that Hera didn't protect the children could just be symbolic of the failure of the marriage endangering them.
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