ARTEMIS (AR-ti-mis; Roman name Diana) was the virgin goddess of the hunt. She helped women in childbirth but also brought sudden death with her arrows. Artemis and her brother Apollo were the children of Zeus and Leto. In some versions of their myth, Artemis was born first and helped her mother to deliver Apollo.
Niobe, queen of Thebes, once boasted that she was better than Leto because she had many children while the goddess had but two. Artemis and Apollo avenged this insult to their mother by killing all or most of Niobe’s children with their arrows. The weeping Niobe was transformed into stone, in which form she continued to weep.
When Apollo noticed that Artemis was spending a great deal of time hunting with the giant Orion, he decided to put an end to the relationship. He challenged Artemis to prove her skill at archery by shooting at an object floating far out at sea. Her shot was perfect. The target turned out to be the head of Orion.
Artemis is generally depicted as a young woman clad in buckskins, carrying a bow and a quiver of arrows. She is often accompanied by wild creatures such as a stag or she-bear.
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