Who is…

also known as: Artemis

Greek: Ἄρτεμις —transliteration: Artemis

This is the Roman name of a false god of ancient idolatrous pagans—a daughter of Zeus and sister of Apollo. She was the Roman’s goddess of the hunt and wild animals.

Greeks called her Artemis.

This “great” goddess was worshipped among heathen nations under various names.

In Ephesus, she was worshipped as the equivalent to Mother Nature and typified fertility. Her most noted temple was at Ephesus. It was built outside the city walls, and was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, was bringing no little business to the craftsmen; these he gathered together with the workers of similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that our prosperity is from this business. And you see and hear that not only in Ephesus, but in almost all of Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away a considerable crowd, saying that things made with hands are not gods. And not only is there danger that this trade of ours fall into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis be considered as worthless and that she, whom all of Asia and the world worship, is even about to be brought down from her majesty.” —Acts 19:27

“First and last it was the work of 220 years; built of shining marble; 342 feet long by 164 feet broad; supported by a forest of columns, each 56 feet high; a sacred museum of masterpieces of sculpture and painting. At the center, hidden by curtains, within a gorgeous shrine, stood the very ancient image of the goddess, on wood or ebony reputed to have fallen from the sky. Behind the shrine was a treasury, where, as in ‘the safest bank in Asia,’ nations and kings stored their most precious things. The temple as St. Paul saw it subsisted till A.D. 262, when it was ruined by the Goths” (Acts 19:23-41). —H.C.G. Moule, The Epistle to the Ephesians: With Introduction and Notes (University Press, Cambridge: 1888)

Modern times

Diana is reportedly revered in modern neopagan religions including Roman neopaganism, Stregheria, and Wicca. Folklore attached to her developed and was eventually adapted into neopagan religions, the mythology surrounding Diana grew to include a consort (Lucifer) and daughter (Aradia). 1

  1. Sabina Magliocco, Aradia in Sardinia: The Archaeology of a Folk Character (Hidden Publishing, 2009), pp. 40-60 in “Ten Years of Triumph of the Moon”.

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Article Version: July 11, 2024