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Artemis as a huntress, Classical sculpture; in the Louvre, Paris.—Alinari/Art Resource, New York
In Greek religion, the goddess of wild animals, the hunt, vegetation, chastity, and childbirth. Artemis was the daughter of Zeus and Leto and the twin sister of Apollo. Accompanied by nymphs, she danced in mountains and forests. She both killed game and, as Mistress of Animals (see Master of the Animals), protected it. Stories of her nymphs' love affairs may originally have been told of the goddess herself, but poets after Homer stressed her chastity. She was known for her unpitying wrath when offended. Artemis may have developed out of Ishtar in the East. Her Roman counterpart was Diana.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Artemis, visit Britannica.com.