A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

2. The Arcadian Artemis is a goddess of the nymphs, and was worshipped as such in Arcadia in very early times. Her sanctuaries and temples were more numerous in this country than in any other part of Greece. There was no connexion between the Arcadian Artemis and Apollo, nor are there any traces here of the ethical character which is so prominent in Artemis, the sister of Apollo. These circumstances, together with the fact, that her surnames and epithets in Arcadia are nearly all derived from the mountains, rivers, and lakes, shew that here she was the representative of some part or power of nature. In Arcadia she hunted with her nymphs on Taygetus, Erymanthus, and Maenalus; twenty nymphs accompanied her during the chase, and with sixty others, daughters of Oceanus, she held her dances in the forests of the mountains. Her bow, quiver, and arrows, were made by Hephaestus, and Pan provided her with dogs. Her chariot was drawn by four stags with golden antlers. (Callim. Hymn. in Dian. 13, 81, 90, &c.; Apollod. 2.5.3; Pind. O. 3.51.) Her temples and sanctuaries in Arcadia were usually near lakes or rivers, whence she was

called λιμνῆτις or λιμναία. (Paus. 2.7.6, 3.23.6, 4.4.2, 31.3, 8.53.5.) In the precincts of her sanctuaries there were often sacred wells, as at Corinth. (Paus. 2.3.5, 3.20.7.) As a nymph, Artemis also appears in connexion with river gods, as with Alpheius [ALPHEIUS], and thus it is intelligible why fish were sacred to her. (Diod. 5.3.)