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date: 18 January 2021

Artemislocked

  • Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood

Extract

Daughter of *Zeus and *Leto, *Apollo's elder twin sister, a very important Olympian deity, a virgin and a huntress, who presided over crucial aspects of life. She presided over women's transitions (see rites of passage), most crucially their transformation from parthenos (virgin) to (fully acculturated and fully ‘tamed’) woman (gynē), and over *childbirth and kourotrophein (the rearing of children). She was also concerned with male activities, often (as at Sparta, see below) with their rites of transition to adulthood, also *hunting and certain aspects of war. Like all deities, she had different cults in the different parts of the Greek world, but the above-mentioned concerns are part of her panhellenic persona and recur commonly in local cults; the same is even more strongly the case with her firm association with the wild and her persona as protector of young animals as well as of hunting.

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