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Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Her Roman equivalent is Diana. Some scholars believe that the name and indeed the goddess herself was originally pre-Greek. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron: "Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals". The Arcadia believed she was the daughter of Demeter.
In the classical period of Greek mythology, Artemis (Greek: (nominative) , (genitive) ) was often described as the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. She was the Hellenic goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and protector of young girls, bringing and relieving disease in women; she often was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows. The deer and the cypress were sacred to her. In later Hellenistic times, she even assumed the ancient role of Eileithyia in aiding childbirth.
Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, On Perseus Digital Library; However, the name Artemis (variants Arktemis, Arktemisa) is most likely related to Greek árktos ‘bear’ (from PIE *h₂ŕ̥tḱos), supported by the bear cult that the goddess had in Attica (Brauronia) and the Neolithic remains at the Arkouditessa, as well as the story about Callisto, which was originally about Artemis (Arcadia epithet kallisto).
This cult was a survival of very old totemic and shamanistic rituals and formed part of a larger bear cult found further afield in other Indo-European cultures (e.g., Gaulish Artio). It is believed that a precursor of Artemis was worshiped in Minoan Crete as the goddess of mountains and hunting, Britomartis. While connection with Anatolia names has been suggested, the earliest attested forms of the name Artemis are the Mycenaean Greek a-te-mi-to and a-ti-mi-te, written in Linear B at Pylos. Artemis was venerated in Lydia as Artimus.
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