Artemis (Greek) Diana (Roman)
Daughter of Zeus and Leto, twin sister and female counterpart of Apollo, goddess of chastity, childbirth, and the hunt. Also representing doom: she was accountable for women’s deaths.
Immediately after birth, Artemis was able to assist her mother in the birth of Apollo. She thought her mother’s ordeal was so horrible that she decided to help all women in labor and always, always remain a virgin.
However, Artemis was not satisfied by being virginal herself. She also punished her female attendants if they fell in love, and Artemis’s wrath was also incurred by men who looked amorously upon them or her. However, Artemis eventually fell in love with Orion, a great hunter like herself.
When Apollo dared Artemis to hit a rock jutting out of the water with one of her arrows (see Apollo), which she traditionally always carried, Artemis hit her mark, unknowingly killing Orion, whose bobbing head in the distance appeared to be a rock in the sea. Another version of Orion’s death says that he died of a scorpion bite after Artemis had sent it after him because he had fallen in love with her.
Yet another legend concerning Artemis says that she and Apollo murdered all of Niobe’s twelve children, because Niobe had been stupid enough to claim supremacy over Leto, who had given birth to only two children, Artemis herself, and Apollo.