Q:

What are Artemis' powers and responsibilities?

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Quick Answer

Artemis, a figure in Greek mythology, is a divine huntress who is the guardian of the forest and its wildlife, and she is also the protector of women in childbirth. She is the daughter of Zeus and the Titan Leto.

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Full Answer

Artemis is known as the virgin goddess who is protector of women and children in childbirth despite not having any children of her own. Her assistance in her own twin brother’s birth likely contributes to her status as the goddess of childbirth, and she often receives offerings from expectant mothers and midwives. She is connected to the reproductive transitions of women. Artemis travels throughout forests with her maidens, and she is often presented as having a special affection for swamps and marshy areas. Artemis is known for her physical strength and sometimes wrathful disposition. She protects her purity savagely and is said to order her hounds to tear apart any mortal who spies on her or her female companions bathing. Artemis is often depicted holding a bow with her hounds nearby to signify her status as the divine huntress. In Greek mythology, she both watched over hunters and blessed their efforts while protecting wild creatures. Many images also place a lunar crescent on her brow. She is sometimes considered to be the moon in some cultures, while in others she is considered a lunar goddess.

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