Roman Name: Diana
Ancient Greek Myths for Kids
Artemis was the goddess of the hunt and the goddess of the moon. She was Apollo's twin sister. Her father was Zeus, king of all the gods. Her mother was the gentle Leto.
Artemis was Apollo's opposite. Her brother could be warm and loving. She loved her twin brother. She loved her Mom. She respected her Dad. She even liked most of her half-siblings. She adored her dogs. But to most people, gods, and animals, Artemis was cold and pitiless.
Artemis was a private goddess. There are not that many myths about her. Artemis demanded her privacy. She absolutely, positively, no question about it, resented anyone who intruded upon her, or spied upon her, or interrupted her, especially any man. Artemis had swore never to marry. She never did.
As the myth goes ...
Once upon a time, a long time ago, there lived a famous hunter. His name was Actaeon. One day, Actaeon and his dogs were in the woods. The dogs perked up their ears. They heard something. Laughter. Coming from a stream nearby.
Actaeon quietly crept up on the steam to see who was laughing. Imagine his amazement to discover it was the goddess Artemis, along with some of her attendants, splashing in the stream.
He should have left immediately. He, like everyone else in the ancient Greek world, was very aware that Artemis demanded privacy. But he was young, and foolish, and arrogant. Instead of leaving, he moved out onto the bank, and boldly stared at Artemis.
Artemis splashed him with water. Magically, he changed into a deer. His dogs leaped on him, as he had trained them to do when they spotted any deer. The dogs killed him.
Artemis never thought of him again.