Artemis Callisto


From the play Iphigenia in Tauris, by Euripides.

I came to Aulis; held up high over the altar, I, the unhappy one, was about to die by the sword; but Artemis gave the Achaeans a deer in exchange for me and stole me from them; conducting me through the bright air, she settled me here in the land of the Taurians... Artemis has made me the priestess in this temple.

From the play Iphigenia in Tauris, by Euripides.

Halcyon bird, you that sing your fate as a lament beside the rocky ridges of the sea, a cry easily understood by the wise, that you are always chanting for your husband; I, wingless bird that I am, compare my laments with yours, in my longing for the festivals of Hellas, and for Artemis of childbirth, who dwells beside the Cynthian mountain and the palm with delicate leaves and the well-grown laurel and the holy shoot of gray-green olive, Leto's dear child, and the lake that rolls about its ripples, where the melodious swan serves the Muses.

From a Hymn, by Homer.

To Artemis. I sing of Artemis, whose shafts are of gold, who cheers on the hounds, the pure maiden, shooter of stags, who delights in archery, own sister to Apollo with the golden sword. Over the shadowy hills and windy peaks she draws her golden bow, rejoicing in the chase, and sends out grievous shafts. The tops of the high mountains tremble and the tangled wood echoes awesomely with the outcry of beasts: earth quakes and the sea also where fishes shoal. But the goddess with a bold heart turns every way destroying the race of wild beasts: and when she is satisfied and has cheered her heart, this huntress who delights in arrows slackens her supple bow and goes to the great house of her dear brother Phoebus Apollo, to the rich land of Delphi, there to order the lovely dance of the Muses and Graces. There she hangs up her curved bow and her arrows, and heads and leads the dances, gracefully arrayed, while all they utter their heavenly voice, singing how neat-ankled Leto bare children supreme among the immortals both in thought and in deed.

From the Hymn to Artemis, by Homer.

To Artemis. Muse, sing of Artemis, sister of the Far-shooter, the virgin who delights in arrows, who was fostered with Apollo. She waters her horses from Meles deep in reeds, and swiftly drives her all-golden chariot through Smyrna to vine-clad Claros where Apollo, god of the silver bow, sits waiting for the far-shooting goddess who delights in arrows... And so hail to you, Artemis, in my song and to all goddesses as well. Of you first I sing and with you I begin.

From The Odyssey, by Homer.

Now while sleep seized him, loosening the cares of his heart, sleep that loosens the limbs of men, his true-hearted wife awoke, and wept, as she sat upon her soft bed. But when her heart had had its fill of weeping, to Artemis first of all the fair lady made her prayer: "Artemis, mighty goddess, daughter of Zeus, would that now thou wouldest fix thy arrow in my breast and take away my life even in this hour; or that a storm-wind might catch me up and bear me hence over the murky ways, and cast me forth at the mouth of backward-flowing Oceanus, even as on a time storm-winds bore away the daughters of Pandareus. Their parents the gods had slain, and they were left orphans in the halls, and fair Aphrodite tended them with cheese, and sweet honey, and pleasant wine, and Here gave them beauty and wisdom above all women, and chaste Artemis gave them stature, and Athena taught them skill in famous handiwork. But while beautiful Aphrodite was going to high Olympus to ask for the maidens the accomplishment of gladsome marriage -- going to Zeus who hurls the thunderbolt, for well he knows all things, both the happiness and the haplessness of mortal men -- meanwhile the spirits of the storm snatched away the maidens and gave them to the hateful Erinyes to deal with. Would that even so those who have dwellings on Olympus would blot me from sight, or that fair-tressed Artemis would smite me, so that with Odysseus before my mind I might even pass beneath the hateful earth, and never gladden in any wise the heart of a baser man. Yet when a man weeps by day with a heart sore distressed, but at night sleep holds him, this brings with it an evil that may well be borne -- for sleep makes one forget all things, the good and the evil, when once it envelops the eyelids -- but upon me a god sends evil dreams as well. For this night again there lay by my side one like him, even such as he was when he went forth with the host, and my heart was glad, for I deemed it was no dream, but the truth at last."

From a votive inscription listed in the Callimachus Epigrams.

Artemis, to thee Phileratis set up this image here. Do thou accept it, Lady, and keep her safe.