Artemis Greek Goddess
or Amazon Mother-God?
Greek Goddess of Classical myth is identified frequently as the Deity
of the Amazons. It is often claimed that they worshiped Artemis and Ares
(Diana and Mars) - the Moon-and-Huntress goddess and the "god" of war.
this true? As with many (but by no means all) the stories told about
the Amazons, there is some truth in this, but in order to understand it
correctly one needs to know a little more.
Artemis Greek Goddess
of hunting, the moon etc. was not the same Artemis worshiped by the
Amazons. The picture on this page shows the famous Artemis (or Diana) of
Ephesus as seen in the Temple of Ephesus founded by the great Amazon
As you see she, is by no means Artemis Greek Goddess of popular imagination. Indeed, she is neither Greek nor a Goddess!
is in fact, in the first place, an Asian form, and in the second place -
and far more importantly - she is not a "Goddess" in the sense of a
demigod in a "polytheistic" pantheon: She is the one Supreme Being and
Mother Creatrix of all.
The name Diana is probably better than
Artemis. Diana is simply a form of Dia - the fundamental name of God in
most Indo-European languages (in English - deity, divine, theology are
some of its variants).
The many-breasted image of Great Diana
indicates her all-nourishing nature, for She is the Creatrix and
Preserver of the world, while the lower "tiers" of Her image sustain
every kind of living thing, animal and vegetative, for She is the Great
Mother of All.
Artemis Greek Goddess is to some extent a
"lunarized" version of the original Great Diana, cut down to fit into
patriarchal mythology and assigned a minor role in a male-dominated
Artemis of the Amazons was God in Her original feminine
form, and Her greatest Temple (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient
world) founded by the Amazon Queen Myrine, was such a force for true
Religion that even by the time of the Classical decadence, the earliest
Christian preachers were greeted with defiant, loyal the cry of "Great
is Diana of the Ephesians!"
The suggestion that the Amazons also
worshiped Ares/Mars, the masculine war-"god" seems easier to answer. The
Amazons worshipped no godlings fashioned by the imagination of the
mascûli. Nor was war their primary concern as a people and a
civilisation - that error of perspective derives from histories written
by their enemies, who only met them in war.
So can this be
discounted entirely? Not quite. The Greeks always assimilated foreign
deities into their own system, even when they did not really fit.
Worshippers of the Great Mother recognise Her seven Angels, of whom one
is Sai Vikhë - the feminine Angel (or "goddess") of battle. Sai
Vikh&eum;'s cultud certainly existed among the Amazons and
was, quite naturally, strongest among the armed forces, who were the
only Amazons with whom hostile patriarchal peoples came into contact.
to the tales of worshiping Ares also, when one trips away the
patriarchal prejudice and propaganda, there is an element of truth.
like the Amazons of old we cry "Haya Vikhë!" And while Artemis Greek
Goddess in her "lunarized" patriarchal form means little to us, we can
say with all our hearts: "Great is Diana of the Ephesians" - and of
Send questions on the "Amazon Woman"
The Amazons: World History Timeline, Part 1. The traditional first-orientation lecture that has been in use for over some two centuries.
Part 2, The Amazon Woman in History
Looking for Amazons: A Soldier's View
Myrine: The First Queen of the Amazons