Greek Goddess Artemis vs Roman Goddess Diana: Difference and Comparison

Mythologies have a great signification from the time they emerged. Several such mythologies exist on our planet; based on religion, region, time, etc. Each has its significance, values, and beliefs, but few of them can be alike or may have derived and taken inspiration from each other.

Greek and Roman mythologies are two such examples. It is said that the Romans have taken many aspects from the Greeks, and hence they might have similarities. The Greek goddess Artemis and the Roman goddess Diana are equivalent.

They have many similarities. They are considered the same but in two different regions. Apart from the difference in language, they do have a few differences in names, meanings, etc.

Key Takeaways

  1. Artemis is the Greek goddess of hunting, wilderness, childbirth, and virginity, while Diana is the Roman goddess of the hunt, the moon, and childbirth.
  2. Artemis is depicted as a young maiden with a bow and arrow, while Diana is shown with a crescent moon on her forehead and a quiver of arrows on her back.
  3. Artemis was known for her fierce independence and protection of young girls, while Diana was associated with the security of women in childbirth and the moon’s phases.

Greek Goddess Artemis vs Roman Goddess Diana

Artemis is the ancient Greek goddess of hunting, wilderness, wild animals, and chastity. On the other hand, Diana is the Roman goddess who holds the same attributes as Artemis due to the Romans’ cultural assimilation and interpretation of Greek deities.

Greek Goddess Artemis vs Roman Goddess Diana
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The Greek goddess Artemis is the goddess of the moon, the hunt, and wild young girls in Greek religion. She was born to Zeus and Leto and was the twin sister of Apollo. She is one of the twelve Olympians of the deities of ancient Greek.

She has asked her father to grant her ten wishes. Artemis was a virgin, but she had many love interests in many men and gods. There are many different stories and their versions of her. 

Roman goddess Diana is a goddess of the hunt, wild animals, fertility, and the moon in the Roman religion. She was born to Jupiter and Latona and had Apollo (Lucifer) as her sibling.

She was known as the triple goddess (in triform) – Diana, Luna, and Hecta resembling Diana as a huntress, moon, and underworld, respectively. Diana of the Wood on the shores of Lake Nemi at Arica is the most famous place of worship.

Comparison Table

 Parameters of Comparison Greek Goddess Artemis Roman Goddess Diana
 Religion Greek religion Roman religion
 Meaning of the Name Safe or butcher ( derived from artemes or artomos) Sky (derived from the word divios)
 Famous Cults Delos, Attica, Sparta. Aricia
 Parents  Zeus and Leto Jupiter and Latona
 Festivals Artemis Orthia, Amarysia, etc. Festival of Nemoralia, etc
 Tree Associated with Cypress Associated with Oaktree

What is the Greek Goddess Artemis?

Artemis is the goddess of wild animals, childbirth, the hunt, and the moon of the Greek religion; she is one of the members of the twelve Olympians of the ancient Greek deities. It was believed that she resided on Mount Olympus.

Bow and arrow were her weapons and her symbols, along with Cyprus, the moon, etc. She was the daughter of Zeus and Leto and had a twin brother named Apollo.

She decided not to marry and remain a maiden. There are many different theories and stories related to her and her twin as to who was born first and where. It is said that she asked her father to grant her ten wishes.

A few of her ten wishes are to remain a virgin, have a bow and arrow made by Cyclopes, rule all mountains, etc.

As a virgin, she had charmed many gods and men. But it is said that only Orion, her hunting companion, could win her heart but was later killed. The river god Alpheus captured her after realizing that he could do nothing to win her heart.

There are many assumptions related to Alpheus and Artemis.

Aloadoe ( otus and ephialtes) were twin brothers, their growth never stopped, and they had plans to capture Artemis and marry her, but in the end, they killed themselves by mistake. She killed the daughters of Niob because she boasted about her superiority of having more kids than Leto.

Artemis also tried to (or killed) kill Chione, who was the princess of Pokins, as she boasted that she was prettier than Artemis. Her cults were on the Island of Delos.

Many festivals are conducted for Artemis, like the Artemis Orthia, Amarysia, Kharisteria, Laphria, etc. She was known by different names in different places. There was a sanctuary of Artemis at Brauron, where adolescent Athenian girls were sent for a year to serve the goddess.

greek goddess artemis

What is Roman Goddess Diana?

Roman goddess Diana is the goddess of the hunt, wild animals, the moon, and fertility of the Roman religion. She is equated with Artemis, but in Italy, she has an independent origin.

She was the daughter of Jupiter and Latona and had a twin brother Apollo (also called Lucifer in the modern age). Bow, deer, crescent moon, and quiver are the symbols of goddess Diana.  

Diana means sky in relation to the word divios. She was known to have a high temper and chose to never get married and remain a virgin. Women worshiped her to conceive healthy children.

She was also known as the guardian of young children, the lower class, and slaves had great belief in her and used to take shelter in her temples. She formed a trinity with two other Roman deities – Egeria (water nymph) and Virbins (woodland god).

It is said that all Roman deities are born fully grown, and so is she. She was praised for her beauty and brains. As the moon goddess, it was believed that she could direct the movements of the moon from her chariot.

Her actions were unpredictable and vengeful. Various myths show this side of her. Actaeon, the hunter, once saw (though not on purpose) Diana while she was bathing; she then turned him into a stag in rage.

She is also sometimes known as the triple goddess because of her connections to the woodland, hunting, and the moon. The festival of Nemoralia/ festival of torches was conducted to worship her on August 13th every year. On this day, women and slaves were given rest.

roman goddess diana

Main Differences Between Greek Goddess Artemis and Roman Goddess Diana

  1. Goddess Artemis belonged to the Greek religion, whereas Goddess Diana belonged to the Roman religion.
  2. Artemis means safe or butcher in relation to the words Artemis or Artomos, whereas Diana means sky in relation to the word divios.
  3. The famous cults of the goddess Artemis were in Delos, Attica, Sparta, whereas the famous cult of the goddess Diana was in Aricia.
  4. Goddess Artemis was the daughter of Zeus and Leto, whereas goddess Diana was the daughter of Jupiter and Latona.
  5. Goddess Artemis is associated with Cypress, whereas goddess Diana is associated with the Oaktree.
  6. Artemis Orthia, Amarysia, etc., are festivals related to the Greek goddess Artemis whereas the festival of Nemoralia, etc., is a festival related to the Roman goddess Diana.
Difference Between Greek Goddess Artemis and Roman Goddess Diana
References
  1. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=yL0BCgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=artemis+goddess+mythology&ots=aQxMfEkyUp&sig=BqcptuQJhY4f60PsGcCcHB4WGqU
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/40379353

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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