Difference Between Greek Goddess Artemis and Roman Goddess Diana (With Table)

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, 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 Roman goddess Diana are equivalent. They have many similarities. They are considered to be the same, but just in two different regions. Apart from the difference in language, they do have few differences in names, meaning, etc.

Greek Goddess Artemis vs Roman Goddess Diana

The difference between Goddess Artemis and Goddess Diana is that Greek Goddess Artemis is the goddess of wild, hunt, young girls, she was born to Leto and Zeus, whereas Roman goddess Diana is the goddess of wild, forest, virgins, who were born to Latona and Jupiter. Artemis means safe or butchers, whereas Diana means sky.

The Greek goddess Artemis is the goddess of the moon, the hunt, 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 about 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 Between Greek Goddess Artemis and Roman Goddess Diana

 Parâmetros de comparação Greek Goddess Artemis Roman Goddess Diana
 Religião 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 Greek Goddess Artemis?

Artemis is the goddess of wild animals, childbirth, the hunt, 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, 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. Always remain a virgin, to have a bow and arrow made by Cyclopes, to rule all mountains, etc., are few from her ten wishes.

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 he realized that there is nothing he can do 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 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.

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, 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 choose 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 have 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 was 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 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.

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 artemes or artomos, whereas Diana means sky in relation to the word divios.
  3. The famous cults of goddess Artemis were in Delos, Attica, Sparta, whereas the famous cult of 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, where 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 festivals related to the Roman goddess Diana.

Conclusão

There are many such mythologies in our world. Few don’t have relevance in this era, while others still are believed important and part of their culture. Greek mythology and roman mythology are almost similar, just the difference of the region. There are various theories, myths, and stories related to each aspect, so no one can be so sure. It entirely depends on the beliefs of an individual.

You will find many names, stories, and places, same in Greek and Roman mythology. It can be confusing at times as there are many names and places associated with it. But it is important to understand the meaning and difference of each story.

Referências

  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