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Like other deities worshipped on Cyprus, the introduction of the Greek goddess Artemis, or at least her iconography, is complicated. Artemis iconography (especially the quiver and often a companion fawn) appears in Cyprus as early as the fifth century BCE, but the name is not attested epigraphically until the end of the fourth or early third century BCE. In many cases, the goddess appears to have been assimilated into an existing local Cypriot female divinity (sometimes problematically called the "Great Goddess" in deference to a lack of theonyms). The goddess often holds a fruit (pomegranate or apple) in one hand. From the beginning, however, we find Artemis equipped with attributes clearly identifying her as a mistress of animals: she is armed with a bow and quiver and associated with an animal (e.g., goat or deer), either held in the hand or subdued at her side (AAP-AM-4929). This iconography continues well into the Hellenistic and Roman periods, when the cult of Artemis enjoyed notable popularity in Cypriot sanctuaries and when her image occurs alongside the Cypriot Pan type (also a divine figure with power over animals). Not surprisingly, Artemis is also often associated with sanctuaries with clear iconographic and/or epigraphic evidence for the Greek god Apollo, her twin in Greek myth. Given the connection to both Cypriot Pan and Apollo, deities who are well represented in limestone but not terracotta, the type is most commonly found in sanctuaries within and on the outskirts of the Mesaoria, where a rich tradition of limestone votive sculpture flourished.

Suggested Citation

Erin Walcek Averett. "Divine Images: Artemis". (2020) In Visualizing Votive Practice: Exploring Limestone and Terracotta Sculpture from Athienou-Malloura through 3D Models. Derek B. Counts, Erin Walcek Averett, Kevin Garstki, Michael Toumazou (Eds.) . Released: 2020-07-28. Open Context. <http://opencontext.org/types/4dd183e6-cd00-486e-91c0-e947a70ab964>

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