The pantheon of the Roman pagan gods includes12 main representatives of the female and male. In this article, we find out who the goddess Diana is. And we will get acquainted with the goddesses similar to her, encountered in the mythology of other countries.
Ancient goddess Diana
Roman myths say that Diana is the daughter of Latona (Titanide, the goddess of the night and all the hidden things) and Jupiter (the god of thunder, sky, daylight). She has a twin brother, Apollo.
In the paintings and illustrations, Diana is depicted inflowing tunic. Her body is slender, long hair falls over her shoulders or is gathered at the back of her neck. In her hands she holds a bow or spear. On the images of a maiden, a dog or a deer is almost always accompanied.
In the first place, in Roman mythology, Diana -goddess of hunting, fertility. The personification of femininity and beauty. Its direct duty is to protect nature, to patronize it, to maintain balance. Over time, the maiden was perceived as the goddess of the moon.
Diana is famous for her chastity. Myths say that once her nymph Callisto was seduced by Jupiter. The girl became pregnant. When Diana found out about this, she turned the unfortunate into a bear and attacked her with a pack of dogs. Fortunately, Callisto was saved by the god of heaven, which turned her into a constellation of the Big Dipper.
Worship of Diane
The goddess Diana was worshiped in Rome veryin a peculiar way. To begin with, it should be noted that the worship of the hunting goddess did not gain popularity among the ruling classes. But, thanks to the fact that her first temple was built in a place inhabited by poor people, she became the patroness of slaves and people with a small income.
It is known that the worship of Diana sometimes requiredhuman victims. For example, any fugitive slave or criminal could get shelter in the sanctuary of the goddess of hunting, which was located near Lake Nemi. However, this required becoming a priest, which was tantamount to the murder of his predecessor.
Myths about Diane
With worship, Diana is associated with one of the myths. It was believed that the marvelous white cow of the shepherd Anton has wonderful properties. The one who sacrifices it in the temple on Aventine will receive unlimited power over the whole world.
Learning of this legend, King Tullius, with the help of the priest of the temple of Diana, deceived the cow. And he personally sacrificed it. Animal horns for many centuries adorned the walls of the temple.
Another myth tells of the unfortunate young man Actaeon, who was not lucky enough to see the goddess Diana swim.
One day Acteon and his friends hunted in the forest. There was a terrible heat. Friends stopped in the thicket of the forest to rest. Actaeon, along with the hunting dogs, went in search of water.
The young man did not know that the forests of Kieferon were the domain of the goddess Diana. After a short journey, he stumbled upon a stream and decided to proceed to its source. The beginning of the flow of water took in a small grotto.
Actaeon entered the grotto and saw nymphs preparing Diana for bathing. The Virgin quickly covered the goddess, but it was too late - the young man managed to see the beauty of the naked patroness of the hunters.
As punishment, the goddess Diana turned himin the deer. The frightened young man did not immediately realize what had happened to him. He rushed back to the stream and only there, seeing his reflection, realized what trouble he had got. Sensing the smell of game, the dogs of Actaeon attacked him and gnawed him.
The goddess Diana in Greek mythology
As is known, the Roman and Greek pantheon of the gods are similar. Many gods perform the same functions, but they are called differently.
The Greek goddess Diana is known as Artemis(patroness of hunting and all living things on earth). She is also identified with Hecate (the goddess of moonlight, hell, all secret) and Selene (the goddess of the moon).
Diana also bore the name "Trivia", which means "the goddess of three roads." Images of the huntress were placed at intersections.
Diana in art
The image of Diana (Artemis) was widely used in literature, painting, sculpture.
The Greek version of the goddess is mentioned inworks of Homer and Euripides. The heroine Jeffrey Chaucer of "Canterbury Tales" raises her prayers. In the "Heroes", belonging to the Peruvian Virgil, there is a story telling about the seduction of Diana Pan.
Often its image was used in his plays by the great William Shakespeare. With Diana we meet in Pericles, Prince of Tire, Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing.
Diana is also popular among artists and sculptors. In their works they mainly illustrated mythological subjects.
To the list of paintings with a hunter in the title role,written by the most famous artists, include such works as "Diana bathing with her nymphs" Rembrandt, "Diana and Callisto" Titian, "Diana and her nymph, retreating from hunting" by Rubens.
Famous sculptural images of the patroness of nature belong to Christophe-Gabriel Allegraine, Augustus Saint-Gaudens.
Have reached our days and sculptures of unknownancient Greek authors. On them the goddess of hunting is depicted as a slender, warlike girl. Her hair is gathered from behind, the body is covered with a tunic. He holds a bow in his hands, a quiver behind his back. The deer accompanies the goddess.
The image of Diana is actively used in modern films, games, television series.