A Brief Explanation of Some Epithets of Artemis

Agreia, Agrotera: Synonymous epithets meaning “of the wild” or “huntress”

Brauronia: An epithet of Artemis at Brauron and at the connected cult in Athens, where She was honored as a protector and caretaker of girls. At both locations, as well as elsewhere all over Attica girls performed the arkteia, a dance in which the girls mimicked the actions of bears.

Orthia, Ortheia: Epithet of Artemis at Sparta. The ancients guessed the epithet may have come from the word for “upright” but modern scholars agree the true meaning of the epithet is lost.

Parthenos: Generally translated to “virgin”; see The Virgin Goddess for further explanation.

Phosphoros: “bringing light” or “shining”, an epithet generally connected with Artemis as a torchbearer.

Mounykhia: Epithet of Artemis at Mounykhia, a port town near Athens, where She was connected with the moon.

Potnia Theron: “mistress of animals”

Hegemone: “leader” or “ruler”, associated with Artemis as a leader of dances, or as a leader or ruler of nymphs.

Delia, Kynthia, Phoebe: Epithets related to Artemis’s brother, Apollo, meaning “of Delos” (their birth place), “of mount Kynthos” (a mountain on the island of Delos), and “light bringing”. Apollo has the matching epithets Delios, Kynthios, and Phoebos. Daphnaia and Daphnaios are another pair of epithets shared between Artemis and Apollo respectively, these meaning “of the bay laurel”, a plant traditionally sacred to Apollo.

Karytis: Epithet of Artemis at Karyai, a town in Laconia, at which a special dance was performed in Her honor. Karyatis is probably etymologically related to karya, “walnut”, and sometimes translated as “of the walnut trees”.

Keladeine: “noisy” or “sounding”, referring to the noises associated with a hunt, such as shouts, hunting horns, and dogs barking.

Leukophryne: “white brow”, an epithet of Artemis derived from Leucophrys in Phrygia. She was also worshipped under this name at Magnesia on the Maeander, and the epithet may also be connected with Ephesos.

Limenia: Epithet of Artemis as a protector of harbors.

Limnatis: “of the marsh”. Limenia and Limnatis both point to Artemis’s role as a Goddess of transitions and liminal spaces.

Lokheia: Epithet of Artemis as a protector of women in childbirth.

Soteira: “savior”