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Bible Dictionaries

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary


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Or ARTEMIS, a celebrated goddess of the Romans and Greeks, and one of their twelve superior deities. In the heavens she was Luna, (the moon,) on earth Diana, in the unseen world Hectate. She was invoked by women in childbirth under the name of Lucina. She was usually represented with a crescent on her head, a bow in her hand, and dressed in a hunting-habit, because she was said to preside over forests and hunting. Diana was said to be the daughter of Jupiter by Latona, and twin sister of Apollo. As Hectate, she was regarded as sanguinary and pitiless; as goddess of hunting and the forests, she was chaste, but haughty and vindictive; as associated with the moon, she was capricious and wanton. The Diana of Ephesus was like the Syrian goddess Ashtoreth, and appears to have been worshipped with impure rites and magical mysteries, Acts 19:19 . Her image, fabled to have fallen down from Jupiter in heaven, seems to have been a block of wood tapering to the foot, with a female bust above covered with many breasts, the head crowned with turrets, and each hand resting on a staff. It was of great antiquity, and highly venerated.

The temple of this goddess was the pride and glory of Ephesus. It was 425 feet long, and 220 broad, and had 127 columns of white marble, each 60 feet high. Its treasures were of immense value. It was 220 years in building, and was one of the seven wonders of the world. In the year when Alexander the Great was born, B. C. 356, it was burned down by one Herostratus, in order to immortalize his name, but was afterwards rebuilt with even greater splendor. The "silver shrines for Diana," made by Demetrius and others, were probably small models of the same for domestic use, and for sale to travellers and visitors. Ancient coins of Ephesus represent the shrine and statue of Diana, with a Greek inscription, meaning "of the Ephesians," Acts 19:28,34,35 .

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Diana'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. 1859.

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