Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Shadows In A Timeless Myth Presents - Diana - My Favorite Goddess

The Goddess Diana

Ques. Who was Diana?

Ans. She was the daughter of Jupiter and Latona, and the twin-sister of Apollo. This goddess had three names. On earth she was called Diana, and was honored as the goddess of woods and hunting; in heaven she was called Luna, and was identified with the moon, as her brother Apollo was with the sun. In hell, she was called Hec´ate, and as spirits were supposed to be subject to her, she was invoked under the latter name in all magical incantations.

Ques. What were the habits of Diana?

Ans. She shunned the society of men, and frequented the woods, attended by a train of virgins who had resolved, like her, never to marry.

Ques. Who were the attendants of Diana?

Ans. Sometimes the Ocean´ides or daughters of Ocean´us; sometimes the woodland nymphs. Diana often led a chorus of the Muses and Graces, and joined them in singing the praises of her mother Latona.

Ques. How is Diana represented?

Ans. As a very stately and beautiful woman, dressed in the garb of a huntress; she holds a bow in her hand, and a quiver of arrows is hung across her shoulders. Her feet are covered with buskins, and a bright silver crescent glitters on her forehead. Sometimes she is represented as seated in a silver chariot drawn by hounds.

Ques. Who was Chi´one?

Ans. She was a nymph beloved by Apollo. She spoke scornfully of the beauty of Diana, and the goddess, in revenge, pierced her tongue with an arrow.

Ques. Relate the story of Ni´obe.

Ans. She was the daughter of Tan´talus, and the wife of Amphi´on, king of Thebes. She was enriched with all the gifts of nature and fortune, and being made insolent by prosperity, she insulted Latona, and refused to offer incense at her shrine. Ni´obe had seven beautiful sons, and as many lovely daughters, and had boasted of their number as rendering her superior to Latona. The indignant goddess called upon Apollo and Diana to revenge the insult offered to their mother, and humble the haughty Ni´obe. This they effected by slaying, in one day, all the children of the unhappy queen. Her sons expired by the arrows of Apollo, and her daughters by those of Diana. Amphi´on killed himself in despair, and the wretched Ni´obe, widowed and childless, wept without ceasing until the pitying gods changed her into stone. This story has furnished the subject of a very beautiful group of statuary, in which Ni´obe is represented as vainly endeavoring to shelter, beneath her mantle, the youngest and last of her children.

Shadows In A Timeless Myth
Ques. Where was the most celebrated temple of Diana?

Ans. At Ephesus in Asia Minor; it was so beautiful that it was counted among the seven wonders of the world. Two hundred and twenty years were spent in the building, although an incredible number of workmen were employed. The entire length of the temple was 425 feet, and the breadth 220; the whole was supported by 127 superb columns, each the gift of a king. The statue of the goddess was of ebony, and the most skillful painters and sculptors were employed in the decorations of the edifice.

A man named Erostratus, who was anxious to make himself famous, by whatever means, set fire to this magnificent building. This event took place on the very day on which Alexander the Great was born.

The temple was but partially destroyed, and was soon afterwards restored to its former splendor. The inhabitants of Ephesus seem to have been particularly attached to the worship of Diana. We read in the Acts of the Apostles that when they began to make converts in that city, the people were very indignant; in their zeal for their goddess they ran about the streets for the space of about two hours, crying, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!”

This temple was despoiled by Nero, who removed many costly offerings and images, together with a large quantity of silver and gold. It was afterwards plundered by the Goths in the reign of Gallienus; and the materials of the building have been since used in the construction of other edifices. The great dome of Santa Sophia, in Constantinople, rests upon pillars of green jasper which were removed from the temple of Diana by order of Justinian.

Two pillars of the great church of Pisa were also taken from this temple, which has been so completely destroyed that the exact site is not known.

 Compiled From Sources In The Public Domain.

Please "Like" Shadows In A Timeless Myth on Amazon.

Smiles & Good Fortune,
It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent. W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) Of Human Bondage, 1915

No comments:

Post a Comment