The Names of the Goddess


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Synthesizing Artemis of Ephesus: an 18th-century engraving of a Roman marble copy of a Greek replica of a lost Geometric period xoanon.

 

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(top left) Synthesizing Artemis of Ephesus: an 18th-century engraving of a Roman marble copy of a Greek replica of a lost Geometric period xoanon. Read more about the Syncretic and Enigmatic Lady of Ephesus in The Wikipedia
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(top right) «Plank figure» of chalk, Early Cypriot III to Middle Cypriot I, 1900-1800 BCE (Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens)
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(bottom left) Reconstruction of a Painted Archaic period Kore (Glyptotek, Munich)
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(bottom right) «Bell Idol« : Late Geometric pottery item from Thebes, Boetia, rare example of figurative sculpture from the period (750-690 BC) probably representing a Nature goddess – a descendant of the Minoan tradition, which some commentators have identified with Artemis. (LE LOUVRE) .

And last, goddess Artemis Orthia in the usual stance of Potnia Theron

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Comments

 

Is this a do-it-yourself blog? You give us the title and we provide the body?

Gaia – Cybele – Hecate – Selene – Demeter – Aphrodite.

I don’t consider them to be names of the goddess but masks of the eternal mother of all things, masks that reflect the time and the place of the mask maker.

If you close your eyes and slowly recite these names, it will briefly transport you into Her dark cthonian chamber.
Gaia – Cybele – Hecate – Selene – Demeter – Aphrodite…

Wednesday October 22, 2008 – 12:22am (PDT)

Στο 7ο Θαύμα του Αρχαίου Κόσμου γινόταν της πουτάνας!
Και πρέπει να παίζανε και τρελά λεφτά!Wednesday October 22, 2008 – 02:34pm (EEST)

DIY:

This Ephesian Aphrodite doesn’t look like much of a hunter. I wonder if the Nas one was a bit more athletic?

I’ve seen the Hippolytus / Phaedra story on stage a few times.

Aphrodite complains about Hippolitus:

«Love he scorns, and, as for marriage, will none of it; but Artemis, daughter of Zeus, sister of Phoebus, he doth honour, counting her the chief of goddesses, and ever through the greenwood, attendant on his virgin goddess, he clears the earth of wild beasts with his fleet hounds, enjoying the comradeship of one too high for mortal ken.»

(Euripides http://classics.mit.edu/Euripides/hippolytus.html )

Of course he comes to a bad end; you have to be careful with goddesses.

Wednesday October 22, 2008 – 04:16pm (CEST)

Perhaps ‘Apollonios’ is right in his first comment. I am usually patient and do what you ask me to do but this time please get to the point -to one of the points at least. You are a master in iconography, so what do you think? Do you think that the statue of Artemis in Nas, Ikaria, was a wooden xoanon, an early version of something that looked like the Goddess of the Wikipedia?
I am trying to imagine it made of a single log of wood, painted with many colors and loaded with silver and gold.

‘egotoagrimi’ -> lol

Wednesday October 22, 2008 – 09:04pm (EEST)

You know so many artists. Why not have one of them carve an imaginary replica of this statue (including the animals!) on a piece of tree and paint it? I bet it would look like an American Indian Totemic pillar -ugh!

or maybe better…

«…and last, goddess Artemis Orthia in the usual stance of Potnia Theron »


 

Thursday October 23, 2008 – 02:39pm (EEST)

Spooky revelation #1
In ancient times, Ephesus was a huge cosmopolitan port with a population in the hundreds of thousands and it was the center of Artemis-Cybele the mother goddess cult.
Island of Delos was the sacred city of Artemis the huntress cult, destination of many pilgrims from all over the mediterranean world.
Ikaria’s Nas bay is e-x-a-c-t-l-y the midpoint between Ephesus and Delos.

I have always suspected this but now thanks to the Google-Earth measuring tool I verified it.
Ephesus Nas is 73.5 Miles, Nas to Dilos is 73.5 Km. Ephesus – Nas – Dilos is in a straight line and therefore Nas was a possible stop-over for the pilgrims from and to Dilos.

I don’t attach any metaphysical significance to this but it is no accident either. It is very likely that Nas was built by Ephesian settlers as a naval re-supply point for food and water and also as a safety and praying stop when the Ikarian archipelagos was in turmoil (and most of us who travel to Ikaria by boat have gotten a taste of that)
If this is true then the Artemis Xoanon at Nas temple was fashioned like the one in Ephesus. (The Nas Artemis bull sacrifice connection, also points in the same direction – coins depicting Artemis sitting on a bull were found near Nas)

Thursday October 23, 2008 – 11:34am (PDT)

Nana is right, Ephesus was a modern day Las Vegas, Delos was like Switzerland, besides being a sacred city was also the central treasure bank for the Delian league, you know money and religion always stick together.
And Ikaria was, well, like modern Ikaria, a port stop on the way to Samos or to Mykonos.

Thursday October 23, 2008 – 11:41am (PDT)

I measured the distances on the actual map -the very accurate Greek Hydrographic Service Map. YOU ARE RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Friday October 24, 2008 – 01:05pm (EEST)

but wait, there is more…
Why would Ephesians or Greeks care about the mid-point anyway, the divine proportion in ancient times and even today is the golden ratio (χρυσή τομή )
“In math two quantities are in the golden ratio if the ratio between the sum of those quantities and the larger one is the same as the ratio between the larger one and the smaller. The golden ratio is a mathematical constant approximately 1.618. Phi = (a+b)/a = a/b = 1.618 (Pay attention we will have a pop-quiz at the end of this blog)
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_ratio for details about the fascinating history of the golden ratio.

Artists, mathematicians, architects, astronomers, philosopher and yes magic cults were captivated by this ratio.

So what we really have here is the distance between Ephesus to Nas = 118.5 Km and distance from Nas To Delos = 73.5 Km and their ratio is about 1.612, a golden ratio match. To me this is much more significant than Nas being the mid-point between Ephesus and Delos.

Friday October 24, 2008 – 03:56pm (PDT)

I counted milimeters «as a bird flies» on a 1/25000 map. Have you been a sailor and a paddle rower? I have. The golden ratio is approxiamtely 1/3. One day of rowing (24 hours and hopefully not against the wind!), then 2 to 3 days for resting, praying and occasional sacrifice, good food, hunting and girl chasing.
Then back to the row bench to cross the Ikarian Sea. Today the wind is north, force 6-7 and I tell you the sea is not inviting!Saturday October 25, 2008 – 02:09pm (EEST)

I know an artist. I assume none of the ladies here would like to pose as a model for the Goddess’ «xoanon»?Saturday October 25, 2008 – 02:13pm (EEST)

Discoveries! Isn’t geometry a great thing?
However, there is a limit. No matter how good your artist is, no way for me to pose as a geometric period xoanon! Too stiff and loaded with stuff! If I do, I will faint in less than an hour. Do it but use a dummie instead.

Saturday October 25, 2008 – 08:42pm (EEST)

Angelos, before we pick a model to pose as the goddess, your task is to «harvest» two dozen bull testes for the goddess’s necklace, is this already done?
By the way why we think this xoanon was from the geometric period? Nothing geo about it, looks like late Greek Archaic period with oriental influnces.Saturday October 25, 2008 – 01:30pm (PDT)

Who needs sponcors when there are friends?!
I am breaking in this creative thinking thread to say that I have edited my entry and added a picture of the nearest to a xoanon. I think the «venerated image» (*) Artemis of Nas looked like something between the picture on the left and the picture on the right.

(*) «image» in this case is something more than 2D and less than 3D, very much the christian cross -no iconic value if looked at from the side!

Anyway, I have a full frontal picture of myself from when I was pregnant. Minus the extra breasts (or whatever they were), I was well… very geometric, like a «Magna Mater» oversized figurine.

I could lend the photo to the artist use as a model.
To respect the 7th century Ionian tradition (as well flatter my female vanity…) the artist must add a clear touch of the looks of a Kore (bottom picture) -and please… A Nice Archaic Dress!

Monday October 27, 2008 – 05:32am (PDT)

You didn’t look at all like a «Plank Figure», I’d say…Tuesday October 28, 2008 – 03:02pm (EET)

So Eleni, you think the Nas Artemis was more of a functional and symbolic, lightly curved, painted wooden totem icon rather than an elaborate, impressive statue?
Something like an oversized colorful babushka doll?
Your instinct is probably right, the early Icarians were a small horticultural community of small scale hunters, living around rivers on an island with resources no other than wood and rocks and therefore very limited in what they could create. (but I bet you a lot of love and artistic vigor went creating the Nas xoanon)
I like the nested babushka doll metaphor, the outer doll is like an Ephesian Artemis, you peel it off and inside it you find a more primitive near-east fertility goddess, inside it you find an even more primitive doll in the geometric Cycladic style and inside that doll you find a large egg…

Tuesday October 28, 2008 – 07:06am (PDT)

I hope that you can see the editing of the entry. I have added the famous «Bell Idol» from the famous New Louvre new website which ‘Simon G’ spotted and wrote to tell me about (x x x ♥♥♥).
Les savants say it was an Artemis!
Les savants also seem to imply that it was a development of the rigorous «vase form» beloved by the 8 cent. potters.

♥@♥ Apollonios: the vase, the doll, the egg, the babushka ♀♀♀???

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how and when did the bow/arrow and the virginity thing
came in the picture?
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With your ♥ help ♥ we will find this out in a next episode on
 Eleni’s Channel!

Wednesday October 29, 2008 – 05:38am (PDT)

α-γ-ω-ν-ί-α

Thursday October 30, 2008 – 02:13pm (EET)

The Ephesian Artemis and the hunting Artemis of mainland Greece were two different goddesses who happened to share the same name and a common interest for nature and wild animals.

The evolution of the Ephesian Artemis is a classic case of religious syncretism, that is the morphing of a religion to something new by adding elements from other religions. Gods evolve over time as the people who worship them come into contact through wars or peaceful migration.
(For example our Greek orthodox church here in California has catholic-style stained glass windows, harpsichord music is played during the liturgy and the priest has no beard. These things may be considered taboo in mainland Greece but they are quite natural to Greeks here because other christian chrches have them)

It is obvious that the Ephesian Artemis was a prehistoric Great Mother figure that the Ionian settlers tried to Hellenize, but the locals resisted because they had such a great love for her cult and the only thing they accepted to change was the name. Maybe her cult was so old that she had no name, maybe she was an ancient fetish, an It and therefore giving her a proper name was long overdue. I just wish they had called her more appropriately, Gaia, mother Earth.

Saturday November 1, 2008 – 07:30am (PDT)

By the way, about the bottom left reconstruction of the painted Kore:
While it is true that most ancient Greek statues were painted, the Greek artists did not smear flashy colors everywhere as the reconstructed «gaudy plumage» suggests. Only the eyes, lips and hair were painted to humanize the head and give it a haunting intimidating appearance. (These statues also served and as guards in a temple to scare potential looters)

Saturday November 1, 2008 – 07:42am (PDT)

I talked with the artist. I gave him the link and placed an order for a ‘xoanon’. He has an idea but he made no promises. We will have to wait…Sunday November 2, 2008 – 07:46pm (EET)

 


One Comment on “The Names of the Goddess”

  1. […] written by Angelos Kalokairinos, resident historian. It was translated by me E.I. humble servant of the goddess from the Greek original appearing in ikariamag.gr Dec 01 […]

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