Artemis’ cults are numerous and more widespread than those of any other Greek goddess, extending from Massilia (modern Marseilles) to the Greek colonies of Sicily, to mainland Greece, north Africa, and Ephesos on the coast of Asia Minor. She is a paradoxical goddess: a virgin who aids women in childbirth, a fierce huntress who fosters wild beasts, and a bloodthirsty deity who both nurtures the young and demands their sacrifice. Standing at the borders, both conceptual and physical, between savage and civilized life, Artemis oversees the transition of girls to adult status, but is also a patron of warriors. The young, regarded as untamed and akin to the unruly natural world, are her special concern. Archaic and Classical Artemis is a composite figure with close ties to the Near East, like her brother Apollo, whose cults are regularly juxtaposed with hers. Among her antecedents we recognize the powerful mother goddesses of Asia Minor, a number of local Greek goddesses who presided over rites of passage, and the ancient figure known to students of iconography as the Mistress of Animals. Of unknown etymology, her name was sometimes associated with the Greek verb artameo¯, which means “to butcher, cut to pieces.” She is perhaps included among the deities of Mycenaean Pylos, but there is disagreement on this point.1