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Diana and Actaeon

Greek Sphinx

 

The Story of Diana and Actaeon from Ancient Mythology

Read about gods, goddesses and mythical creatures in the myth story of Diana (Artemis) and Actaeon

Myth Stories and Monsters

Diana and Actaeon
The short mythical story of Diana and Actaeon is one of the famous legends that feature in the mythology of ancient civilizations. Discover the myths about the ancient gods, goddesses, demigods and heroes and the terrifying monsters and creatures they encountered on their perilous journeys and quests. The amazing story of Diana and Actaeon really is easy reading for kids and children who are learning about the history, myths and legends of the ancients. Additional facts and information about the mythology and legends of individual gods and goddesses of these ancient civilizations can be accessed via the following links:

 

Diana and Actaeon

Diana (Artemis) and Actaeon
 
Picture of Diana and Actaeon

The Myth of Diana and Actaeon

The mythical story of Diana and Actaeon
by Josephine Preston Peabody

The Myth of Diana and Actaeon
Like the Sun-god, whom men dreaded as the divine archer and loved as the divine singer, Diana, his sister, had two natures, as different as day from night.

On earth she delighted in the wild life of the chase, keeping holiday among the dryads, and hunting with all those nymphs that loved the boyish pastime. She and her maidens shunned the fellowship of men and would not hear of marriage, for they disdained all household arts; and there are countless tales of their cruelty to suitors.

Syrinx and Atalanta were of their company, and Arethusa, who was changed into a fountain and ever pursued by Alpheus the river-god, till at last the two were united. There was Daphne, too, who disdained the love of Apollo himself, and would never listen to a word of his suit, but fled like Syrinx, and prayed like Syrinx for escape; but Daphne was changed into a fair laurel-tree, held sacred by Apollo forever after.

All these maidens were as untamed and free of heart as the wild creatures they loved to hunt, and whoever molested them did so at his peril. None dared trespass in the home of Diana and her nymphs, not even the riotous fauns and satyrs who were heedless enough to go a-swimming in the river Styx, if they had cared to venture near such a dismal place. But the maiden goddess laid a spell upon their unruly wits, even as the moon controls the tides of the sea. Her precincts were holy. There was one man, however, whose ill-timed curiosity brought heavy punishment upon him. This was Actaeon, a grandson of the great king Cadmus.

Wearied with hunting, one noon, he left his comrades and idled through the forest perhaps to spy upon those woodland deities of whom he had heard. Chance brought him to the very grove where Diana and her nymphs were wont to bathe. He followed the bright thread of the brook, never turning aside, though mortal reverence should have warned him that the place was for gods. The air was wondrous clear and sweet; a throng of fair trees drooped their branches in the way, and from a sheltered grotto beyond fell a mingled sound of laughter and running waters. But Actaeon would not turn back. Roughly pushing aside the laurel branches that hid the entrance of the cave, he looked in, startling Diana and her maidens. In an instant a splash of water shut his eyes, and the goddess, reading his churlish thought, said: "Go now, if thou wilt, and boast of this intrusion."

He turned to go, but a stupid bewilderment had fallen upon him. He looked back to speak, and could not. He put his hand to his head, and felt antlers branching above his forehead. Down he fell on hands and feet; these likewise changed. The poor offender! Crouching by the brook that he had followed, he looked in, and saw nothing but the image of a stag, bending to drink, as only that morning he had seen the creature they had come out to kill. With an impulse of terror he fled away, faster than he had ever run before, crashing through bush and bracken, the noise of his own flight ever after him like an enemy.

Suddenly he heard the blast of a horn close by, then the baying of hounds. His comrades, who had rested and were ready for the chase, made after him. This time he was their prey. He tried to call and could not. His antlers caught in the branches, his breath came with pain, and the dogs were upon him, his own dogs!

With all the eagerness that he had often praised in them, they fell upon him, knowing not their own master. And so he perished, hunter and hunted.

Only the goddess of the chase could have devised so terrible a revenge.

The Legend and Myth of Diana and Actaeon
 

Lyssa
 
From left to right the picture from a Greek vase depicts Zeus, Lyssa, Actaeon and Artemis (Diana)

The Myth of Diana and Actaeon
The story of Diana and Actaeon is featured in the book entitled Old Greek Folk Stories by Josephine Preston Peabody, published in 1907 by Houghton Mifflin Company, New York.

 

Story and myth

Ancient Myth and Story

 

Diana and Actaeon - A Myth with a Moral
Many of the ancient Myth Stories, like the legend of Diana and Actaeon, incorporate tales with morals that provided the old story-tellers with short examples of exciting tales for kids and children of how to act and behave and reflected important life lessons. The characters of the heroes in this type of fable demonstrated the virtues of courage, love, loyalty, strength, perseverance, leadership and self reliance. Whereas the villains demonstrated all of the vices and were killed or punished by the gods. The old, famous myth story and fable, like Diana and Actaeon, were designed to entertain, thrill and inspire their young listeners...

The Myth of Diana and Actaeon - the Magical World of Myth & Legend
The story of Diana and Actaeon is one of the fantastic stories featured in ancient mythology and legends. Such stories serve as a doorway to enter the world of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. The names of so many of the heroes and characters are known today through movies and games but the actual story about such characters are unknown. Reading a myth story such as Diana and Actaeon is the easy way to learn about the stories of the classics.

Satyr

The Magical World of Myth and Legend

 

Diana and Actaeon

  • Short story of Diana and Actaeon
  • A Myth Story of the Ancient World
  • The gods, goddesses of the ancient Myth Stories & Legends
  • The monsters and beasts of classical Mythology
  • The story of Diana and Actaeon by Caroline H. Harding and Samuel B. Harding
  • A famous Myth Story and fable of the Ancient World for schools and kids
 

 

The Short Story and Myth of Diana and Actaeon
The myth about Diana and Actaeon is featured in the book entitled The story of Diana and Actaeon is featured in the book entitled Old Greek Folk Stories by Josephine Preston Peabody, published in 1907 by Houghton Mifflin Company, New York. Learn about the exciting adventures and dangerous quests undertaken by the mythical characters that feature in the hero myths, fables and stories about the gods and goddesses of Ancient Greece and Rome that are available on this website.

Myths and Stories about gods and goddesses - Apollo riding his golden chariot

Myths and Stories about gods and goddesses

 

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