Thursday, November 15, 2007



Susan Stellin, "As Deer Think of Wooing, Maine Thinks of Deer," New York Times (Nov. 9, 2007):
Inside, espresso drinks listed on the menu suggested a city background, but Ms. Stevenson was also embracing country life: she said she was going deer hunting herself that afternoon for the first time.

"I figured when in Rome, do as the Romans do, and everybody around here hunts," she said, excusing herself to check on the muffins baking in the oven and to fetch a photo of herself holding a grouse she had shot.

She wasn't the only female resident of Jackman who went hunting that day. Nancy Jackson, a petite woman with gray hair, was one of the first people to bring a deer in to Bishop's, followed shortly by Skip Parlin, the gruff hunter we'd met in the woods.
In ancient Greek religion and mythology a female known for hunting is the goddess Artemis, whose Roman counterpart is Diana. One of the cult titles of Artemis is ἐλαφηβόλος (elaphēbolos = deer striker), a compound which comes from ἔλαφος (elaphos = deer) and βόλος (bolos = striker, itself from ballō = to strike, throw). We see ἔλαφος in the scientific name Cervus elaphus (red deer, now recognized as distinct from elk) and the element -βόλος in other Greek compounds, such as an epithet of Artemis' brother Apollo, ἑκατηβόλος (hekatēbolos = who strikes from afar). The latter root is found in some English words derived from Greek, such as amphibolous and diabolical.

The ninth month of the Attic calendar is Ἐλαφηβολιών (Elaphēboliōn), so called from Ἐλαφηβόλια (Elaphēbolia), which are rites in honor of Artemis Elaphēbolos (Artemis Deer-Striker).

Artemis hunts deer with a bow. In classical iconography she is often shown with a bow and a quiver of arrows, accompanied by a stag or doe.

This painting of Diana the Huntress by Renoir (1867) hangs in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC:

Here is a bronze cast of Diana by Augustus Saint-Gaudens:

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