Artemisia I of Caria
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (June 2013)|
|Queen of Halicarnassus, Cos, Nisyros and Calyndos|
Artemisia from Guillaume Rouillé's Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum
|Born||5th century BC|
|Died||5th century BC|
|Predecessor||Her husband (His name remains unknown)|
|Successor||Pisindelis (Greek: Πισίνδηλις)|
|Father||Lygdamis (Greek: Λύγδαμις)|
Artemisia I of Caria (Ancient Greek: Ἀρτεμισία; fl. 480 BC) was a queen of the Achaemenid Persian satrapy province of Caria, mostly known through the writings of Herodotus for taking the side of the Persian king Xerxes during the Greco-Persian wars. Her father was the satrap of Halicarnassus Lygdamis I (Greek: Λύγδαμις Α')  and her mother was from the island of Crete. She took the throne after the death of her husband, as she had a son, named Pisindelis (Greek: Πισίνδηλις), who was still a youth.
She was an ally of Xerxes I during the Second Persian invasion of Greece. She fought at the naval Battle of Artemisium and the naval Battle of Salamis at 480 BC as a commander in the Persian navy. She was the only female commander according to Herodotus.
Her grandson, Lygdamis II, was the ruler of Halicarnassus when Herodotus left from there.
Herodotus praises her decisiveness and her intelligence and emphasizes her influence on Xerxes.
Family and name
The name Artemisia derives from Artemis (n, f.; Roman equivalent: Diana), itself of unknown origin and etymology although various ones have been proposed; for example according to Jablonski, the name is also Phrygian and could be "compared with the royal appellation Artemas of Xenophon; according to Charles Anthon the primitive root of the name is probably of Persian origin from arta*, art*, arte*,.. all meaning great, excellent, holy,.. thus Artemis "becomes identical with the great mother of Nature, even as she was worshipped at Ephesus"; Anton Goebel "suggests the root στρατ or ῥατ, "to shake," and makes Artemis mean the thrower of the dart or the shooter"; Plato, in Cratylus, had derived the name of the Goddess from the Greek word ἀρτεμής, artemḗs, i.e. "safe", "unharmed", "uninjured", "pure", "the stainless maiden"; Babiniotis while accepting that the etymology is unknown, states that the name is already attested in Mycenean Greek and is possibly of pre-Hellenic origin.
According to Herodotus (Histories, Books 7 and 8), Artemisia was Halicarnassian on her father Lygdamis' side and Cretan on her mother's.
The Battle of Salamis
Before the battle of Salamis, Xerxes gathered all his naval commanders and sent Mardonios to ask them whether or not he should fight a naval battle. All the commanders advised him to fight a naval battle except Artemisia.
As Herodotus writes, she told Xerxes: "Mardonios tell the King spare his ships and not do a naval battle because our enemies are much stronger in the sea than us, as men are to women. And why he needs to risk a naval battle? The Athens for which he did undertake this expedition is his and the rest of the Greece too. No man can stand against him and they who once resisted, were destroyed.
If Xerxes chose not to rush into a Naval encounter, but instead kept his ships close to the shore and either stayed there or move them towards the Peloponnese, victory would be his. The Greeks can't hold out against you very long, they will leave for their cities, because they don't have food in store on this island, as I have learned, and when our army will march against Peloponnese they who have come from there will get worry and they will not stay here to fight to defend Athens.
But if he hurries to engage I am afraid that the navy will be defeated and the land-forces will be weakened as well. In addition, he should also consider that he has certain un-trustworthy allies, like the Egyptians (Greek: Αἰγύπτιοι), the Cyprians (Greek: Κύπριοι), the Kilikians (Greek: Κίλικες) and the Pamphylians (Greek: Πάμφυλοι), which are completely useless" 
Xerxes was pleased with her advice and while he already held her in great esteem he now praised her further. Despite this, he gave orders to follow the advice of the rest of his commanders. Xerxes thought that at the naval battle of Artemisium his men acted like cowards because he wasn't there to watch them. This time he would watch the battle himself to ensure they acted bravely.
Artemisia participated in the Battle of Salamis in September, 480 BC as a Persian ally. She led the forces of Halicarnassos, Cos, Nisyros and Calyndos (Greek: Κάλυνδος) (Calyndos was at the southwest coast of Asia Minor across Rhodes), and supplied five ships. The ships she brought had the best reputation in the whole fleet, next to the ones from Sidon.
As Herodotus says, during the battle and while the Persian fleet was facing defeat an Athenian ship pursued the Artemisia's ship and she was not able to escape because in front of her were other ships of her own side. She decided to charge against a friendly ship manned by people of Calyndos and in which the king of the Calyndians Damasithymos (Greek: Δαμασίθυμος) was embarked. The Calyndian ship sank. Herodotus also mention that Artemisia had a strife with Damasithymos at the past about the Hellespont.
Polyaenus says that, when she saw that she was near to falling into the hands of the Greeks. She ordered the Persian colours to be taken down, and the master of the ship to bear down upon, and attack a Persian vessel of the Calyndian allies, which was commanded by Damasithymus, that was passing by her.
When the captain of the Athenian ship, Ameinias, saw her charge against a Persian ship, turned away and went after others, supposing that the ship of Artemisia was either a Greek ship or was deserting from the Persians and fighting for the Greeks.
Herodotus believed that Ameinias didn't known that Artemisia was sailing in this ship, because if he knew it he would not have ceased until either he had taken her or had been taken himself because orders had been given to the Athenian captains, and moreover a prize was offered of ten thousand drachmas for the man who should take her alive; since they thought it intolerable that a woman should make an expedition against Athens.
While the Xerxes was looking the battle from his throne, which was at the foot of the mount Egaleo, he perceived the incident and he and the rest of the others who were present thought that Artemisia attacked and sank a Greek ship. One of the men who was next to Xerxes said to him: "Master, see Artemisia, how well she is fighting, and how she sank even now a ship of the enemy" and Xerxes then responded: "My men have become women, and my women men.". No one of the crew of the Calyndian ship survived to become her accuser. According to Polyaenus, when Xerxes saw her, he said: "O Zeus, surely you have formed women out of man's materials, and men out of woman's.".
Plutarch in his biography of Themistocles says that it was Artemisia who recognized the body of Ariamenes (Greek: Ἀριαμένης) (Herodotus says that his name was Ariabignes), brother of Xerxes and admiral of the Persian navy, floated amongst shipwrecks and brought it back to Xerxes.
Polyaenus in his work Stratagems says that Artemisia had in her ship two different standards. When she chased a Greek ship, she hoisted the Persian colours; but when she was chased by a Greek ship, she hoisted the Greek colours; so that the enemy might mistake her for a Greek, and give up the pursuit.
After the Battle of Salamis
After the battle, according to Polyaenus, Xerxes acknowledged her to have excelled above all the officers in the fleet and sent her a complete suit of Greek armour; and he presented the captain of her ship with a distaff and spindle.
According to Herodotus, after the defeat Xerxes presents Artemisia with two possible courses of action and asks her which she recommends. Either he will lead troops to the Peloponnese himself, or he will withdraw from Greece and leave his general Mardonius in charge. Artemisia suggested him to retreat back to Asia Minor, advocating the suggested plan of Mardonius, who requested 300,000 Persian soldiers with which he would defeat the Greeks in Xerxes' absence.
According to Herodotus she said: "I think that you should retire and leave Mardonius behind with those whom he desires to have. If he succeed the honor will be yours because your slaves performed it. If on the other hand, he failed it will be no great matter as you will be safe and no danger threatens anything that concerns your house. And while you will be safe the Greeks will have to pass through many difficulties for their own existence. In addition, if Mardonius suffer a disaster who cares? He is just your slave and the Greeks will have but a poor triumph. As for yourself, you will be going home with the object for you campaign accomplished, for you have burnt Athens".
Xerxes was very happy with her advice and followed it.
Opinions about Artemisia
Herodotus praises her decisiveness and her intelligence and emphasizes her influence on Xerxes.
Polyaenus says that Xerxes praised her gallantry. Polyaenus, also praises her decisiveness and her intelligence as we can see from the two different standards that she had on her ship and with this story: when she wanted to conquer the city of Latmus (Greek: Λάτμος), she planted soldiers in ambush near the city; and she, with women, eunuchs and musicians, celebrated a sacrifice at the grove of the Mother of the Gods, which was about seven stades distant from the city. When the inhabitants of Latmus came out to see the magnificent procession, the soldiers entered the city and took possession of it.
On the other hand, Thessalus, a son of Hippocrates, describes her in a speech as a cowardly pirate. In his speech, the King of Persia demanded earth and water from Coans and they refused (493 B.C.) so he gave the island to Artemisia to be wasted. Artemisia led a fleet of ships to the island of Cos to hunt down and slaughter the Coans, but the gods intervened. After Artemisia's ships were destroyed by lightning and she hallucinates visions of great heroes, she fled Cos, but afterwards she conquered the island. 
Death and legacy
A legend, quoted by Photius, some 13 centuries later, claims that Artemisia fell in love with a man named Dardanus, and when he ignored her, an oracle told her to jump to her death into the Aegean Sea from the rock of Leucas. In contrast, Herodotus had a favourable opinion of Artemisia, despite her support of Persia, possibly because he too came from Halicarnassus.
In popular culture
- Artemisia is included in the 1981 novel Creation by Gore Vidal, depicting the Greek wars.
- In the 1962 movie The 300 Spartans, Artemisia is portrayed by Anne Wakefield (born 5 May 1931 ).
- In the PlayStation 2 Role-playing game Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3, Artemisia is the Ultimate Persona of Mitsuru Kirijo, and is of the Empress Arcana.
- In the 2014 movie 300: Rise of an Empire, a film sequel of 2007's 300, Artemisia is to be portrayed by actress Eva Green.
- Polyaenus: Stratagems- BOOK 8, 53.2 "Artemisia, the daughter of Lygdamis,..."
- Artemisia in Herodotus "Her name was Artemisia; she was the daughter of Lygdamis, and was of Halicarnassian stock on her father's side..."
- Artemisia in Herodotus "Her name was Artemisia; she was the daughter of Lygdamis, and was of Halicarnassian stock on her father's side and Cretan on her mother's."
- Herodotus (1920). "7.99.2". The Histories. A. D. Godley (translator). Cambridge: Harvard University Press."7.99.2". (in Greek). At the Perseus Project.
- Artemisia in Herodotus "She took power on the death of her husband, as she had a son who was still a youth."
- "Herodotus". Suda. At the Suda On Line Project.
- Herodotus Book 8: Urania, 68 "...which have been fought near Eubea and have displayed deeds not inferior to those of others, speak to him thus:..."
- "Artemis". Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Babiniotis, Georgios (2005). "Άρτεμις". Λεξικό της Νέας Ελληνικής Γλώσσας. Athens: Κέντρο Λεξικολογίας. p. 286.
- Lang, Andrew (1887). Myth, Ritual, and Religion. London: Longmans, Green and Co. pp. 209–210.
- Anthon, Charles (1855). "Artemis". A Classical dictionary. New York: Harper & Brothers. p. 210.
- ἀρτεμής. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project.
- Artemisia in Herodotus
- Herodotus Book 8: Urania, 67 "...when he had come and was set in a conspicuous place, then those who were despots of their own nations or commanders of divisions being sent for came before him from their ships, and took their seats as the king had assigned rank to each one, first the king of Sidon, then he of Tyre, and after them the rest: and when they were seated in due order, Xerxes sent Mardonios and inquired, making trial of each one, whether he should fight a battle by sea."
- Herodotus Book 8: Urania, 68 "So when Mardonios went round asking them, beginning with the king of Sidon, the others gave their opinions all to the same effect, advising him to fight a battle by sea, but Artemisia spoke these words:"
- Herodotus Book 8: Urania, 68 (a)
- Herodotus Book 8: Urania, 68 (b)
- Herodotus Book 8: Urania, 68 (c)
- Herodotus Book 8: Urania, 69
- Artemisia in Herodotus " She led the forces of Halicarnassos, Cos, Nisyros and Calyndos, and supplied five ships. The ships she brought had the best reputation in the whole fleet, next to the ones from Sidon,..."
- Herodotus Book 8: Urania ,87"When the affairs of the king had come to great confusion, at this crisis a ship of Artemisia was being pursued by an Athenian ship; and as she was not able to escape, for in front of her were other ships of her own side, while her ship, as it chanced, was furthest advanced towards the enemy, she resolved what she would do, and it proved also much to her advantage to have done so. While she was being pursued by the Athenian ship she charged with full career against a ship of her own side manned by Calyndians and in which the king of the Calyndians Damasithymos was embarked."
- Herodotus Book 8: Urania, 87 "Now, even though it be true that she had had some strife with him before, while they were still about the Hellespont, yet I am not able to say whether she did this by intention, or whether the Calyndian ship happened by chance to fall in her way. "
- Polyaenus: Stratagems- BOOK 8, 53 "Artemisia, in the naval battle at Salamis, found that the Persians were defeated, and she herself was near to falling into the hands of the Greeks. She ordered the Persian colours to be taken down, and the master of the ship to bear down upon, and attack a Persian vessel, that was passing by her. The Greeks, seeing this, supposed her to be one of their allies; they drew off and left her alone, directing their forces against other parts of the Persian fleet. Artemisia in the meantime sheered off, and escaped safely to Caria."
- Polyaenus: Stratagems- BOOK 8, 53.2 "...sank a ship of the Calyndian allies, which was commanded by Damasithymus."
- Herodotus Book 8: Urania, 93 "...Ameinias of Pallene, the man who had pursued after Artemisia."
- Herodotus Book 8: Urania, 87
- Polyaenus: Stratagems- BOOK 8, 53"The Greeks, seeing this, supposed her to be one of their allies; they drew off and left her alone, directing their forces against other parts of the Persian fleet."
- Herodotus Book 8: Urania, 93 "Now if he had known that Artemisia was sailing in this ship, he would not have ceased until either he had taken her or had been taken himself; for orders had been given to the Athenian captains, and moreover a prize was offered of ten thousand drachmas for the man who should take her alive; since they thought it intolerable that a woman should make an expedition against Athens."
- Herodotus Book 8: Urania,88
- Polyaenus: Stratagems- BOOK 8, 53.5"And even in the heat of the action, observing the manner in which she distinguished herself, he exclaimed: "O Zeus, surely you have formed women out of man's materials, and men out of woman's.""
- Themistocles By Plutarch"...his body, as it floated amongst other shipwrecks, was known to Artemisia, and carried to Xerxes."
- Polyaenus: Stratagems- BOOK 8, 53.3 "Artemisia always chose a long ship, and carried on board with her Greek, as well as barbarian, colours. When she chased a Greek ship, she hoisted the barbarian colours; but when she was chased by a Greek ship, she hoisted the Greek colours; so that the enemy might mistake her for a Greek, and give up the pursuit"
- Polyaenus: Stratagems- BOOK 8, 53.2" In acknowledgement of her gallantry, the king sent her a complete suit of Greek armour; and he presented the captain of the ship with a distaff and spindle."
- Polyaenus: Stratagems- BOOK 8, 53.5" At the famous battle of Salamis, the king acknowledged her to have excelled herself above all the officers in the fleet."
- Herodotus Book 8: Urania, 101
- Herodotus Book 8: Urania, 102
- Herodotus Book 8: Urania, 103 "With this advice Xerxes was greatly delighted, since she succeeded in saying that very thing which he himself was meaning to do: for not even if all the men and all the women in the world had been counselling him to remain, would he have done so, as I think, so much had he been struck with terror. "
- Herodotus Book 8: Urania, 103
- Polyaenus: Stratagems- BOOK 8, 53.4 "Artemisia planted soldiers in ambush near Latmus; and herself, with a numerous train of women, eunuchs and musicians, celebrated a sacrifice at the grove of the Mother of the Gods, which was about seven stades distant from the city. When the inhabitants of Latmus came out to see the magnificent procession, the soldiers entered the city and took possession of it. Thus did Artemisia, by flutes and cymbals, possess herself of what she had in vain endeavoured to obtain by force of arms."
- Artemisia I Ionian Greek queen (r.c. 480 b.c.e.) by Caitlin L. Moriarity "Thessalus, a son of Hippocrates, describes her in a speech as a cowardly pirate. In his speech, Artemisia leads a fleet of ships to the Isle of Cos to hunt down and slaughter the Coans, but the gods intervene. After Artemisia's ships are destroyed by lightning and she hallucinates visions of great heroes, Artemisia flees Cos with her purpose unfulfilled."
- Müller, Karl Otfried (1839). The History and Antiquities of the Doric Race 2. p. 460. "The oration of the supposed Thessalus, in Epist. Hippocrat. p. 1294. ed. Foës. states, that “the king of Persia demanded earth and water (493 B.C.), which the Coans refused (contrary to Herod. VI. 49.); that upon this he gave the island of Cos to Artemisia to be wasted. Artemisia was shipwrecked, but afterwards conquered the island. During the first war (490 B.C.), Cadmus and Hippolochus governed the city; which the former quitted when Artemisia took the island.”"
- Photius, Myrobiblion, Codex 190, referring to a work called New History (now lost) by Ptolemaeus Chennus: "And many others, men and women, suffering from the evil of love, were delivered from their passion in jumping from the top of the rock, such as Artemesa, daughter of Lygdamis, who made war with Persia; enamoured of Dardarnus of Abydos and scorned, she scratched out his eyes while he slept but as her love increased under the influence of divine anger, she came to Leucade at the instruction of an oracle, threw herself from the top of the rock, killed herself and was buried."
- Noury, Manouchehr Saadat (Oct 7, 2008). "FIRST IRANIAN FEMALE ADMIRAL: ARTEMIS".
- New Halicarnassus municipality
- Ferries and cruise ships
- Herodotus, The Histories, trans. Aubrey de Sélincourt, Penguin Books, 1954.
- Vitruvius, De architectura ii,8.10-11, 14-15
- Pliny the Elder, Naturalis historia xxxvi.4.30-31
- Orosius, Historiae adversus paganos ii.10.1-3
- Valerius Maximus, Factorum et dictorum memorabilium iv.6, ext. I
- Justinus, Epitome Historiarum philippicarum Pompei Trogi ii.12.23-24
- Πoλύαινoς (Polyaenus). Στρατηγήματα, Βιβλίον 8 [Stratagems, Book 8] (in Greek). pp. 290–291.
- Nancy Demand, A History of Ancient Greece. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 1996. ISBN 0-07-016207-7
- Salisbury, Joyce (May 2001). Encyclopedia of Women in the Ancient World. ABC-CLIO. pp. 20–21. ISBN 978-1576070925.
- Αρχαία Αλικαρνασσός Νέα Αλικαρνασσός Ταξίδι στο χρόνο και στην ιστορία... [Anciet Halicarnassus New Halicarnassus Journey through time and history...] (in Greek). Prefecture of Heraklion Municipality of New Halicarnassus. 2006. pp. 24–25. ISBN 960-88514-3-2.