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: Πισίνδηλης)|
|Father||Lygdamis (Greek: Λύγδαμης)|
|Mother||We only know was from Crete|
Artemisia I of Caria (Ancient Greek: Ἀρτεμισία) (fl. 480 BC) was the queen of the Achaemenid Persian satrapy province of Caria, her father was the satrap of Halicarnassus Lygdamis I (Greek: Λύγδαμης Α') and her mother was a Cretan.  She took the throne after the death of her husband, as she had a son, named Pisindelis (Greek: Πισίνδηλης), 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.
Herodotus praises her decisiveness and her intelligence and emphasizes her influence on Xerxes.
Family and name
The name Artemisia (Anāhitā) derives from Artemis (n, f.; Roman equivalent: Diana). According to Jablonski, the name is also Phrygian and could be compared with the royal appellation Artemas of Xenophon. However, according to Charles Anthon, the primitive root of the name is probably of Persian origin, from arta*, art*, or arte* (all meaning great, excellent, holy), thus Artemis (i.e., Diana) "becomes identical with the great mother of Nature, even as she was worshipped at Ephesus". According to Herodotus (Histories, Books 7 and 8), Artemisia was Halicarnassian on her father, Lygdamis I, 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 he should fight a naval battle. All the commanders advised him to fight a naval battle except Artemisia. 
As Herodotus writes, she told: "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 he didn't hurry to do a naval battle, but kept his ships close to the shore and stayed there or move them towards the Peloponnese, victory will 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 hurry to engage i am afraid that if the navy ruined then the land-forces will get harm too. In addition, he should also consider that he has bad servants that he thinks as allies, like the Egyptians (Greek: Αιγύπτιοι), the Cyprians (Greek: Κύπριοι), the Kilikians (Greek: Κίλικες) and the Pamphylians (Greek: Πάμφυλοι), which are completely useless" 
Xerxes was very pleased about her advice and while he already had a very good opinion for her now he praised her even more, but he gave orders to follow the advice of the rest of his commanders because he thought that at the naval battle of Artemisium his men were cowards because he wasn't there to watch them but now he will watch the naval battle himself. 
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. When the captain of the Athenian ship, Ameinias of Pallene , 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. 
Artemisia convinced Xerxes to retreat back to Asia Minor after the defeat at Salamis, advocating the suggested plan of Mardonius, who requested 300,000 Persian soldiers with which he would defeat the Greeks in Xerxes' absence. Xerxes then sent her to Ephesus to take care of his illegitimate sons. In return, Artemisia's lands did well by their alliance with the Persians.
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.
Notes and references
- 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."
- Artemisia in Herodotus "She took power on the death of her husband, as she had a son who was still a youth."
- 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:..."
- Anthon, Charles. "Artemis". A Classical dictionary. Harper & Brothers. p. 210.
- 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, 93 "...Ameinias of Pallene, the man who had pursued after Artemisia."
- Herodotus Book 8: Urania, 87
- 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
- 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".
- 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
- 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.