Ancient Greek for “Mistress of the Animals” or “Lady of the Beasts”
Krater volute painting by Kleitias, 570-560 bc
National Archeologic Museum of Florence
A Potnia Theron was an Artemis type deity. This “Mistress of the Animals”, is often assumed to have existed in prehistorical religion. Some scholars assert a relationship between Artemis and goddesses depicted in Minoan art. The name has become a generic term for any female divinity associated with animals.
“The Lioness Lady” and “Queen of Beasts”
Middle Eastern Goddess Anahita, the Lioness Lady
and Queen of Beasts [British Museum, 500 BCE]
Anahita is an ancient Persian water goddess, fertility goddess, and patroness of women, as well as a goddess of war.
Her name means "the immaculate one". She is portrayed as a virgin, dressed in a golden cloak, and wearing a diamond tiara (sometimes also carrying a water pitcher). The dove and the peacock are her sacred animals.
Anahita was very popular and is one of the forms of the 'Great Goddess' which appears in many ancient eastern religions. She is associated with rivers and lakes, as the waters of birth.
Minoan winged Artemis
Hand carved by Vie. Solid yellow bronze pendant. Patina applied for contrast.
Sealed to preserve finish.
The design represents one facade of Artemis where she is winged. In this she is depicted as the Mistress of the Beasts with the moon in the background. The design is inspired by the Mycenaean art (1600 BC).