Sexual Violence in History: A Bibliography

compiled by Stefan Blaschke


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First published: July 7, 2018 - Last updated: July 1, 2023


Speaker: Olga Zolotnikova

Title: Myths of rape of maidens in association with the cults of Artemis

Subtitle: Sexual assault as a cover-story in myth-making

Conference: Rape in Antiquity: 20 years on (Organizer: Susan Deacy) (June 22-23, 2017) - Online Program

Place: University of Roehampton, London, United Kingdom

Date: June 22, 2017

Language: English

Keywords: Ancient History: Greek History | Types: Rape


Link: -



Abstract: »Ancient authors mention a number of cases of rape of maidens, which took place in association with certain cults of Artemis or religious festivals held in honour of the goddess. In some of such cases a group of men allegedly raped a group of goddess' female attendants (as, for example, in the sanctuary of Artemis Limnatis at Taygetos or at the festival of Arttemis Brauronia in Attica), while in other a virgin priestess of the goddess was said to have been raped by a local king or noble man (as in the sanctuary of Artemis Hymnia in Arcadia). Tradition placed those events in the early historic period context. However, it seems that the myths describing the cases of sexual violence in relation to Artemis' female attendants were supposed to cover the rituals of sacred marriage and various licentious rituals, which were held in association with some cults of Artemis in early historic time. The paper intends to present as complete as possible the references to the cases of rape of young females in the sanctuaries of Artemis or at her festivals, to classify those cases, to determine the true core in the myths describing such events, and to trace the role of sexual violence motif in myth-making.« (Source: Conference Booklet)

Wikipedia: Ancient history: Ancient Greece | Myths: Greek mythology / Artemis, Cult of Artemis at Brauron | Sex and the law: Rape / History of rape