The greek goddes Artemis of Ephesus


The Greek mythology knows a lot of goddesses with the name Artemis: patroness of agriculture, of the fauna, of hunting, of the little children, of the Vegetation, etc. .

Original Artemis of Ephesus was an Asian Vegetation goddess. During the Greek domination of Turkey she was given the name "Artemis". The Artemis temple of Ephesus was one of the largest in the Greek world. The temple was also one of the three centres of Ancient Greece, where bees had a special meaning. The two other centres are Delphi and Crete.

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I cannot show a bee in relation to Delphi. In relation to Crete some postal bees are known. In the first place the Cretan brooch with two queens holding the sun. You can find the brooch on the maxicard of 27th Apimondia, Athens 1979.

In the second place a German meter mark with the Cretan character for "bee" (looks like the Egyptian charaters). The meter mark was missed in a German auction (Dutch thrift).


The temple of Ephesus is found oh the highest value of Cuba 1997 (7 stamps: the seven wonders of the world). The statue of Artemis is found on Libia (Italian occupation) 1921 -10- 15 and 25 et (Yv 25-27).

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The original statue was made of gold, silver, ebony and black stone. The legs and the hips were decorated with reliefs of bees and other animals. Artemis of Ephesus had many breasts, because she fed many creatures.

In the temple, prostitution was practised by women, who were named 'melissai' (-bees), because of their assiduity. They used honey as glide-remedy and as desinfectant. 

The story tells, that ordinary people are not allowed to use honey owing the connection with pleasure-sins.

by Jan de Crom  
taken from "The Postal Bee" 3/1999 
Contact Group Bee Philately

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