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Artemisia

Ἀρτεμισία).


1.

The daughter of Lygdamis of Halicarnassus, reigned over Halicarnassus, and also over Cos and other adjacent islands. She joined the fleet of Xerxes, when he invaded Greece, with five vessels, the best equipped of the whole fleet after those of the Sidonians; and she displayed so much valour and skill at the battle of Salamis as to elicit from Xerxes the wellknown remark that the men had acted like women in the fight and the women like men. The Athenians, indignant that a woman should appear in arms against them, offered a reward of 10,000 drachmae to any one who should take her prisoner. She, however, escaped after the action (Herod.vii. 99; viii. 88, Herod., 93). If we are to believe Ptolemy Hephaestion, a writer who mixed up many fables with some truth, Artemisia subsequently conceived an attachment for a youth of Abydos, named Dardanus; but, not meeting with a return for her passion, she put out his eyes while he slept, and then threw herself down from the Lover's Leap at the promontory of Leucaté.


2.

Another queen of Caria, not to be confounded with the preceding. She was the daughter of Hecatomnus, king of Caria, and married her brother Mausolus, a species of union sanctioned by the customs of the country. She lost her husband, who was remarkable for personal beauty, B.C. 365, and she became, in consequence, a prey to the deepest affliction. A splendid tomb was erected to his memory, called Mausoleum (Μαυσωλεῖον, scil. μνημεῖιον, i. e. “tomb of Mausolus”), and the most noted writers of the day were invited to attend a literary contest, in which ample rewards were to be bestowed on those who should celebrate with most ability the praises of the deceased. Among the individuals who came together on that occasion were, according to Aulus Gellius (x. 18), Theopompus, Theodectes, Naucrites, and even Isocrates. The prize was won by Theopompus. Valerius Maximus and Aulus Gellius relate a marvellous story concerning the excessive grief of Artemisia. They say that she actually mixed the ashes of her husband with water and drank them off (Max.iv. 6). The grief of Artemisia, poignant though it was, did not cause her to neglect the care of her dominions: she conquered the island of Rhodes, and gained possession of some Greek cities on the mainland; and yet it is said that she died of grief two years after the loss of her husband. See Mausoleum.

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