Artemis was the great Olympian goddess of hunting, wilderness and wild animals. She was also a goddess of childbirth, and the protectress of the girl child up to the age of marriage. Her twin brother Apollo was similarly the protector of the boy child. Together the two gods were also bringers of sudden death and disease--Artemis targeted women and girls, Apollon men and boys. The giant Orion was a companion of the goddess but her jealous brother Apollon tricked her into killing him with a distant bow-shot. In her grief Artemis placed him amongst the stars as the constellation Orion. Artemis was a divine ally of the Trojans during the Trojan War. In a clash between the rival factions of gods she confronted Hera, but the Queen of the Gods tore the bow from her hands, beat her about the head, and sent her fleeing back to Olympus in tears.
Artemis' sacred animal was the deer. She drove a chariot drawn by a pair of the beasts and was often depicted holding or hunting a deer or with a deer-skin cape draped over her shoulders.
In myth the most celebrated of her sacred animals was the golden-horned Cerynitian Hind which Herakles was sent to fetch as one of his Twelve Labors.
The bear was also sacred to Artemis as well as a variety of water- and ground-birds such as partridges, quails and guinea-fowl. Her sacred plants were the cypress-tree and the palm-tree.