Britomartis


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Britomartis

(brĭt`ōmär`tĭs), in ancient religion and mythology, Cretan goddess, sometimes identified with Artemis. To escape the amorous pursuit of Minos, she jumped into the sea, but fishermen caught her in their nets and transported her to Aegina, where she was worshiped as Aphaea. According to another legend, she vanished in a grove sacred to Artemis and was deified as Dictynna.

Britomartis

Cretan nymph; goddess of hunters and fishermen. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 43]
See: Hunting
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References in classic literature ?
George, or Holiness; of Sir Guyon, or Temperance; and of the Lady Britomartis, or Chastity.
The Cretan nymph Britomartis leaps from a cliff to escape the lustful King Minos; accounts differ as to whether or not she was saved, but her cult was closely allied with that of Artemis (Larson, Ancient 177).
You could read the stories of the followers of Artemis: Daphne, Actaeon, Hippolytos, Atalanta, and Britomartis.
Baxter's muse here--which must surely have appealed to his cultish devotion to the Virgin Mary (and is echoed by Burns's 'Highland Mary')--is that most ancient version of the Cretan Goddess Britomartis, who is terrifying with her Gorgon features and double-axes of power, but whose name, 'the good virgin', implies an element of righteousness.