Artemisia (pr. ar-te-mee-see-ya; Forvo) is an Ancient Greek female name, the feminine form of Artemisios which itself is derived from the name of the Greek goddess of the hunt and wild animals, Artemis. The name is of uncertain etymology and meaning with some sources citing it as pre-Greek. It could possibly be related to Persian *arte or *arta meaning “great, excellent, holy” or from Greek árktos meaning “bear” since she did have a link to bears. The name has also been associated with Greek artemes “safe”, artamos “butcher”, artios “perfect, complete”. Artemisia I of Caria was a Greek queen of the city-state Halicarnassus and was allied with Xerxes I, King of Persia, when he invaded Greece during the second Persian invasion, who fought bravely in battle. Another Artemisia, Artemisia II of Caria, was renowned for ordering the building of a mausoleum in honor of her deceased husband, Mausolus, and which was one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World before being destroyed by earthquakes. However, my favorite bearer of the name is Artemisia Gentileschi, a painter in 17th century Italy during a period when women weren’t easily accepted into the profession. She was the first woman to be accepted into the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenz (the academy of fine arts of Florence), specializing in women from myths, the Bible, and history, and she was also instrumental in bringing her rapist to court. Below is a self-portrait she made in 1638-39, titled Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting.
Artemisia is also the name of a genus of plants which include mugwort, wormwood, and sagebrush.
Origin: Proto-Indo-European, likely pre-Greek
- Artemis (Greek, Ancient Greek, English)
- Artemisios (Ancient Greek)
- Artemis (English)
- Artemas (Ancient Greek, English)