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A statue of Artemis as the mythological Roman huntress Diana.

Artemis, the Chaste Huntress: You Really Didn’t Want to Mess With This Greek Goddess

The ancient Greek goddess Artemis was many things to many people. A huntress, virgin, midwife, twin, independent woman, protector, plague-bearer…the list goes on and on. Her appearance did not change...
Black Madonna of Częstochowa with crown.

Are the Black Madonnas found around the World intentionally so?

‘Black Madonna’ is a term used to describe depictions of the Virgin Mary (usually statues or paintings) that have dark-colored skin. In such images, the Virgin is often shown with the infant Jesus,...
St Mary and All Saint, Chesterfield

The Crooked Spire: Kicked Over by the Devil?

Saint Mary and All Saints, an Anglican parish church in Chesterfield, England is better known locally as The Crooked Spire for one very obvious reason: the spire, which was added in about 1362,...
Sacrificial virgin on altar. (heywoody / Adobe)

Throwing Virgins into the Sea and Other Ways to Appease the Gods: The Ancient Reasons behind Virgin Sacrifice

When the going got tough, it was believed sacrificing a virgin to the gods—by throwing them into the sea, burying them alive, or leaving them for hungry monsters—was the best plan. Virgin sacrifice...
The Veiled Virgin.

Unrivalled Classical Art: Giovanni Strazza's Exquisite Veiled Virgin

The Veiled Virgin is the name of a piece of marble sculpture created by Giovanni Strazza, an Italian sculptor. As its name indicates, this sculpture is a bust of the Blessed Virgin Mary wearing a...
Saint Margaret and Olybrius. Margaret herds sheep when Olybrius arrives by Fouquet 15th Century.

She Met the Devil, Escaped a Dragon, and Survived Several Attempts on Her Life: The Remarkable Story of St. Margaret of Antioch

St. Margaret of Antioch is a Christian saint venerated in both the Churches of the West and of the East. In the latter, she is known as Saint Marina the Great Martyr. Little is known for certain...
Silver reliquary with skull purportedly Saint Agnes' - Santa Agnese in Agone Church at Piazza Navona in Rome.

The Fascinating Catacomb of Saint Agnes, a Young Christian Martyr Who Died for her Beliefs

Beneath the city of Rome, among its ancient remains, lie many complexes of catacombs. One of the oldest of these is the one dedicated to Saint Agnes. Agnes (or Agatha) was a beautiful young woman who...
Saint, Witch or Both? The Strange Case of St Columba of Sens

Saint, Witch or Both? The Strange Case of St Columba of Sens

The cult of St Columba is connected to France, where she died. She was beheaded in Sens - the major center of her cult now. However, while French religious people pray to the historical figure as an...
Lost in Translation? Understandings and Misunderstandings about the Ancient Practice of “Sacred Prostitution”

Lost in Translation? Understandings and Misunderstandings about the Ancient Practice of “Sacred Prostitution”

In the modern world, the mere mention of “Sacred Prostitution” may receive raised eyebrows or disgusted grimaces. Evidently, this was also the case for the ancients as many ancient authors describe...
Like a Virgin? The Secret and Controversial Account of Mary, Mother of Jesus

Like a Virgin? The Secret and Controversial Account of Mary, Mother of Jesus

The Virgin Mary is one of the key symbols of Christianity, and a woman whose cult changed the world. However, she may be one of the most misunderstood biblical people. According to some researchers,...
The Annunciation by Fra Angelico

Virgin Mothers and Miracle Babies: The Ancient History of Miraculous Conceptions

At the centre of the annual Christian festival of Christmas, particularly among those of the Catholic faith, is the sacred narrative of the Virgin Birth. In the New Testament Gospels of Matthew and...
Featured Image: Britomart viewing Artegal from  The Faerie Queene, (1895-1897) W. Crane (Wikimedia Commons)

Britomartis: The Original Virgin Huntress

The Minoan mistress of hunting and sea navigation, Britomartis is considered to be one of many goddesses to have been absorbed into classical Greek mythology. Britomartis appears to have played an...