THE TEMPERING GODDESS: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL AND STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS OF THE BRITOMARTIS-DIKTYNNA-APHAIA MYTHOLOGEM, by JAMES BENTON HARROD
This dissertation analyzes and interprets the mythologem1 of the ancient Kretan Nature
Goddess, Britomartis-Diktynna-Aphaia, as found in the myth variants of' Kallimachos and others.
Interpretation of this mythologem has been cursory. L. R. Farnell and subsequent scholars have interpreted the goddess as a variant of Artemis and Artemis as a form of a matriarchal, chthonic, orgiastic Great Mother Goddess. They believed the Diktynna plant ritual promoted fertility and expressed the wildness and abundance of nature or the seasonal cycles of vegetation. At the same time, they made no effort to interpret central images of the myth (e.g., oaks, nets), and they admitted their inability to comprehend the specific elements of the ritual (e.g., pine, mastich).