Artemisia

ArtemisiaArtemisia
Queen of Caria, Conqueror of Rhodes
400 B.C.

Caria was a small mountainous Greek kingdom on the Mediterranean coast of what is now Turkey in Asia, having the kingdom of Phygia on the east, and Lydia on the north. The chief towns were Miletus, Halicarnassus, and Cnidus; principal river the Meander.

The Greeks were the most individualized people in the world, inconsistent, fickle, delighting in suits at law, arguments, and disputes, and seldom able to agree. Their chief cities, at this time ruled by tyrants, were almost perpetually at strife with each other, and often in bloody wars.

Artemisia was the sister and, after the ancient customs, became the wife of Mausolus, king of Caria, who died 252 B.C., the widow surviving him two years.

She is chiefly known to history for the conquest of the Island of Rhodes, afterwards the greatest seat of learning in the world, and then celebrated and wealthy. She built a monument to commemorate the event, which the Rhodians, when they gained liberty again, rebuild so as to make it inaccessible. Her excessive grief over her brother-husband’s death is also noteworthy. She is said to have mingled his funeral ashes with her wine; and built for him, at Halicarnassus, a tomb (she dying before it was finished) so costly and grand so as to be considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, and from which hour modern word Mausoleum comes from. Ruins of the tomb yet remain. She employed the most celebrated Greek orators to pronounce orations in his honor, giving prizes to the most successful, and is said to have died of grief for him.

Alexander the Great, when Darius was assassinated, 330 B.C., established the Grecian Empire on the ruins of the overthrown empire of Persia, that continued two hundred and six years. Seven years later Alexander died at Babylon and his vast empire divided. But during all the Greek prominence, the common woman’s condition was but little improved. She was secluded, not taught housekeeping until marriage, and was afterwards a drudge. Of rights she had none.

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Reference: Woman: Her Position, Influence and Achievement Throughout the Civilized World. Designed and Arranged by William C. King. Published in 1900 by The King-Richardson Co. Copyright 1903 The King-Richardson Co.