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Artemisia and Mausolus

Artemisia of Caria (in Greek Aρτεμισία; died 350 BC) was the sister, wife, and successor of the Carian prince Mausolus. She was the daughter of Hecatomnus, and after the death of her husband, she reigned for two years, from 352 to 350 BC. Her administration was conducted on the same principles as that of her husband, whence she supported the oligarchical party in the island of Rhodes.1 She is renowned in history for her extraordinary grief at the death of her husband Mausolus. She is said to have mixed his ashes in her daily drink, and to have gradually died away in grief during the two years that she survived him. She induced the most eminent Greek rhetoricians to proclaim his praise in their oratory; and to perpetuate his memory she built at Halicarnassus the celebrated monument, Mausoleum, which was regarded as one of the seven wonders of the world, and whose name subsequently became the generic term for any splendid sepulchral monument.2 Another celebrated monument was erected by her in the island of Rhodes, to commemorate her success in making herself mistress of the island. The Rhodians, after recovering their liberty, made it inaccessible, whence it was called in later times the Aβατoν.3


Smith, William (editor); Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, "Artemisia (2)", Boston, (1867)


  1. 1 Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca, xvi. 36, 45; Demosthenes, Speeches, "On the liberty of the Rhodians", 11, 27
  2. 2 Cicero, Tusculanae Disputationes, iii. 31; Strabo, Geography, xiv. 2; Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae, x. 18; Pliny, Natural History, xxv. 36, xxxvi. 4; Valerius Maximus, Facta et dicta memorabilia, iv. 6; Suda, s.v. "Artemisia", "Mausolos"
  3. 3 Vitruvius, De architectura, ii. 8


Livius, Artemisia by Jona Lendering

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