Artemis was the Greek goddess of the hunt and of fertility. This statue of her, found in the excavations at Ephesus, is flanked by two stags, animals which the goddess Artemis loved to hunt. Many images of sacrificial bulls are portrayed on her dress and head gear. Although her appearance has been described as “multi-breasted”, it is more likely that the globes around her chest were the testes of the sacrificial bulls, which were hung on the statue as a symbol of fertility.
During the time of Paul, there was a great disturbance when certain merchants thought that Paul had discredited the temple of Artemis. The people went to the theatre and shouted for two hours “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians” (Acts 19:23-34).