Leto: Meet the Greek Goddess of Nightfall

09/03/2021

     Leto or Latona is, in Greek Mythology, the Goddess of Nightfall. In addition to being the mother of the twins Apollo and Artemis, she was Zeus' lover. Check out Myth below.

Leto in Greek Mythology:

     Latona (in Roman), or Leto (in Greek) in Greco-Roman Mythology, was a goddess, daughter of Phoebe and Céos, and mother of Phoebus (Apollo) and Diana (Artemis). She was the goddess of nightfall.

     Latona was a Jupiter-loving goddess. She was a goddess of motherhood and with her children, a protector of children. Her name and iconography suggest that she was also a goddess of modesty and demure. Like her sister Astéria, she may also have been a goddess of the night, or, alternatively, of the daylight.

     When she became pregnant with the two, whose father was Jupiter, she had to flee the wrath of the jealous supreme goddess Juno (Hera), who had asked Gaia not to give way on earth so that the goddess could give birth to her children. The floating island of Delos eventually provided him with refuge. To give birth to the children on the island, she had to flee the Python snake, which Apollo would later kill.

Phoebe in Delphi:

     Later, when the Goddess Phoebe later traveled to Delphi, the Titans tried to kidnap her, but Apollo intervened and killed them with arrows.

     In the painting of Greek vases, Latona (Leto) was generally described as a woman who lifts the veil in a gesture of modesty. She was usually described with her two children. The exact meaning of her name is obscure, some commentators try to connect it with the word Letho, to pass unnoticed, suggestive of modesty, others derive from the word Lycia for the woman, lada.

     Whenever she appears in the images she is protecting her children, because of the python snake. This is due to the problem that arose with Hera. Leto is described as "golden-haired".

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