Diana (dĪănˈə) [key], in Roman religion, goddess of the moon, forests, animals, and women in childbirth. She was probably originally a forest goddess and a special patroness of women. She was identified with the Greek Artemis, and at her temple on the Aventine at Rome she was honored as the virgin goddess. Her most famous cult, however, was at Aricia, near Lake Nemi; there she was worshiped as an earth goddess and was associated with fertility rites and with the Great Mother Goddess.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.