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n. Greek Mythology
A young hunter who, having inadvertently observed Artemis while she was bathing, was turned by her into a stag and killed by his own dogs.


(ækˈtiːən; ˈæktɪən)
(Classical Myth & Legend) Greek myth a hunter of Boeotia who, having accidentally seen Artemis bathing, was turned into a stag and torn apart by his own hounds


(ækˈti ən)

(in Greek myth) a hunter who, for having seen Diana bathing, was changed by her into a stag and was torn to pieces by his own hounds.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Artemis punishes the hapless Aktaion for his chance glimpse of her nudity by transforming him into a stag; the lovely Medusa is turned into a petrifying gorgon by an offended Athena; and the tyrant Lykaon becomes a ravening wolf, making visible the natural depravity of his character.
The transformation of the unnamed shepherd into a wolf recalls the cruel transformation of the hunter (or, alternately, shepherd) Aktaion in Classical mythology: Aktaion stumbled upon the naked Artemis and was punished for his visual transgression by being transformed into a stag to be torn apart by his own hounds.
Its subject, the mythical encounter of the hunter Aktaion with the goddess Artemis, who turned him into a stag with very odd antlers, isn't stirring material for anyone but animal rights activists these days.