Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
Greek heroine of the type of Artemis. There were two slightly different versions of her story, one current in Arcadia and the other in Boeotia. (1) The Arcadian version. Atalante, daughter of Zeus and Clymene, was exposed by her father, who had desired male offspring only. She was suckled by a bear, until she was found and brought up by a party of hunters. Under their care she grew up to be a huntress, keen, swift and beautiful. She took part in the Calydonian boar-hunt, was the first who struck the boar, and received from Meleager the head and skin of the beast as the prize of victory. (See MELEAGER.) She is also associated with the voyage of the Argonauts. She turned a deaf ear to the entreaties of her numerous suitors; but at last she propitiated the wrath of Aphrodite by returning the faithful love of the beautiful Millanion, who had followed her persistently, and suffered and struggled for her. Their son was Parthenopaeeus, one of the Seven against Thebes. (See SEVEN AGAINST THEBES.) (2) The Boetian version. Atalante was the daughter of Schoeneus, son of Athamas, and distinguished for beauty and swiftness of foot. An oracle warns her against marriage, and she accordingly lives a lonely life in the forest. She meets the addresses of her suitors by challenging them to race with her, overtaking them in the race and spearing them in the back. She is at length beaten by Hippomenes, who during the race drops on the ground three golden apples given him by Aphrodite. Atalante stoops down to pick up the apples, and thus loses the race. Hippomenes forgets to render thanks to Aphrodite, and the goddess in anger causes the pair to wander into a sanctuary of Cybele, where they are changed into lions.
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