The story of Atalante

Atalante is a heroine in Greek mythology and still interesting today. At her birth her father set his sights on a baby boy and seeing her, he ordered her to be left on a mountain top to die. Fortunately she was suckled by a she-bear ♥ until hunters found and raised her. She learned to fight and hunt as a bear would. She became the best marksman and was faster than the fastest man.

Very much against the will of the men, she took part in a hunt for a wild boar that ravaged the land, men, and cattle and prevented crops from being sown, better known as the Calydonian boar hunt. Only Meleager, lusted for Atalante, persuaded them to include her. Several of the men were killed before Atalante became the first to hit the boar and draw blood. After Meleager finally killed the boar with his spear, he awarded the hide to Atalante. This act of generosity caused a set of events that led to his death.

After this Atalante was rediscovered by her father. He wanted her to be married so that he bequeath his country to them. Atalante, uninterested in marriage, agreed to marry only if her suitors could outrun her in a footrace. Those whom she overtook she speared. In one race Hippomenes was given three of the golden apples of the Hesperides by the goddess Aphrodite. When he dropped them, Atalante stopped to pick them up and so lost the race. He was the happiest guy in the world, but forgot to thank Aphrodite enough for the trick.

When Atalante and her husband –overcome with passion– made love in a shrine, Aphrodite punished him and turned them into lions. The ancient Greek believed lions could not mate with their own species, only with leopards; thus Atalante and Hippomenes would never be able to remain with one another.

More artwork details >>>