Meleager

Meleager was the son of King Oeneus and Althea. It is said that several days after his birth that the Fates appeared to his mother and foretold his future. Clotho and Lachesis said he would be brave and noble. However, Atropos told Althea that Meleager would die as soon as a stick burning in the fire was burned. Althea quickly put out the fire and hid the stick. Meleager grew up a great warrior and hunter.

King Oeneus had made sacrifices to all the other gods of Olympus, except for Artemis a.k.a Diana. Angry and upset at this slight, Artemis sent a huge boar with a bristling hide and great white tusks to terrorize the kingdom. It first destroyed the kings gardens but then also started killing men when they were sent to capture it. After some time Oeneus set his son Meleager the task of forming a team of heroes capable of subduing the monster. He called for the bravest men in all of Greece to help with the hunt. This started the Calydonian Boar Hunt.

He became the leader of the Calydonian boar hunt. Among the men was a woman hunter, Atalanta. People descrinbed her face to be to maidenly for a boy/man and to boyish to be a girl. It is said that Meleager fell in love with her. It is unknown if she returned these feelings, but as far as we know she treated him as a comrade. She was determined no to marry.

Meleager collected the band of heroes to hunt the boar. WHen thegroup had the beast surrounded it charged and killed a few men before anybody could aid them. Others fell to weapons that were misaimed. Atalanta was the one to draw first blood and Meleager rushed to the wounded beast and he killed it himself.

Though Meleagar killed the boar he insisted that Atalanta have the hide. Many of the men were angered at the the thought of a woman having the ‘prize’. Among these were Meleager’s uncles, Althea’s brothers. They told him that she did not deserve the spoils and as a result battled with their nephew. He killed them quickly. When the news was brought to Althea she went into a rage and went to grab the brand of wood and tossed it into the fire. As the wood was consumed Meleager fell to the ground, dead.

It is said that Althea was horrified by what she had done the she hanged herself.

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