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Pronunciation : att-uh-LAHN-tuh

(Greek Mortal) ATALANTA

Daughter of Iasus and Clymene. Atalanta had a son called Parthenopaeus, by Melanion or maybe Ares.. or Hippomenes.

Being abandoned at birth because your father had his heart set on a son isn't the most auspicous start to life but being suckled by a she-bear and raised by hunters does have its good points.

Atalanta could hunt and fight harder than any man alive. She defeated Peleus in a wrestling match, murdered the lecherous centaur duo Rhoecus and Hylaeus and drew first blood in the Caledonion boar hunt. These acts of bravery, speed and strength didn't go un-noticed and she was the only female aboard the Argo when Jason was looking to fleece King Aeetes for his golden ram's wool, and managed to come out the other side with her virginity still intact, which is no mean feat. But she did have a girly side...

Atalanta was stunning and had a queue of princely suitors as long as Zeus's scroll of conquests chasing her down for her hand in marriage. But she also had a watertight vow of chastidy in place and devised her very own version of the dreaded and torterous chat with the father that us poor blokes often have to endure... because she didn't know who hers was.

Any potential suitor was challenged to a foot race with a twist... the guys would race unarmed and she would pursue them with a weapon, which hardly seems fair but the prize was great - If she lost the guy would gain a wife, if he lost he also lost his life.

Unfortunately the impaled heads lining the stadium race track suggested that no-one had been upto the job thus far, basically because she was the fastest runner ever, but no-one had thought about praying for a little divine intervention... until now.

Aphrodite was irked that Atalanta was not moved by feelings of love, and being the goddess of love felt personally responsible. She happily stood in Melanions corner, rubbed his shoulders and slipped some apples into his tunic which had him baffled. 'Trust me' she said, and whispered her cunning plan in his ear.

With the starters gun fired, or maybe starters spear thrown, or whatever they did back in the day, Melanion took his customery head start but it wasn't long before Atalanta was hot on his trail.

He could see why she had been single for so long, she was like greased lightning, but just as she got within striking distance Melanion dropped the apples. Virgin or not all women love gold, even if it is in the form of fruit, and as she stooped to pick them up Melanion stormed over the finish line. Hurrah!

It should have been champagne and roses from then on but the dopy victor made straight for Mount Parnassus to make offerings to Zeus as a thankyou for this sweetest of victories.

Aphrodite couldn't believe her eyes! Melanion was a wife to the good courtesy of the goddess of love and not so much as a word of thanks. She sent an irresistable urge straight to his loin and in no time they were doing the wild thing in the top gods temple of all places! This sort of thing was frowned upon, even by Zeus who had probably been caught with his pants down in worse places but it didn't stop him from punishing this particular act of profanity by turning the newly weds into a matching pair of his and hers lions.
Family Tree ...
Parents : Iasus and Clymene
Spouse : Melanion
Offspring : Parthenopaeus
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'ATALANTA' - Greek entry : 26 April 2007
Page last modified on 27 Mar 2013
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