Jakob Jordaens. Meleager and Atalanta, 17th century. Museo del Prado, Madrid
Mythic, worshipped in ancient Greece, dates vary, beginning circa 1600 B.C.
Atalanta was a woman from Greek mythology, suckled by a bear and raised by hunters after her father, disappointed that he did not have a son instead, left her on a mountaintop as an infant. She became a great hunter and athlete and was later accepted by her father, who wanted her to get married. Having been warned against marriage by an oracle, Atalanta devised a plan whereby she could avoid it: she agreed to marry anyone who could beat her in a foot race, but suitors who lost would be killed. This did not discourage them, however. After many victories, Atalanta was beaten by Hippomenes with the aid of Aphrodite
, goddess of sexual love.
Related Place Setting
Related Heritage Floor Entries
Helen of Troy
Sibyl of Cumae