Friday 24 April 2015


                                                        In Greek mythology, Althaea was described as the daughter of the Aetolian king Thestius and Eurythemis, and sister of Leda, Hypermnestra, Iphiclus, and Euippus. Althaea was married to Oeneus, king of Calydon, by whom she became the mother of Toxeus, Thyreus, Clymenus, and Meleager, and of two daughters, Gorge and Deianeira.

                       According to some versions, Althaea was mother of Deianeira by Dionysus, god of wine. When Dionysus had come as a guest to Oeneus, he fell in love with Althaea. When Oeneus realized this, he voluntarily left the city and pretended to be performing sacred rites. Dionysus took the full advantage of Oeneus absence and  had sex with Althaea. To Oeneus, because of his generous hospitality, Dionysus gave the vine (grape plant) as a gift, and showed him how to plant it, and decreed that its fruit should be called ‘oinus’ from the name of his host.

                According to some versions, Althaea had an illicit sexual relationship with Ares, god of war.  Althaea became mother of Meleager by Ares.
Birth of Meleager........

                     When Meleager was born, the Fates appeared in the palace, saying that Meleager would die as soon as the last piece of wood in the hearth was consumed. Upon hearing it, Althaea removed that brand and buried it under the palace. Many years later, Oeneus sacrificed the first fruits of the seasons to all the gods, omitting goddess Artemis by mistake. Enraged by the slight, Artemis sent an unnaturally large boar to ravage the Calydonian lands (see Calydonian Boar..............The hunt). 
Atalanta and Meleager.....Calydonian Boar hunt......

Meleager managed to kill the boar with the help of Atalanta and his mother’s brothers, but gave the skin of the boar as a prize to Atalanta. His uncles were angry and stole it from her, which caused Meleager’s fury and killed them. When Althaea found out, she burned the brand that was kept under the palace, causing her son’s death. After that Althaea  hung herself or killed herself with a dagger.


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