Friday 24 April 2015


                                                     In Greek mythology, Meleager was described as the son of Oeneus, king of Calydon, and Althaea.  According to some versions, Althaea had an illicit sexual relationship with Ares, god of war and  Meleager was described as the son of Ares.
Meleager and Atalanta

                                                When Meleager was born, the Moirai (Fates) predicted he would only live until a brand, burning in the family hearth, was consumed by fire. Overhearing them, Althaea immediately doused and hid the brand .
Birth of Meleager

                                                      Meleager married Cleopatra, daughter of Idas and Marpessa, and had a daughter, Polydora.  Meleager was one of the Argonauts.
                                     Meleager's father, Oeneus, while sacrificing the first fruits of the annual crops of the country to all the gods, had forgotten goddess Artemis. To punish his negligence, the goddess sent a boar of extraordinary size and strength that prevented the land from being sown, and destroyed both cattle and people. To get rid of the nuisance, King Oeneus assembled the noblest men, and promising to give the Boar's skin as a prize to him who should kill the beast.
Calydonian Boar hunt.....

                        (see Calydonian Boar....the hunt)  The Calydonian hunters then, led by Meleager, hunted the boar, which was shot first by Atalanta. After her, Amphiaraus shot it in the eye, and then Meleager finished it by a stab in the flank.  However, on receiving the skin as prize, Meleager, being in love with Atalanta, gave it to the huntress. 
Meleager and Atalanta

But the sons of Thestius who took part in the hunt representing the Curetes (an Aetolian people) did not approve of Meleager's gallant gesture because, in their view, a woman should not get a prize in the face of men. So, they reasoned, if Meleager did not take the skin, it belonged to them by right of birth. Meleager, however, was not in a disposition of accepting instructions regarding what he should do with the prize he had won, and in the course of the dispute that ensued he slew the sons of Thestius, giving the skin to Atalanta
Meleager giving the boar skin to Atalanta
                                      Unfortunately, these "sons of Thestius" were Meleager's uncles, and his own mother's brothers, herself being a daughter of the same Thestius. And having heard of her brothers' death, Althaea was possessed by such a grief that she caused his own son to die by taking the brand out of the chest, kindle it, and let it be totally consumed by the flames.
Death of Meleager

                                                       Meleager wife Cleopatra and his mother, Althaea, hanged themselves after the death of Meleager. According to some versions, Meleager sisters Eurymede and Melanippe  grieved so much the death of their brother that they were turned into birds by Artemis

                     In one (rare) versions, When Hercules came to underworld to  to fetch the hound Cerberus, he met  Meleager. Following Meleager's advice that Hercules came to Calydon and married Meleager's sister Deianira.


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