The House of Elis and the House of Calydon belonged to the Aeolids. The Aeolids were descendants of Aeolus, a king from Thessaly. The Aeolids established powerful kingdoms and dynasties in many part of Greece.


  House of Elis
  House of Calydon


Related Articles:
   The Aeolids







Elis was the name of the region and a city in north-west Peloponnesus.

 
Aethlius
Endymion
Epeius and Eleius
Augeias


Genealogy:
   House of Elis


Αεθλιος
Aëthlius
 

Aëthlius (Aethlius) was the earliest known ruler of the region and city of Elis. Aëthlius was the son of Aeolus and Protogeneia.

However, not much is known about Aëthlius except that he married his half-sister, Calyce, daughter of his father Aeolus and Enartes, and became the father of Endymion, who succeeded him to the throne. Either Aëthlius or his son was the founder of the kingdom of Elis.

See the House of Elis for the family tree on his descendants.

 
Related Information
Name
Aëthlius, Aethlius, Αεθλιος.

Eponym
Aetolus – Aetolia.

Related Articles
Aeolus, Endymion.

Genealogy: House of Elis.



Ἐνδυμίων
Endymion
 

Endymion was the son of Aëthlius (Aethlius) and Calyce. Endymion became king after his father's death. Endymion was the father of Aetolus, Epeius and Paeon, by an unnamed wife. Endymion was known for his great beauty.

The popular story is that Endymion was sleeping in a field attending his father's flock of sheep, when the Selene, the goddess of the moon, saw and fell in love. They became lovers where it was said that he fathered fifty daughters.

Zeus granted Endymion the fate of remaining mortal or become forever young. Endymion chose eternal youth. But there is a price for his choice. To remain young, Endymion would have to sleep for all eternity.

So before Endymion entered his eternal slumber, he held a foot race, where one of his sons would become king of Elis. Epeius won the race and became king.

Endymion then abdicated and went into his eternal retreat, where Selene often visited him in his sleep.


According to a different source (Great Eoiae), however, Endymion had a different fate. Zeus had taken Enydmion to Olympus, to live with the gods. Endymion saw and fell in love with Hera, Zeus' wife and consort.

Endymion was determined to seduce or rape the goddess. Zeus discovered the impetuous mortal's plan. Endymion thought he was making love to Hera, when he was actually having sex with a phantom, made out of cloud.

Catching Endymion in the act, Zeus then cast Endymion out of Olympus, and into Hades.

This story is similar to the one about Ixion, sleeping with a cloud in the shape of Hera. See Ixion in the Wrath of Heaven.

 
Related Information
Name
Endymion, Ἐνδυμίων.

Sources
Library was written by Apollodorus.

Description of Greece was written by Pausanias.

Catalogues of Women and the Great Eoiae were possibly written by Hesiod.

Related Articles
Epeius, Aetolus, Ixion.

Selene, Zeus, Hera.

Genealogy: House of Elis.


Selene and Endymion
Edward John Poynter
Oil on canvas
Manchester City Art Gallery, Manchester



Ἐπειός & Ἐλεις
Epeius and Eleius
 
Epeius
Eleius



Epeius

Epeius (Ἐπειός) was the son of Endymion, and the brother of Aetolus and Paeon. Epeius also had a sister named Eurycyda. When Endymion abdicated as king, the kingship of Elis was decided on the footrace. The winner would become king. Epeius won the race, and was crowned.

The people of Elis became known as the Epeians. Epeius married Anaxiroe, the daughter of Coronus. Epeius was the father of a daughter, named Hyrmina, who married Phorbas, a Lapith chieftain who migrated to the city of Olenia, in Elis.

Epeius' reign was short, and he died young without a son. Epeius' brother Aetolus succeeded him.


Eleius

Aetolus' reign in Elis was also short. Aetolus participated in the funeral games of Azan. In the chariot race, Aetolus accidentally ran over and trampled Apis, possibly the king of Argos. Either Aetolus fled from Elis, or he was banished for the death. Whichever was the case, Aetolus migrated to the land of the Curetes, where he founded the kingdom. His kingdom was named after him: Aetolia. See Aetolus in the House of Calydon for more detail.

The sea god Poseidon had seduced Epeius' sister, Eurycyda. Eurycyda became the mother of Eleius (Ἐλεις). When Aetolus migrated to the land of the Curetes (Aetolia), the young Eleius became the king of Elis.

The region and city of Elis was named after him. The people were formerly known as the Epeians, after his uncle, but they were now called the Eleians.

Eleius ruled for some time before he died, and was succeeded by Augeias, the son of the Lapith Phorbas and Hyrmina, the daughter of Epeius.

 
Related Information
Eponym
Epeius – the Epeians.
Eleius – Elis, the Eleians or Eleans.

Sources
 
Contents
Epeius
Eleius

Related Articles
Endymion, Aetolus, Augeias.

Genealogy: House of Elis.



Αὐγείας
Augeias
 

Augeias (Αὐγείας), the son of Phorbas, the Lapith chieftain, and of Hyrmina, the daughter of Epeius. Though, Augeias had also being called the son of the sea god Poseidon or of the sun god Helius. Augeias was the brother of Actor and Tiphys.

Apollonius of Rhodes had listed Augeias among the members of the Argonauts, though he was not prominent in the quest. Augeias' fame was mainly associated with the hero Heracles.

Elis reached the height of its power, during the reign of Augeias. Augeias was perhaps the richest ruler in the Peloponnesus, because he had the largest stable of fine cattle. Because of the size of the stable, it was difficult to clean.

Eurystheus had sent Heracles to clean the stable in a single day, as one of his labours (the 5th Labour).

Heracles bargained with Augeias to clean the stable in a day, in return for a tenth of the cattle as payment. Phyleus, Augeias' son, witnessed the bargain made. It seemed to an impossible task, because the stables were large and haven't been cleaned since it was built. Heracles solved his problem by diverting the rivers Peneius and Alpheius, so that the water flowed through the stable.

When Heracles came to collect his payment, the king refused, thereby earning the hero's enmity. Heracles threatened Augeias that he would punish the king. Phyleus tried to persuade his father to honour the deal made to Heracles. Augeias banished his son, and Phyleus took refuge in Dulichium. See the Fifth Labour of Heracles.

Augeias fearing he had made a powerful enemy, called upon his kin to aid him if war comes. Among his allies were Amarynceus, and the twin sons of Actor, Eurytus and Cteatus, who were known as the Moliones. Augeias also began strengthening his army.

There was frequent war between the city of Elis and Pylus. Nestor recalled that his father, Neleus, prevented him from going into battle, because he was rather young. So Nestor sneaked out and joined the army, killing many enemies, including Augeias' son, Mulius. Nestor also recalled winning all the contests at the funeral games of Amarynceus, at Buprasium, except in the chariot race that the Moliones had won.

Some years later, Heracles had gathered a strong army from Tiryns. The first battle turned out to be disastrous for Heracles. The Moliones seemed to be a match for Heracles. The Moliones were said to be Siamese twins, Eurytus and Cteatus; the Catalogues of Women clearly stated that the Moliones were "double in form and with two bodies and joined to one another". Heracles was too ill at the time, to take a more active part in the war, so his army was driven back.

When Moliones attended the Isthmian Games, Heracles ambushed and killed the Moliones on the road, near Cleonae.

Without the aid of the Moliones, Augeias couldn't beat back the second invasion, which Heracles launched. Either Heracles killed or deposed the Eleian king. Though, Augeias' exiled son, Phyleus was free to rule Elis, he preferred to remain in Dulichium.

See also Wars in Peloponnesus in the Heracles page.

 
Related Information
Name
Augeias, Αὐγείας.

Sources
Library was written by Apollodorus.

Description of Greece was written by Pausanias.

Related Articles
Eleius, Heracles, Nestor, Neleus.

Fifth Labour of Heracles; Wars in Peloponnesus.

Genealogy: House of Elis.








Calydon was a southern city of Aetolia, founded by Calydon, the son of Aetolus. Aetolia was a land originally occupied by the Curetes.

 
Aetolus
Oeneus (see also Calydonian Boar Hunt)
Thoas      


Genealogy:
   House of Calydon


Αἰτωλός
Aetolus
 

Aetolus' reign in Elis was also short. Aetolus (Αἰτωλός) participated in the funeral games of Azan. In the chariot race, Aetolus accidentally ran over and trampled Apis, possibly the king of Argos. Either Aetolus fled from Elis, or he was banished for the death. Whichever was the case, Aetolus migrated to the land of the Curetes, where he founded the kingdom. Aetolus' nephew, Eleius, became king of Elis.

The sons of the god Apollo and Phthia ruled the Curetes. They were named Dorus, Laodocus and Polypoetes. In the war against the Curetes, Aetolus killed the three brothers, and conquered mostly the coastal regions. His kingdom was named after him: Aetolia.

Aetolus married his niece's daughter, Pronoe, the daughter of Phorbas and Hyrmina (Epeius' daughter). Aetolus became the father of two sons: Calydon (Καλδών) and Pleuron (Πλευρών).


At his death, his two sons founded separate kingdoms; each city was named after each brother. Calydon married Aeolia (Αἰολία) and had a daughter named Epicasta, who married her cousin, Agenor (Ἀγήνωρ), the son of Pleuron and Xanthippe.

Agenor and Epicasta had a daughter named Demonice, who became the mother of three sons by the war god Ares: Thestius, Pylus and Evenus. Agenor was also the father of two sons: Hippodamus and Porthaon (Πορθάων).

Porthaon became king of Calydon and married Euryte, the daughter of Hippodamas, the son of the river god Achelous. Porthaon was the father of several sons: Oeneus, Agrius, Melas, Alcathous and Hipponous.

At Porthaon's death, his eldest son, Oeneus, became the king of Calydon.

 
Related Information
Name
Aetolus, Αἰτωλός.

Sources
Library was written by Apollodorus.

Description of Greece was written by Pausanias.

Related Articles
Endymion, Epeius, Eleius, Oeneus.

Genealogy:
  House of Elis.
  House of Calydon.



Οἰνεύς
Oeneus
 

Oeneus (Oineus or Οἰνεύς) was the most famous king in Calydon and Aetolia, mostly because of his two sons was great heroes, and the most famous boar hunt took place in his long reign. Oeneus was also host to many great heroes in this boar hunt.


Oeneus and his Family
Calydonian Boar Hunt
Deianeira
Oeneus in Prison



Oeneus and his Family

Oeneus (Οἰνεύς) was the son of King Porthaon, who the son of Agenor and Epicasta, and of Euryte, the granddaughter of the Aetolian river god, Achelous. Oeneus was the brother of Agrius, Alcathous and Melas.

Oeneus had many children from his two wives: first Althaea, later Periboea. Both of his wives were his nieces.

Althaea was the daughter Thestius and Eurythemis, and the sister of Leda and Hypermnestra. Althaea bore him, three sons, Meleager (Μελέαγρος), Clymenus and Toxeus, as well as two daughters, Gorge and Deïaneira (Δηιάνειρα). Clymenus doesn't always in the list as their children. Some say that Meleager's real father was Ares, the Greek god of war. See the Calydonian Boar Hunt, for the account of Meleager's birth, life and death.

Similarly, a few authors, including Apollodorus and Hyginus, write that Deïaneira was not Oeneus' daughter, but Dionysus', the god of wine. Not only this, Hyginus indicated that Dionysus had Oeneus' blessing, when the god seduce his wife. Oeneus absent himself in rites, while Dionysus slept with Althaea. For this unusual hospitality, Dionysus rewarded Oeneus by giving him vine, teaching the king how to plant the vine and harvest the fruit, which he called oinos in Greek.

According to Hyginus' Fabulae, Althaea had another son by yet another god, who sailed with the Argonauts. His name was Ancaeus, son of Neptune (Poseidon).

Oeneus was said to have killed his own son, Toxeus for jumping over a ditch. Why Oeneus killed him was not recorded.


Deianeira

According to Apollodorus, Deianeira (Δηιάνειρα) could drive a chariot, and she practised the arts of war. No other authors mentioned her warlike abilities.

When Oeneus' daughter, Deianeira, reached a marriageable age, many suitors came to woo her, because of great beauty. Among the suitors were Achelous, the Aetolian river god, and the hero Heracles. Only these two dared to compete for Deianeira's hand in marriage.

Heracles wrestled with the river god, who had the ability to changed shapes. Achelous had tried several transformations to defeat Heracles. When Achelous transformed into a bull, Heracles broke of his horn. Achelous surrendered to Heracles to get his horn back.

Heracles fought several wars for Oeneus, but exiled himself when he accidentally killed a cupbearer. Though he was not charged for murder, he left Calydon with Deianeira and headed for the city of Trachis.

However, in their journey, the centaur named Nessus tried to rape Deianeira. Heracles killed Nessus with his poisoned arrow. Before the centaur died, Nessus tricked Deianeira into collecting his tainted blood, claiming it was a potent love potion.

Heracles and Deianeira had several children, including a son named Hyllus.

Unaware that the blood was venomous, Deianeira used the so-called love potion on one of Heracles' shirts. When Heracles wore the shirt, the venom entered into his body, causing great agony. Deianeira realising what she had done, she hanged herself before her husband came home.

Even though Heracles was dying, his death was slow, so built a pyre for himself and asked Philoctetes or Philoctetes' father to set alight the pyre, to end his agony. Heracles' body disappeared, taken to Olympus to become a god.

See the page on Heracles for more detail on the story of Heracles and Deianeira.


Oeneus in Prison

With the death of his first wife (Althaea) and his son Meleager, Oeneus married again, to another niece named Periboea, the daughter of Hipponous (Oeneus' brother) and Astynome. According to one source, Periboea was seduced Hippostratus, the son of Amarynceus. Hipponous was angry with his daughter, and send Periboea off to his brother Oeneus, with an order for Oeneus to kill her. Since his own wife had died, Oeneus married his niece, instead.

Periboea bored Oeneus two sons, Tydeus (Τυδεύς) and Olenias. Though another writer, named Peisandrus, says that Oeneus had slept with his own daughter, Gorge, who became the mother of Tydeus.

Tydeus was banished from Calydon, for murdering a kinsman. There is some confusion over, who Tydeus had murdered. According to one source, he had killed his own brother, Olenias. Another writer says that Tydeus had killed his uncle, Alcathous, the brother of Oeneus.

Whichever kin he had murdered, Tydeus went to Argos, where he married Deipyle, the daughter of King Adrastus of Argos. Tydeus became the father of the hero Diomedes.

Tydeus was another hero who took part in the war of the Seven Against Thebes. Aiding Polyneices to regain the throne in Thebes, Tydeus died in battle from his wound. See Seven Against Thebes for more detail about the war between Argos and Thebes.

During Tydeus' exile, the sons of Agrius took advantage that Oeneus was now without an heir. The sons of Agrius put their own father on the throne, and imprisoned the aged King Oeneus.

Ten years after the death of Tydeus and the seven Argive chieftains, their sons, including Diomedes, fought another war against Thebes. The new generation of Argive leaders was known as the Epigoni. The Epigoni succeeded where their fathers had failed. See Epigoni in the Seven Against Thebes.

Shortly, after this war, Diomedes, with the help of Alcmaeon, leader of the Epigoni, went to Calydon. Diomedes killed Agrius and all his sons, before releasing his grandfather from prison.

Though, Oeneus regained his kingdom, he did not live long or he was too old to rule. Though, Diomedes should have become king in Calydon, instead he gave the kingdom to his uncle, Andraimon, son-in-law of Oeneus and husband of Gorge (Oeneus' daughter). Diomedes returned to Argos. Not long after this Diomedes became the suitor of Helen, and later fought in Troy, as the leader of Argos. For more detail, see Diomedes in Heroes II.

 
Related Information
Name
Oeneus, Oineus, Οἰνεύς.

Sources
The Iliad was written by Homer.

Library was written by Apollodrous.

Metamorphoses was written by Ovid.

Fabulae was written by Hyginus.

Catalogues of Women was possibly written by Hesiod.

Argonautica was written by Apollonius of Rhodes.

Contents
Oeneus and his Family
Calydonian Boar Hunt
Deianeira
Oeneus in Prison

Related Articles
Meleager, Atalanta, Idas, Tydeus, Diomedes, Nessus, Heracles, Artemis.

Calydonian Boar. Calydonian Boar Hunt.

Genealogy:
  House of Calydon
  Children of Thestius



Θοας
Thoas
 

Andraimon was the husband of Gorge, the daughter of Oeneus and Althaea. Andraimon was the father of Thoas (Θόας).

Andraimon received the kingdom of Calydon, either because Oeneus was too old to rule, or he the aged king had died. However, his own reign was short, because his son, Thoas, became king of Calydon, during the Trojan War.

As the former suitor of Helen, Thoas took forty ships to Troy. Thoas returned safely home after the Trojan War. When Neoptolemus banished Odysseus from Ithaca, for the death of Penelope's suitors, Thoas offered Odysseus refuge in Calydon, and married his daughter to the exiled king. Thoas' daughter bore Leotophonus to Odysseus.

Thoas also had a son, named Haemon. Nothing more is known about Thoas, but Thoas' grandson, named Oxylus won the fertile kingdom of Elis, when he helped the invasion of the Heraclids.

 
Related Information
Related Articles
Oeneus, Odysseus, Neoptolemus.

Trojan War.

Genealogy: House of Calydon.








The Calydonian Boar Hunt was the most famous of all myth about hunting. This is because many of the famous Greek heroes had taken part in it, though, Heracles (Heracles) was noticeably absence in this adventure. The Calydonian Boar Hunt was actually an account of Calydon's own hero, Meleager, which is his greatest achievement. But the myth, was entwined with the Arcadian or Boeotian heroine, named Atalanta, the beautiful huntress who would unintentionally cause his death, because of his love for her.

Many classical authors had mentioned or provided the accounts, though each of these accounts are pretty short, and often provided little detail about the hunt. Ovid provided us with most descriptive account of the adventure and its aftermath.


 
Althaea and the Birth of Meleager
Atalanta and the Boar Hunt
Death of Meleager


Related Article:
     Oeneus
     Atalanta


Genealogy:
     House of Calydon




Althaea and the Birth of Meleager
 

Oeneus married his niece, Althaea, who was his first wife, the daughter of Thestius and Eurythemis. Althaea was also the sister of Leda, who was the mother of the Dioscuri (Castor and Polydeuces) and Helen. Ovid only mentioned Meleager's two uncles. (In some accounts, Althaea had more than two brothers: Plexippus and Toxeus. Apollodorus called Althaea's brothers: Iphiclus, Evippus, Plexippus and Eurypylus, while Hyginus named them as Ideus, Plexippus and Lynceus.)

Althaea was the mother of two daughters: Deianeira, who would later marry Heracles, and Gorge, the wife of Andraimon. Althaea was also the mother of four sons: Toxeus (not to be confused with Althaea's brother, who was killed by Meleager), Thyreus, Clymenus and Meleager (Μελέαγρος). However, some writers say that Meleager wasn't Oeneus' son; it was widely believed that the young hero was the son of Ares, the god of war.

According to the most popular account, when Althaea gave birth to Meleager, the Fates came to the queen and announced that Meleager would die on the day when a log or brand in the hearth was burned to ashes. Althaea saved her infant son by putting out the fire. To ensure that Meleager would never die, she hid the log in a chest, and had secretly buried the chest.

See genealogy of House of Calydon.


Since the log was safe and secure in the chest, Meleager grew into a mighty and invulnerable warrior. In the Iliad, Homer described him having red hair.

As a young man he accompanied Jason and the Argonauts in the Quest of the Golden Fleece. Heracles so admired Meleager's boldness that Heracles gave the younger hero the honour to row beside him. His role in the Argonautica was only minor. In Diodorus' version of this myth, a battle took place between the Argonauts and the Colchians, where Meleager was responsible for killing King Aeëtes of Colchis, when the king pursued them with his army.

Meleager married Cleopatra, the daughter of a fellow Argonaut, Idas, and of Marpessa. Meleager had a daughter named Polydora, who would later marry Protesilaus, one of the Greek leaders in the Trojan War.

Meleager's greatest adventure was in the Calydonian Boar Hunt.

 
Related Information
Name
Meleager, Μελέαγρος.

Sources
Metamorphoses was written by Ovid.

Library of History was written by Diodorus Siculus.

Argonautica, written by Apollonius of Rhodes.

Library, written by Apollodorus.

Fabulae was written by Hyginus.

Sources
Library was written by Apollodorus.

Related Articles
Oeneus, Ares, Deianeira, Jason, Dioscuri, Idas.

Calydonian Boar Hunt, Argonauts.

Genealogy: House of Calydon.



Atalanta and the Boar Hunt
 

Oeneus (Oineus), king of Calydon, was offering sacrifices to the gods and goddesses for the bountiful harvest, but had neglected the goddess Artemis. It was considered an insult for not sacrificing to the goddess Artemis. Artemis sent a giant boar that was ravaging the countryside. The Calydonian Boar was destroying farms and killing people. The king sends news for heroes throughout Greece, that he requests warriors to kill the boar. Oeneus offered the hide of the boar as prize, for anyone to first draw blood from the boar.

Meleager led the party of hunters. Meleager was among many of his comrades who sailed the Argo, also joined the hunt.

Among the hunters was a beautiful huntress, Atalanta (Ἀταλάντη). Depending on the sources, she was either a Boeotian or Arcadian heroine. Her mother is a mystery, and she was either the daughter of Schoeneus or that of Iasus. Whichever one was her father, he had wanted a son, so he exposed his infant in the wild. Like most myth, she was suckled by wild animal, in this case, a she-bear, until the child was founded by group of hunters. These hunters brought her up, teaching her how to hunt, using the bow and arrows. Her first kill, were two centaurs, who had tried to rape her.

She was as strong and brave as any hero. Not only was she skilled with the bow, with the exception of Euphemus and Iphiclus of Phylace, no-one could outrun her in a footrace.

Atalanta had wanted to join the Argonauts. A few authors say that Atalanta had indeed sailed with Jason on the epic voyage, but according to the most authoritarian work about the Quest, Jason had politely declined her, for he thought that her presence may cause trouble among the other heroes.

She did however, took part in the funeral games of Pelias, after Jason and the Argonauts had returned from the Quest. There, she had wrestled and defeated the hero, Peleus.

Some of the hunters, especially Meleager's uncles, Plexippus and Toxeus, protested vehemently that Meleager would allow a woman to hunt with them. But Meleager, who fell madly in love with Atalanta, allowed her to participate. Some say that Atalanta had a son by Meleager, named Parthenopaeüs (Parthenopaeus), who one of the seven champions who fought in the ill-fated war against Thebes (see Seven Against Thebes). Atalanta wanting to hide the fact that she had given birth to a son, exposed the baby in the forest of Mount Parthenius. Others say that Parthenopaeüs was the son of his mother's husband, either Hippomenes or Melanion. Even a few says that Parthenopaeüs' father was Ares.


Loud noises drove the giant boar out of the dense forest into a large clearing, where the hunters waited for their prey. The heroes were eager to draw first blood or to kill the boar, so javelins and arrows flew at the boar. Not only was boar confused by so many hunters and flying missiles, so were the hunters themselves. Most of the missiles were missing their marks, so the hunter's missile was just as deadly to another hunter, as was the boar's tusks.

The Lapith seer Mopsus prayed to Apollo before hurling his spear. The spear did strike the boar, but only by the shaft. (In the Apollonius' Argonautica, Mopsus had died from snakebite in Libya, so he couldn't have been at this Hunt in Calydon.)

During the hunt the boar killed several hunters. Among them, Enasimus, the son of Hippocoon of Sparta, had tried to flee, but was cut down by the boar's tusk from behind. Hyleus had also fell victim to the raging boar. Peleus accidentally killed Eurytion, his father-in-law, with his miscast spear. Some more hunters were wounded.

Nestor barely escaped alive. Nestor had to use his spear to vault up to the safety of the tree branch. The Spartan twins, Castor and Polydeuces were mounted on their horses, with their javelins ready, but the boar slashed Hippasus' thigh, before it ran off to the woods.

Telamon was the first to follow after the boar into the woods, but tripped over a tree root. Peleus quickly came to his brother's aid, with Atalanta standing guard, with her arrow ready and drawn back. With a quick prayer to Artemis, her arrow flew unerringly from her bow. Atalanta drew first blood with her arrow, when it pierced through the boar's ear. This slight wound had only enraged the boar.

Meleager saw the blood, and declared that Atalanta deserved the prize, of the boar's hide. This angered some of the hunters, especially Meleager's uncles. The former Argonaut, Ancaeus, the son of Lycurgus, king of Tegea, was feeling ashamed that Atalanta had drew blood first, foolishly rushed the boar, swinging his deadly axe. However, the boar got the best in this encounter, charging at the reckless hunter, its tusks gorging deeply into his loins. Ancaeus died.

This was followed by the misadventure of reckless Peirithoüs, where Theseus had to save his friend from certain death. Jason, the captain of Argo, had ignobly killed a hound with his javelin.

Apollodorus says that the seer Amphiaraüs' arrow then pierced one of the boar's eyes. (Most accounts don't mention Amphiaraüs' wounding the boar, before Meleager killed it. Ovid didn't mention it, but Apollodorus did.)

Then Meleager rushed forward and hurled two spears, one in each hand. One spear missed, but the second spear flew true; impaling the pig on the side.

All accounts agreed that Meleager had killed the Calydonian Boar, but they differed on detail of the event. Homer doesn't mention Atalanta at all.

 
Related Information
Sources
Metamorphoses was written by Ovid.

Library, written by Apollodorus.

The Iliad was written by Homer.

Library of History was written by Diodorus Siculus.

Fabulae was written by Hyginus.

Catalogues of Women was ascribed to Hesiod.

Related Articles
Oeneus, Atalanta, Parthenopaeüs, Amphiaraüs, Peleus, Telamon, Castor and Polydeuces, Jason, Theseus, Nestor, Artemis.

Calydonian Boar Hunt
Illustration from the 'Tanglewood Tales' (1920)



Death of Meleager
 

When the hunt ended, Meleager eagerly awarded the hide to Atalanta. This upset Meleager's uncles, who believed that they deserved the hide, if Meleager choose not to accept it for killing the boar. They accused him of being besotted with the wench.

They snatched the hide from Atalanta. According to Diodorus Siculus, they ambushed and robbed her, when she was on her way home to Arcadia. Whichever way they took the hide from Atalanta, Meleager couldn't tolerate his uncles' behaviour. This action outraged his uncles, resulting in a deadly quarrel between the young hero and his mother's brothers. In a fit of rage, Meleager killed his uncles. Meleager ran his sword Plexippus' heart, and killed Toxeus as he tried to flee.

News of her brothers' death arrived in the palace. That her own son would kill her brothers caused distress and anger in Althaea. Althaea took out the log she had kept safe, and threw the wood into a fire. When the fire completely consumed the log, Meleager died.

Distraught from killing her own son, Althaea committed suicide, by hanging.


There were a few other different versions of Meleager's death.

The mythographer, Apollodorus, told of the version I just told, and another one in the war between the Calydonians and the Curetes. This can also be found in the Iliad written by Homer.

The war began over hunt, in which Thestius' sons claimed that Iphiclus was the first to wound the boar (Atalanta wasn't even mentioned in the epic). Meleager killed some of Althaea's brothers in the fighting. His mother cursed Meleager for killing her brothers. Meleager, in anger, withdrew from the war and locked himself in his room. As the war began to swing in the Curetes' favour, his wife Cleopatra called upon him to defend their home. Meleager rejoined the battle and killed the other sons of Thestius. However, Meleager also died in the fighting. His mother Althaea and his wife Cleopatra were so distraught over his death that they hanged themselves. His sisters, except Gorge and Deianeira, who mourned for him, were changed into birds.

According to the Catalogues of Women, the god Apollo killed Meleager, while he fought in the war against Curetes.


When Heracles (Hercules) later went to the Underworld, to fetch Cerberus in his twelfth labour, he encountered the shade of Meleager. All the ghosts in Hades' domain fled in terror of Heracles, except for ghosts of Meleager and the Gorgon Medusa. Heracles promised Meleager that when he had time, he would woo and marry Deianeira, Meleager's young sister.

 
Related Information
Sources
Metamorphoses was written by Ovid.

Library, written by Apollodorus.

Library of History was written by Diodorus Siculus.

Fabulae was written by Hyginus.

Catalogues of Women was ascribed to Hesiod.

Related Articles
Oeneus, Althaea, Deianeira, Atalanta, Heracles, Apollo.

Genealogy: House of Calydon.









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