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The Hunt for the Wild Boar of Calydon (1) : Artemis, goddess of the hunt, pursued a bitter and relentless vengeance upon a king who carelessly slighted her.
The Hunt for the Wild Boar of Calydon
Part one

Calydon was an ancient city in Aetolia, on the west coast of mainland Greece near modern Missolonghi. The tale tells how Artemis, goddess of the hunt, took spiteful revenge on a king who slighted her.

WHEN Meleager, son of Oeneus, king of Calydon, was born, the Fates whispered that his life would last no longer than a chip of wood upon the nursery fire. Overhearing them, his mother Althaea sprang to the fire and doused it, locking what remained safely in a chest.

Many years later, Oeneus forgot to honour Artemis in his sacrifices, and the outraged goddess loosed a huge boar in his kingdom, which tore through it destroying crops and homes.

Meleager, now a young man, assembled a formidable hunting party of heroes to deal with the menace, from Jason and Theseus to Castor and Pollux — and also one woman, Atalanta.

Atalanta had been found in the woods as a baby by hunters, and was herself skilled as a hunter. But her presence was a source of constant discord in the party, with Meleager’s uncles especially resentful of a woman.

In fact, everything was going as the vengeful Artemis had planned.

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Picture: Photo by Jastrow, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: Public domain. View original
Meleager slays the wild boar of Calydon, in a scene painted onto a cup in about 555 BC.

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