Meleager was a Greek hero, who was one of the Argonauts and gained renowned fame in the Calydonian Boar Hunt.

Parents: Oeneus and Althaea
Siblings: Deianeira,
Consort: Cleopatra
Children: Polydora and Parthenopeus

Bust of Meleager. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

Calydonian Boar Hunt

When Meleager was born, the Moirae predicted that he would only live until a piece of wood, burning in the family hearth, was consumed by fire. Overhearing them, Althaea immediately doused and hid it.

Oeneus sent Meleager to gather up heroes from all over Greece to hunt the Calydonian Boar that had been terrorizing the area and rooting up the vines, as Oeneus had omitted Artemis at a festival in which he honored the other gods. In addition to the heroes he required, he chose Atalanta, a fierce huntress, whom he loved. At the culmination of the hunt, Atalanta wounded the boar and Meleager killed it. He awarded her the hide since she had drawn the first drop of blood.

The Calydonian Boar Hunt. Roman sarcophagus, Musei Capitolini, Rome.

Meleager’s uncles Toxeus and Plexippus grew enraged that the prize was given to a woman. Meleager killed them in the ensuing argument. He also killed Iphicles and Eurypylus for insulting Atalanta. When Althaea found out that Meleager had killed her brothers, Althaea placed the piece of wood that she had stolen from the Moirae upon the fire, thus fulfilling the prophecy and killing Meleager.

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