Study Guide

The Calydonian Boar Hunt Context

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To the ancient Greeks, the myth of the Calydonian Boat Hunt was a really big deal. This boar was said to be so big and nasty that it took, like, every hero in the land to take it down. So, you know, it's kind of like that Avengers movie or something. You're bound to get everybody excited if you throw in all their favorite heroes, right? Well, it totally worked for a lot of people anyway, and the tale was popular in the oral tradition for a super long time before it was written down.

Homer's Iliad is one of the first written sources for the story, where it's mentioned as a side note and heaps a little glory on the previous generation of heroes (many of whose children fought in Trojan War). Later writers elaborated on the myth quite a bit, adding in the whole plot line with Atalanta, the female huntress whose presence causes so much controversy throughout the story. One of the most detailed accounts of the story comes from our main man Ovid, who includes it in his Metamorphoses.

The story also pops up in the work of dudes like Apollodorus, Hyginius, and Diodorus Siculus. (No, really. Those were their names.)

Unfortunately, the main hero of the story, Meleager, hasn't been the star of any recent films or TV (except some cameos on Xena). The object of his affection, Atalanta, however has popped up a bunch. She appeared in a recent TV movie of Jason and the Argonauts. Also, a version of her tried to get frisky with Hercules on the TV series, Hercules: the Legendary Journeys. And yet another version of her whooped some booty with the Incredible Hulk in the world of Marvel Comics. Atalanta is also no stranger to video games. She shows up in the Golden Sun series, Herc's Adventures, Zeus: Master of Olympus, Rise of the Argonauts, and Age of Mythology. So, once again, Atalanta is showing the men how it's done.

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