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Hyginus, Fabulae 185

ATALANTA: Schoeneus is said to have had a most beautiful daughter, Atalanta, who by her swiftness used to surpass men in the race. She asked her father that she might remain a virgin. And so, since she was sought by many in marriage, her father set up a contest, that her suitors should contend with her first in a foot-race; then a limit being set, that the man, unarmed, should flee, and she should pursue him with a weapon; the one she overtook within the limits of the course, she should kill, and fix his head up in the stadium. When she had overtaken and killed many, she was finally defeated by Hippomenes, son of Megareus and Merope. For he had received from Venus three apples of exceptional beauty, and had been instructed how to use them. By throwing them down in the contest. He had slowed up the speed of the girl, for as she picked them up and admired the gold, she lost time, and gave victory to the youth. Schoeneus willingly gave him his daughter because of his ingenuity, but as he was taking her home, forgetting that he had won by the favour of Venus, he did not give thanks to her. While he was sacrifice to Jove Victor on Mount Parnassus, inflamed with passion through the anger of Venus, he lay with Atalanta in the shrine, and Jupiter because of this changed them into lion and lioness, animals to whom the gods deny intercourse of love.  Latin Text

ApB 3.9.2 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

Afterwards she discovered her parents, but when her father would have persuaded her to wed, she went away to a place that might serve as a racecourse, and, having planted a stake three cubits high in the middle of it, she caused her wooers to race before her from there, and ran herself in arms.  Greek Text

Hesiod, Ehoiai (Catalogue of Women) fr 76 MW – Fragmenta Hesiodea, pp. 48-49, ed. R. Merkelbach and M. L. West. Oxford 1967.

Ovid, Metamorphoses 10.564-66

When this maid once
consulted with an oracle, of her
fate after marriage, the god answered her:
“You, Atalanta, never will have need
of husband, who will only be your harm.
For your best good you should avoid the tie;
but surely you will not avoid your harm;
and while yet living you will lose yourself.”  Latin Text

Pal 13 – Palaiphatos in Mythographi Graeci 3 pt. 2, p. 21, ed. N. Festa. Leipzig 1902.

Atalante and Melanion
About Atalante and Melanion, it is said that he became a lion, she a lioness. The truth is this: Atalante and Melanion were hunters. Melanion persuaded the girl to have sex with him. They went into some cave to have sex. A lion and lioness had their lair in the cave. They heard voices, came out, fell upon the two and killed them. And some time the lion and lioness went out. Seeing them, Melanion’s fellow hunters opined that they have been transformed into these animals. Going back to the city they advertised how Atalante and Melanion had been turned into lions.  Greek Text

Ovid, Metamorphoses 10.681-704

Adonis, did I not deserve his thanks
with tribute of sweet incense? But he was
ungrateful, and, forgetful of my help,
he gave me neither frankincense nor thanks.
Such conduct threw me into sudden wrath,
and, fretting at the slight, I felt I must
not be despised at any future time.
I told myself ’twas only right to make
a just example of them. They were near
a temple, hidden in the forest, which
glorious Echion in remembered time
had built to Rhea, Mother of the gods,
in payment of a vow. So, wearied from
the distance traveled, they were glad to have
a needed rest. Hippomenes while there,
was seized with love his heart could not control.—
a passion caused by my divinity.

Quite near the temple was a cave-like place,
covered with pumice. It was hallowed by
religious veneration of the past.
Within the shadows of that place, a priest
had stationed many wooden images
of olden gods. The lovers entered there
and desecrated it. The images
were scandalized, and turned their eyes away.
The tower-crowned Mother, Cybele, at first
prepared to plunge the guilty pair beneath
the waves of Styx, but such a punishment
seemed light. And so their necks, that had been smooth.
Were covered instantly with tawny manes;
their fingers bent to claws; their arms were changed
to fore-legs; and their bosoms held their weight;
and with their tails they swept the sandy ground.

Their casual glance is anger, and instead
of words they utter growls. They haunt the woods,
a bridal-room to their ferocious taste.
And now fierce lions they are terrible
to all of life; except to Cybele;
whose harness has subdued their champing jaws.  Latin Text

Aischylos, Hepta (Seven against Thebes) 532-33

He says this, the beautiful child of a mountain-bred mother—a warrior, half man, half boy.  Greek Text

Aischylos, Hepta (Seven against Thebes) 547

he is Parthenopaeus of Arcadia.  Greek Text

Sophokles, OK 1320-22Oidipous at Kolonos

He is named for that virgin of long ago from whose marriage in later time he was born, the trusty son of AtalantaGreek Text

Euripides, Pho 150Phoinissai (Phoinician Women)

That is Parthenopaeus, Atalanta’s sonGreek Text

Euripides, Hik 888-89 – Hiketides (Suppliants)

Next behold the huntress Atalanta’s son, Parthenopaeus, a youth of peerless beauty.  Greek Text

Thebais fr 6 PEG – Poetae Epici Graeci 1, p. 26, ed. A. Bernabé. Leipzig 1987.

Pausanias, Description of Greece 9.18.6

He [Asphodicos] it was who in the fighting with the Argives killed Parthenopaeus, the son of Talaus. This is the Theban account, but according to the passage in the Thebaid which tells of the death of Parthenopaeus it was Periclymenus who killed him.  Greek Text

Hekataios 1F32 – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1p. 15, ed. F. Jacoby. 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

♠ Antimachos fr 29 Wyss – Antimachi Colophonii reliquiae, ed. B. Wyss. Berlin 1936.

Σ OK 1320 – Scholia to Sophokles, Oidipous at KolonosScholia in Sophoclis tragoedias vetera, p. 452, ed. P. N. Papageorgius. Leipzig 1888.

Greek Text

Hellanikos 4F99 – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 133, ed. F. Jacoby. 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

♠ ApB 1.9.13 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

Bias and Pero had a son Talaus, who married Lysimache, daughter of Abas, son of Melampus, and had by her Adrastus, Parthenopaeus, Pronax, Mecisteus, Aristomachus, and Eriphyle, whom Amphiaraus married.  Greek Text

ApB 3.9.2 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

And by Melanion, or Ares, Atalanta had a son Parthenopaeus, who went to the war against ThebesGreek Text

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Edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, March 2024.

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