Atalanta ätəlăn´tə [key], in Greek mythology, huntress famous for her speed and skill. She took part in the Calydonian hunt and was rewarded by Meleager with the pelt of the boar. Later, warned by an oracle not to marry, she demanded that each suitor run a race with her, on the condition that the winner would marry her and the losers would die. Hippomenes won the race by dropping three golden apples which Atalanta stopped to retrieve. Later, because Hippomenes and Atalanta made love in a temple sacred to Cybele, they were turned into lions and yoked to Cybele's chariot. Another version of the legend makes Milanion Atalanta's successful suitor.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Folklore and Mythology