Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Calydonian Boar is one of the many monsters in Greek mythology, which met its end in the Calydonian Hunt, a popular subject in classical art. King Oeneus of Calydon, an ancient city of west-central Greece north of the Gulf of Patras, held annual sacrifices to the gods. One year the king forgot to include Artemis in his offerings. Insulted, Artemis created the biggest, most ferocious boar imaginable, and unloosed it on Calydon. It rampaged throughout the countryside, forcing people to take refuge inside the city walls, where they began to starve.
Oeneus sent messengers out to look for the best hunters in Greece, offering them the boar's pelt and tusks as a prize. Among those who responded were some of the Argonauts, Oeneus' own son Meleager, and the huntress Atalanta. Artemis had sent the young huntress because she knew her presence would be a source of division, and so it was: many of the men refused to hunt alongside a woman. Nonetheless it was Atalanta who first succeeded in wounding the boar, although Meleager finished it off, and offered the prize to Atalanta. This outraged the massed heroes, who proceeded to attack Atalanta and Meleager, and in the ensuing battle Meleager died. (See Meleager for more details.) Thus Artemis achieved her revenge against King Oeneus.
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