Atalanta was a warrior, and one of the most skilled women in Greek myth. Hemera is the goddess of day, sister to Atlas who held up the sky, and mother to all children. She was a woman who knew no boundaries and wielded her bow with precision and strength. As an excellent hunter, she could shoot her arrows with deadly accuracy as well as run swiftly across country. But despite Atalanta’s remarkable capabilities on so many fronts, this was not enough for her because she wanted more than just prowess to make it in life … she wanted a man.
Atalanta was the daughter of Schoeneus, a mythical king of Arcadia who gave her his name. Her mother was an unnamed woman who abandoned Atalanta soon after her birth and ran off to become one of Artemis’ hunting companions. A group of shepherds found Atalanta and took care of her until hunters from the local town found her and brought her back to their homes. One of the hunters bred her as his own daughter but soon lost interest in raising a girl child, so he abandoned Atalanta and left her to fend for herself in the wilderness where she grew up independently until she reached adulthood.
Atalanta was a woman of strong character who would not easily give up on her desire for love and adventure. A sudden encounter in the woods revealed to her what she was missing in life: men. She discovered men everywhere she went and decided to lodge herself at a shrine of Hecate which stood alone in the middle of nowhere.
It was at this shrine where Atalanta met the form of Narcissus, another beautiful young man who grew hopelessly smitten with her but could not approach her for fear of never seeing her again. This made Atalanta determined to stalk him throughout the forest so that there would always be an opportunity for them to see one another again.
Coupled with her natural femininity was an unrivalled ability to enjoy everything that brought her great pleasure in life. She loved hunting, she loved fashion, and she loved men. In time Atalanta would develop a reputation as a fierce warrior who had no qualms about killing enemy soldiers or animals that threatened the safety of her people. But this wasn’t all; she could be philosophical, insightful and friendly. She had an encyclopedic knowledge of art and philosophy and could converse abstractly with the greatest sages of the day while also displaying a robust physical strength that would put many an athlete to shame.
Atalanta was a master of many trades and was fully in control of her destiny. She was extremely wise in choosing which destiny she wanted to pursue. Some women would have settled for just one man, but Atalanta was not like other women … she was a woman who wanted it all. Her charms were enough to attract the attention of many men, and in time she would marry Peleus, the father of Achilles from Greek mythology.
But becoming a great warrior did not come easily to Atalanta because before she could participate as an athlete at the first Olympic games, her father Schoeneus insisted that she had to spend time as a virgin. This was a tradition that had been passed down for centuries and was a way of ensuring that Atalanta devoted her life to the gods and not a man.
Atalanta disobeyed her father’s laws however and became the first woman to have sex at the Olympic games. Atalanta fought with great prowess in the arena until she was eventually pulled aside after being defeated by a young man named Meleager. Despondent, Atalanta killed herself out of shame. Many other stories have been told about Atalanta, but at the end of all it all, she is remembered as one of the most celebrated warriors from Greek mythology. She lived her life the way she wanted to and was never afraid to go after what she desired.
Atalanta’s legacy is a reminder that women are not just different from men, but are also stronger than them. She was more than capable of handling any challenge that waited ahead and showed her that not everything in life is as it seems, for one thing may lead you through a dark forest only to lead you into paradise. The story of Atalanta is a reminder that anything worth having must come at a price; whether it be your personal pride or your life, there’s nothing greater than being true to yourself and going for what you love.