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Atalanta was the daughter of King Iasius, and thus the princess of Arkadia during the 6th century BCE.



Atalanta and Kyros racing

Atalanta was said to have been abandoned by her father, King Iasius, because he wanted a son instead of a daughter. Following this, Atalanta was raised by bears and became a fierce hunter, proving to be a slayer of centaurs and a Kalydonian hero.[1]

After her return to the palace of her father, she began to challenge men to race her. If they won the race, she would agree to marry them. However, losing would result in their death.[1]

Kyros of Zarax traveled to the kingdom of Arkadia to challenge her, and Atalanta reluctantly accepted the challenge, as she didn't want him to die. Cunningly though, Kyros cheated by using Aphrodite's golden apple to make Atalanta stumble repeatedly, resulting in his victory and the pair's eventual marriage.[1]

She resided in the simulation of the Elysium, wherein she oversaw a complex.[2]

Influence and legacy

The story of Atalanta lived on in Greece, and during the Peloponnesian War the Spartan misthios Kassandra was compared to Atalanta by Makarios, a boy about to begin his agoge, after witnessing Kassandra's fight with the agoge master Iatrokles.[3]

A pair of sandals, part of an armor set, was also attributed to Atalanta and eventually came into the possession of the Kassandra.[4]

Within the Forest of Soron in Arkadia was also a ruined racecourse which was said to have been hers. By the time of the Peloponnesian War, bandits had set up a camp in the course's northern parts.[4]

When Kassandra made her way to the simulation of Elysium, she found and slew Atalanta, and claimed a spear which was said to have belonged to Aegea, a queen of the Amazons, once upon a time.[2]


  • In Greek mythology, Atalanta, along with Hippomenes and all other heroes belong to the Greek Heroic Age, which corresponds to the period of Mycenaean Greece that spanned from c. 1600 BCE to c. 1100 BCE. Atalanta's story being set in the 6th century BCE is therefore anachronistic.
  • In some stories, Atalanta is counted among the Argonauts.




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