According to Greek mythology, when Meleagros,son of the king of Calidonas and Queen Althaia, was seven days old, the Fates appeared. Clothos and Lachesis said that he would become brave and strong. The Atropos, who cuts the thread of life, watching a log burning in the hearth, said that Meleagros would die when this stump was burned. Immediately, Althea snatched it, blew it out and kept it hidden so it wouldn’t burn. As Meleagros grew, anyone could see the gifts he had received from the Fates.
He had a gentle soul, he was capable of racing and he seemed invulnerable to war as a true descendant of the god Ares. One day, his father, offered sacrifices to the gods, but left out goddess Artemis. Thus Artemis decided to avenge him and sent a boar that was destroying the crops of the whole Kalydonia area. The bravest and renowned heroes from Kalydonia and Greece, Pileas, Theseus, Admitos, Jason, Telamonas, Kastor and Polydefkis , all gathered to hunt down the malicious boar.
Among them, was Atalantis; an exceptionally brave and capable hunter (probably a changed form of the goddess Artemis), and Meleagros who was the leader of all the warriors mentioned above. The heroes were accepted with glory by King Kalidonas and accommodated them for nine days with plenty of celebrations and symposiums. But soon enough there were disagreements, or according to others Artemis had sown discord. Some of the heroes accepted the presence and participation of Atalantis and others did not, but as Meleagros was already in love with Atalantis he manages to convince his companions to accept her as an equal part of the team and on the tenth day the hunt eventually begins. The boar quickly kills some of them during the fierce confrontation and shortly after Atalantis hurts him first on the ridge with an arrow. Then Amphiaraos beats him between his eyes and Meleagros spears him in the belly and finally kills him.
Now the initial controversy is back to the fore. Meleagros’s uncles, who claim that the head and the skin belong to the family of the man who killed the boar, are the most tenacious. They forcibly distract them from Atalantis and Meleagros blinded by rage kills them and returns the trophies back to her.When his mother Althea found out about the death of her brothers, she was so outraged that took the wood out of the box she was keeping for so many years and instantly threw it into the fire. Meleagros died in the next few hours and repentant Althea killed herself. His sisters were grieving day and night next to his tomb. Artemis took pity on them, transformed them into birds, meleagrides, and brought them to her sanctuary in Leros, where they were cared for by the priests of her temple.
* Meleagros’s soul descended to Hades. In a wonderful passage of Vakchylidis ‘, Meleagros talks with Hercules, when he descended to Hades in order to exterminate Cerberus and in the end expresses the agony of the man who feels that his life is fading.