views updated May 29 2018

Meleager in Greek mythology, a hero at whose birth the Fates declared that he would die when a brand then on the fire was consumed. His mother Althaea seized the brand and kept it, but threw it back into the fire when he quarrelled with and killed her brothers in a hunting expedition, whereupon he died.

He is said to have hunted down and killed the Calydonian boar, in the company of Atalanta, with whom he was in love, and who first wounded the boar. He gave the spoils of the chase to her, and it was the attempt of his uncles to deprive her of them that brought about their deaths.