Atalanta participated in the hunt for the Calydonian boar and drew first blood, through Meleager killed it. Since she had done the first injury, Meleager gave her the hide. According to one account of the hunt, Hylaeus and Rhaecus, two centaurs, tried to rape Atalanta. Meleager killed them. Also during the hunt, Eurypylus insulted her, and Meleager killed him.
After Atalanta participated in the hunt and received the pelt, her father, Iasus or Schoeneus, claimed her as his offspring and wanted her to get married.
Although a very beautiful maiden, Atalanta did not particularly want to marry. In order to get her a husband, her father made a deal with Atalanta that she would marry anybody who could beat her in a foot race. Atalanta happily agreed, as she could run extremely fast.
She outran many suitors. The one that finally became her husband accomplished this through brain, not speed. Hippomenes (also known as Melanion) knew that he could not win a fair race with Atalanta, so he prayed to Aphrodite for help. The goddess gave him three golden apples and told him to drop them one at a time to distract Atalanta. Sure enough, she quit running long enough to retrieve each golden apple. It took all three apples and all of his speed, but Hippomenes finally succeeded, winning the race and Atalanta's hand.
In some versions of the quest for the Golden Fleece, Atalanta sailed with the Argonauts as the only female among them, suffered injury in the battle at Colchis and was healed by Medea. Other authors claim Jason wouldn't allow a woman on the ship.
Swinburne reprised the episode relating to the Calydonian boar-hunt in his verse tragedy Atalanta in Calydon .
- Rubens's 'Atanlanta and Meleager' in the Lady Lever Art Gallery