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Atalanta and Kyros racing

Atalanta was the princess of Arcadia during the 6th century BCE.


Atalanta was said to have been abandoned by her father, King Iasus, 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 Calydonian hero.

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.

Kyros of Zarax traveled to the kingdom of Arcadia 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.


  • 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.



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