Atalanta’s father Iasus had wanted a boy, and so when the girl Atalanta was born he left her on a mountainside to die. Atalanta, however, was a survivor: she grew up with bears instead, until a group of hunters found her and returned her to human society.
The girl was strong, and excellent at physical and outdoor activities. She was also very attractive, and many men wanted to be with her (although Atalanta herself had promised the gods she would remain pure). One of these men was Meleager who, even though he had a wife, invited Atalanta on a great hunt to kill a boar with which the goddess Artemis was punishing mankind.
The hunt started very badly: two of the men tried to rape Atalanta, but she was too strong and killed them both. The boar, meanwhile, killed many of the other men before Atalanta hit it with an arrow.
Finally Meleager killed the boar, but as Atalanta had been the first to hit the boar, he gave her its hide. This angered Meleager’s two uncles, who tried to take the skin from Atalanta, making Meleager so angry he killed them both.
The actions of Meleager towards Atalanta, and his killing his two uncles, made Meleager’s mother greatly unhappy. She took a log and put a spell on it before throwing it in the fire; as the log burned, so Meleager’s life vanished.