Atalanta is a beautiful girl who can run faster than any man. Many men desire her, but she tells them that they can only be with her if they beat her in a running race. Atalanta kills countless losers until she meets Hippomenes and debates letting him win because she likes him. She decides that winning is still more important to her, but Venus assists Hippomenes in winning the race, and he and Atalanta begin a romantic relationship. However, they forget to thank Venus for her help, and so one day while they are having sex in a sacred cave, Venus transforms them into lions.
Atalanta Character Timeline in Metamorphoses
The timeline below shows where the character Atalanta appears in Metamorphoses. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 8: Meleager and the Calydonian Boar
...fighters to kill the bull. Among this group are Telamon and Peleus, Aeacus’s sons, and Atalanta, a female archer whose face is a combination of masculine and feminine features. When Meleager... (full context)
Book 10: Venus’ Story: Atalanta and Hippomenes
...a spectator named Hippomenes scoffs at the foolishness of the men who try to outrun Atalanta. However, when he sees Atalanta, he gasps with desire and instantly decides to join the... (full context)