Thoas, son of Andraemon, commanded the Aetolians, who dwelt in Pleuron, Olenus, Pylene, Chalcis by the sea, and rocky Calydon, for the great king Oeneus
had now no sons living, and was himself dead, as was also golden-haired Meleager, who had been set over the Aetolians to be their king.
1: When Althea was dead, Oeneus
married Periboea, the daughter of Hipponous.
anticipates his wife's fears, admonishing his son: "nor set toward hers thine heart, / Son, lest hate bear no deadlier fruit than love" (ll.
did not offer proper thanks to Artemis, goddess of the hunt.
The story tells of King Oeneus
of Calydon, who neglected to sacrifice the annual first fruits to Artemis.
This in turn would have given a new take on Meleager himself: because his father Oeneus
had failed to sacrifice to Artemis, he is punished with the near extinction of his wider family in a whole chain reaction of misfortunes.
thus illustrates classical precepts about a common type of tragic figure: "quo quis superbus extulit sese altius, / hoc graviusille ac foedius subito ruit," "The higher a proud man raises himself, the harder and more shamefully he falls" (76-77).
, too, advises Meleager of the implicit danger of love's illusions: "nor set towards hers thine heart, / Son, lest hate bear no deadlier fruit than love" (ll.
To Althaea and Oeneus
, the virginal Atalanta is "unwomanlike" (l.