Ares – the Greek god of war | Ares (Mars) Explained | Greek Mythology and Folklore

Ares – the Greek god of war  | Ares (Mars) Explained | Greek Mythology and Folklore

Hate me, you may,
stop me, you cannot. For I am in your nature, I am in your blood. I am war,
I feed the fields with blood splatter, I cover altars in war-spilled blood. I am the sound of prisoners wailing,
the fires lit from burning cities, the gore, the kills, the spoils from every
land. I am the master of arms,
I am Rebelliousness. I am the darkness in all of you. I am the god of war. Ares, is one of the 12 Greek olympians, and
god of war, the spirit of battle, the personification of violence and bloodlust. He was called, “the bane of mortals,”
“the slayer of men,” “the city-stormer,” “the armor-clattering”. Known by the Romans with the name, Mars, he
represented sheer brutality, the violent, and untamed aspect of brutal warfare and slaughter,
making him a total opposite of the wisdom and war goddess, Athena, who represented the
civilized form of war, and military strategy. Ares was the oldest child of Zeus and Hera,
and brother to, Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth, Hebe, the goddess of eternal youth,
and Hephaestus, the god of fire and the forge. Ares is usually depicted, wearing a helmet,
a shield and a bloodstained sword, or spear. He drives a four-horse chariot and is followed
by dogs, or vultures. And is sometimes, shown alongside his sons,
Deimos, and Phobos. On the battlefield, He is often accompanied
by a number of bloodthirsty deities, each symbolizing the terror of war. His two sons, Deimos, and Phobos (represented
Panic, and Fear), His comrade, or sister, Eris (represented Strife), Kydoimos,represented
confusion, and the lesser deity, Enyo ( was the Sacker of Cities and “sister of war”). In addition, the Keres, who were horrid, grim-eyed
female Spirits of Death, and dressed in cloaks, drenched in human blood, also hovered alongside
Ares and his companions, on the battlefield. Now, although Ares was an overwhelming force,
whose mere sight filled mortals with terror, he was not as mighty, and undefeatable, as
he appeared to be. There were a number of encounters where the
war god’s skills were bested. in his battle with Diomedes, Diomedes wounded,
and defeated the war god, fair and square. During the Trojan war, Athena, easily bested
him, after which she mocked him, and bragged of her superiority as a warrior. Heracles, also defeated Ares twice, first
during the battle of Pylos, and then after killing Ares’ son, Cycnus. In addition, homer tells us, that the twin
brothers, Otus and Ephialtes, once abducted the war god, and locked him up in a bronze
jar for thirteen months, with no means of escape. Perhaps, if their stepmother, Eriboea hadn’t
told the messenger god, Hermes, about the incident, Ares would have spent eternity,
in that bronze jar. Since he was the savage and brutal god of
senseless war, Ares was neither loved by gods nor by men, except Aphrodite, goddess of beauty,
whom he had an adultrous affair with. He was repulsive to his own father, zeus,
to the extent that after he was wounded in battle by Diomedes, Zeus called him “the
most hateful of all the gods,” adding that if Ares hadn’t been his son, he would have
surely thrown him into Tartarus, with Cronus and the rest of the Titans. The war god, had perhaps, a lot of consorts,
with the most popular being the goddess, Aphrodite. who was at that time, married to his brother,
Hephaestus. Aphrodite bore him, Deimos, Phobos, and Harmonia,
and the four Erotes, namely, Eros, Anteros, Pothos, and Himeros. Ares also fathered a whole race of female
warriors, known as the Amazons. His consort, Otrera, bore him the most famous
four Amazons, who were by names, Hippolyta, Antiope, Melanippe, and Penthesilea.

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