Ares, also known by the Romans as Mars, is the Greek God of war and masculinity. He is often depicted as cruel, bloodthirsty, and oddly enough, a coward.
Ares is the God of blood lust in battle, constantly at odds with the more respected Athena, who is also a God of war. Where Ares represented brute strength, Athena represented strategy.
Ares was never widely worshiped by the Greeks and had very few devout followers. He was detested by humans and Gods alike.
At Sparta, where there was an ancient statue, representing the god in chains, to indicate that the martial spirit and victory were never to leave the city of Sparta. At Sparta human sacrifices were offered to Ares. The temples of this god were usually built outside the towns, probably to suggest the idea that he was to prevent enemies from approaching them.
Ares had many children. Most notably Eros (Cupid), Nike (Victory), Phobos (Panic), Deimos (Fear), and several other divine offspring.
His most notable love affair was that with Aphrodite. From their joining came Anteros, Deimos, Eros, Harmonia, and Phobos. They continued their affair until Aphrodite’s husband Hephaestus, a God of smithing and metal working, caught them in a clever trap and exposed their adulterous affair to the rest of the Gods.
His sister Eris called forth war, Zeus directed its course, but Ares loved war for its own sake, and delights in the carnage and roar of battles, in the slaughter of men, and the destruction of cities.
He is usually depicted as a seasoned warrior in full armour or as an attractive nude youth with a helm and spear. The only constant is that he is not a force to be trifled with. He is protective of his children (See: The murder of Hallirhothios) and detested by even his own parents.
(Disclaimer: I do not own the photos above, all rights to original owners. All information in this post can be sourced if needed. I do not claim to be an expert in Greek mythology. If you find something wrong please tell me.)
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