Often called the god of warfare, there is much more to the persona of Ares, as he was much better described as full of bloodlust. As he was in charge of watching over the weapons of war, the sacking of cities, rebellion, manliness, and courage, it was not uncommon to hear of the god as being ‘slaughter personified.’ In this article, you will learn more about the god who earned the reputation as being one of the most feared.
When Ares was depicted in art, he was often seen with a spear or a burning torch in his hand. His body was covered with bronze armor. With a bearded face, Ares possessed handsome qualities that he maintained into the prime of his life. Animals that represented the god of warfare were vultures, the woodpecker, eagle owl, and dogs. In art, he was often seen riding a quadriga , a chariot pulled by four stallions that emitted fire as they traveled. Their bridles were made out of gold.
Ares is the only son that Zeus and Hera produced from their union, and he was not exactly welcomed with open arms because of his thirst for blood.
Strengths and Weaknesses
When Ares was at his best, he displayed decisiveness, determination, and fearlessness. However, he also made decisions on impulse and because of his bloodthirsty nature, he was quick to fight no matter what kind of consequences the outcome may bring.
Romantic Affairs and Children
Ares did not take a wife, as no woman could compete with his love for raging war. However, he wasn’t without companion or attraction to others. In fact, he had a thing for Aphrodite, who happened to be married to the smith god named Hephaestus. However, he deceived the lame god many times so that he could take his wife to bed. At one point, their affair was made known when Helios caught wind of their escapades and alerted the rest of the Olympians about the affair. The rest of the males intruded on a romantic interlude and thoroughly embarrassed the two lovers.
Ares also produced offspring with nymphs, such as Cyrene, who gave birth to Diomedes. His other children included Cycnus, Oenomaus, Phobos, and Eros. According to Hesiod, Phobos and Deimos were his children that Aphrodite had given birth to. They took on the roles of Ares’ companions in times of war.
His Roman Equivalent
In Rome, Mars was the equivalent of Ares, although he was not seen as a bloodthirsty god. In addition to standing for war, Mars was also associated with agriculture.
When ancient Greeks worshipped Ares, it was the Northern Greece territory of Thracia or Thrace that dedicated the most temples to the god. However, since requesting a war was not a popular desire, Ares did not enjoy many temple sites.